Discussion:
About to merge the forum-v2 branch
(too old to reply)
Richard Hipp
2018-07-31 13:47:11 UTC
Permalink
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.

The forum-v2 branch implements a "forum" capability. Here is a quick summary:

* Messages are organized into threads. The initial post of a thread
contains a title. All subsequent posts omit the title, but have an
in-reply-to field.

* Passers-by can post anonymously, or (depending on the
configuration) they can create a new account on-the-spot and post
using their new account. The "self-register" feature has been in
Fossil for ages out of mind. I forget who contributed it. (It did
not come from me.) Self-registration has been seldom used before now,
as far as I know.

* Messages can be edited, either by the user who originally posted
the message, or by an administrator.

* Each message is an artifact, using a new artifact class called
"Forum". See https://www.fossil-scm.org/fossil/doc/forum-v2/www/fileformat.wiki#forum
for a description. There are three new cards: G, H, and I.

* Because each message is an artifact, forum content syncs just like
everything else.

* Forum message from untrusted users (ex: anonymous) can be held for
moderation. Such messages are not synced nor may they be replied too,
until they are approved by a moderator.

* Email notification is available for new forum posts. Currently,
the alert emails contain a very brief synopsis of the post -
essentially just the title. This can be enhanced later to provide the
complete text of the post, if that is seen as desirable.

* Each forum message has a mimetype. Currently supported mimetypes
are text/plain, text/markdown, and text/x-fossil-wiki. New mimetypes
can be added later


The intent is to replace this mailing list, as well as various other
mailing lists (fossil-users, sqlite-users, sqlite-dev,
sqlite-announce) with the new forum feature. I hope to shut down the
mailing lists and bring the forums all live within about a week. So
if you have concerns, voice them soon.

This message was originally posted on a test-forum at
https://fossil-scm.org/forumtest1/forumpost/10fe5ccbc8 - please
consider posting follow-ups there, as a test of the new forum system.
If you encounter problems, reply to this legacy mailing list, or
directly to me via private email.
--
D. Richard Hipp
***@sqlite.org
Philip Bennefall
2018-07-31 14:22:11 UTC
Permalink
I am trying to register an account on the new forum, but am running into
an issue with the captcha. I am blind and so am using screen reading
software, and it won't read the captcha. Is there a way to either skip
the captcha, or get an audio challenge?


Browsing/reading posts on the forum seems straightforward enough, and
it's far less cluttered than many other forum implementations out there.
Nice work!


Kind regards,


Philip Bennefall
Post by Richard Hipp
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
* Messages are organized into threads. The initial post of a thread
contains a title. All subsequent posts omit the title, but have an
in-reply-to field.
* Passers-by can post anonymously, or (depending on the
configuration) they can create a new account on-the-spot and post
using their new account. The "self-register" feature has been in
Fossil for ages out of mind. I forget who contributed it. (It did
not come from me.) Self-registration has been seldom used before now,
as far as I know.
* Messages can be edited, either by the user who originally posted
the message, or by an administrator.
* Each message is an artifact, using a new artifact class called
"Forum". See https://www.fossil-scm.org/fossil/doc/forum-v2/www/fileformat.wiki#forum
for a description. There are three new cards: G, H, and I.
* Because each message is an artifact, forum content syncs just like
everything else.
* Forum message from untrusted users (ex: anonymous) can be held for
moderation. Such messages are not synced nor may they be replied too,
until they are approved by a moderator.
* Email notification is available for new forum posts. Currently,
the alert emails contain a very brief synopsis of the post -
essentially just the title. This can be enhanced later to provide the
complete text of the post, if that is seen as desirable.
* Each forum message has a mimetype. Currently supported mimetypes
are text/plain, text/markdown, and text/x-fossil-wiki. New mimetypes
can be added later
The intent is to replace this mailing list, as well as various other
mailing lists (fossil-users, sqlite-users, sqlite-dev,
sqlite-announce) with the new forum feature. I hope to shut down the
mailing lists and bring the forums all live within about a week. So
if you have concerns, voice them soon.
This message was originally posted on a test-forum at
https://fossil-scm.org/forumtest1/forumpost/10fe5ccbc8 - please
consider posting follow-ups there, as a test of the new forum system.
If you encounter problems, reply to this legacy mailing list, or
directly to me via private email.
Richard Hipp
2018-07-31 14:26:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Philip Bennefall
I am trying to register an account on the new forum, but am running into
an issue with the captcha. I am blind and so am using screen reading
software, and it won't read the captcha. Is there a way to either skip
the captcha, or get an audio challenge?
This is an interesting problem, for which I do not have an immediately
solution. There is no way to skip the captcha at this time. I will
investigate further. Thanks for reporting the issue.
--
D. Richard Hipp
***@sqlite.org
Thomas Levine
2018-07-31 15:09:16 UTC
Permalink
I am bad at using web browsers, so I am likely to read the forum less than I read this mailing list. On the other hand, I imagine that the reverse applies for other people.

A corresponding email interface to the forum would of course resolve this, but I imagine that won't happen any time soon, so I suggest presenting an RSS feed of forum posts, including metadata about the parent posts. I will convert these to email, view them in my mail user agent (with correct threading), and then use the web browser only when I want to post.

Indeed, the forum looks easier for me than most forums.
Thomas Levine
2018-07-31 15:15:38 UTC
Permalink
Also, despite the inconvenience of using a web browser, I anticipate that this feature will be very helpful for me.
Dominique Devienne
2018-08-01 15:29:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Hipp
This message was originally posted on a test-forum at
https://fossil-scm.org/forumtest1/forumpost/10fe5ccbc8 - please
consider posting follow-ups there, as a test of the new forum system.
If you encounter problems, reply to this legacy mailing list, or
directly to me via private email.
One of the features of a Mail User Agent is to track what was read or not.
This is especially useful in large threads. And also many MUAs collapsed
older parts of the thread already read, while still allowing to re-expand
them,
as the user's choice.

Do either of these important features exist in the new forum?
I revisited the forums after a few days, and it doesn't appear to do
either, no?

Then there's the "timeline" of a thread. Some MUAs (GMail) use a strict
time-based
ordering of the post, while the forum is ordered by time at the top-level,
but a in-reply-to
post (B) is always below the post one's replying to (A), which means newer
top-level posts
newer than A, but older than B, will appear out-of-time-order, unlike in
GMail.

That's a major change for mailing list users. Could a strict "flat"
time-based ordering
be available, as an alternate view, replacing the in-reply-to nesting with
simply a link
to the replied-to post?

Thanks, --DD
Warren Young
2018-08-01 19:47:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dominique Devienne
One of the features of a Mail User Agent is to track what was read or not.
It should be straightforward to track “artifacts seen” on a per-user basis, then tag the HTML block-level elements when rendering the page so that the skin can style the elements appropriately.

The skin could, for example, overlay 5% transparent black over all posts the user has already seen, so that the new (not-yet-seen) elements are in a higher contrast coloring.

This could extend to the timeline as well.

(That’s why you do this with transparent tinting over the existing coloring, by the way, rather than hard-code a pale gray background: because you can’t easily predict what the existing background color will be, and you wouldn’t want a bunch of nearly-identical CSS rules even if you could predict each background color in advance.)

Since this solution is all-CSS, you’d then have the freedom to do the styling differently if you prefer. You could bold the subject line of threads that haven’t been opened, etc. You’d be limited only by your CSS fu.
Post by Dominique Devienne
And also many MUAs collapsed
older parts of the thread already read, while still allowing to re-expand them,
as the user's choice.
That may be possible in CSS as well. If not in pure CSS, then in CSS + JS for sure. All that’s needed are suitable styles on the block-level elements.
Post by Dominique Devienne
Some MUAs (GMail) use a strict time-based
ordering of the post,
I’d be careful using Gmail as a comparison here, since it isn’t so much threaded as clumped, which makes it difficult to compare 1:1 to a threaded forum system like this new Fossil Forums feature.

Still, I agree with the basic idea you’re expressing here, which I think I can express more simply: thread titles in the top-level /forum should be ordered by the date of the most recent post in the thread, not by the date of the first post. If a new post is made to an old thread, the whole thread pops to the top of the list.
Post by Dominique Devienne
Could a strict "flat" time-based ordering
be available, as an alternate view, replacing the in-reply-to nesting with simply a link
to the replied-to post?
You get that via /timeline if you show events of “Any Type” or “Forum”.

If an alternate view is provided, then I guess some people will like a Gmail-like clumped view, but personally, I think that’s only useful on mobile, where horizontal screen space is especially precious.

On a desktop browser, give me real threading any day.
Warren Young
2018-08-01 19:01:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Hipp
The intent is to replace this mailing list
Are you also going to import all the old content, so that people can clone the forum repo — assuming you still plan to keep the forum and code as separate repos — and get a locally-searchable archive?

Currently, I keep all mailing list content locally, which is occasionally helpful. Web searches often fail to turn up conversations I *know* exist, which I can find simply by telling my mail client to search within a given mail folder. This is especially common with projects that have lots of web search conflicts, like “Fossil”.

This also argues against those who say that local mailing list archives are too big or slow things down. It’s been many years since mail clients couldn’t handle many years of a typical FOSS project mailing list content, and it’s been many years more than that where I even noticed the disk space it requires.

If bandwidth is a concern, the DVCS nature of Fossil should allow us to trivially set up a mirror network. You just need to link to a bunch of people who’ve stood their ML repo clones up on public servers.
John P. Rouillard
2018-08-01 21:43:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Warren Young
Post by Richard Hipp
The intent is to replace this mailing list
Are you also going to import all the old content, so that people can
clone the forum repo — assuming you still plan to keep the forum and
code as separate repos — and get a locally-searchable archive?
According to the comment above, it looks like the forum will be a
separate fossil instance from the source code. I must have missed that
if it was stated.

Since I clone the fossil repo to my RasPI I am really not interested
in cloning the forum/mailing list along with the source code.

I throw away 99+% of the traffic on the mailing list after reading
it. I don't really want to have to keep all of that on disk.

A method that allows syncing without forum artifacts or a command to
purge forum artifacts would be helpful. This would allow clones to not
download or not permanently store possibly large forum discussions in
their repo.

Have a great day.

--
-- rouilj
John Rouillard
===========================================================================
My employers don't acknowledge my existence much less my opinions.
Warren Young
2018-08-01 22:57:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by John P. Rouillard
Post by Warren Young
Post by Richard Hipp
The intent is to replace this mailing list
Are you also going to import all the old content, so that people can
clone the forum repo — assuming you still plan to keep the forum and
code as separate repos — and get a locally-searchable archive?
According to the comment above
Not according to me, but to drh:

https://fossil-scm.org/forumtest1/forumpost/9b6f3f36bdb
Post by John P. Rouillard
I must have missed that if it was stated.
The current forumtest1 contents are currently small enough to read front-to-back in 15 minutes or so. ;)
Post by John P. Rouillard
Since I clone the fossil repo to my RasPI I am really not interested
in cloning the forum/mailing list along with the source code.
If you won’t use the mailing list archive, fine, I have no particular wish to force you to clone it.

However, when weighing your wishes, we must keep the costs in perspective: According to that same post, we’re only talking about 35 MB or so of data.

The Raspbian Desktop SD card image is currently about 4.8 GB unpacked, so with the smallest-possible 8 GB card, a SQLite mailing list archive clone is small enough to rattle around in the free space like a BB in a milk jug.

If you’re using Raspbian Lite, you can install on a card as small as 2 GB, and you’ll have enough space left over for some development tools, Fossil, and several repository clones, including those of the Fossil and SQLite mailing lists.

What I’m saying here is, give me a use case where 35 MB actually matters here in 2018.

I can give one: those behind SQLite and Fossil might not want to pay the higher bandwidth bills resulting from a repository that’s 35+ MB larger. At their scale, it might actually matter, and in that case, they should calve it off as a separate repository so that only those that actually want to make use of it will bother to clone it. (I do, and I will, if allowed.)

Here’s a thought for you: how many old forums (generic definition) have you been part of in the past that have since disappeared, taking their archives with them into oblivion? Wouldn’t you like to have a copy of some of that? For me, the answers are “dozens,” and “yes”. The Fossil Forums Feature gives us that, finally.
Post by John P. Rouillard
I throw away 99+% of the traffic on the mailing list after reading
it.
You also probably ignore 99+% of past software versions, 99+% of past checkin comments, 99+% of old wiki content… The thing a VCS should provide is access to the odd 0.01% of past artifacts that you can’t identify in advance of need.

If I’m writing a new ticket for a bug that was discussed on the mailing list months ago, I’d sure rather refer to it using a link to a forum post in the same repository than to some third-party mail archive service that has a fair chance of changing their URL scheme or even going out of business before the ticket is closed.
Post by John P. Rouillard
A method that allows syncing without forum artifacts or a command to
purge forum artifacts would be helpful.
A method to get some kind of thinned-out clone has been a longstanding wish.

I think the main problem is that it’s a lot of difficulty for a fairly uncommon use case. Most of the time for most projects — including, critically, SQLite and Fossil-SCM.org — a full clone is cheap enough that it just isn’t worth doing the work.
joerg van den hoff
2018-08-02 08:29:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by John P. Rouillard
Post by Warren Young
Post by Richard Hipp
The intent is to replace this mailing list
Are you also going to import all the old content, so that people can
clone the forum repo — assuming you still plan to keep the forum and
code as separate repos — and get a locally-searchable archive?
According to the comment above, it looks like the forum will be a
separate fossil instance from the source code. I must have missed that
if it was stated.
Since I clone the fossil repo to my RasPI I am really not interested
in cloning the forum/mailing list along with the source code.
I throw away 99+% of the traffic on the mailing list after reading
it. I don't really want to have to keep all of that on disk.
A method that allows syncing without forum artifacts or a command to
purge forum artifacts would be helpful. This would allow clones to not
download or not permanently store possibly large forum discussions in
their repo.
+1
Post by John P. Rouillard
Have a great day.
--
-- rouilj
John Rouillard
===========================================================================
My employers don't acknowledge my existence much less my opinions.
_______________________________________________
fossil-users mailing list
http://lists.fossil-scm.org:8080/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fossil-users
Steve Landers
2018-08-02 08:38:55 UTC
Permalink
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
An observation (not a criticism) is that (at its current state of development) the forum does not work too well on mobile devices. And so IMO it isn’t yet a replacement for the mailing list.


Steve
joerg van den hoff
2018-08-02 09:02:27 UTC
Permalink
On 02.08.18 10:38, Steve Landers wrote:> On 31 Jul 2018, 9:47 PM +0800,
Post by Steve Landers
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
An observation (not a criticism) is that (at its current state of
development) the forum does not work too well on mobile devices. And so
IMO it isn’t yet a replacement for the mailing list. >> Steve
having not followed the development/discussion too closely, admittedly,
but regarding "forum vs. mailing list" for the fossil project itself
(and in view of a couple of other comments having some misgivings
regarding replacement of email by forum which I share) I would argue for
running them in parallel for the foreseeable future so people can vote
with their feet (or rather fingers/keyboards) what makes more sense to
them for communication: mailing list or forum.

I could easily envision a situation where the forum option would suit me
fine for personal/small/modest projects where I also would actually
_want_ to keep the whole communication with some colleagues as part of
the project,
and "foreign", bigger ones (fossil, tcl, sqlite, ...) where I most
definitely would
not be interested in doing that and also probably would prefer to use a
mailing list acessed by a reasonable mail client that allows me to
sort/delete/search/flag (and highlight unread) messages etc. more
flexible/better (probably...) than what the forum functionality could
reasonably provide.

br/joerg
Jungle Boogie
2018-08-02 15:33:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by joerg van den hoff
On 02.08.18 10:38, Steve Landers wrote:> On 31 Jul 2018, 9:47 PM +0800,
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
I could easily envision a situation where the forum option would suit me
fine for personal/small/modest projects where I also would actually _want_
to keep the whole communication with some colleagues as part of the project,
and "foreign", bigger ones (fossil, tcl, sqlite, ...) where I most
definitely would
not be interested in doing that and also probably would prefer to use a
mailing list acessed by a reasonable mail client that allows me to
sort/delete/search/flag (and highlight unread) messages etc. more
flexible/better (probably...) than what the forum functionality could
reasonably provide.
If folks will remember back just a couple months ago, this is kind of what
started this discussion. DRH shutdown the sqlite mailing list for a day or two
because of spam. During that time many folks disucssed forums, slack channels,
discord, irc, and of course, mailing lists.

After the mailing list was patched, the discussion continued on about how
fossil, with a forum or some kind of email delivery system, could work better
with push/pull requests. Fossil bundles were discussed, but many folks still
wanted to see a github style pull request system with email notifications and
abilities to make comments within the fossil repo, aside from wikis, tech notes,
and tickets. Dr. Hipp quickly developed email notifications for commits to the
repo, and a few ways to store the emails.

I enjoy mailing lists, having a copy of the mail and being able to reply from
mutt (which I'm doing now), but I think what's been implemented within fossil is
something we can all appreciate and find use of. A small project may not use
tickets, the wiki, or tech notes. That project probably won't have a mailing
list either.
Now there's another feature, for free, that they also may not use - a forum.
Post by joerg van den hoff
br/joerg
Just my opinion on this subject. Please refer to the mailing list archive for a
more accurate account for the discussion, but this is how I remember it
happening/taking place.
joerg van den hoff
2018-08-02 16:03:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jungle Boogie
Post by joerg van den hoff
On 02.08.18 10:38, Steve Landers wrote:> On 31 Jul 2018, 9:47 PM +0800,
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
I could easily envision a situation where the forum option would suit me
fine for personal/small/modest projects where I also would actually _want_
to keep the whole communication with some colleagues as part of the project,
and "foreign", bigger ones (fossil, tcl, sqlite, ...) where I most
definitely would
not be interested in doing that and also probably would prefer to use a
mailing list acessed by a reasonable mail client that allows me to
sort/delete/search/flag (and highlight unread) messages etc. more
flexible/better (probably...) than what the forum functionality could
reasonably provide.
If folks will remember back just a couple months ago, this is kind of what
started this discussion. DRH shutdown the sqlite mailing list for a day or two
because of spam. During that time many folks disucssed forums, slack channels,
discord, irc, and of course, mailing lists.
After the mailing list was patched, the discussion continued on about how
fossil, with a forum or some kind of email delivery system, could work better
with push/pull requests. Fossil bundles were discussed, but many folks still
wanted to see a github style pull request system with email notifications and
abilities to make comments within the fossil repo, aside from wikis, tech notes,
and tickets. Dr. Hipp quickly developed email notifications for commits to the
repo, and a few ways to store the emails.
I enjoy mailing lists, having a copy of the mail and being able to reply from
mutt (which I'm doing now), but I think what's been implemented within fossil is
something we can all appreciate and find use of. A small project may not use
tickets, the wiki, or tech notes. That project probably won't have a mailing
list either.
Now there's another feature, for free, that they also may not use - a forum.
from DRH's mail of july 31: "The intent is to replace this mailing list, as well as various other
mailing lists (fossil-users, sqlite-users, sqlite-dev, sqlite-announce) with the new forum feature.
I hope to shut down the mailing lists and bring the forums all live within about a week. So
if you have concerns, voice them soon."

that's it: the concern is not that there will be "another feature" (although: whether the forum
feature is a desirable one, depends on circumstances/taste and whether "pollution" of the actual
repo (and also the working copy) with the forum archive/db can be avoided if the user is not
interested in carrying the forum archive around. IIRC, the forum content is going to reside in a
separate db, which sure will help, but I actually would prefer if that db does not materialize in my
checkout without a means/setting to prevent just that (or to empty it...).

the specific _concern_ here is the contemplated shutdown of this mailing list and mandatory(!)
migration of all questions/discussions to the planned/upcoming fossil-scm forum. if that's what
going to happen: so be it. but I would prefer otherwise.
Post by Jungle Boogie
Post by joerg van den hoff
br/joerg
Just my opinion on this subject. Please refer to the mailing list archive for a
more accurate account for the discussion, but this is how I remember it
happening/taking place.
_______________________________________________
fossil-users mailing list
http://lists.fossil-scm.org:8080/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fossil-users
Jungle Boogie
2018-08-02 16:21:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by joerg van den hoff
the specific _concern_ here is the contemplated shutdown of this mailing
list and mandatory(!) migration of all questions/discussions to the
planned/upcoming fossil-scm forum. if that's what going to happen: so be it.
but I would prefer otherwise.
Sure, I was providing a little history as of why/how/when the forum discussion
started.

As for migration, I'm sure Dr. Hipp will be a reasonable decision with the input
he's been provided. Ultimately, though, the best way to test the feature out is
to eat your own dog food.
Post by joerg van den hoff
Post by joerg van den hoff
br/joerg
Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas
2018-08-02 22:15:09 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Jungle Boogie
I enjoy mailing lists, having a copy of the mail and being able to reply from
mutt (which I'm doing now), but I think what's been implemented within fossil is
something we can all appreciate and find use of. A small project may not use
tickets, the wiki, or tech notes. That project probably won't have a mailing
list either.
Now there's another feature, for free, that they also may not use - a forum.
I also enjoy mailing list. Hopefully some RSS way of
subscribing/replying to the forum from a mail client will be provided
and I will stay here as much as possible before subscribing to the
forum. But i think that its a good addition to have in Fossil. Even for
a small project, like the ones I admin in Fossil, I have found a use for
several of its integrated features: files and tickets (mainly), wiki
(before discovering embedded doc) and tech notes (in a minor way). Not
that forum will be enabled, I foresee it as a welcomed feature for our
projects.

Cheers,

Offray
Richard Hipp
2018-08-03 14:29:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas
I also enjoy mailing list. Hopefully some RSS way of
subscribing/replying to the forum from a mail client will be provided
and I will stay here as much as possible before subscribing to the
forum.
You will be able to receive all forum traffic by email, just like on a
mailing list. (Currently, you only get a notification link that you
have to click on to see the actual message. I intend to fix that -
but there are several other issues ahead of that one in line.)

For sending messages to the forum, however, you will need to visit the
website. I do not intend to accept forum traffic via inbound email,
as that leads to many spam filtering problems that I do not want to
have to deal with.
--
D. Richard Hipp
***@sqlite.org
Kees Nuyt
2018-08-04 02:26:10 UTC
Permalink
[Default] On Fri, 3 Aug 2018 10:29:11 -0400, Richard Hipp
Post by Richard Hipp
Post by Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas
I also enjoy mailing list. Hopefully some RSS way of
subscribing/replying to the forum from a mail client will be provided
and I will stay here as much as possible before subscribing to the
forum.
You will be able to receive all forum traffic by email, just like on a
mailing list. (Currently, you only get a notification link that you
have to click on to see the actual message. I intend to fix that -
but there are several other issues ahead of that one in line.)
Excellent !
Post by Richard Hipp
For sending messages to the forum, however, you will need to visit the
website. I do not intend to accept forum traffic via inbound email,
as that leads to many spam filtering problems that I do not want to
have to deal with.
Indeed, that was the whole point for creating the forum
functionality, and I think in this way it is an adequate and
workable solution.

Thanks for your ongoing efforts.
--
Regards,
Kees Nuyt
Pietro Cerutti
2018-08-02 08:57:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Hipp
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
The fundamental difference between email and web content, is that emails
are delivered to me, and once they are, they are mine. I can store them,
move them around, modify them as I like to apply tags and labels, to
keep them organized and in line with my mindset and workflow. They are
easy to access (IMAP) from many different places and different devices,
easy to search, and standard.

Web content is the negation of nearly everything above: it never
"belongs" to me, and as a consequence I can not manage it as my own
expect for a few basic things like saving the html file offline,
printing it, or bookmarking a particular page.

Email is pushed to me, while web content is something I need to go and
pull. And the location where I go and pull might change over time. And
content itself might change over time (although this doesn't often
happen in fossil).
Post by Richard Hipp
* Email notification is available for new forum posts. Currently,
the alert emails contain a very brief synopsis of the post -
essentially just the title. This can be enhanced later to provide the
complete text of the post, if that is seen as desirable.
This is a step forwards in making web content pushed to users.

Send out the whole content of a post, and you'll have a mailing-list.
Devise a mechanism to allow replying to such an email and sync it with
the forum, and you'll have made a gian leap forwards in dismantling the
web/email barricade.

I would love to see that.
--
Pietro Cerutti
Dominique Devienne
2018-08-02 09:04:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pietro Cerutti
Post by Richard Hipp
I am about ready to merge the forum-v2 branch into trunk. If there
are any objections, voice them quickly.
* Email notification is available for new forum posts.
Send out the whole content of a post, and you'll have a mailing-list.
Well, sure. But mail users will likely quote and reply in-line, to provide
context.
While forum users have the specific message they reply to just above, so are
more likely not to quote or attribute prev poster, since it's right there
above.

So it's equivalent to top-posting IMHO, something frowned upon in MLs...
Post by Pietro Cerutti
Devise a mechanism to allow replying to such an email and sync it with
the forum, and you'll have made a gian leap forwards in dismantling the
web/email barricade.
Agreed. But with the (big IMHO) caveat expressed above... --DD
Kees Nuyt
2018-08-02 12:12:24 UTC
Permalink
[Default] On Thu, 2 Aug 2018 08:57:44 +0000, Pietro Cerutti
Post by Pietro Cerutti
Post by Richard Hipp
* Email notification is available for new forum posts. Currently,
the alert emails contain a very brief synopsis of the post -
essentially just the title. This can be enhanced later to provide the
complete text of the post, if that is seen as desirable.
This is a step forwards in making web content pushed to users.
Send out the whole content of a post, and you'll have a mailing-list.
Devise a mechanism to allow replying to such an email and sync it with
the forum, and you'll have made a gian leap forwards in dismantling the
web/email barricade.
Instead of an email reply, a link to the messge in the web forum
so I can reply there would work for me. Just one step extra:
forum signon.
--
Regards,

Kees Nuyt
Shal Farley
2018-08-02 17:05:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pietro Cerutti
Send out the whole content of a post, and you'll have a mailing-list.
Well, the distribution half of a mailing list anyway.
Post by Pietro Cerutti
Devise a mechanism to allow replying to such an email and sync it with
the forum, and you'll have made a gian leap forwards in dismantling
the web/email barricade.
That's what most mailing lists (those with on-line archives) do.
Visiting the archive is purely optional, it's there in case you didn't
keep a message or just joined and want to read-up before asking "dumb"
questions.

However as others have mentioned having inbound email processing, unless
very carefully handled, would defeat the initial purpose: to stop
wasting drh's time dealing with spam, and particularly the annoying spam
that was being sent directly to list members after they post. Not long
ago I got several score of those based on a posting from years ago.

For my part, as long as the notifications contain the message body text
I'm fine with having to go to the web forum to reply.

In answer to DD's caveat, I'm even fine with having to go to the forum
to get context for the occasional post which needs it; but even in a
forum where quoting when you reply is uncommon or unheard of, I find
that I usually have enough context from just the emails.

Shal


Shal Farley <***@CheshireEng.com>
Cheshire Engineering Corporation
+1 626 303 1602
http://www.CheshireEng.com
Warren Young
2018-08-03 14:13:07 UTC
Permalink
The fundamental difference between email and web content, is that emails are delivered to me
Only if you run your own SMTP server.

The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails, either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.
and once they are, they are mine.
If you want a copy of all of the Fossil Forum traffic, you can just sync the forum repo. If you do it on the same schedule your mail client polls its IMAP server or whatever, then you have the data just as quickly.

Unlike most web forums, Fossil’s Merkle tree based storage mechanism means it’s very difficult to delete forum traffic from the server side before you get a copy. IMAP doesn’t give you that: someone who can get to your mail server can delete mail traffic before it’s delivered to you. Some people even call this a feature, calling it aggressive server-side spam filtering.

With Fossil forums, once you’ve sync’d the current content, nothing the server can do will make your local Fossil instance delete it. In that respect, it is just as strong as IMAP.
I can store them, move them around
You can store and move the Fossil forums repo around, too.
modify them as I like to apply tags and labels
You can’t rewrite Fossil forum message content, but then I suspect you aren’t doing that to delivered mailing list traffic, either.

As for labeling and such, Fossil is DBMS-backed, with a flexible web front end. The main limit on what you can make it do as far as mark-up and presentation of stored data goes is will and skill.
They are easy to access (IMAP) from many different places and different devices
Fossil can do that, too. That’s a large part of what it means for something to be a DVCS.
easy to search
Fossil forums are backed by the SQLite FTS feature.
and standard.
SQL and RSS are standards, too.

Unlike with most web forum software, Fossil forums will allow you to pull your raw data back out at will.

You could even build a Fossil forums to IMAP gateway, if you wanted.
the location where I go and pull might change over time
I’m not quite sure what you mean here, so please confirm my guess: you mean that with mailing lists, you can unsubscribe with one email address and subscribe with another?

One big reason you might do that is because your old email address has been overrun by spam, which is a large reason why this feature is being added to Fossil in the first place: with Fossil forums, there is no publicly-visible email address for the spammers to harvest.

If instead you’re just observing that you change mail providers over time for other reasons, Fossil likewise doesn’t care which ISP you log into your account from to pull the data or post messages.

With auto-registration, Fossil will let you have multiple identities on the forum server, either serially or concurrently.
And content itself might change over time (although this doesn't often happen in fossil).
Once a mailing list message is sent to your SMTP server, it is difficult for someone to change it, except in cases like my aggressive server-side filtering example above.

Fossil falls on both sides of that line.

On the one side of the line, it allows a posted message to be edited, just like a Fossil wiki article: the original version is always available, but mistakes can be fixed in the window between someone posting a message and others viewing it, reducing needless followup posts, confusion, and (yes!) loss of face.

On the other, Fossil’s strong Merkle tree design means that it takes cooperative effort from all parties to actually modify or remove data from the repository. The edits I just spoke of don’t actually change old content, the new content is just substituted for the old content at the UI level only.
Devise a mechanism to allow replying to such an email and sync it with the forum
…and now you’ve got spammers again, which defeats a large part of the purpose of creating this new feature set.
Pietro Cerutti
2018-08-03 15:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Warren Young
Post by Pietro Cerutti
The fundamental difference between email and web content, is that
emails are delivered to me
Only if you run your own SMTP server.
The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull
emails, either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some
kind.
Don't take my words so strictly. Email are delivered to me, as in, to my
email client, be it a standalone executable or a web email interface.
Post by Warren Young
Post by Pietro Cerutti
and once they are, they are mine.
If you want a copy of all of the Fossil Forum traffic, you can just
sync the forum repo. If you do it on the same schedule your mail
client polls its IMAP server or whatever, then you have the data just
as quickly.
The important point is of my sentence above is that *all* of my email is
delivered to that single place where I can organize it.

I can easily follow tens of mailing lists, because of this centrality of
the delivered information. Do you think your workflow is applicable to
anybody interested in following the discussions happening in more than 3
or 4 Fossil forums?

While I don't doubt that a forum is a nice feature per se, I just think
moving Fossil mailing lists to a forum is going to make drh's life
easier by avoiding email spam at the cost of making anyone else's harder
by decentralizing where one goes and reads his daily batch of news and
by dismissing a well established way of interacting online.

Change is hard. I like mailing lists. I like to have my unread count
near my Fossil mailbox each morning and go through emails. I don't think
I'll ever adapt to visiting even a handful of fossil forums daily to get
up to date with the discussions going on.
--
Pietro Cerutti
Richard Hipp
2018-08-03 15:25:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pietro Cerutti
The important point is of my sentence above is that *all* of my email is
delivered to that single place where I can organize it.
And so it shall be with the new forum. All forum messages will be
delivered to you as email. You will need to visit the website in
order to *send* new messages. But if you are merely listening, your
workflow does not change.
--
D. Richard Hipp
***@sqlite.org
Pietro Cerutti
2018-08-03 16:00:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Hipp
Post by Pietro Cerutti
The important point is of my sentence above is that *all* of my email is
delivered to that single place where I can organize it.
And so it shall be with the new forum. All forum messages will be
delivered to you as email. You will need to visit the website in
order to *send* new messages. But if you are merely listening, your
workflow does not change.
Yes - correctly threaded notifications including whole messages are
going to be much appreciated!
--
Pietro Cerutti
Warren Young
2018-08-03 15:48:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Warren Young
The fundamental difference between email and web content, is that emails are delivered to me
Only if you run your own SMTP server.
The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails, either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.
Don't take my words so strictly. Email are delivered to me, as in, to my email client, be it a standalone executable or a web email interface.
Then in that same spirit, Fossil forums traffic is also delivered to you, either by

a) visiting the central Fossil instance; or

b) visiting a Fossil instance that’s kept sync’d with that central instance; or

c) subscribing to the Fossil repo’s RSS feed; or

d) signing up for email notifications, which according to drh will soon contain the whole message content, at least optionally.
Post by Warren Young
and once they are, they are mine.
If you want a copy of all of the Fossil Forum traffic, you can just sync the forum repo. If you do it on the same schedule your mail client polls its IMAP server or whatever, then you have the data just as quickly.
The important point is of my sentence above is that *all* of my email is delivered to that single place where I can organize it.
Do you subscribe to no other discussion forum than mailing lists? Your information inputs are not already fragmented? I’ve had at least two unrelated forum technologies to monitor at any given time since the late 1980s.

Fossil/SQLite isn’t the first mover in this slow exodus from email, not by a long shot.

Email was designed for a more civilized time on the Internet, when you could depend on things like ARPANet ToS agreements and local administration to solve problems.

The current attempts to fix the email system’s problems are in part accelerating the exodus by making email software harder and harder to develop.

One of my biggest arguments against this Fossil Forums feature — which has been discussed for years now — was all the work it’s going to end up taking to support enough of the various email-related protocol standards to reach a suitably large fraction of the end users. But, drh seems to feel it’s worth taking on, so I’m now going to support his efforts.
I can easily follow tens of mailing lists, because of this centrality of the delivered information. Do you think your workflow is applicable to anybody interested in following the discussions happening in more than 3 or 4 Fossil forums?
Create a bookmark folder in your browser of choice for all of the web forums you want to visit periodically, put it on the browser’s bookmarks bar, and then on the same schedule you currently check your email, hit whatever keystroke/mouse gesture it takes to open that folder’s bookmarks all at once.

This is functionally little different than having an email client configured to sort mailing list traffic into separate local folders.
While I don't doubt that a forum is a nice feature per se, I just think moving Fossil mailing lists to a forum is going to make drh's life easier by avoiding email spam at the cost of making anyone else's harder by decentralizing where one goes and reads his daily batch of news and by dismissing a well established way of interacting online.
Since it’s drh doing the work, I’d say his needs and wishes matter most. FOSS is a do-ocracy: he who does the work makes the rules.
Change is hard.
Yup, but I think the time to argue against this particular change is over. The arguments were held over the past 2 or so years, both here and on the SQLite mailing list.

I’ve been on both sides of it, but now that it’s over, I don’t see any point in continuing the angst. It is time to get through the new pains: development, debugging, and deployment!
Pietro Cerutti
2018-08-03 15:58:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pietro Cerutti
While I don't doubt that a forum is a nice feature per se, I just
think moving Fossil mailing lists to a forum is going to make drh's
life easier by avoiding email spam at the cost of making anyone
else's harder by decentralizing where one goes and reads his daily
batch of news and by dismissing a well established way of interacting
online.
Since it’s drh doing the work, I’d say his needs and wishes matter
most. FOSS is a do-ocracy: he who does the work makes the rules.
Of course. I just was under the impression the doer was asking for
feedback.
Post by Pietro Cerutti
Change is hard.
Yup, but I think the time to argue against this particular change is
over.
Alright
--
Pietro Cerutti
Richie Adler
2018-08-03 21:29:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Warren Young
The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails,
either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.
Is there a reason why you exclude POP3 from the "pulling"?
Richard Hipp
2018-08-03 21:32:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richie Adler
Post by Warren Young
The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails,
either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.
Is there a reason why you exclude POP3 from the "pulling"?
I was just waiting for you to contribute that code, Richie ;-)
--
D. Richard Hipp
***@sqlite.org
Richard Hipp
2018-08-03 21:33:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Hipp
Post by Richie Adler
Post by Warren Young
The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails,
either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.
Is there a reason why you exclude POP3 from the "pulling"?
I was just waiting for you to contribute that code, Richie ;-)
I misread Richie's email, thinking it was directed at me. I therefore
retract my snarky remark....
--
D. Richard Hipp
***@sqlite.org
Warren Young
2018-08-04 08:20:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Warren Young
The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails,
either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.
Is there a reason why you exclude POP3 from the "pulling”?
Add it to the list and re-read the sentence. Does doing so falsify the sentence’s first clause?

We could also include Exchange AciveSync, BBM, and MCI Mail in the list of email pull protocols. Where do you want to stop?

My only point in that prior post is that email is rarely delivered directly to you, it’s usually pulled by the client making a connection out to some server first, which means Fossil Forums are working the same way.
BohwaZ
2018-08-02 11:45:47 UTC
Permalink
As far as I remember it's not possible to delete a user account in
Fossil.

We used to have a forum here with 65,000+ members and sometimes
hundreds of fake users registering each day (not robots, humans who
completed the captcha), so having to deal with that kind of thing with
fossil sounds scary if you cannot delete content and users. I didn't
read anything about the ability to plug in an antispam into that forum,
or any kind of rate-limiting either?

I'm also against the closure of this mailing list. I can't check out
every web forum out there every now and then, especially if they can't
keep track of what messages I've read or not and what threads I've
subscribed to.

But if the forum becomes the only place to discussion fossil it would
at least require the ability to subscribe to it by email and get all
the messages in your mailbox, including their full contents.

All in all, it is also a nice feature to have in Fossil but I think
it doesn't seem ready for real-world use yet.
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