Hi @v4hn thanks for the feedback,
Indeed discourse is a more modern front end, it is a little different than many of us are used to but that’s one of the things that is valuable about it.
In the current state on the mailing lists I often find myself finding threads on nabble rather than the main site when I search. Discourse is focused on both supporting active members via the realtime email notifications as well as being easily searchable and browseable which is highly valuable for the majority of ROS users who are not actively subscribed. From the Metrics Reports we have approximately twice as many people with wiki accounts, 5x the users on answers.ros.org, and 20x the unique IPs as subscribers to ros-users. We want to make things better for this large majority of the users. Improving browseability and ease of search significantly improves this experience.
One of the main impetus’ behind the switch was this thread To find that thread, I searched my personal inbox, found the title and then searched online for the archive so I could link to it. Without cheating and remembering exact strings from that thread it’s very hard to find the thread using google search. Discourse is designed to be easily crawled by search engines and the results are picked up quite quickly with good rank.
We’ve had many reports of people unsubscribing from ros-users due to the volume being too high. As the user community has grown the ros-users mailing list subscriber base has not grown proportionally. Typically it’s a subcategory of content which individuals are not interested in and they unsubscribe because it’s filling up their inbox too often. Whether it being job postings, development discussions etc with discourse and your personal settings now you can easily pick the topics you’re interested in subscribing to and let the rest be.
We’ve also seen a trend that our SIG’s get created populated, and then the drift off into a slow quiet decline because they are not discoverable. It requires knowing there’s a mailing list to find, finding the mailing list, browsing the individual archive. Often after the initial impetus has petered out, there are a bunch of people on the list and if a new person joins the members will respond, but rarely does the membership grow after the initial publicity due to the SIGs being hard to discover whereas now they can be a category and new people joining the community can easily discover them through the front page of the forum.
Discourse can scale and support many more users. If you browse through: https://www.discourse.org/faq/customers/ you’ll see forums with tens of thousands of users. Clearly that level of activity requires filtering and categorizing, but that’s what discourse empowers the user to do.
To answer your specific questions:
You should be able to send a message to ros+[categoryname]@discoursemail.com if you are at trust level 1 or higher. To get to trust level 1 you need to enter 5 topics, read 30 posts and spend at least 10 minutes on the site. This is primarily an anti-spam measure. From your
Basic badge I see that you’ve already reached level 1 from just looking around the site.
You can find the
categoryname in the url if you browse to the category. Note that subcagetories are separated by a
- not a
/ so it’s
release-kinetic where the url reads
From your reply on github you implied that the domain did not resolve for you. I received the notification of your post from that domain so as far as I know it’s resolving and operating just fine.
In terms of filtering, mailing list mode means that you get everything on the forum sent to you, just like a mailing list would. If you want to filter you should turn that off and then you should only get notifications on any categories you’ve setup to watch.