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commit 95aad15881a16b87a965f3eecf6ac266acdc4099
parent a71c2e99203a323594fb583e4b6dec07e589d437
Author: Jake Bauer <jbauer@paritybit.ca>
Date:   Sun,  7 Jun 2020 01:59:52 -0400

Update latest blog post

Diffstat:
Mpages/blog/why-email-is-the-best-discussion-platform.md | 19++++++++++++++++---
Mpublic/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml | 6++++--
2 files changed, 20 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/pages/blog/why-email-is-the-best-discussion-platform.md b/pages/blog/why-email-is-the-best-discussion-platform.md @@ -12,6 +12,9 @@ <b>Last Updated:</b> 2020-06-07 </div> +_**Update**: Expand on asynchronous nature and federated structure. Additions in +italics._ + Lots of very vocal people online advocate moving discussion platforms for free and open source projects from email to other platforms such as Discourse or Slack citing that these platforms are "more modern" or "easier to use". For the @@ -70,15 +73,18 @@ Valley thinks everyone's computer runs. So, what does email bring to the table over the "modern" options? Email is federated, it allows one to use a variety of different clients, it can be used both for patches and discussion, it's nowhere near as difficult to use as people -make it out to be, and it eschews cruft and flash to leave you with nothing but -plain text. +make it out to be, _the asynchronous nature is very beneficial_, and it eschews +cruft and flash to leave you with nothing but plain text. The fact that email is federated allows anyone with an email address to communicate with any public mailing list no matter who their provider is. For example, there's no need to create a Debian account to post on a Debian mailing list, anyone with a Gmail account can communicate with anyone using a ProtonMail account, and so on. The barrier to entry is actually lower than with other -platforms. +platforms. _Also, it being federated means that you're not at the mercy of a +couple of appointed moderators or administrators who could choose to ban you +over a disagreement or difference in opinion. Federation allows one to more +freely speak their mind without fear of being kicked off of the platform._ With email, one can also choose whichever client they wish to use. If you work in emacs you can choose mu4e. If you prefer Thunderbird then you can use that. @@ -114,6 +120,13 @@ any decent email client which supports conversation threading. threads.</figcaption> </figure> +_The fact that email is asynchronous is actually far better for discussions than +you might think. Since there are no features showing that someone is online and +people don't expect immediate replies to emails, this gives one room to take the +time to draft a much more thoughtful response when compared to the instant +messaging structure of most other platforms. There's also a lot less pressure on +one to respond immediately and there are no anxiety-inducing typing indicators._ + The final point that I want to make about email is that, just like IRC, there are no frills; it's just regular old plain text. There are no embedded images, flashy moving pictures, reactions or anything else like that. It lets you truly diff --git a/public/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml b/public/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml @@ -15,6 +15,7 @@ <div class="byline"> <p><b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | <b>Posted:</b> 2020-06-07 | <b>Last Updated:</b> 2020-06-07</p> </div> +<p><em><strong>Update</strong>: Expand on asynchronous nature and federated structure. Additions in italics.</em></p> <p>Lots of very vocal people online advocate moving discussion platforms for free and open source projects from email to other platforms such as Discourse or Slack citing that these platforms are “more modern” or “easier to use”. For the most part, I understand where they’re coming from. To them, email seems like an archaic platform where you can’t embed images, it’s not completely synchronous, and… I honestly couldn’t think of a third thing…</p> <p>I get it. These platforms are perhaps more inviting because of a friendly UI, inline image, GIF, and emoji support, and it all runs in the browser which is where everything else is seemingly done nowadays. The problem is that these features really aren’t necessary and they rarely improve discussions which could otherwise happen, and work just fine, over email.</p> <p>Historically, and still to this day, many free and open source software projects (Debian, git, the Linux kernel, etc) use a combination of email and IRC for their communications.</p> @@ -29,8 +30,8 @@ The log output of uBlock Origin while sitting in a Slack workspace showing XHR r </figcaption> </figure> <p>Not to mention the various other issues such as text-only content being far better for accessibility than what the web can offer, most of the web-based packages being very much bloated where pages take seconds to load and megabytes of bandwidth, and the fact that web browsers are very resource-hungry pieces of software which can be difficult for those with fewer resources (e.g. people with second-hand equipment in third world countries) to run as fast as how Silicon Valley thinks everyone’s computer runs.</p> -<p>So, what does email bring to the table over the “modern” options? Email is federated, it allows one to use a variety of different clients, it can be used both for patches and discussion, it’s nowhere near as difficult to use as people make it out to be, and it eschews cruft and flash to leave you with nothing but plain text.</p> -<p>The fact that email is federated allows anyone with an email address to communicate with any public mailing list no matter who their provider is. For example, there’s no need to create a Debian account to post on a Debian mailing list, anyone with a Gmail account can communicate with anyone using a ProtonMail account, and so on. The barrier to entry is actually lower than with other platforms.</p> +<p>So, what does email bring to the table over the “modern” options? Email is federated, it allows one to use a variety of different clients, it can be used both for patches and discussion, it’s nowhere near as difficult to use as people make it out to be, <em>the asynchronous nature is very beneficial</em>, and it eschews cruft and flash to leave you with nothing but plain text.</p> +<p>The fact that email is federated allows anyone with an email address to communicate with any public mailing list no matter who their provider is. For example, there’s no need to create a Debian account to post on a Debian mailing list, anyone with a Gmail account can communicate with anyone using a ProtonMail account, and so on. The barrier to entry is actually lower than with other platforms. <em>Also, it being federated means that you’re not at the mercy of a couple of appointed moderators or administrators who could choose to ban you over a disagreement or difference in opinion. Federation allows one to more freely speak their mind without fear of being kicked off of the platform.</em></p> <p>With email, one can also choose whichever client they wish to use. If you work in emacs you can choose mu4e. If you prefer Thunderbird then you can use that. As long as your email client supports plain text email, you can use whichever you like the most. This is very important for many hackers who often heavily customize the software they run to fit their workflow and their needs. Using email allows for this freedom.</p> <p>Another great thing about email is that it can be used for patches in addition to discussion. <a href="https://git-send-email.io">Sending patches via email</a> is as simple and straightforward as using something like Pull Requests and, just like with Pull Requests, the discussion can be had in the same thread as a submitted patch and patches can be applied to a repository without needing to use a different piece of software or even open a web browser.</p> <p>Unfortunately, email has a reputation of being hard to use because of what I think is an unwillingness to learn a new paradigm after having become used to the way of doing things over the web. The reality of it is that email is not difficult to use at all, it’s just different and it takes just a little time and effort to learn a different paradigm. Many thousands of people use it every day contributing to projects like the Linux kernel without issue.</p> @@ -41,6 +42,7 @@ The log output of uBlock Origin while sitting in a Slack workspace showing XHR r NeoMutt displaying a mailing list discussion with threads. </figcaption> </figure> +<p><em>The fact that email is asynchronous is actually far better for discussions than you might think. Since there are no features showing that someone is online and people don’t expect immediate replies to emails, this gives one room to take the time to draft a much more thoughtful response when compared to the instant messaging structure of most other platforms. There’s also a lot less pressure on one to respond immediately and there are no anxiety-inducing typing indicators.</em></p> <p>The final point that I want to make about email is that, just like IRC, there are no frills; it’s just regular old plain text. There are no embedded images, flashy moving pictures, reactions or anything else like that. It lets you truly focus on just the content. The best part? Plain text email still supports emoji because it’s all just Unicode.</p> <p><em>This is my thirty-seventh post for the <a href="https://social.paritybit.ca/tags/100DaysToOffload">#100DaysToOffload</a> challenge. You can learn more about this challenge over at <a href="https://100daystooffload.com" class="uri">https://100daystooffload.com</a>.</em></p>]]></description> </item>