Julian's thoughts on what we could and should do with the Subversion project as a whole.
|Table of Contents|
- keep using Open technologies
- keep plain email the baseline standard of communication
- integrate 'forum' and 'mailing list' forms of access
- integrate long-form and chat-form if possible
- integrate archives / logs, permalinks, searching
Email: Forums and Mailing Lists
Problem: Simple old mailing lists are inconvenient for new and occasional users. They have weak integration with archives, issue tracker, etc.
Some proprietary forums e.g. Google groups already attempt to mirror and integrate with our lists, with some degree of success, but we are mainly ignoring it.
We should seek to integrate better with forums. For a start: let users know that it's an option for them (on our 'mailing-lists' web page); and see if we can make some better steps of integration (such as unified permalinks).
For a longer term solution, I wonder if any suitable open source software exists, or if an ASF group might consider developing/adapting something.
Short-form chat (IRC)
Problem: The IRC chat systems we use are inconvenient for new and occasional users. They have weak integration with archives, issue tracker, etc.
Use Matrix as an upgrade path from IRC. That is my strong recommendation.
Matrix is ready for immediate ad-hoc use by individual participants in our IRC channels, through the Freenode bridge operated by matrix.org, and is being used in this way by at least two svn-dev members.
In future it might be better for the ASF to run its own Matrix infrastructure: server, bridges, etc. The ASF would then control its own data, its own user accounts, and its own integrations with archives, commits, issue trackers, etc.
- encourage users to consider using Matrix to access our existing channels
Integrate archives / logs, permalinks, searching
Problem: Past communications are scattered across systems and storage locations, with no consistent archives or permalinks, so cross-referencing is difficult and non-permanent. Our issue tracker and wiki provide only links that are tied to their current provider technology.
Develop some sort of permalink endpoint hosted on subversion.apache.org that accesses the various archives through technology-ignorant URLs like "/issue/1234" and "/issues/".
- Short-form chat (IRC) archives: Matrix-Static, irclogger, ASF Wilderness IRC logs.
- Email/forum archives: haxx.se, ASF Pony Mail, the old Tigris lists. (The old Tigris mailing-lists system used to provide a permalink to the archived version at the bottom of each mail delivered.)
- Issue Tracker archives: the current Jira issues, the old issuezilla.
- Wiki pages: the current Confluence, the old MoinMoin.
A baby step is the '.message-ids.tsv' file in our web site directory, holding a mapping from haxx archive URLs used in our web pages to email message ids, with (in the commit log message) a script to generate it. There is, as yet, no automation to use the mapping in any way.
- start a URL-space map for our resources; initially populate one entry, e.g. "/issue/<number> → issue <number>"
- implement some simple automated handling (e.g. redirects) for that
- well, well... we already have this in our .htaccess:
Problem: Subversion packages are outdated or unavailable for many platforms, especially server/cloud environments (e.g. Docker) and mobile (e.g. Android).