[GRASS-dev] Should we use GitHub Discussions?

Stefan Blumentrath Stefan.Blumentrath at nina.no
Sun Jan 17 06:27:42 PST 2021

Dear all,

In general, I do agree with Moritz on this.

In addition to the risk of more fragmented communication, I do appreciate the fact that ML-discussion is archived. Furthermore, GitHub discussion seems to be a feature that locks us more into GitHub and would it make more complicated if we should be forced to move to another platform (given the proprietary nature of GitHub).

I do also see that some discussion has moved to github issues/PRs, but that is probably only natural, esp. when point of the discussion is specifics of an implementation / change.

However, to address both valid issues (demand for web-based forum and a coherent communication), we could probably to three things:
1. Encourage all contributors to discuss/mention more significant changes on the ML.
2. Promote nabble [http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Grass-Dev-f3991897.html] on our github repository
3. Check whether it would be feasible to sign up to nabble / ML with OAuth/github to make integration more seamless. I have no idea though if this would be feasible at all. Maybe OSGeo admins know?...


-----Original Message-----
From: grass-dev <grass-dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> On Behalf Of Moritz Lennert
Sent: søndag 17. januar 2021 13:51
To: grass-dev at lists.osgeo.org; Vaclav Petras <wenzeslaus at gmail.com>; grass-dev at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: Re: [GRASS-dev] Should we use GitHub Discussions?

Am 17. Januar 2021 06:31:22 MEZ schrieb Vaclav Petras <wenzeslaus at gmail.com>:
>Dear all,
>What about enabling GitHub Discussions [1] on grass repo? Enabling is 
>easy [2], so the question really is, do we want them? They are for open 
>ended discussions, questions, etc. Right, like mailing list, but on 
>GitHub. We do get asked periodically for a web-based (as opposed to 
>email-based) forum which is what GitHub Discussions can fulfill. I'm 
>not saying we should abandon the mailing list, but GitHub Discussions 
>may be easier for some users, so it would open another avenue for 
>people to ask or get engaged on a platform we are already using anyway.

I have never used GitHub discussions, so I have no opinion as such on its usefulness for us.

I do have a more fundamental issue, however: ever since we've moved to GitHub, discussions about important feature decisions seem to me to be more and more dispersed across PRs and less centrally visible. Currently, there are discussions about starting GRASS GIS by default without a terminal window [1], how to handle GUI startup when the last used mapset is not available, whether GRASS GIS can be considered as an "app" and if yes, whether this should be reflected in the name of the startup script [3], and probably others I forgot or that I am not aware of.

All of these are interesting discussions with solid points made, but I have the feeling that they are really confidential, involving only a very limited number of developers because others do not think that they the PR as such is relevant to them, and so they miss the fact that there are discussions going on that will have an impact on how GRASS GIS runs and/or is perceived.

If we create yet another forum I'm afraid that things will get even worse.

Maybe this is just a sign that our community is growing so rapidly and activity has increased so much that no one can follow every important discussion, but I do think this is also linked to the multiplication of tools used. Maybe it's also due to my bad personal organization if the information flows.

I would be happy to hear other opinions about this (and possibly some best practices on how others handle this problem). Depending on the answers to this, I think we might have to have a fundamental discussion on development decision making that ensures a somewhat larger group, while not stifling the enthousiasm behind the different initiatives and proposals.


[1] https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgithub.com%2FOSGeo%2Fgrass%2Fpull%2F1221&data=04%7C01%7C%7C7815841b8b0e479ab31e08d8bae68a66%7C6cef373021314901831055b3abf02c73%7C0%7C0%7C637464846638679337%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=zBga3nPQrfO6xRMH1J%2B062N4%2BaxZQu%2FvgBmN7%2FPRVS8%3D&reserved=0

[2] https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgithub.com%2FOSGeo%2Fgrass%2Fissues%2F1251&data=04%7C01%7C%7C7815841b8b0e479ab31e08d8bae68a66%7C6cef373021314901831055b3abf02c73%7C0%7C0%7C637464846638689332%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=jg5v0ZS2JQFhoTocYrbGnu3hzVcxMz0TfBgWv9sO1XM%3D&reserved=0

[3] https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgithub.com%2FOSGeo%2Fgrass%2Fpull%2F1208&data=04%7C01%7C%7C7815841b8b0e479ab31e08d8bae68a66%7C6cef373021314901831055b3abf02c73%7C0%7C0%7C637464846638689332%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=0AULG7FXPMYdOW1dVtMNKn4gQo5bLMV8kvJD8jDSQOQ%3D&reserved=0
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