Use Discourse as a replacement for mailing lists

I realized Discourse allows to reply via e-mail quite good. Would it be possible to add some simple mailman-like UI and potentially use it as a replacement for current mailinglists? As a motivation I would see easier access to the history and a onboard price for newcomers or common public.

Seeing how Palemoon or Vivaldi work with the community, I think the Discourse forum would be great to promote and use even more as the central part for community/public communication backbone for Mozilla.


I think that is one of the goal in discourse in a long term to replace few mailing lists with discourse. One the dev stuff probably will remain on mailman but the rest I think that will switch on discourse.

1 Like

One of Discourse’s goals is to replace mailing-lists and during the last year they have shipped a lot of improvements in this front.

Do you have concrete examples of things you miss?

1 Like

I am just missing some more simplistic UI version, to make the transition smoother for more conservative users, who are used to mailman+pipermail wait to read maillists without joining them.

1 Like

It’s on my radar. Have you got any suggestions of how we might make the transition for the user from mailing lists to Discourse smoother?

I see that Discourse now supports being configured to allow starting threads via email. I know this feature has been mentioned in the past as a showstopper for many die-hard email users.

Has this instance of Discourse been configured to support that feature?

The MDN community is actively discussing consolidating its mailing lists, and I’d like to propose Discourse as an alternative to Mailman-based lists. So I’d appreciate a quick answer.

1 Like

Indeed it has. If you go into a category and click on its about topic, there should be an email address included which you can email to start a topic:

Making these emails more accessible is also on my radar.

Cool, thanks for the tip! I may be bringing other questions about
replacing mailing lists as the discussion continues.

1 Like

We’d love to hear them.
Getting the MDN Team onto this Discourse would be an awesome win. We (the
ParSys team) are willing to invest time and people power in supporting this



I’m pretty new to the Mozilla community and I really like Discourse. I use mailing lists also but I consider Discourse superior. If there are people who really love GNU Mailman there is something that can bring more friendliness to Mailman: Hyperkitty.

Here is how it looks on the Fedora mailing lists. I personally prefer Discourse over GNU Mailman + Hyperkitty but I just wanted to list it as an option.

1 Like

@leo I just suggest that Thunderbird move/mirror mailing lists and newsgroups into Discourse. @wsmwk asked a very pertinent question. It doesn’t look like the effort mentioned in this topic went very far, so what blocked it?

Can you elaborate a bit more what question are you referring to here? Thanks!

This comment: Can we mirror, or move, all newsgroups and mailing lists into Discourse?

He didn’t ask much more than what I paraphrased. :slight_smile:

Well, in fact #mdn migrated in less than a month to discourse, saying goodbye to the old mailing lists, so it’s totally doable :slight_smile:

1 Like

Indeed, as @nukeador says we’ve had a number of communities transition entirely to Discourse, and many use it for at least some of their communication.

We haven’t ever migrated mailing list history to Discourse, and probably don’t plan to, in some part influenced by this post upstream:

Thanks for the information! :slight_smile: @nukeador @leo

My main argument for moving the old data into Discourse would be for search-ability. Since multiple lists might move, having all of that under one search, especially one like Discourse that searches for similar topics, would be very useful.

Of course, if Google/ does a good enough job of that, then my argument wouldn’t be enough compared to how much work it might be to do the import.