Possibilities to sync Discourse with mailman mailing list


(Ad Huikeshoven) #1

Discourse looks great to me. Some other people are used to their mailing list subscription (mailman). There is a pilot installation https://discourse.wmflabs.org/ to test discourse as an alternative to the wikimedia-l mailing list. Reply by email and creation of new post has been set up for this discourse installation. It works. Now some one asks to sync wikimedia-l mailing list with the discourse forum.

What if some configures Discourse to use the same mail address as the mailing list? Would that work? Would that disrupt threads? What are your recommendations?


(Michael Downey) #2

This sounds painful, having moved a large open source community with multiple lists over to Discourse. We did it one list at a time, saving the largest for last.

There is near parity for both platforms now, with more coming with Mozilla’s grant funding to Discourse.


(Ad Huikeshoven) #3

Have you moved multiple lists to the same discourse installation, or do you use several installations (urls)?


(Michael Downey) #4

We have a single Discourse instance for the community and mapped each list to a category within that site. Many of those categories maintain the old mailing list address as the “email in” address for that specific ategory.


(Ad Huikeshoven) #5

Hmm, so it is possible to specify the an email address per specific category? I thougth there was only one email in address, and you could add a category after a plus + sign. Where can I find more information on specifying email adresses per category?


(Michael Downey) #6

You can definitely use the plus sign approach, but we wanted something better.

  1. We have something like discourse@example.org that is the single POP mailbox that Discourse polls every few minutes.
  2. We set up multiple aliases on the mail server that point to that discourse@example.org email account, e.g., listA@example.org and listB@example.org.
  3. We then can configure Category A to watch for incoming emails to listA@example.org, Category B to watch for listB@example.org, etc.

Does that make sense? :slightly_smiling:


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #7

We don’t have any plans for two-way sync, but one-way sync is on the roadmap:

Basically you’d set up Discourse as a read-only frontend for your mailing list. That way you can keep feeding Discourse with content until you feel comfortable dropping the mailing list and start using only Discourse instead.


(Michael Downey) #8

I’m not one to discourage anyone from using Discourse, but just to make sure everyone knows, a modern web archive for mailman already exists (albeit new) in the form of HyperKitty:


(Sam Saffron) #9

I just tried, I can not get the demo to work, but this is a great link cause perhaps we can leverage some of the ideas in hyperkitty (we can not use the code though)


(Michael Downey) #10

Updated working/better demo here: design-devel - Fedora Mailing-Lists


(Ben Teeuwen) #11

Hi, I’m also very interested in this. I have many interesting emails archived in mailman that I’d love to bring back to life. Now I was playing with some python code, just to be able to parse it at all. But haven’t touched anything in Discourse yet for importing. Is there anyone willing to share some working ~ ish code?