As we’ve begun to scale up development on three different open source
projects, we’ve found Google Groups to be a difficult solution for dealing
with all of our needs for community support. We’ve got multiple mailing
lists going, which can be confusing for new folks trying to figure out
where to go to ask a question.
We’ve also found our lists are becoming noisy in the “good problem to have”
kind of way. As we’ve seen more user adoption, and across such a wide
variety of use cases, we’re getting widely different types of questions
asked. For example, I can imagine that folks not using our Python client
would rather not be distracted with emails about it.
There’s also a few other strikes against Groups as a tool, such as the fact
that it is no longer a supported product by Google, it provides no API
hooks and it is not available for users in China.
We’ve evaluated several options and we’re currently considering shuttering
the elasticsearch-user and logstash-users Google Groups in favor of a
Discourse forum. You can read more about Discourse at
We feel Discourse will allow us to provide a better experience for all of
our users for a few reasons:
More fine grained conversation topics = less noise and better targeted
discussions. e.g. we can offer a forum for each language client, individual
logstash plugin or for each city to plan user group meetings, etc.
Facilitates discussions that are not generally happening on list now,
such as best practices by use case or tips from moving to development to
Easier for folks who are purely end users - and less used to getting peer
support on a mailing list - to get help when they need it
Obviously, Discourse does not function the exact same way as a mailing list
- however, email interaction with Discourse is supported and will continue
to allow you to participate in discussions over email (though there are
some small issues related to in-line replies. )
We’re working with the Discourse team now as part of evaluating this
transition, and we know they’re working to resolve this particular issue.
We’re also still determining how Discourse will handle our needs for both
user and list archive migration, and we’ll know the precise details of how
that would work soon. (We’ll share when we have them.)
The final goal would be to move Google Groups to read-only archives, and
cut over to Discourse completely for community support discussions.
We’re looking at making the cut over in ~30 days from today, but obviously
that’s subject to the feedback we receive from all of you. We’re sharing
this information to set expectations about time frame for making the
switch. It’s not set in stone. Our highest priority is to ensure effective
migration of our list archives and subscribers, which may mean a longer
time horizon for deploying Discourse, as well.
In the meantime, though, we wanted to communicate early and often and get
your feedback. Would this change make your life better? Worse? Meh?
Please share your thoughts with us so we can evaluate your feedback. We
don’t take this switch lightly, and we want to understand how it will
impact your overall workflow and experience.
We’ll make regular updates to the list responding to incoming feedback and
be completely transparent about how our thought processes evolve based on
Thanks in advance!
Director of Developer Relations
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