Wikimedia Developer Support

Let's try to emulate a mailing list


Quite often when discussing the future of this forum, the future of mailing lists comes up as well.

  • From a user point of view, people wonder whether one day we can have seamless integration, so “forum people” and “mailing list people” can use the same space, each one to their liking.
  • From an Operations point of view, site reliance engineers wonder whether it is possible to support one service instead of two.
  • There are also potential benefits for having all current technical mailing lists mirrored in this forum for better search and more – see Mirroring mediawiki-l, wikitech-l and other tech mailing lists

We have known for a long time that all the pieces to emulate a mailing list from Discourse exist, and this is a proposal to try them out together, learn, fine tune, and document.

The goal is to satisfy the needs of savvy users of mailing lists at

Testers needed

  1. Go to your Email preferences and Enable mailing list mode.
  2. Send messages to or simply post to the #mailing-list-simulator category via web.
  3. You should start receiving the corresponding emails. Process them as you process email from actual mailing lists (e.g. setting an own folder or filter).
  4. Reply via email to emails you receive.
  5. Report your findings, in this thread or in new ones under the #site-feedback category (#mailing-list-simulator is a test category and it will be eventually deleted with all its test content).

As soon as we start finding good practices, answers to frequents questions etc we will start documenting them at

About the Mailing list simulator category
Mirroring mediawiki-l, wikitech-l and other tech mailing lists

By the way, I have “muted” the category #mailing-list-simulator for new users (they will not receive notifications about the tests done there) but for existing users this still works as a regular category (they will get to know about these test topics at least via the email summary). I though that a good % of existing users might be interested in this test. If you think this is annoying, we can run a script to mute this category for everyone (and then every user can enable notifications manually).


… and it also would open the possibility to migrate mailing lists here including their entire archives.