Deactivating the mailing list and migrating to VHS Talk

Dear hackers, makers, crafters, builders, and awesome people,

We are DEACTIVATING THIS MAILING LIST and moving to VHS Talk, an email-friendly forum located at . If you want to keep getting messages from Vancouver Hack Space, you will need to SIGN YOURSELF UP for VHS Talk. The current mailing list will stop working in a week or so.

To sign up for VHS Talk, visit and click the “Sign Up” button to create an account.

We’ve answered some frequently asked questions below. For more information, check out this post on VHS Talk: Welcome to


[Q] Why are you doing this?
[A] With the growth of our community, we need to grow our tools. The mailing list was a good tool when we had a smaller, more tightly knit community. Now we have grown to the point where we need a better tool that will suit our current needs. This is VHS Talk, an installation of Discourse.

[Q] When are you going to do this?
[A] Probably in a week, perhaps as early as this weekend.

[Q] Okay, but why now?
[A] Our original mailing list has been generously hosted by robbat2, for free, for the past 5 years. He asked us to move VHS’s infrastructure off of his server last year. We talked endlessly about it, but no action was taken. We’re well past time to resolve this issue.

[Q] Can I use VHS Talk via email, just like I used the mailing list?
[A] Yes! You can create new topics and reply to existing topics by email. You can configure your account to receive email when new topics are posted, receive an email digest of new messages, only receive email for specific categories. There are some limitations, but for the most part you can use it just like you used the mailing list.

To receive email from VHS Talk, sign into and edit your account’s email preferences.
To post a message via email, follow these instructions:
Posting to the forums via email

[Q] Okay, I signed up. Now what?
[A] A great topic to start with is the VHS’s first homework assignment:

[Q] I want to make improvements to VHS Talk. Can I do that?
[A] Yes! We’re hosting this software ourselves, and the source is available on Github. It is under active development by the Discourse team, so you can also see what features are planned and submit your own ideas at

[Q] Is there an archive of the old mailing list?
[A] Yes:

[Q] Why not migrate the old mailing lists to the forums automatically?
[A] Unfortunately, we’re pretty sure that would violate the new Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL). If you’re interested, there’s more information on CASL here:
[A] We also believe that a lot of old users on the list just get the entire list delivered to their spam folder, because they were too lazy to unsubscribe properly; this provides a chance to weed out those users.

[Q] I have more questions!
[A] We will be glad to answer them on VHS Talk. We suggest that you ask them in the Space and Infrastructure catagory:


“in a week” from when? Please edit OP with specific dates.

A specific date hasn’t been worked out yet. People are trying to migrate different bits of VHS infrastructure, the goal (I think) is to not turn off the mailing list until toward the end. And when it is turned off, to have an auto-reply of some sort (that I don’t quite understand) that tells people where to find VHS Talk.

Is there a reason why the exact date is important?

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Why an exact date? Due to a small human characteristic, which has brought the world a very bizarre looking word, namely, “procrastination”.


Most services have been migrated off of Robin’s server, or are in some advanced state of taking flight. So the plan is to shut off the server this Sunday evening, 2014-10-05.

Hopefully people will be settled into the various replacement services by then, although I’m sure there’ll still be some moving dust.

(Posted to vhs-general, vhs-members and VHS Talk)


  • Bruce

It is not possible to create a topic on discourse through email?
That is fine, if we can not. Because as long as all issues are recorded we can work to deal with them.

People have created topics by email, are you saying that this has stopped working?

As a general comment, Discourse’s email interface needs work. I’d say it’s the roughest part of the whole system. But there have already been some email bugs patched in the one version upgrade we’ve done since installing it, so let’s hope it continues to improve.

never worked for me

The directions are here:

For people that will use it, it would be good to get that feature shown more prominently. Possibly here:

Anyone who cares can add it (or request a wordpress account to do it - any member is eligible)

Our WordPress blog and dokuwiki install are live on old and new servers at the moment, so it might be best to hold off on changes (that we don’t want to have to repeat) until the switch is flipped on that move. Yes, this should probably be a blog post.

I didn’t know needed to add talkie
updating my mailing robot

1 Like

good thing about discourse, I can blame some of my bad writing on it.

it nicely removed \n\n joining 2 words together