Mailing lists moving to Discourse

openEHR News | Nov. 6, 2019, 5:20 p.m.

As of today, openEHR discussions will move to our new Discourse forums server, which provides a more modern community experience than the current lists. We encourage you to create an account on the new server.

The new Discourse Facility

[site code of conduct - please read]

The home page you will initially see looks like this:

Some of the categories currently defined closely mimic the existing lists, but we have more flexibility to create new ones, including in a hierarchical fashion. What we think of as 'discussions' are now 'topics' within a category. The categories currently defined are as follows (new ones in blue, compared to the old lists):

  • New to openEHR? - the place to ask newby questions, for anyone - students, eminent surgeons, nurse, vendor CEOs, or experienced researcher!
    • we encourage the 'experts' to follow this category and help answer all questions!
  • openEHR news - replaces the old announce list; news from openEHR International to the community relating to e.g. elections, new major releases, events etc [moderated]
    • We strongly recommend that everyone follow at least the openEHR News category. Normally this will be set up when you create an account, but worth checking.
  • Community news - news from within the community, including developers, provider orgs, vendors, member organisations - including training course announcements, new product announcements, new adoptions of openEHR [moderated]
    • we may create a few sub-categories in the future if it helps separate out topics
  • Clinical - the old clinical list, for discussions of clinical models, terminology, domain semantics and use cases
  • Specifications - the old technical list, for discussions on the specifications
  • Platform implementation & App development: we have separated the old implementers list into two categories, one for development of back-end, one for front-end
    • API discussions might end up in both, and we may create a third category if it gets confusing
  • openEHR affiliates - discussion on creating and managing Affiliates in general; you will notice new sub-categories for various openEHR Affiliates, which are dedicated to discussing openEHR activity in the relevant countries. Anyone may join these, but be aware that discussion may be primarily in other languages!
  • uncategorized - a catch-all category for any discussion that does not have an obvious home
  • site feedback - the place to post on difficulties and solutions with Discourse

It is almost guaranteed we have not got this completely right, and what we end up with will be up to you in the community to shape.

You can follow a category (like being subscribed to a list in the old system) in various ways, which you manage using the circle icon on the right top:

For problems and feedback, please use the Site Feedback category:

We encourage people to start using the lists, and also to share this invitation with colleagues interested in openEHR, including via Twitter, LinkedIn etc.


What new cool things are in Discourse that we didn't have?

All that nice modern social media interaction, mostly via the following icons below a post. Liking, linking and bookmarking should turn out to be very useful.

As a user, you can also configure your experience much more easily.

Will users be automatically migrated over from the existing lists?

No, we want to give the community a chance to re-assess their interests, join new categories, and also provide new contact details, email addresses etc.

Will previous posts on the old lists be migrated?

No. We did try this, but due to the changing email addresses of individuals over time, connecting past posts together in a sensible fashion turned out to be difficult. However, all previous content of the main lists is available at the following web archive locations:

How long will the existing lists be around?

The current lists will continue to exist for at least 6 months, possibly longer. If you see activity on the old lists, we recommend a friendly redirection to the posters to the Discourse site.

But I like mailing lists - can I use Discourse in email mode?

Yes, you can. It is here in your preferences:

Can I just get daily or weekly or ... digests?

You can - use the 'Activity summary' option visible in the above screenshot. You can choose the time period.

How do I ask for a new category (= a new list)?

You should post a new topic in the Site Feedback category called something like 'New Category Request: cat-grooming services for older felines' (well, ok, possibly something a little more domain-relevant). People who would like this category to be created can do a 'like' (the heart symbol). If you are in mailing list mode, a reply with the text '+1' will have the same effect. If we get reasonable interest, we will create the new category.

Is there a site code of conduct?

There is. We all naturally expect a continuation of the many years of civilised and collegial discussion of the past. Here is the site code of conduct - please read!

What's Next?

Many active discussions, we hope. We have set up the Discourse facility in a reasonable (we think) way in order to get going. If you think anything can be done better, please let us know in the Site Feedback category.

Over to you...


We would like to acknowledge the time and effort of Dr Marcus Baw, UK, who was the prime mover for the move to Discourse, and who performed the site installation and configuration.

More information

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