Loomio
Tue 30 Dec 2014 9:45PM

Try out gitter.im, the new chat for GitHub users

C Can Public Seen by 268

I just want to inform you about gitter.im since I noticed that there is not diaspora channel.

PLEASE NOTE: This discussion is not about making a decision about whether or not gitter.im should be used as a permanent communication channel. It is about TRYING it out in order to get it known. It can be set up with a few clicks and also be removed with a few clicks.

I would like to suggest opening a diaspora channel on
gitter.im - not as a replacement, but as an addition to the existing IRC channels.

Gitter is a "chat for GitHub", nicely integrated with it.. Channels in gitter are based on GitHub repos/accounts (in our case the url of the channel would become https://gitter.im/diaspora/diaspora).

Gitter offers a free hosted chat-service for public GitHub repositories. It’s extremely easy to “install": just sign in with your GitHub account (one click) and chose a repo: This can be any of your private or public repos on github. That’s it. What you get is a long-term chat (that saves all messages) where everybody with a GitHub account can join.

A short overview about some features:

Activity Feed: each channel has an activity feed on the right, which contains all activities on the GitHub repo (for example new issue, new pull request, new commits etc.). Each referenced Issue/Pull Request ID is a link like we are used from GitHub issues. Additionally it is possible to bind in third party services like TravisCi into it in order to get notified about build statuses.

GitHub flavoured markdown: images are displayed directly in the chat; code can be pasted including syntax highlighting, issues can be referenced like #123; users can be mentioned like @username etc.

Notifications: you can define whether you want to get notified on each message, on each mention or totally turn notifications off. Other than IRC you don't have to be online to receive notifications. Missed messages can be sent to you via email so you don't have to wonder whether or not someone has read your message.

Search and Logging: the whole chat history is logged and can be searched at anytime. This is not only useful for the direct usage of the chatroom, but also when people are searching for topics on google that have been discussed in the chat before, since the logs are indexed by search engines => additional resources for users

Gitter is accessible from everywhere through the browser, but it also offers an App for MacOS and iOs (Android is following). For those who love their irc client: they can connect to Gitter through IRC: https://irc.gitter.im/

Badges on GitHub Repo: you can add a Gitter-Badge to your repo's README next to those of TravisCI and CodeClimate and give users the ability to directly jump into the chat without having to install an IRC client first.

Also there is a Developer API which includes a REST API, a Streaming API and Faye endpoints you can subscribe to.

I see more and more open source projects using IRC as well as Gitter. https://gitter.im/rails/rails has more than 330 active members at.

We are using it for a customer-project since the early Beta. We tried IRC before as well as campfire, but Gitter quickly became our main channel and decreased the amount of Emails we are writing as well as the number of issues for asking questions, since you can leave private messages, no matter if the user is online or not.

I know that most of you are used to IRC, but as I said earlier: we can use both. IRC for those who like IRC and Gitter for those who like Gitter.

I don't see a downside of offering users an additional channel, especially since this could decrease the number of newbies popping up in the IRC to ask a question. People will tend to directly click on the Gitter badge in the GitHub Repo if they have a question instead of setting up IRC.

What do you think? Is it worth making two mouse clicks and giving it a try? It can still be closed later if it is disturbing or not beneficial enough.

DU

[deactivated account] Tue 30 Dec 2014 9:49PM

Is it worth making two mouse clicks and giving it a try?

Go for it :)

C

Can Tue 30 Dec 2014 9:54PM

All that writing and not even a discussion? :P ;)

The owner/admin of github.com/diaspora has to set it up.

S

sassonie Tue 30 Dec 2014 10:11PM

D* needs as much exposure as possible. Go for it.
Maybe IRC is not the universal chat tool for everybody. :)

C

Can Wed 31 Dec 2014 1:08AM

maybe it really isn't, even though hard to believe ;)
Since I am new here, I have no clue how long this process of setting the chat up takes here. Will this Discussion now go through an extensive discussion until it is been voted on? I am already refreshing https://gitter.im/diaspora/diaspora in 15 minute intervals :)

Btw: I just googled for "loomio+gitter" and looks like they also discovered Gitter and they seem to be impressed:

wow this is fun
@jonlemmon you think we should add this to our github ?
jonlemmon November 16 2014
@s01us yeah, I think it'd be a good idea... it's just so accessible. Seems way more practical than an IRC server

Probably they would also be interested in a loomio-gitter-integration for displaying activities from loomio in the gitter activity feed.

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 31 Dec 2014 6:26AM

The owner/admin of github.com/diaspora has to set it up

Ah right, I missed that bit :)

JH

Jonne Haß Wed 31 Dec 2014 10:20AM

I don't really want to watch yet another communication channel, especially if it has such a gigantic overlap with one we already have.

C

Can Wed 31 Dec 2014 2:32PM

@jhass you don't have to. it is optional

C

Can Thu 15 Jan 2015 5:00AM

I recently talked to the guys from loomio about integrating loomio with Gitter.im. This would display new activities on loomio in the chat sidebar which would be great because most people are either on github or on irc or on loomio. This way you can keep track of the chat, github activities and loomio activities in one place.

I guess the next step is to create a proposal... since I am new here maybe someone else should do it..?

C

Camil Thu 15 Jan 2015 2:22PM

I guess the next step is to create a proposal… since I am new here maybe someone else should do it..?

You can do it, Virginia!

C

Poll Created Thu 15 Jan 2015 4:52PM

try out gitter.im for chatting Closed Sun 1 Feb 2015 4:04PM

I suggest trying out the new "chat for GitHub" on http://gitter.im additionally to IRC.

The advantages I see:

The chat is connected to the GitHub repo so all activities on GitHub are shown in the activity feed in the sidebar.
It has a TravisCI integration so the activity feed also contains information about build statuses.
Also a Loomio integration is planned to be added so the activity feed would contain activities on Loomio as well.

This way we would have one place where we get informed about most of the activities around diaspora.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 29.4% 5 JR C A C AL
Abstain 11.8% 2 J Q
Disagree 58.8% 10 FS JH DS F W M L Y DU FT
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 256 BK ST MS TS AA S CB HF BO DM GC JH F RF M EG G AX PC PP BB LP T DY SH DU H M RF R DM P EP E S AS MK R JD PP F PA SK A G TT J NV N CB BC T RD O MS M RS- TM IS D MZ TM MB PG IGM M EK JS AL MS R OU KM DS MS P S JL N AKS SJ RD A N KAK V A B S JB DC S S V PS AA C S JS MP GL DU VM E EA P DO DN FO TB JB L EM MM LS MS MM HSB AMQ DU VK D AV FL Y JD A AT S AM MDB M FS MM RV HL GK DU DV E E TA T R L T SP RF CM DE D M DU DL MJS J JHI E ED CC G J DU MS F NR B JM DS SA MN SM LM CG A FF CK H L A KS RD M ATA UV N EL AC K AM KM RM H C MF AI AG TRA CJC S DU SC TM FT M GS DV BS LR HS S MS DA CA AF AS A MN T AR S GZ BJ AP J C TW HC T MK MC T MS R F EAP JB JD VP FC TT SD SS HE JM NL AA ASM A TJ M GZ C S CK

17 of 273 people have voted (6%)

C

Camil
Agree
Thu 15 Jan 2015 4:58PM

alternatives are always good

JH

Jonne Haß
Disagree
Thu 15 Jan 2015 6:05PM

Too much overlap with IRC

FS

Florian Staudacher
Disagree
Fri 16 Jan 2015 12:58PM

we have github/travis bots posting to the dev-irc channel, a loomio bot posting into the existing irc would be more coherent, imho.

DU

Dumitru Ursu
Disagree
Sat 17 Jan 2015 10:59AM

No to vendor lock-in.

JR

Jason Robinson
Agree
Tue 20 Jan 2015 7:38PM

The fact that gitter works as an IRC channel is enough for me - I'd be happy to log in via there. I agree also there is value since our code is on github.

NR

Nikos Roussos Thu 15 Jan 2015 5:06PM

If we had to create an additional communication channel I would prefer something closer to the Open Source and Distributed model of Diaspora. That could be a chat room on a jabber server.

C

Can Thu 15 Jan 2015 5:11PM

@nikosroussos I suggested gitter.im because it brings a benefit to the workflow by collecting all relevant information (TravisCI build status, github activities and soon loomio activities) in one place. Also you can just login with your github account so newbies can jump in to the chat directly by clicking the gitter badge on the diaspora github repo.

A jabber would bring no benefit over irc: users would have to install a client, sign up/connect etc.
Also you would have to maintain it.

I don't see why a distributed and open source chat would be better.

C

Can Thu 15 Jan 2015 9:40PM

@jhass what exactly do you mean with "overlap"? do you mean that you don't want to have a second chat client opened besides your irc client?

JH

Jonne Haß Thu 15 Jan 2015 10:48PM

More specifically I don't want a second client open for the same type of communication.

JH

Jonne Haß Thu 15 Jan 2015 10:49PM

Another problem is that we already confuse people with what to discuss where, adding another channel won't help there.

JH

Jonne Haß Thu 15 Jan 2015 10:51PM

On a third point, you should extend the voting period a bit for this one, I try to always include at least two weekends. Loomios default is way too short unfortunately.

C

Can Thu 15 Jan 2015 11:18PM

More specifically I don’t want a second client open for the same type of communication.

You don't have to have a second client open. You can join the Gitter chat through IRC as well and it will appear in your IRC client just as an additional channel. See https://irc.gitter.im/
Alongs with all its benefits over IRC I believe it could even replace the freenode channels without any disadvantage for anyone. For developers it is a much more powerful chat than IRC through markdown support, image uploads, build statuses, search functionality etc.

Another problem is that we already confuse people with what to discuss where, adding another channel won’t help there.

I talked to the guys from loomio about integrating loomio with gitter. Seems to be really easy. in Gitter you have an activity feed at the sidebar where you would see activities in Loomio so I think this and the ability to use in irc could actually help a bit. But even if it won't help, it won't make it worse.

It would help getting all the different communication channels known through the activity feed and since he can just click on the gitter-badge in the readme he can directly join the chat by signing in with his github account and could use it through his browser, no matter at which device he is on. For joining IRC he might have to setup an IRC client first. Not every developer, especially those of a newer generation, are using IRC.

On a third point, you should extend the voting period a bit for this one, I try to always include at least two weekends. Loomios default is way too short unfortunately.

Good to know, thx. changed it

C

Can Sat 17 Jan 2015 1:49AM

the negative feedback surprises me a bit, since the proposal is not about a final decision for or against using Gitter permanently, but about having a short look at it, despite of whether or not you decide on using it afterwards.
When I signed up here for informing you about Gitter after haven been directed here from the IRC, I was surprised that suggestions on having a look at something have to go through a bureaucratic procedure and thought of it as default procedure.

I would have not expected people being against trying something out since I thought that the part of "being against is" would follow after having a look at it.

In the title of the survey I wrote "try out Gitter.im for chatting", but in the title I used "Use" instead of "Try".
Did this mislead to the assumption that this poll was intended as a final decision for or against Gitter?

That was not my intention. I am no contributor and not even a user of diaspora and might be the most inactive person in he chat. So I don't see myself in the position of telling you what you should use for communicating.

If your feedback is caused of this misunderstanding, I feel really bad and sorry. Your reaction would make sense to me since I couldn't come up with a better explanation on why else so many people at once would be against trying something out.

DS

Dennis Schubert Sat 17 Jan 2015 2:47AM

Let me explain my decision. Disclaimer: this is my opinion and not a statement from the projects team.

We use IRC and mailing lists at the moment and I feel pretty good with that. I don't think we need another channel of communication as it won't replace what we are using right now because those services are easy and convenient for us to use. We also worked the situation out for newcomers, so I don't feel like that's much of a problem.

We tried stuff like uservoice in the past, a lot of fancy 'decisions' were made but nothing really happened. We have a forum right now, but a huge portion of our active developers are not looking into it. I expect the same from a new chat platform.

DU

Dumitru Ursu Sat 17 Jan 2015 10:57AM

First of all - this seriously sucks. Like really, really bad.

"Markdown, syntax highlighting and even LaTeX. Auto-completion of GitHub #issues, @usernames and more. Real-time integration with the services that matter to devs."

Who the hell uses markdown, or latex to send short messages? I don't even use it here, on loomio. We have #issues on IRC, we have usernames. I don't see the new stuff it brings.

On IRC you can log in anonymously - there, you have to get through a whole procedure of logging in, which will be hard especially for people who need help, but are not developers using github. I see those kind of guys each week.

The next point - what if their business model fails at some point? We will have all our discussions, all the related infrastructure locked somewhere, crippling our communication for about a week. That's vendor lock-in, and that's a proprietary platform.

DU

Dumitru Ursu Sun 18 Jan 2015 10:23AM

A jabber would bring no benefit over irc: users would have to install a client, sign up/connect etc.

Also you would have to maintain it.

If it's so hard to install a client, use a web one. Web clients exist for IRC, as well for XMPP. We can even configure one, so you would automatically log-in to IRC, with a random user name. Just a single click on a link, that's all it takes.

https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.freenode.net/#diaspora-dev

This would be the link, btw. It's too easy.

I don’t see why a distributed and open source chat would be better.

Then what's the point of diaspora*? You don't seem to grasp the essence of the project at all, the ideas and ideals behind it.

M

mydigitalself Mon 19 Jan 2015 11:17AM

Hey folks, I'm one of the founders at Gitter and Can pointed it this discussion to me and thought I'd contribute a little.

First off, by way of background, we're a small team of 5 developers trying to build the best place for other developers to talk. We aren't marketers, we aren't sales people, we're just developers like you.

What we feel makes us different is that every day we work, all we think about is how to make developer communication better/easier/faster/more and whilst I completely grasp your position on vendor lock-in, I don't see any other tool or network trying to achieve this.

The reason developers love us and are moving their conversations over to Gitter is because of the developer-centric features we've produced. Markdown was mentioned and @dumitruursu sure it's not used for every message, but it's used frequently when talking about code. Developers are used to code readability in their IDE, why not in the way they communicate. Here's a great example from one of communities: http://cl.ly/image/2A1i1E0F2q0j.

Additionally our issue mentioning is richer than just hyperlinking the issue to GitHub, we show the issue status and hovering over the issue will give you a full summary, including it's status and who's assigned. So you don't need to jump back and forth between your communication client and your browser just to know basic information about what is being discussed.

These are just a few examples. I think my overall point is that from a feature perspective, Gitter is the sum of it's parts and we're constantly making new parts based on how people are using the product and what people are asking for.

But Gitter is more than just a UI and some features. More importantly, it's a network and a community too. We find that not being anonymous and using GitHub credentials actually improves the conversation, we have little trouble with trolls/spambots/DDOS/takeovers and such. I'd also like to point out we are looking to allow other existing identities to participate too, so a non-developer could feasibly login with Facebook and bring that identity with them to the conversation.

We'd love you to come and try us out and add more value to the community.

DU

Dumitru Ursu Mon 19 Jan 2015 12:17PM

I don’t really want to watch yet another communication channel, especially if it has such a gigantic overlap with one we already have.

That's another point where I strongly agree. I for one do not participate in the forums (never knew they existed), nor the mailing list.
So, let's count where our communication gets divided:
- Github issues ( data out of our control )
- the wiki ( the silo in our hands + the platform )
- IRC ( ephemeral, we have the platform )
- loomio ( out of our control, but we have the platform )
- mailing list ( out of our control, alternative exists )
- forum ( data & platform in our hands )

*gitter ( out of our control; no similar platform)

Adding yet another channel will lead to even more lost contexts for developers, even more confusion for someone in search for help. Unless we'll be somehow be forced to abandon the last 4 and use Gitter + GH issues - I don't see this happening. Even trying this might be damaging for the community, because some developers will probably never join the platform.

You may say that I'm a hypocrite, using Github, and arguing against Gitter: I might be, but I know that at least every developer has a copy of the repository - if 3 nukes go down on the Github datacenters, we'll be able to recreate the previous state on gitlab/gitorious in a matter of days.

IRC is actually a special case: the way I see it, it's mostly for informal discussion, and "live" conversations about the project. It has one great weakness and feature at the same time - the conversations are ephemeral. For example, I would not dare to ask @augier about his sex life on Gitter or in a Github issue, but I will not hesitate to do that on IRC; informality is great for building a community. Also, the fact that IRC is ephemeral - always remind us to keep crucial knowledge on the wiki or in the Changelog. People will be forgetful about it, when using Gitter or forums, I'm sure of it.

M

mydigitalself Mon 19 Jan 2015 12:27PM

We've found that most people use us as a replacement for IRC, they take a little while to transition across, and some will use tools such as this bot (https://github.com/finnp/gitter-irc-bot) to do so and given you can still use our IRC bridge and your existing IRC client for those that don't want to use our UI, this is often a good solution for many.

Obviously it's entirely your choice, but just thought I'd chip in as we're passionate about making something better.

DU

[deactivated account] Mon 19 Jan 2015 1:02PM

For example, I would not dare to ask @augier about his sex life on Gitter or in a Github issue, but I will not hesitate to do that on IRC;

Naughty boy ! :p

JR

Jason Robinson Tue 20 Jan 2015 7:37PM

For example, I would not dare to ask @augier about his sex life on Gitter or in a Github issue, but I will not hesitate to do that on IRC;

The IRC channel is totally public and logged by countless people - including FreeNode probably. Even though this is OT, just thought to say this :)

AL

Armando Lüscher Sun 25 Jan 2015 11:08PM

Even thought I'm new to this kind of team-work on a larger scale, I'm having difficulties to understand how all devs here collaborate and track decisions with IRC and mailing lists.

I couldn't agree more with you @jasonrobinson. The code is already on GH, so having the discussion as close to it as possible seems only logical to me.

@dennisschubert "We also worked the situation out for newcomers, so I don’t feel like that’s much of a problem."
Where can I find these infos, I'm a newcomer that would love to participate.

@dumitruursu "Also, the fact that IRC is ephemeral - always remind us to keep crucial knowledge on the wiki or in the Changelog. People will be forgetful about it, when using Gitter or forums, I’m sure of it."
So the wiki and Changelog are the places where all the discussed knowledge is stored? Could you explain more, how it's managed or point me to a page that explains it please, thanks.

DU

Dumitru Ursu Sun 25 Jan 2015 11:19PM

https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.freenode.net/#diaspora-dev - enter here, start asking question. It's all casual, but we mostly talk about development. Asking people is faster and more informative than Google itself.

https://github.com/diaspora/diaspora/blob/develop/Changelog.md - The mighty changelog. The source code is also there, and the code is the truth.

Also, have a look here:
https://wiki.diasporafoundation.org/FAQ_for_developers

AL

Armando Lüscher Mon 26 Jan 2015 12:31AM

@dumitruursu Thanks for the links, will be checking them out. As soon as I have a better idea of everything, I'll jump into the IRC with a *splash*

JK

James Kiesel Tue 27 Jan 2015 3:49AM

FWIW, a similar spike of interest in Gitter and then feeling of 'meh, too many comms platforms' just occurred on Loomio as well.