Discuss the use of Slack for open source

frob's picture

At last night's meetup there was a bunch of talk of using slack. Please remember that slack is a closed system. Your posts are not yours, the system isn't open, and in my opinion it shouldn't be used for open source projects or communities. Slack is great for business and other projects, but there is a reason that a heroku app hack is required to sign up for slack that is being used for open source. Slack isn't a product built with the ideals that make OSS great in mind.

A better articulation of my opinions on this are written on this blog post by Drew DeVault.

I held my peace till after the meetup and voiced my opinion about this at Pints for the post meetup sessions. It was mentioned that Slack is more friction free and that going through the motions of registering a nick on freenode and setting up an IRC client is a pain and too much trouble. These are not real hurdles, these are hurdles that we put in place ourselves and we make IRC hard.

Prerequisite for next paragraph, in IRC a nick is a nickname.

I used IRC for years before registering my nick. It is not a requirement and I would say that until someone cares enough to learn how to use IRC they shouldn't care about registering a nick because it is a pain, but it is not a requirement. Simply login and pick a nick, if it is in use then pick another. It is fine. If you like IRC and you are known by a nick then go through the trouble of registering it. Again, registering is optional, I only did it when I found out you could do it. I used IRC for close to 5 years before I know that you can register a nick.

If quick help is needed then not only do you not need a nick, you also don't need a client. Click the following link: Freenode Webclient for #drupal-pdx, #drupal, and #drupal-contribute

Put in your nick and click the captcha, the page will load and you are on IRC, congratulations.

Lastly, IRC is (arguably) better than Slack (because we made it better) and it is supposed to be used. Drupal has put a great deal of effort into making IRC good. One of the great, somewhat unsung heros for the Drupal Community is the Druplicon bot on IRC.

Above I posted a pic of me sending elijah a message through Drupalicon, next time elijah makes his presence known on IRC, Drupalicon will tell him the message. Among other talents for the Druplicon is that it is logging everything in many of the #drupal rooms.

It also has:

  • Factoids
  • Karma
  • Logs
  • Project URLs

The whole list of Druplicon features.

The project URLs is a big one and it makes working with drupal.org issues much easier. Please give IRC a chance, again. Slack isn't the right tool for this.

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Related: Slack has no plans

Elijah Lynn's picture

Related: Slack has no plans to support open-source communities with all the features.