Re: Thoughs about communication

On Fri, Jan 13, 2017, 07:47 Allan Day <allanpday gmail com> wrote:
I agree with pretty much everything you've written here, Emmanuele. Just one comment...

On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 1:32 PM, Emmanuele Bassi <ebassi gmail com> wrote:
>> pros/cons irc:
>> pros:
>> <snip>
>> - is widespread
>> - integrated in gnome environment (bots, bugzilla)
> I would argue these two features are critical to any prospective chat
> platform. If people can't access chat in a way that suits their workflow, they
> probably won't. And it'd be a step backwards if automation suddenly became a
> stumbling block.

I guess the issue, here, is whether or not we care about reaching
other people than the existing pool of contributors.
Attracting and retaining contributors has to be the most important consideration. It's worth noting that IRC cuts in a few different directions here: on the one hand, IRC means there's no barrier between us and all the existing Free Software contributors/projects who are also using IRC. On the other hand, for contributors who are used to modern tools, IRC probably feels like a huge step backwards - it isn't user friendly, isn't attractive, and it doesn't work well if you're not in one of the time zones that are popular with our community.

In some ways, GNOME has the worst of both worlds - we're using poor tech which has the advantage of adoption, and then we go and use a relatively isolated server, so we miss out on the additional traffic we might get on Freenode.

Agreed with this. I know it's hard to put ourselves in the shoes of a new contributor who's never used IRC, but I think it really does harm. This may of course not be a calculus that's acceptable to everyone, but I'd rather break my workflow 100x over, to be able to offer new contributors a better environment to start out in.

Matrix seems to be not much better though; last time I checked it out, about a year ago, the main thing on the website was a technical explanation of the protocol. Whereas I was hoping for a "just download the client already" button. When I did find where to download the client, there were too many confusing choices and most of them were labeled "unstable". And the web client was really low quality. If we switch from IRC, I really hope we'll consider the experience that new contributors will have getting set up. Especially contributors who are not software developers!

Philip C

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