Update: This thread is no longer current. See our Official Support Channels for the latest offerings.
Currently we have multiple chat room solutions:
We need to either isolate their individual merits, or to consolidate them.
Their current uses are:
- IRC was the original official support room we offered, however it’s app ecosystem is stuck in the 90s with ugly interfaces, crappy iOS support, persistence only via external bots, and integrations only via custom bot setups and servers. It is used by people who like the old-school, and not used by others. It is still the most popular channel we have.
- Gitter came on unannounced and has a very nice chat system, it’s the modern IRC, with an old school IRC server for those who love IRC. It keeps chat history without a bot, and has modern easy support for adding different integrations directly without setting up our own bot servers. It can sync to IRC via this bot however I was unable to get it to work. Does support non-github custom channels.
- Telegram was setup for @balupton to communicate with other team members without that much noise. It’s working very well for that. The groups are not available to those who don’t get manually added. Current groups:
Bevry Focusfor team members to discuss current priorities
Bevry Chillfor team members to chillout and get to know each other better (especially via Dota 2 matchmaking)
- Telegram is also setup as our secure messenger for exchanging things that requrie end-to-end encryption such as temporary passwords and server details.
- Slack was setup to explore it as an option as it now offers a free plan. It is invite-only, supports unlimited custom rooms/channels.
My opinion is that:
- If IRC can come out with a great free cross-platform user experience, we should close Slack and Bevry and continue using it, otherwise:
- We can shut down the IRC rooms, and use Gitter instead. This can either be by syncing the current IRC rooms to their Gitter equivalants, or via just shutting them down and telling people to use Gitter instead. I’m hesitant to do this, as despite Gitter being really nice, it’s still a startup and we would be placing a huge trust in them - of which I don’t trust them in the slightest, having a non-open communication chat platform when your main promotion is open-source teams isn’t a move of integrity I feel (although, I also feel such distrust to GitHub too).
- Slack could be used to shut down Gitter, however the benefit of Gitter is people don’t need to be invited - so it is an instant support medium. So I don’t see this happening.
- Slack could be used to replace Telegram, but it is a bit too heavy for that, and our needs aren’t there yet to require a full organisation chat experience. A small IM Telegram Chat Group is fine. Perhaps with more discusison of our requirements, perhaps Slack can make sense (especially if we require more than a
Focusgroup). Although, Slack’s integrations for sys admins and our team can be awesome. Myplanet Digital successfully uses Slack for pretty much all there sys operations stuff now thanks to integrations setup by @patcon and co. This could be a huge benefit to us, such as core team members being able to restart fallen servers, post tweets to our official accounts, etc. Nothing else would support such a thing. (IRC support for such things is lacking.) Another good idea about Slack, is that Bevry controls the chat history of everything that is chatted about - where with Telegram and IRC, we have no control over the chats - which makes it more difficult in Telegram and IRC to manage and streamline chat processes.
- It has been suggested that we also setup a new Telegram group called
Telegram Publicthat we can invite non-team members too, while keeping the others private. I’m hesitant about this, as it would promote isolation/exclusion which isn’t what we want. Of course that isn’t what that Public groups suggestion is about, it’s about keeping focus in the team member groups, however the exclusion is an inherent side effect of such separation.
- Telegram is the only one that satisfies the need for team members to exchange sensitive information due to their secret/end-to-end encryption chats. For that use case, Telegram will continue to be used.
- I’m keen to hear the thoughts of those already using the different chat rooms, to hear how consolidation will affect them, as well as what they like and dislike about the different providers.
- I’m also keen to hear from the wider community about what their consider the appeal of the different rooms.
Things I will do:
- See what the invite settings are on Slack.