Re: [DISCUSS] Concerns about the Arrow Slack channel
The issue with discourse is that you either have to host it or pay for them
to host it
but still +1 for discourse, its a really nice format (I actually +1'ed the
PyTorch forum on this thread too)
On Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 2:09 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Hi everyone,
> I'll be chiming in from time to time as Anthony Scopatz and I help
> several people from Quansight become more integrated to community
> Arrow development. I'm a fan of Arrow's goals and have similar goals
> for a cousin project called http://xnd.io. I'm eager to find ways to
> collaborate on the compute infrastructure between the two projects, in
> particular, for example.
> Here is my $0.02 on this issue,
> Chat rooms can be a useful mechanism for engaging with new developers.
> However, Slack itself does not really allow for the kind of
> large-scale community participation that Gitter allows for. If you
> have a chat room I recommend Gitter.
> All that said, I would personally favor a discourse
> (https://www.discourse.org/) solution over chat rooms. I've noticed
> several younger folks not really liking the mailing lists and seeking
> out chat rooms first --- the success of pytorch, mxnet communities
> indicate that perhaps they could be encouraged to use something like
> On a related note, could someone help me understand the relationship
> between Github Issues and JIRA issues? Is one preferred? I understand
> that contributions to the code are recommended as PRs on Github. Does
> that mean a branch at Github is considered to be the primary
> repository, or is there another place that code has to go to be
> official? I suspect this is all documented somewhere. I would welcome
> a simple link to the right place to read.
> Thank you,
> Travis Oliphant
> On Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 3:25 AM, Wes McKinney <wesmckinn@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > hi all,
> > I wanted to bring up some concerns I have about the Slack room hosted
> > at http://apachearrow.slack.com.
> > Corporate communications have changed a lot in recent years with the
> > new wave of IRC-like chat systems such as HipChat and Slack. In many
> > companies, Slack has become a preferred form of communication over
> > e-mail or other asynchronous messaging tools. This trend is negatively
> > impacting Apache Arrow in some ways that I will explain.
> > Initially we created the Arrow Slack channel as a means of secondary
> > communication, to facilitate real-time discussions and help build the
> > community. So people, particularly newcomers, are coming to the
> > project and seeing 4 ways to communicate:
> > * dev@ Mailing list
> > * JIRA
> > * GitHub
> > * Slack
> > As a result of broader trends in the world, they are electing to use
> > Slack as their first, primary channel to interact with the project.
> > This is bad for many reasons:
> > * Slack is essentially private. While anyone can join Slack, chats are
> > not archived in any public place, nor are they searchable through
> > internet search portals. I do not think it meets the public
> > communication requirements of Apache projects in general
> > * We've exceeded the message limit for free Slack channels; upgrading
> > to a paid Slack plan for Apache Arrow, with 650+ members, would be
> > very expensive
> > * Only 3 out of the top 20 Arrow contributors (by # of commits) are
> > regularly on the Slack channel. I don't use Slack, for example, and I
> > would rather not be expected to
> > * We are geo-distributed in many time zones; even if we all used
> > Slack, synchronous/real-time chat to discuss the project is frequently
> > impractical
> > Because of the "real-time" nature of IRC-like systems, people's
> > discussions and questions get intermingled, so keeping track of
> > longer-running discussions may be difficult. It's hard to know when
> > someone's question has been answered or whether people have
> > sufficiently discussed a particular topic.
> > Many discussions or questions are by their nature asynchronous, and it
> > may take 24-72 hours or more for Arrow contributors to make a
> > thoughtful reply.
> > As a result of all of this, we are missing opportunities to have
> > deeper discussions, develop the Arrow roadmap, create new JIRAs to
> > capture bug reports or feature requests, and other activities of
> > healthy open source communities. Additionally, the private nature of
> > Slack is causing organizational knowledge (particularly Q&A / FAQs) to
> > essentially be lost. Users with questions won't stumble on answers by
> > searching on Google (as they would with a mailing list or
> > StackOverflow).
> > I don't think Slack is necessarily bad for users in a corporate
> > environment; in many companies it is expected that all people will
> > have the Slack client open at all times. This isn't the case here,
> > though.
> > My strong preference in light of the activity I have been observing on
> > Slack (which I encourage you to explore yourselves) would be to close
> > the channel and direct discussions or questions take place on the
> > mailing list, JIRA, or GitHub (all of which are archived on one or
> > more ASF mailing lists). Since migrating to Gitbox, we have enabled
> > GitHub issues on the repository, which has helped lower the barrier
> > for newcomers, but a large percentage of the time GitHub issues would
> > be better as JIRA issues or e-mails (which is what the GitHub issue
> > template says, alas).
> > Interested to hear the thoughts of others on this.
> > Thanks,
> > Wes