Try out, the new chat for GitHub users

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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 ( 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.

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 ! :stuck_out_tongue:

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 :slight_smile:

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. - 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. - The mighty changelog. The source code is also there, and the code is the truth.

Also, have a look here:

@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*

Here’s a wiki article specifically about Diaspora’s communication channels.

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