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#admin-announcements
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2016-01-07
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meow01:01:46

@seancorfield: you should come check out mattermost with us

meow01:01:14

@darwin: you too

mpenet08:01:41

tbh I fail to understand why IRC is not more used, it seems to be the perfect candidate: has (or can have) archives, it's distributed, mirrored, has tons of clients with all kind of fancy plugins, bots, auth etc. It's just a matter of using a good web front-end and we have basically an open slack alternative.

nashio08:01:53

slack removes the barrier of entry for the uninitiated, its just easier to join and the UI is pleasant

mpenet08:01:00

Maybe that's were the focus should be, making a good IRC front end (if none exists), and rely on a nearly 30 yo battletested protocol like IRC with all its plugins & co

nashio08:01:10

althought I’m aware that slack’s intention is not to replace IRC

mpenet08:01:16

nashio: It's just an UI difference really.

nashio08:01:22

the UI can be enough reason to choose a product over another one, like you said , this is a good opportunity to make IRC better

mpenet08:01:07

IRC is a protocol, if you want to make something useful and not reinvent a wheel just build on it imo

mpenet08:01:55

It doesn't have to use freenode or some other server

nashio08:01:00

yeah, we’re talking about the UI here

nashio08:01:04

not the protocol

mpenet08:01:26

IRC has no UI per say.

nashio08:01:36

right, but clients

mpenet08:01:39

some irc clients are very rich, a bit like slacks

shanekilkelly09:01:05

@gjnoonan: if you need people to test the mattermost installation, I wouldn’t mind pitching in. EDIT: nevermind, I saw the link in the other channel.

sveri09:01:38

I guess what you want is a slack, that speaks the IRC protocol and has a public server that you can connect to with any IRC client

mpenet09:01:48

yup more or less (potentially multiple servers). The only missing piece is a decent (clj) server app that does the bridge between a web-ui and irc servers since I am not sure you can just talk to irc directly from js/html. all the rest is candy (snippets, bots, logging, etc) and doable via bots/client side work.

jethroksy13:01:40

just curious how many of you intend to take part in FB hackercup with clojure?

meow13:01:29

These are good questions being raised. Let me play devil's advocate for a minute. If it is so easy to do a web client for IRC then why hasn't it been done? I'm not completely new to this. I've used a wide variety of IRC clients over the years and before that I would dialup to the Delphi service. When I was active in Python there was plenty of solid support for protocols like IRC and robust server frameworks like Twisted and Django and yet, I've never seen it happen. I've never seen a good web IRC client like Slack. Why not?

mcgivernsa13:01:40

because developers tend to undervalue UX and design work as 'candy'?

meow13:01:46

Sure, but we all love chat and dogfeed that [email protected] constantly. We make great editors, like emacs and IntelliJ but never good chat.

meow13:01:17

Of course, there's always been too many chat clients.

mcgivernsa13:01:19

how many non-developers use Emacs or IntelliJ? how many non-developers use Slack?

meow13:01:05

Not relevant. We're talking about a chat system for use by the Clojure community. We're all developers. And yet Clojure on Slack is superseding Clojure on IRC and if we lose the use of Slack we need an alternative. That's the issue in question right now.

meow13:01:02

And we're still human beings and social creatures, so of course one of the things we keep focusing on as we evaluate the alternative is what? Can anyone guess?

meow13:01:25

emoji support!!!

akiva13:01:11

IRC is good at plain text; that’s it. It doesn’t support inline images, code formatting, or, well, anything other than plain text.

akiva13:01:29

So no one sees the need to build a super-slick interface around what is a plain text interface.

meow13:01:47

Like, mattermost doesn't have that [email protected] parrot head.

meow13:01:25

@akiva: Very good point. And as someone who likes to post pretty pictures I would lose out. And colin provides tech support for Cursive and needs people to be able to submit error logs. And we all post code snippets for discussion. Plain text is not enough any more.

akiva13:01:51

It could be bolted on, now that I think about it. The UI client could look for triple-ticks or other metadata and then transform the display but it would look ugly as sin for someone directly connected through an IRC client.

jethroksy13:01:42

that's a bit like the old msn plus

akiva13:01:23

It’s how some clients handle emojis anyway. I’ve seen stuff like :simple_smile:.

jethroksy13:01:51

no reason to conform to the protocol

mcgivernsa13:01:16

yes, the slack API sends emojis as their name, which is the canonical version: https://api.slack.com/docs/formatting#emoji

mpenet13:01:21

akiva: it's all client side concerns, some irc clients do these things

mpenet13:01:06

(or could do them)

mpenet13:01:21

it's a bit like saying git commit messages do not support anything other than text, yet they show a lot more on github if you know the proper formatting or with interpretation from the client

akiva13:01:32

The other issue is that, as far as I remember, IRC has no security. Anybody can join at any time as long as they know the server name. And everything is sent clear text. And, based on my experiences with the EFNet split wars of the late 90s, it can be absurdly unstable.

mcgivernsa13:01:02

do you mean git commits or commit comments? AFAIK github always shows the commit message monospaced; if a branch has only one commit, the body of the commit message is used as the default for a pull request from that branch, but that's not the same thing

akiva13:01:36

And there’s no user system. You can have a NickServ bot or whatever but it’s not really geared for what we’re looking for.

mpenet13:01:47

akiva: IRC is low level but many server support diff levels of auth

mpenet13:01:56

ex quakenet

mpenet13:01:13

even freenode to some respect

mpenet13:01:18

you can register your username

akiva13:01:53

Right but eventually you start to pile these things up and it becomes a question of is it more worthwhile to shore up IRC to what we need or to just build our own messaging system with everything baked in rather than bolted on.

mpenet13:01:44

You get a battletested communication protocol with tons of server impl./plugins/bot/clients for free, in my book it's a big plus

mpenet13:01:51

buy anyway...

meow13:01:12

@mpenet: per your point about github they have a nice STL file viewer

agile_geek13:01:39

This conversation about writing our own version of Slack seems to surface every couple of months, last time is was when one of the other dev community teams (Elixir I think?) had restrictions imposed on the number of members as it was > 5000.

jaen13:01:23

React IIRC

jaen13:01:29

They went for Discord instead.

meow13:01:51

We are actively evaluating alternatives to slack as they are not in favor of supporting us as a free community.

roberto13:01:01

I wish I could talk all this bikeshed about alts and mute them

roberto13:01:05

its getting very annoying

roberto13:01:13

or just create a new room to dicuss this topic

shanekilkelly14:01:42

perhaps discussion should move to the #C0CB40N8K channel

tcrawley17:01:38

who would I talk to to get the github plugin enabled in #C0H28NMAS?

chr0nu517:01:10

@tcrawley: maybe @gjnoonan

gjnoonan18:01:28

@tcrawley: I can give you permissions to add it to slack, if you have the correct permissions to the clojars github simple_smile

tcrawley18:01:05

@chr0nu5: thanks!

tcrawley18:01:17

@gjnoonan: I do indeed have the proper perms :)

gjnoonan18:01:06

@tcrawley: I know, I was being slightly facetious, sorry lol. you have permissions to add integrations now 👍

tcrawley18:01:16

heh, thanks!

danielcompton23:01:03

@mpenet I agree, a slick frontend to IRC + persistence + plugins + mobile clients would be ideal

seancorfield23:01:19

Since everyone is auto-joined to this channel, if we’re going to have meta discussions about Slack or its alternatives, please have those in #C0CB40N8K and/or #C04V84U7G as appropriate. /cc @danielcompton @mpenet Thank you!