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#community-development
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2020-12-17
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slipset09:12:57

UGT! So a couple of things coincided. I got a sponsorship from Cognitect, and in conjunction with that, I really wished I could look up some discussion from long ago here in slack. I’m aware of the clojurians log, but let’s leave that out it for now. I would be happy to use some of the sponsorship from Cognitect to help foot a bill for a paid version of the Clojurians slack. I have no idea how to move forward, nor what a the bill for a paid version of the Clojurians slack is, but I’m willing to entertain the idea for a while.

sogaiu09:12:51

just as a side note, may be you are aware of the log at zulip? it doesn't go back beyond some point i guess (and there are channels that are not registered for logging), but i use that sometimes when there are breaks in the clojurians log.

dharrigan09:12:14

Hey, that's a great idea! Given that there is some funding available, how about funding a paid version of Slack so history is maintained etc., I'm aware of other alternatives, such as zulip etc., yet, this is where the community is (for better or for worse)

slipset09:12:19

https://medium.com/@jedwatson/slack-and-oss-communities-130489aae8 I guess this problem is greater than the Clojure community.

slipset09:12:10

Clojurists together is a non profit I guess…

pez11:12:38

I think that even if we would manage to get through all loops and hoops to pass their requirements for non-profit we would still be staring at a bill for insane amounts of money.

slipset11:12:23

That might very well be.

eggsyntax14:12:25

Their cheapest plan ("Standard") is $7 per user per month; we've got about 20k members. So if we get the 85% non-profit discount, it'd be 20k 7 0.15 = $21,000 per month. So unless they're willing to work out some sort of special deal (or unless Cognitect's giving you a lot of funding), that seems dramatically out of reach (and seems like a completely ridiculous amount of money for what we get). Congrats on the sponsorship! [EDIT -- see Sean's post below]

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slipset14:12:48

That’s ridiculous. And way out of anyone’s league.

eggsyntax14:12:08

Aww, and here I was hoping you'd say "oh sure, Cognitect's giving me $60k/month, I'll cover that!" 😉

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andy.fingerhut14:12:50

hence the existence of Clojurian's log and mirroring of messages from here to Clojurians ZulipChat ...

eggsyntax14:12:18

I'm still hoping we can get the community off slack entirely at some point, although damned if I know how we can make that happen... same network-effect trap as Facebook.

andy.fingerhut14:12:00

It is the net effect of thousands of individual choices. Thus the problem is to think like a politician, not like an engineer 🙂

eggsyntax14:12:44

Yep. I'm definitely not that good a politician 😜

andy.fingerhut14:12:51

There is no config file you can learn how to change that will convince everyone to make different choices.

jjttjj15:12:24

It somewhat baffles me that slack doesn't just announce free usage for open source communities like this. It would generate massive developer good will. On the other hand I guess they have to keep up the perception that their fancy IRC servers are worth $X/user month

slipset15:12:20

@U064UGEUQ I guess convincing slack would be the solution, but I’d imagine that would be a somewhat prolonged uphill battle.

borkdude15:12:33

Unless nubank takes over salesforce

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pez15:12:31

Salesforce might actually take a better decision with this than Slack has been doing so far.

pez15:12:37

Part of the network effect that Slack has is that many people already use it for work and other projects. There are only so many communication tools a poor developer can handle. I keep forgetting to log in at Discord and other services even though I have accounts.

seancorfield18:12:07

It still surprises me that people keep bringing up the "let's pay for Slack" question given that it's no secret that it would be ridiculously expensive. The per-user cost is per active users though, not total. I just checked the upgrade page and it says

$8 USD
1,063 members
1 month
$8,504 USD
but of course that charge is going to change as more members join and become "active" (and also change down if more members become inactive). Even with the non-profit discount, that's still $1,276 per month. Zulip's "open source" plan is free with unlimited search history so that's where I tend to direct people who want to search the history from our Slack. Specifically https://clojurians.zulipchat.com/#narrow/stream/180378-slack-archive

seancorfield18:12:59

Clojurists Together is probably the only avenue to get Slack's non-profit pricing but I'm not sure how many people would rather they paid $1,300 to Slack instead of to Clojure developers for OSS work... 🙂

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eggsyntax18:12:10

My bad, I missed that it was active users -- sorry to mislead y'all!

jjttjj19:12:15

yeah the nonprofit discounts seem intended for non-profit workplaces/organizations to use for internal communication, not public discussion chatrooms. unfortunately

borkdude19:12:57

Maybe we can all pay for ourselves? 8 dollars a month is comparable to Netflix and I spend more time on here than Netflix

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andy.fingerhut19:12:45

I asked Slack a year or so ago if they would support the ability for individuals to pay, and they get support to search the entire history, but individuals who had not paid would not get that. They said they do not support that, and had no plans to.

borkdude19:12:16

That's what I was thinking of too, unfortunately they don't.

andy.fingerhut19:12:33

In the absence of that, Slack wants a single legal entity responsible for paying the entire bill. Sure, someone could sign up to pay that bill, and ask for donations from others who use it, but they would be legally responsible for the whole bill whether they got those donations or not.

eggsyntax19:12:17

The trouble IMO is that that won't work for everyone -- drives away students, folks in low-GDP countries, and casual users. Part of me wishes we could impose a gradual slowban on the whole community to just slowly make it less and less pleasant for people and drive them away to other Clojure venues 😜

borkdude19:12:28

True (it would exclude certain groups, which would be a shame)

andy.fingerhut19:12:48

Thinking like an engineer, not a policitian 🙂

eggsyntax19:12:09

There's a reason I'm an engineer 😁

eggsyntax19:12:02

But @andy.fingerhut if you can convince everyone to shift away from the slack, I'm all in favor of it!

andy.fingerhut19:12:04

The best I know how to do is offer alternatives, and let people choose. I am an admin on Clojurians ZulipChat, and mention it whenever people ask about searching old Clojurians Slack history. There are many Clojurians interested in data science who currently have more discussion on Clojurians ZulipChat than on Slack, but they are the only subgroup of Clojurians who does, currently.

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andy.fingerhut19:12:01

I don't claim to think like a politician very well, either 🙂. I have noticed that it is very easy for engineers to fall into the pattern of "I think alternative B is much better than A. Every right-thinking person should agree with me and independently choose B over A when presented with a choice. Why don't they?" (and yes, this is not really just engineers, I know -- I just notice it more among engineers since that is mostly who I have discussions with)

andy.fingerhut19:12:28

Slack has advantages that are easy to dismiss or ignore.

seancorfield19:12:06

Yup. That, exactly. Ever since we set up this Slack as an experiment, we've had a small but steady stream of people saying "Slack sux! Why don't we all move to <insert-free-service-de-jour>?" and the answer is nearly always "A Clojure community already exists on that service and people are free to use it if they wish".

seancorfield19:12:30

The right sidebar on r/Clojure (Reddit) lists several Clojure communities that people are using already. IRC still has an active core of Clojurians. Discord, Matrix/Riot, ClojureVerse. And this Slack and Zulip.

seancorfield19:12:56

As one of the long-time Admins here on Slack, I'd be perfectly happy to see "everyone" migrate to Zulip (I'm not an Admin there) 🙂

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eggsyntax19:12:20

Slack definitely has advantages, and is a pleasure to use day-to-day. The tragedy, though, is that most people come here to answer questions because it's where the largest number of people are, and the answers to those questions are rapidly lost to the world. That's an enormous wealth of Q&A that just vanishes, leaving Clojure beginners feeling as though they don't have a good place to find answers to their questions. So they come here and ask the same question that's been answered a hundred times before. Everyone's making reasonable choices in the context of this local maximum; it's just a crappy situation.

andy.fingerhut19:12:10

But it is not lost to the world. It is logged in at least two places, available to the public.

eggsyntax19:12:44

Some of it -- but as far as I know it's only a subset of channels, right? And in my experience the logs tend to show up very low in search engines; I only find them when I'm searching on a long quoted phrase that doesn't appear anywhere else.

seancorfield19:12:06

Yeah, what Andy said. If you find yourself in a channel here that does not have @zulip-mirror-bot please invite it to join that channel!

andy.fingerhut19:12:22

Find a channel that isn't logged on Clojurians ZulipChat, and I think there are instructions that I don't have handy that anyone can start mirroring on ZulipChat for that Slack channel.

andy.fingerhut19:12:06

If by search engines you mean Google and Bing etc. then I don't know if those have access to Clojurians ZulipChat logs, either.

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eggsyntax19:12:12

OK, cool, I'm outdated on that, then!

seancorfield19:12:21

> anyone can start mirroring on ZulipChat for that Slack channel Just /invite @zulip-mirror-bot

alexmiller19:12:37

Please feel free to encourage people to ask questions at https://ask.clojure.org when it makes sense to do so

borkdude19:12:21

Certain groups make Zulip their main place, like the scicloj community

jjttjj19:12:12

I'd be all for a big push to zulip but I understand why people might prefer slack (frankly I prefer slack's ui but would be thrilled to be forced to move). i do think it's not a small amount of damage done by the fact that most of the content our community generates isn't searchable by default (for no real reason besides coincidence )

andy.fingerhut19:12:37

It IS SEARCHABLE, just not on Slack.

jjttjj19:12:18

true, but in my experience the searchability isn't ideal, though it does get 90% of the way there you're right

jjttjj19:12:53

(i guess the main issue being it's opt-in by channel so not all channels are searchable)

eggsyntax19:12:38

> would be thrilled to be forced to move That's a great way to put it. I think everyone would be thrilled to be forced to move.

seancorfield19:12:52

As I just said in another thread: if you're in a channel without @zulip-mirror-bot please invite it to that channel!

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andy.fingerhut19:12:20

I don't want to get into politics here too much, but I would recommend doing some deep thinking on the "would be thrilled to be forced to move" phrase, even for things you would personally like to do.

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andy.fingerhut19:12:18

If you value your own freedom to make individual choices, you should try very hard not to dislike it when others make different choices.

jjttjj19:12:19

for sure. I just meant it as "though I personally prefer slack slightly, that preference would be outweighed by the benefits of zulip if 100% of the clojure chat community was on zulip". Maybe "force" is too strong a word

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seancorfield19:12:08

If my company decides to switch from Slack (which it pays for) to MS Teams which is "free" since we're already O365 users, this (Clojurians) would be my only reason to ever open Slack again so I suspect I would become much less involved here and much more involved on Zulip 🙂

seancorfield19:12:56

@U064UGEUQ It's worth noting that "100% of the clojure chat community" isn't even here on Slack -- it's already spread across IRC, Discord, Matrix/Riot (and I think there's a small, active group on Telegram too?).

seancorfield19:12:02

Well, those aren't "chat"... but, yes, there are folks who only use the mailing list or only use ClojureVerse or only use GH issues (which drives me crazy: issues are a terrible place to ask questions, IMO, because you nearly always have to go back and forth over several days or even weeks to tease out the details of what the question really is, in order to answer it!).

eggsyntax19:12:25

> I would recommend doing some deep thinking on the "would be thrilled to be forced to move" phrase, even for things you would personally like to do. There are plenty of situations where everyone would prefer that everyone (including them) make a different choice, but in the absence of something or someone forcing the different choice, everyone's incentive is to keep making the globally worse choice. That's pretty much the definition of a https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/22/repost-the-non-libertarian-faq/#coordination_problems.

seancorfield19:12:35

And there's r/Clojure and StackOverflow as well (I run into people in both of those places who don't even know about this Slack!).

borkdude19:12:39

@U04V70XH6 Github now has a new feature called "discussions": https://github.com/borkdude/clj-kondo/discussions

seancorfield19:12:35

Yeah, I should add that on all my repos I guess...

borkdude19:12:47

So far nobody has used this feature yet.

borkdude19:12:53

on my repos I mean

jjttjj19:12:37

(also I understand it's not necessarily easy to make such a push actually work)

borkdude19:12:17

there is now also ask.clojure - maybe if someone has a question and answer that's not on there, post it there for archival purposes

borkdude19:12:51

(not sure if that's the right way to use ask.clojure)

borkdude19:12:29

I certainly have used the zulip mirror a couple of times to search the Slack archive

borkdude19:12:55

Example: this is how to search for the history in the malli channel: https://clojurians.zulipchat.com/#narrow/stream/180378-slack-archive/topic/malli

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dpsutton19:12:13

there are some benefits to a chat channel where replies are ephemeral.

lilactown19:12:31

I imagine if as an admin group, there was a push to move to another platform, it might help in adoption. Asking directly maintainers to move to zulip etc

lilactown19:12:00

How long would it take for unmoderated spam to convince people it’s worth it to move somewhere else? 😅

dpsutton19:12:43

i'm kinda against that. people go where they want to go. admins aren't (edit) particularly more influential because they're admins. they're just spam removers and maybe help to quiet things down if they get a bit heated

lilactown19:12:14

Right. It’s clearly not important enough to warrant decisive action

lilactown19:12:47

But if you want to upset the status quo, hoping people will choose something else is usually not a winning move

lilactown19:12:38

I like slack because it has all the people I want to talk to, the community is high quality, and I like the UX.

andy.fingerhut19:12:41

If you want to take a persuasive approach, rather than trying to undercut the quality of Slack, a motivated individual (not me) could create a survey that included a question like "If the majority of people you wanted to talk to about Clojure were using Clojurians ZulipChat instead of Slack, would you prefer that?", perhaps even questions on multiple such services. If you found that it was actually true that some large percentage would prefer that, you could announce a "Hey, let's all try using service X for a day!" day, and see if it takes off. Please, think persuasion, not coercion.

andy.fingerhut19:12:53

It would not surprise me if the results of such a survey were (a) very few responses, or (b) what is Clojurians ZulipChat and why should I care? (you could try to give a feature comparison chart if. you wanted to preemptively answer those questions), or (c) lots of responses, but a small fraction of people who would prefer service X over Slack, even though it has free unlimited searchable history.

andy.fingerhut19:12:16

But it could be (d) Lots of people would prefer to switch, if most others also did.

seancorfield21:12:51

Such surveys have been run several times in the past -- and they have nearly all resulted in (a) 🙂

ericdallo19:12:02

Sorry if someone already suggested this, but have anyone considered migrating to Discord?

andy.fingerhut19:12:49

Depends upon what you mean by "migrating". The fundamental is: everyone makes their own decision where to communicate.

andy.fingerhut19:12:18

There is probably already a "place" on Discord set up for Clojurians to communicate

alexmiller20:12:13

there are several

borkdude19:12:44

I think the point is that nobody can force a mass of people to migrate to anything

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dpsutton19:12:10

yeah. i'm here because this is where most people are

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jjttjj19:12:23

next side project: a zulip client which attempts to exactly mirror the slack ui 🙂

borkdude19:12:32

Personally I would have no problem with Discord, but that is also proprietary and maybe comes with limitations?

ericdallo19:12:04

We, from Emacs lsp-mode, are considering migrating from Gitter to Discord, there are some opensource libs/packages using Discord like doom-emacs , Dart-Code , Flutter and it seems to work pretty well

borkdude19:12:52

@ericdallo I thought you were in #lsp too? Perhaps I'm missing out on all the fun? ;)

ericdallo20:12:11

Yes, I'm there too 😛

ericdallo20:12:32

Actually, there is a Clojurians Discord already :thinking_face: with 1400 members https://discord.gg/J35QqQ7M

seancorfield21:12:23

As I said above: > The right sidebar on r/Clojure (Reddit) lists several Clojure communities that people are using already. IRC still has an active core of Clojurians. Discord, Matrix/Riot, ClojureVerse. And this Slack and Zulip. That Discord community is already promoted on Reddit.

seancorfield21:12:57

@ericdallo You mentioned Gitter, which reminds me that there are quite a few Clojure orgs/rooms on Gitter as well, aside from the Emacs folks.

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cfleming21:12:07

For anyone who needs history for personal needs, the mods were kind enough to add the IRCCloud app integration when I asked for it a while back. That means that you can get full history of the channels you’re subscribed to, and DMs, for $5/month. I’ve been doing that since I occasionally need history for support purposes.

eggsyntax22:12:20

Full history including before you joined the channel? I'd assume not but that would be great if so.

cfleming22:12:39

I’m not sure about this. It won’t be full history since the start of time, but it might be from when the app was added to the slack space? I’m not sure, since when I signed up we added the app and I started using it at that same point. So it might be from then, or it might be from when the new user joins.

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