So, I’ve got a couple of contextual comments here. I’ve been one of the persons who heavily pushed against Slack as a discussion tool for two reasons:
- Lack of moderation tools
- Assumption that you are an employee, which has privacy repercussions (e.g. your email is displayed by default)
My main concern was enabling a new platform without sufficient research. Since then, people have been doing this research.
Still, I think it’s a fact to be appreciated that while there are people that really like IRC, there’s also people that hate it to the point that they won’t use it. It’s also notable that many Mozilla projects have a channel on IRC, but are badly reachable there. One of my biggest problems when trying to improve the IRC experience was trying to get in touch with IRC admins to allow more connections from KiwiIRC, to no avail. I like IRC, but are frequently annoyed by it, too.
Also, I have to say that irc.mozilla.org was never the projects meeting spot, working groups and projects were always free to meet somewhere else and many do so - even now.
Over the last months, we have used a lot of things in practice.
- The Rust All Hans was run through Gitter and as the person responsible for it: it was terrible. People would get no notifications, the web client frequently had bugs that required a reload. Not good.
- There are some working groups that have tried out Zulip, where I honestly don’t know the state. I love Zulips model, but also have problems with its implementation quality. Here, moderation tools are also an issue, because Zulip doesn’t allow deleting of threads and everyone can create them. It’s not built for open channels/
- The WG-Content has used gitter, but moved back to IRC
- Community team is still on IRC, with channels on Discord to get in touch with us (we don’t intend to bridge)
- The WG-Events is meeting on Telegram, with no intention to move, as it suits the people there
Finally, the first and foremost concern about the working group channels is that members of the working groups can collaborate efficiently there.
In the end, many groups have tried out and moved to Discord. It’s of reasonable implementation quality and from my perspective, I see that outstanding problems are worked on.
It’s less like there was a call to move. We opened the test instance and people started moving in. Not all WGs have moved, and some never might. That’s also not the goal. This has also lead to problems: this meant that discord suddenly became more then a test and used for productive work, without an official announcement that it’s there to try. This is why we make one.
There’s also no intention to close our IRC presence. The #rust and #rust-beginners are incredibly useful places. There’s a lot of people running around there. But they need to be moderated and we need people for that.
A word about bridges: I’m actually opposed to them. WGs are small enough to negotiate their place of work by themselves. Channels like #rust and #rust-beginners are large enough to be side-by-side. Those channels are often used for questions that can be posed to anyone.
After having spent a lot of time in these discussions last year, I would like to say that I’m actually impressed by how actively many things were tried on occasions and how this came to be. I know it’s a sad state that any chat platform is closed and hope that interoperability improves at some point.