Elm's Slack logback is failling the community

There were two mailing lists in the past:

Those got deprecated by #elm-dev Slack channel and Discourse.

Does zulip solve the issue with conversations not being indexed by search engines?

Note that you can activate Mailing list mode here in Discourse (Preferences -> Emails). And you can reply by e-mail.

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But then, what’s wrong with Discourse. This forum has been intentionally limited to three peculiar categories, but there is no reason for that. Will Zulip be limited in a similar way? If not, why not add all the categories here instead?

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It might not solve it out of the box but it’s open source. This means it can be added there and logs from Zulip can be publicly accessible and indexable by search engines.

I was looking at the github trending packages, and clicked on the elm button out of curiosity. Surprise, the first trending elm project is level, a “team communication software optimized for deep work”, basically a Slack replacement. Unfortunately the author recently announced stepping back from the project. The blog post describing this decision is quite interesting.

One thing mentioned in the post felt quite relevant to this discussion (emphasis mine):

An engineer at Stripe told me about their careful balance of email, forums, and Slack. They recognize that Slack is not suitable for meaningful conversations, so they automatically delete chat messages older than a few weeks to discourage relying on it for long-term archival. In retrospectives, team members often reflect on whether they chose the right medium (email, chat, or forum) for various conversations.

So this brings the question in our case, is Slack short memory an advantage instead of a disadvantage? Should we (as a community) take more responsibility in transferring interesting Slack conversations to Discourse? In the event of Slack being replaced, should the new tool enforce short memory for chat messaging?

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Vue is using Discord, and it’s working great with more than 62.000 users.

How do you define working? What qualifies as working? Just cause it has 62.000 users?

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“web-indexable logs” is not currently supported by Zulip but it is on their roadmap. That said, I have a similar feeling as the thing @mattpiz shared from Stripe… “read this conversation” is worse for an information-seeker than something more organized. I don’t think Zulip will change that. That said, search and retention would help someone who was trying to find previous instances of a question to make a more central answer, those are certainly something we’re keeping in mind. :slight_smile:


A reminder: the most helpful thing for making these decisions right now is people’s experiences with Zulip, good and bad. DM me if you would prefer to speak privately. Here’s more detail from before:

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Vue’s Discord is working great as I could search for everything since the first post that what created at 06/17/2017. Accessorily there are 62K people who created 776 187 posts archived total, I can query on all of them to find answers to discussed problems.
On Elm’s Slack #beginner channel I cannot go back before the 15th of May 2019. Such a massive amount of knowledge wasted, or at least, hidden.

I’m for asynchronous discussions so I prefer forums over live chats, but if there has to be a live chat system, why Slack over Discord?

Also in favor of discord over Slack: it fully works in the browser, you can even start discussing without submitting an email address. No barer.

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I wonder if it might help to establish a community norm of posting questions and their answers to StackOverflow when a problem is solved on the Slack? SO encourages people to answer their own questions if they find solutions, and I’ve actually used this strategy for myself a lot: I encounter a problem with no SO answer, I figure it out, and then I post both the question and my answer on SO so I know I’ll be able to find it next time.

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Just adding my “vote” that Slack is a failure. We are “losing” so much important knowledge. I am not willing to pay the fee to upgrade. That said, I am amazed at how willing people are to be helpful. “Losing” that history is a disservice to that altruistic effort.

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But how much of that history is valuable? As mentioned above, losing old/obsolete information, and not having it turn up in Google might be a bonus.

I have the impression that the popularity of Slack brings more people in and makes the chat more active. A lot of people use Slack for work. When Reactiflux moved to Discord, I never joined there, couldn’t be bother opening another chat tool. In that respect Slack seems like a plus to me.

I would like to hear your experience/opinions about this.

@Sebastian I have the opposite feeling, maybe because I’m not using Slack for work.

I used to use Svelte’s Discord and when I started using Slack with Elm I didn’t notice any major differences with Discord. Untill I realized Slack discussions were volatile when saw a dead Slack post link in an Elm github issue. It was a really bad surprise.

To this day I still have no idea why the Elm community is using Slack for FOSS development. Maybe because NoRedInk uses Slack internally?

Forums (ala phpBB and vBulletin) have been around for decades and scale to tens of thousands of users fine (apparently there’s some with a couple of hundred thousand too). They’re indexable by search engines. Having been involved in some big forums over time (including as a moderator and admin a long time ago), aside from the usual social things that arise amongst people, there weren’t issues afaik with people not feeling okay to jump into a thread, etc.

I too am not a fan of Slack for various reasons :wink:

It was an initiative from people outside NoRedink. We started using Slack early 2016, at that time Slack seems like a great alternative. Discord was pretty young and not well known.

There are several topics of conversation happening here. It seems like the main thread here is concluded. The answer to @Warry’s question is not only “yes, other people are annoyed at this” but also that the moderation team is actively looking for alternatives to Slack.

This is starting to descend into undirected complaining, which is not a good use of moderator energy. I am going to close this thread. If there is still something that needs to be said, we can take that discussion elsewhere. I’ll lead by example with my request for feedback about Zulip. :slight_smile:

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