[kata-dev] Proposal to migrate to a Slack alternative

Anne Bertucio anne at openstack.org
Mon Mar 26 18:06:01 UTC 2018

Graham hits on many of my concerns about Slack. Slack was built for organizations where everyone is an employee—was never intended for open source collaboration, and they’re not building for us as they build future features (or take existing ones away). 

A major concern I have with OSS projects using Slack is that it does not have the guardrails that help everyone feel safe in a community—for example, individuals cannot block individuals.

Another concern is the lost historical knowledge through the lack of logging. We are already losing information through the message limit (although we capture it currently via eavesdrop on IRC). Logging is only available to paid accounts, and while they give steep discounts to nonprofits (open source projects housed at foundations meets those requirements), the per-user fee adds up to be nontrivial, and there are many better ways to spend those community dollars. 

User inertia is real, and “Oh no not another tool” is a downside to migrating. That said, I think there is a balance between defining our own principles as a community, and being pressured into the trends set by others. 

Anne Bertucio
OpenStack Foundation
anne at openstack.org | irc: annabelleB

> On Mar 26, 2018, at 5:27 AM, Graham Hayes <gr at ham.ie> wrote:
> On 24/03/18 03:22, Tao Peng wrote:
>> On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 10:36 PM, Anne Bertucio <anne at openstack.org> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> With some of the changes to Slack’s terms of service and integrations with
>>> IRC, I wanted to raise the idea of moving to an open source alternative to
>>> Slack.
>> Hi Anne,
>> Most of the container ecosystem communities are doing just fine with
>> slack so I want to understand why we want an alternative. What changes
>> to Slack’s terms of service would scare us away?
> There is a few reasons:
> 1. Slack announced the IRC/XMPP gateway is going to be removed
>   a. This means that a lot of peoples prefered clients will no longer
>      work
>   b. People are now forced to use the RAM / CPU hungry, proprietary
>      Slack clients.
> 2. Slack just announced that workspace admins can now get access to
>   private messages without notifying users that their chats were
>   accessed.
> 3. Doing open source development in a closed source walled garden is not
>   what all communities (or developers) want - supporting open standards
>   is important.
> Other communities are having these discussions as well, not just Kata.
>>> The driver behind having an alternative to IRC was 1) some find IRC
>>> intimidating 2) some are more likely to get involved in our community if
>>> there’s a communication GUI that they’re familiar with.
>> I see these are cons of IRC but they are not the reasons to drop slack right?
>> Cheers,
>> Tao
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