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Equivalent of Slack/Random?

Given that subforums of discourse are opt-in, is there a place for broader less-moderated discussion, similar to the random/general threads on Slack? Where can I link cool robot videos/kickstarters (if I wanted to do such a thing)?

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As already mentioned in Slack, there are more or less open source alternatives to Slack. For our new project we are trying to establish Mattermost for this purpose. It seems to have a good amount of development and a lot of features coming. Rocket.Chat is another one.

I think you missed David’s point. The way I understood David, he’s proposing to add a new subforum here for random ramblings. Right?

+1 :smile:

In this case: Wouldn’t ‘Uncategorized’ already exist and be the kind of subforum for uncategorized random ramblings?

Yes, I was thinking of a subforum, but one that is decidedly and unapologetically free-form and not moderated. It could be uncategorized, but it seems like it is its own category.

I’m not even sure if something like a subforum exists in discourse. You could of course create a ‘Random Ramblings’ topic in ‘Uncategorized’, where everybody can post their new robot, package or lunch picture :slight_smile:

Yeah, I originally thought “Uncategorized” could be the stand-in for “Random”, but it occurs to me that maybe an “off-topic” or “random” category would be a good thing. “Uncategorized” might serve a logistical purpose for indexing topics that could have a category in the future, but “off-topic” is a label for things that the posters would like to categorize as silly/irrelevant to more serious technical conversations.

Did somebody say lunch pictures? :hamburger:

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I agree, a subforum for random ramblings is good to have. Still, having that compact, instant-message/IRC, conglomerate channel for informal open discussion was also nice to have.

Does discourse have that kind of integration? I’m thinking of like a open channel for each category or something. I admit that striking that balance between chat and discussion is tricky, and perhaps it might be best to keep things centralized using discourse, I was just looking for that kind of 24/7 hangout of an open channel, where if any sparked real discussions could be broken out into a proper thread. Something I could leave running, reading/listing to in the background and jump in if pinged or simply if someone says hello on a subscribed channel.

I think the ROS community has long needed something like discourse and evolve from just mailing lists. Still, I think the swath of stuff like slack, gitter or chat rooms dating back to the Bulletin board system goes to show how valuable/timeless informal channels of communication are to distributed/networked communities.

Here are some meta Discourse topics on the subject:

A few particular comment describing pros/cons I would concur with #8 and #18 .

It’s hard to integrate the “real-time” interactions of chat with the more solid forum posts.

We have long had an IRC channel #ros on freenode:
But if you look at the logs it’s pretty quiet.

I’d suggest that if we want to have an open running channel that we push to get more people there. I know IRC is old and outdated compared to some of the newer options like Slack. But I think that keeping it as the timeless standby with lots of web interfaces is reasonable. Lots of people bemone it’s lack of state and reliable connections. But I think as pointed out in #8 from @ruffsl above that most of the realtime communications should focus on being ephemeral. If there’s something of high value it should be posted on a forum or other more perminant platform. (ala here on discourse)

As such if there’s a demand for this more realtime communications I’d suggest that the effort be put into enlivening our existing IRC channel by getting more participants.

I agree that you need something like Slack or IRC or Gitter or <insert chat thing here> in addition to discourse, which I view as mainly just an easier way to have mailing list like conversations with reasonable scopes that are also discoverable.

For my self, I’m going to continue to use IRC, even though Slack is really nice to use, because I want all my community conversations to be publically accessible and searchable, which wasn’t easily achieved with Slack.

For everyone else, Slack is still there :smiley:

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+1 for gifs in discourse

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As a side note, this article seems topical: