Slack, Forum, Petition or Github

We now have four places where conversations happen and some important topics are being discussed on Slack, and often the same topics keep reappearing (with almost identical conversations and outcomes).

I would like to suggest that any conversation which will hold importance or relevance for more than 24 hours (that isn’t a bug report or feature request) happens on this forum.

By doing this we make it easy for people to keep track of conversations that span timezones, and we also make it easy for newcomers to get caught up.



I agree with this, as we also won’t have to deal with the message limit of Slack.


I’d amend this pretty significantly, otherwise I don’t think it’s going to be workable. Until you have clarity around what you’re going to do, real-time communication (Slack) can’t be beat.

Any conversation which will hold lasting importance or relevance should ideally happen via the petitions site (for new feature requests), the forum (for support, general discussion, planning, etc), or GitHub (for specific technical issues and change planning).

If such a conversation initially takes shape in Slack, that’s fine, but it’s the duty of the participants to make sure it is summarized into a more permanent form.

There are still certain categories of conversations which should not be moved to the forum, most notably committee meetings, conversations that are private to the committee, security discussions, etc.

As part of this, we need to continue to limit the private conversations to things that really need to be private.

IMO this is just moving the problem to a different medium.

Also, I am under the impression that the forums are here to fix problems people have with ClassicPress, to offer support for the users (i.e. external communication).

Slack is for internal communication.

I have also set up private forum categories for some of those instances. My personal feeling, while we aren’t using Slacks “charity” status we should probably being using this (the forum) more often than not.

Even committee meeting should probably happen in a private category with dedicated “topics”.

My issue with Slack is the message limit.

The forum can be used two-fold, 1) provide support and 2) used for discussion.

I don’t think having committee meetings here is going to work out well. We can’t really do votes, for example.

Security discussions cannot happen on a platform that we host ourselves. For now this means Slack and email.

What I’m getting at here is that it’s really difficult to make rules for this sort of thing. It might help to think in terms of time scale:

  • Petitions site - long-term suggestions for major changes to the software.
  • Forums - medium-long-term discussions, support requests, etc.
  • GitHub - medium-short-term specific technical issues or changes.
  • Slack - short-term, ephemeral (as we have seen, they delete our messages after a certain time).

Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. A huge benefit of Slack is real-time communication.

So we can expect conversations to start in Slack, we just need to summarize the results somewhere more permanent.

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What does Slack do that this can’t? I am genuinely asking.

We can see who is typing (I can see Tim is currently replying), we have likes for votes (if we need something more robust we can install the Discourse voting plugin), and we can go back in history as far as we like without worrying about message limits.

I will add, security I understand.

The forums should certainly be much better for addressing questions from others outside the committee. In fact, I would close some of the Slack channels and add a hyperlink to the forums that GreetBot can give out when someone joins Slack so as to encourage newbies to come here to ask their questions.

If we have private forums here too, then I’m all for giving them a try instead of the private Slack channels. I don’t know if they will work better or not, but I don’t see how we will find out if we don’t try. And stuff won’t get lost in the ether as it does on Slack.

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Slack has a lower “friction of interaction”. I can see, at a glance, everyone who has replied to a new message in any channel I’m in (being in a channel indicates interest in a topic). Without reloading the page, I can reply to any of these messages in several seconds. This is really important when you want to interact with people in real time, and interacting with people in real time is important when you have a problem to solve but you don’t really know how to iron out the details yet. Or when you just want to socialize.

I like Discourse - they’ve done a good job of bringing some real-time features over to a more permanent discussion platform - but in order to do the same series of actions here, each step requires a separate page load (look at notifications, visit another thread, and repeat). On Slack all of this is instantaneous and requires very little thought.

Don’t get me wrong, this platform definitely has its advantages too. It’s inherently longer-form (pressing Enter does not send a message immediately, for one example) so it encourages us to think through and write out our replies a bit more.

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If we could simply reduce the number of Slack channels, I think that would help. And, yes, it is a relief here to be able to press Enter without posting!

What channels should we cut from Slack?

OK - I suggest we take that up on an individual-channel basis, in Slack. Suggested criteria for closure:

  • No recent discussion / very low level of activity
  • A subforum for the same purpose already exists

Announcements, fundraising, features, git, community, legal, plugins, support, testing, themes, wordpress-news for starters. They are all either redundant or are easily replaced by the forums.

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Here is a full list of the categories:

  • Accessibility
  • Announcements
  • Committee (public)
  • Committee (private)
  • Community
  • Core
  • Design
  • Docs
  • Features
  • Fundraising
  • Git
  • i18n
  • Introductions
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Migration
  • OAuth
  • Plugins
  • Random
  • Support
  • Testing
  • Theme
  • Themes (no idea what the difference is)

I think: committee (public), community, core (not much going on there now), Design, Docs, Features (already have a category), fundraising, git, legal, marketing (already moved), migration (support is already here), Oauth, Plugins (already here), support (already here), testing (same as support), theme, and themes.

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You are even more ruthless than me. I was being conservative so as to do it in stages. But you are 100% right. This also forces everyone to focus!

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My feeling is, why prolong it. Let’s focus and trim out the categories and channels that no one is using.

The nice thing with moving those to the forum is we can see at a quick glance how active things are, and if they aren’t we can remove/adjust them to better match our needs.

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Fair enough! Go for it. make a proposal on the private committee channel in Slack. I will support that.

The only thing I don’t like about Discourse is that everything is so damn small. But I resolve that problem using a browser extension (Zoom Page WE on Firefox). Is there a way to mention that somewhere at the top of the forums for others, like me, who struggle with small font sizes?

With that installed, this feels so much more comfortable than Slack, and I can find stuff again later too.

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I can add in the Welcome message a link to plugins we suggest for helping with small font.

I can also see if there are any personal settings hidden somewhere we can give guidelines on how to change.

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