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Chat channel for cloudron app packaging



  • Recently, while packaging a personal simple app for cloudron, I stumbled on small issues.

    I went to the cloudron chat where @mehdi helped me run my first app, but this chat seems to be winding down.

    While it makes sense for cloudron (as an org) not to entertain the chat as a customer support channel, I think having a chat for cloudron app packagers/developer could be useful: quick discussions/questions can benefit immensely and don't need to be written down on the forum.

    This could be either endorsed as the official developer channel, or a more informal chat thing, whichever fits better for @girish and @nebulon . I don't care much for the platform, but probably a Matrix channel would be a good thing.

    What do you think?


  • Staff

    I am not generally opposed to having a chat dedicated for that, but a huge drawback of chats in such a case is the issue of discoverability for new people. So solutions worked out for issues will get lost easily and thus newcomers will end up raising similar/same questions again and again. I do believe the forum is still the best place to ask and work out solutions.

    I understand the turnaround time in a forum vs chat is different, but there is no problem using personal chats in our rocket.chat instance or so to quickly get down to an issue, nevertheless for the sake of community building up knowledge, it would usually still be tremendously helpful to then present solutions in the forum.

    For support we also sometimes use chat to solve issues quickly and then try to also followup with the solution if any in either forum or even docs.



  • @nebulon Yup, this forum is super handy for reading those transcripts of any age.

    There's 1-2-1 chat in the forum too, which I also use on occasion to minimise noise.

    I've seen this happen many times with many projects, multiple discussion channels just scatters and forks information threads.

    I put this need as a personal one.

    Saying that, it might be handy if @app-dev mentioning was a thing?


  • App Dev

    @marcusquinn said in Dedicated chat for cloudron app packaging:

    Saying that, it might be handy if @app-dev mentioning was a thing?

    it is. you just need to do it correctly πŸ˜‰ @appdev



  • @fbartels 🀦 thanks πŸ™‚



  • @nebulon @marcusquinn I totally understand the discoverability issue of chat logs and the value of having the information on the forums.

    As a beginner packager, I'm going to have series of questions that are easy to answer, but if I have to ask on the forum every time, what would be a 20 minutes things will turn into a multi-days endeavor, which will actively discourage me from doing it.

    Basically, this is to make app packaging for cloudron beginner friendly. I still think more complete discussion will happen on the forum and if we agree, we can set as policy for more involved questions to be asked on the forum.


  • Staff

    Actually I think it would be best if you would raise those beginner questions individually on the forum and we can then pick them one-by-one and move them to the docs itself, if they are generic enough.

    Generally our docs still have a long way to go when it comes to packaging.



  • @fbartels I don't want to be pinging every app developer and overload their notifications every time I have a question. Unless this is an agreed way of doing things and considered good practice.

    There was this discussion when talking about implementing group vs badge, it was decided to use groups for technical reasons, even though @girish preferred to have simple badges to start with.



  • @nebulon That would indeed create the best value for the community.

    To me the question is more involved: do I want to spend time contributing to create documentation for free, for a project that's not free software?

    This is coming full circle with discussions happening on other threads. I'm not trying to restart this discussion here, just explaining where I sit regarding this approach.


  • Staff

    We don't want to officially endorse a chat channel, would be a step back for us for reasons @nebulon mentioned. I think there is already a Cloudron matrix channel, isn't it? We can list it here in this category's pinned topic.


  • Staff

    OK, I have put the chat in https://forum.cloudron.io/topic/2843/read-first-before-starting-to-package-an-app . You can find us on matrix at #discuss:cloudron.io.



  • I personally basically live blogged my development on this forum: https://forum.cloudron.io/post/13323. It didn't feel very chat-like, but I did it in hopes it would help new developers. Since I was a new developer. Did it bother anyone, do you think a chat group would have been better in the end for me to have cluttered up the forum with (constantly "bumping" my thread to the top)? πŸ€”


  • Staff

    NodeBB threads can be easily ignored.

    5dff9db6-d3a4-4fd3-945e-e9cae4d5eb40-image.png

    (As for the constant bump, I guess it's fine. It doesn't affect my workflow atleast.)



  • @girish Oh yeah, you're right. Sweet!


  • App Dev

    I can understand the wish for a chat, but I agree with @nebulon and everyone else endorsing the official forum.

    Having the conversation in the official forum has many benefits.

    Lets just switch into the mindset of a new Cloudron user / developer.

    Just as an example:

    • I need the lamp app but with php 5.X.
    • Why is there no php 5 lamp app?
    • How can I create a custom php 5 app?

    What do most people do? They will type that question into a search engine.

    Chat vs. Forum

    If this discussion would take place in the chat, there would be no way for a new user to find public and easy access to that information about this issue/question.
    How should they know they need to go threw a chat with X people talking about all different kind of topics.
    Also you lock this information behind a software like matrix, rocketchat, slack, matermost yada yada.

    New users want answers which are accessible without needing to sign up for anything.

    Compared to an open discussion in the forum, which will be scraped by search engines and will be publicly available with no need to sign up or do anything to access this information.

    IMHO chat is nice, but when using one there has to be a policy where findings and solutions must be also published in this forum.
    And enforcing such a policy or even establish such will be hard.

    That's just what I have in mind about a chat.

    Cheers 🍻



  • I tried using the Matrix and it wasn't as intuitive or as useful as the forums for development FWIW.



  • @appdev
    It would brilliant if NodeBB could instatiate a chat within the appdev group right here in NodeBB.

    That would do for quick discussions, and no need to leave the forum.


  • App Dev

    @robi said in Chat channel for cloudron app packaging:

    @appdev
    It would brilliant if NodeBB could instatiate a chat within the appdev group right here in NodeBB.

    That would do for quick discussions, and no need to leave the forum.

    You can start a chat with anyone from appdev and add the members.

    I can do that now as an example.

    ALT

    I think the best option would be, if you have a question to start a forum topic and just @appdev directly.
    Yes you could argue that every one gets a notification, but in the chat it would be the same thing, kind of.

    Adding to that, I also see no setting for Notifications & Sounds in NodeBB to stop notifications from @appdev mentions.



  • @BrutalBirdie yes, that's a given, but always a manual addition of 1-to-1 vs 1-to-group.



  • Mentioning the app dev’s is important. I think this is incredibly important to keep everything public. But us still getting notifications to help new devs. I say that as if I’m not a new dev. πŸ˜‚


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