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Chat channel for cloudron app packaging

  • 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:

    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.


    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. 😂

  • @nebulon @girish I stumbled today on some interesting reading regarding the articulation between a chat and a forum in a community, and you might find it interesting:

    Admittedly we're using neither slack nor discourse (which I sometimes feel is a lost opportunity as it's more mature in most way than Nodebb), but the main points are still valids.

  • For interest, I work with a team of 12 developers and around 20 others across departments every day, we're a fully remote team.

    For the development team we're about 90% discussion in GitLab tickets, the rest through Discord (not Discourse). The Customer Services team is about the same. Generally, all the chat is FYIs, attention-needing stuff, alerts or idle gossip for a break.

    We just get more done in the ticket/post/thread asynchronous stuff when we're all multi-tasking.

    I'm not against chat and the forum does have that available, but for development the ability to search threads and read the discussions that led to a commit is valuable, and there's no real limits to storage of that when thoughtfully categorised.

    Every single time I've seen a Discord "Community" created for something, it goes from lonely hearts to distracting noise pretty quickly and I have to mute the whole thing.

    I like a chat, and always open for DMs but to me work is something that needs the organisation and openness of topic-specific threaded conversations, and searchability for those evolutions. It helps focus the mind when knowing conversations are becoming a historic record and keeps the noise and interruptions factors limited when trying to focus on developments.

  • @marcusquinn If you look at the Discourse guide (Discourse is just an opinionated modern and extensible forum platform) I posted, you'll see it actually mirrors quite a lot your working experience of communication.

    It's definitely not a binary situation where X or Y is better.

    I started this thread here with a specific angle (I suggest a chat space for app developers), and here's a summary of what I learned:

    • Chat is not scalable after a hundred of users
    • Forum is better for knowledge discovery and retention
    • Chat can create a better community and create links stronger than in a forum (but it's not scalable when you reach thousands of users)
    • Chat and forum can both provide value as long as policies are set and followed

    So it seems to me the main blocker for me in this situation is that @girish and @nebulon don't have the time and resource to provide that experience for the community more than anything.

    And I absolutely don't mean this as a negative critic.

  • @ruihildt Sure, and aware of Discourse, been online since modems where a thing you placed your Bakelite phone on 🙂

    TBH, sounds like a thing for you to do privately with any fellow acquaintances you make here that can afford the time, so the forum still finds you those connections, and it seems you already found those to chat with when specifically needed.

    I just can't see myself being able to get involved in yet another chat channel among many commitments, so guessing others may be similar.

    Kinda feels like what we already have from @girish and @nebulon in his answer already serves everyone very well, and I've been through the multi-channel comms issues with collab work so many times now I'm shy of anything that presumes attention, when most people I work with are more productive when collab is at their asynchronous leisure.

  • @marcusquinn I think it's worth keeping in mind the difference of context (work environment vs community environment).

  • If Cloudron had a Discord and a channel for app devs. That’d be pretty cool. But it could be for the whole community if you’d want to start it. I tried Matrix and it wasn’t great so I seriously wander if the community would benefit from a Discord channel.

  • Personally I think the best answer to this is to just re-open to new registrations the existing Cloudron Rocket.Chat instance at (where there are already 668 users, but right now just 6 online, including me who only went there to check)

    BUT to make it clear on the homepage that is NOT for official support, just for chat and peer support between the community.

    It should be made clear that whilst @girish @nebulon may occasionally chime in and idle there, they shall not be expected to reply nor provide support there, even if mentioned, and the best way to get support is via the Forum.

    I'm not a fan of Discord because it is proprietary (I don't really get why so many people use it - I think maybe just because it's popular in gaming?)

    Edit: for those who prefer Matrix can probably bridge the two channels and keep everyone happy? Maybe even add IRC too! 😛

  • @jdaviescoates I could even bridge discord. I think gamer's ppopularized it, but for me it's the amazing API and customizations...and custom emoji. 😅

  • There's no reason not to use the Rocket Chat instance since it's already used. Only thing we may need is an additional channel for #devtalk vs the regular #discussion

  • @robi said in Chat channel for cloudron app packaging:

    There's no reason not to use the Rocket Chat instance since it's already used.

    I agree. It's just that at the moment it is closed to new registrations.

  • I really tried Matrix and like it on the forums better. The only thing better would be a Discord. Or maybe this Rocket.Chat i hear so much about.