Communication with Panels

It seems like there is a need to improve the communication between Solid panels and the forum. There are questions that come up here based on implementations and in general there is a need for more information.

I wonder if other communities using Discourse have similar use cases where they sort of centralize the exchange of information with another group, so that its not necessary to join both groups.

I was thinking that maybe communities use some kind of @otherGroup tag that they address questions to, and then later somehow eliminate duplicates, answer the obvious ones and forward the rest in an appropriate way to the other group?

Maybe @MitziLaszlo or @aschrijver have some ideas on this?

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In the github issue discussion improvements to panels I made the suggestion to implement Panels on the forum similar to how SocialHub does this, and also to install the Discourse plugins that allow 2-way sync between github and the forum.

Regarding Discourse there are a bunch of open discussions at on allowing forum-to-forum interaction based on ActivityPub support (e.g. so you don’t have to login, or to sync discussions, etc.):

The feeling on the Panel side of things seems to be that the forum is just one of many ways Solid users get together, and there doesn’t seem to be any wish to be more plugged into the forum in any way. So I think if we want more communication then its up to us.

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I think there’s a problem centring the core, those with most expertise, historical knowledge, and who carry the longest cultural view on GitHub because it is less accessible, even inaccessible to most people.

People arrive here and think, this is it?! Which further inhibits growth, and that inhibits creativity, collaboration, sharing of understanding, learning etc.

I understand there are reasons for focusing on GitHub, but I think they don’t justify the damage this does. Gitter is more accessible, but it isn’t a place for building community, and it further dilutes the knowledge and the social network of Solid.

And on top of this we have Inrupt which has removed a number of Solid’s core players and doesn’t share it’s vision or seek to collaborate in public.

If you want to build a broad inclusive community, which IMO is very important, I think it helps if the hub is in one place and accessible, and that as many of those with more skills and knowledge see it as important to engage there much more than is currently the case.

It’s not about making everyone be active in the hub, but shifting from Islands which are largely cut off, to a hub with spokes. Then everyone knows that when they want to engage broadly, share key information, seek collaboration, ask questions or search for like minded community members etc, there is one place everyone knows to go, or to direct people wanting to learn or contribute.

You can have niches radiating from the hub, so for people who want to examine code etc they can go to GitHub and discuss code issues there - because most who want to do that will not find GitHub a barrier. Etc.


100% agree with your entire post. Would you be willing to copy it to the github issue, because there can’t be enough people saying this.


Nevertheless, I think we have to take lemons and make lemonade…

Or you get a small lemonade enthusiasts club, and everyone else goes to the pub. (If I understand you correctly).

I don’t engage at all with the panels, because for me is just a bit more effort than I can contribute to add them to all the other places and projects I engage with. If they were more visible here, and I could contribute with a reply to post, I’m sure I’d have done so.

In some cases you do want this kind of friction, you still want spaces for focused technical work etc. So I’m not, as noted already, suggesting that everything should happen in the most accessible spot.

You can though publish documents periodically here for feedback, or to provide milestones of thought and product development outside those spaces where everyone can find them easily, or visit from time to time to get the latest etc.

With a social hub key Island players can share their vision, set out the fundamentals, explain the organisation, seek collaboration, answer questions too. And help Solid grow!

I think there’s a sense we should eat out own dog food rather than use Discourse etc for this. I’m sure most of the enthusiasts would love that, but until Solid can do that well it would IMO be a mistake, except for the lemonade club of course. And that club can be at the end of a spoke.

Maybe this will happen, but IMO Solid is missing out by not doing so now, and it’s worrying that these concerns have gone on for so long without significant change or much input from key players in the different Islands.


I didn’t mean that I was in favor of a smaller club. Its just that having tried in my goofy way to get the panels to change, I’ve sort of given up on that. But maybe they can change, I don’t know.

Yes, let’s hope so @tag42git :slight_smile:

What @happybeing just said is really spot on, and I’ll also not participate on github panels for the same reason (copying back and forth proved to be a real pain). Maybe we’ll have to take our plea for true community-building efforts to be started, to @timbl, as custodian and overseer of the whole initiative?


I think this is all welcome and constructive feedback. I just wanted to point out this thread which was created about a week ago following some of the github issues linked here. It asks for feedback and suggestions on exactly how people would like to see information shared back into the forum from panel and specification work in an effort to link up the conversations. I plan to try out an update format in the forum this week following the interop panel session (monday) and weekly editorial session (friday). Let’s see how that goes and iterate from there as a starting point.


That is welcome, but I hope to hear @happybeing respond.

You said:

but my question at the start of this thread was how to move information in the other direction too, which would constitute a stronger link. I know that people here joining panels and raising issues on repositories would be preferred by the panels, but besides that, since many here (and many who will arrive here) for different reasons are reluctant to do that, we need another way to interact.

Idea for fortune cookie:
You can’t make a movement with just a github repository

I assumed that posting updates in here would help to create the bi-directional discussions I believe you’re referring to. It would be helpful if you gave some examples of information you’d like to see flowing back into the panel work.

Some kind of system is needed to bring information to the panels so that people here can have reliable representation there. A reliable two way link that doesn’t require an individual forum reader to attend panel meetings or run a gauntlet when filing a repository issue.

So, why should information travel from the forum to the panels?
So we can sass you guys remotely? No. So we can take valuable panel time with trivial or obvious or previously solved things? No.

It’s true that this link could be addressed by us filing issues on the repositories or things being brought to panel meetings by current members or by people here joining panels. But so far these things are not happening.

I think what both @tag42git and @happybeing indicated, and what is also true for me, is that we do not have the bandwidth to monitor all what is going on in the various panels. Therefore the general question - greatly phrased by @happybeing here - is to go from isolated islands of activity, to a hub-and-spoke organization with the forum at the center. I expect this will be a win-win, synergy-generating structure.

You post insights from the panels, the community discuss, pick it up in their projects, and discuss insights from that. Where community members go astray in their thinking and solution-building you are best to detect/correct that. And also with your expert’s eye you can detect where there are holes that need panel discussion, and what priorities for these discussions are, based on activity/interest in the hub. It is a feedback loop.

In short: you are the best judge to gauge what is fit for panel discussion, not us folks here. Some concrete examples I can think of related to things I posted are: