This forum should be central to Solid community, and not Gitter


#1

Gitter is active, and this forum is not. Gitter has core team members (Inrupt et al) interacting, who hardly show their face here.

Imho that hampers Solid. A chat stream is good for chatting, either one-on-one or with few others, and in realtime. So far so good, gitter right away…

But as you do, knowledge and valuable insights are generated, that should afterwards be more accessible than in a miles-long wall of unordered text.

To me it seems a bit ironic that the proponents of semantic web, prefer the least expressive medium as their most active channel. This forum has categories, subcategories, tags, topics, wiki posts, cross-refs and more. It has more powerful, informative users + groups, and great plugins for e.g. github integration, glossary/term highlighting, etc.

I think knowledge not getting lost in an infinite-scrolling chat stream is important for Solid in this early stage of its development.

Gitter is nice for those already actively involved, but not so much for newcomers, early explorers, or those - like me - observing Solid evolution from a distance. This forum is a better central hub for community-building, than a chat channel.


#2

I agree and some of us have suggested this in the past. I think against this view are a few things:

  • habit, personal preferences and existing links which are hard to change
  • a belief by some that gitter is more in tune with Solid than a forum like this, though I’m not sure why
  • the belief that rather than move here we should build on Solid, so why move here, but there’s little sign of Solid replacements being worked on or being viable for the foreseeable future
  • a general lack of engagement and openness on the part of Inrupt with people outside the old circle and it’s own employees

None of this is news unfortunately, and every time it is raised … there’s little or no response from Inrupt or even @timbl, certainly no positive change.

We don’t even get updates here on what they are doing. It’s very poor community relationship and community building IMO. Makes me really appreciate that this is hard to do, needs proper coordinated long term effort, and makes me realise how amazing Maidsafe are at doing exactly this with far fewer resources. Everything about them and the SAFE Network is driven to decentralise, whereas Solid seems in thrall to capitalist business models. I’m not saying it is, but the contrast makes it look like that’s the case.

Even the recent project announcement with Manchester looks out of place - apparently in danger of putting children’s very personal medical data on an experimental technology that has unsolved privacy and security issues, which are not discussed openly by Inrupt or Tim. Again, I don’t say this is the case, but there is nowhere to disuss those concerns because they are either ignored, or people get criticised for raising them, rather than engaged with. Again, total contrast to Maidsafe.

Inrupt and Solid are missing out on a lot of value as a result of this approach (which I believe is too startup and businesslike for a decentralising project). That’s a big loss for, and out of step with a project that has decentralisation and empowerment at its heart.

For a while I thought, it’s just going to take them a bit of time to get their act together, but there’s no sign of this happening. In fact efforts to engage the whole community, which were evident have all but disappeared. It gives the appearance of a deeper problem that we have no information about and that the community are not seen as part of the solution.


#3

But surely the two genres of interaction have their own different uses. I single steam of chat which people can get phone notifications on is invaluable for welcoming new people, for flagging new posts, asking for comment as the the most up do date highest traffic thing.

Then the forum works for discussing specific topics . Would you have a “general chat” topic in the forum? I don’t get mobile notifications on forum posts.

I think we need both. I agree it is a pain that gitter doesn’t have threads.

I suggest we encourage people to move a long discussion a given top to the forum, and give a pointer to it in gitter, just as you would drop in a new gitter issue.


#4

I am not advocating to only have a forum, but to make the forum the primary channel for community communication and have gitter come second. Note that Discourse has chat integration plugins out-of-the-box:


#5

(This is not the place for a discussion of Inrupt’s projects… the forum is solid in general. I suggest you take up those issues initially by email or one on one chat)


#6

is that just one way, discourse->chat?


#7

I think it is one-way, yes. But it would solve @timbl mobile notifications issue wrt forum activity.

Dunno if a sync the other way (chat -> forum) would be valuable at all, with forum the primary leading channel.

Many questions that are now on gitter are just as well asked on forum, like ‘How do I do XYZ?’ etc.
Gitter would be much more used for practical, direct cooperation, like ‘I started working on #1023 but need this PR merged’, etc.


#8

The problem is that there are many brilliant people (especially @timbl) who seem to prefer the chat and that info is lost for everybody here on the forum. To me that is a bunker mentality that must be constantly recognized where it appears and be rejected. To me, gitter is the bunker. Sorry to be so blunt but I think its widespread with the major contributors.

I read an interview with Leonard Kleinrock, one of the inventors of Arpanet, in which he said something like “we were not the social scientists we should have been”.

Now is the time for the Solid community to engage in social science, not later.

What does all that mean in practical terms? I don’t know, I’m not too good at practical.


#9

I agree and not just on the forum. It’s mostly lost in general. Wrt other things you mentioned I agree as well and guess it is appropriate to refer to an earlier post of mine: The biggest challenges for Solid are not technical in nature


#10

Maybe somebody could build a forum->solidarity<-gitter bridge?


#11

My comment was not particularly about interrupts project’s. I did mention one, but was commenting more about the relationship of Inrupt to Solid and the Solid community which is important because of Inrupt’s role in funding and developing the technology and fostering the community (it pays for this forum and controls it AFAIK).

I don’t think it is sensible to outlaw discussion of Inrupt’s activities wrt Solid on the Solid forum, so I hope that’s not what you are saying.

Maybe this can be clarified further, because what you’ve just said is very surprising to me. I don’t understand why that’s the case, so maybe Inrupt can post to the forum how it sees its relationship to Solid and the community? I don’t wish to derail this topic, though so perhaps any response can be on a new topic.


#12

A new topic for this would be great, and I am also wondering about this relationship (posted about that here).

Edit: And the positioning of Solid in general worthy of discussing imho:


#13

This might be worth trying.

I agree with Tim that’s it’s both rather than one or the other, but there’s definitely a problem with gitter dominating and as a result this forum has not got off the ground. So we don’t really have both in practice. A few cross post, but understandably most don’t, and plenty of people are I suspect not aware of the forum because of this.

I think the problem is one of leadership. I think Mitzy made a good start with this, and did a lot to bridge the gap, and at the time more people from Inrupt and the core were popping in here, but that has subsided and the forum has been very quiet as a result. There are a handful of regular posters, and we get new arrivals from time to time but there is not enough to attract them to stay.

I’m sure there are quite a lot of lurkers, so I don’t underestimate the value of the forum. I do think that value could be many times more though, so I think this is important.

I think @aschrijver explains it very well in the post he links below. We are missing the wider reach and different disciplines, we miss out on the building knowledge base, and all those people for whom gitter is a strange uninviting place. I remember when I first arrived there, and people will know I’m not shy online, but it was quite an intimidating process for someone new including me.


#14

It would only be worth it if there was some buy-in from Inrupt, otherwise the bunker will just move to another camouflaged place and everybody here would suffer a serious let down.


#15

Is the ‘priority of constituencies’ spelled out anywhere?


#16

https://dev.w3.org/html5/html-design-principles/#priority-of-constituencies


#17

I’d just like to give a shout out to @megoth, @MitziLaszlo. @Vincent , and @james.martin - all Inrupters, I believe, who frequently post and comment here.


#18

@Vincent has indeed, the others not really. You can see if you visit people’s profiles and click “Activity”. There’s also some useful stats of user activity here:

https://forum.solidproject.org/u


#19

Imo forum is for durable conversation, gitter for one shot/short question to active devs that need short question. But it’s sure that short question could become a topic that could interest some other… So I prefer post on forum , wait some time and if no response make a ref to the Post on gitter to enroll some experts. It’s our ‘amator’ role to make it live.
And @timbl I’ve set notifications on in my preference, this could be possible to you to…


#20

And not just ‘durable’. I think it’s the best way to maintain the conversation structured. A chat can be a great communication channel, but does not track or record the importante info. I totally agree with your approach which IMHO is the best & simple opinion which shed some & quick easy light on the discussion.

You just simple shared the right ‘How to contribute’ code of conduct:

1. Post on Solid Forum
2. Wait 24h
3. No Response? Chat on gitter referencing your Solid forum URL post
4. Record in the post any discussion or reply given
5. Continue the discussion in Solid forum thread

So simple 5 steps to follow, but sadly not an habit for all users… :slightly_frowning_face: