The question about moving away from Google Groups for our discussion forums
to something like Discourse has remained open for a while now and at this
point we, on the core team, are ready to proceed and make the transition.
Our anticipated plan is to pay for the setup and hosting of Discourse with
Unison Hosting rather than manage the instance ourselves; this service also
has the additional benefit of importing the historical data and users from
the various OpenLMIS Google Groups.
*Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this
transition.* If we do not hear any objections in the next week we will plan
on starting the transition by the end of the month or in early October.
We are also very interested in hearing from the community about how they
want this new service to be utilized. Our hope is that this service will
not only replace Google Groups but also act as a natural repository for
interactions that fall between the realtime communication of Slack and the
more delayed/formal communication of an email. If you have any thoughts on
how we can best do that, we would love to hear them!
Wes Brown (on behalf of the core OpenLMIS team)
On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 11:23:25 AM UTC-4, wes.brown wrote:
Craig Appl had an excellent reply in response to this thread in another
OpenLMIS group and I wanted to share it here, along with my response. (This
kind of annoying multi-group curation is another reason why I think we
should move off of Google Groups).
There are four or five communication systems used by the community:
- Google Groups
- Slack - Real time short term communication (History isn't saved)
- Confluence Wiki pages - Comments in the bottom of pages as well as
in document review, @mentions and meeting notes.
- Jira tickets - Ticket specific communication
- Email - All official things need to go through Email instead of
Slack because the Slack history isn't being saved.
The value of Google Groups is that the barrier to entry is low. It allows
anyone to join and post nearly immediately, assuming they have some type of
Google account. All other platforms require an account request, creation
and approval process by a community member.
Here are some questions:
- Someone has a technical question and is not a community member.
Where do they go to ask their question? Does it require an account? Is that
account creation automatic?
- Will discourse be able to replace other channels of communication?
Thanks for the thoughtful post! I really liked the way you organized
the communication systems used by the OpenLMIS community, I think it helps
to more easily plan where Discourse (or similar) could fit into the stack.
My hope would be that Discourse will replace both Google Groups and most
emails; with the email replacement being something particularly useful.
Emails tend to be difficult for discussions, are inherently exclusive, and
oftentimes unwelcome (we all get much more email than we would prefer) but
a system like Discourse fits in well between email and the realtime-ish
communication of Slack.
To answer your questions specifically:
1. Discourse (or similar) would be the main entry point into the
OpenLMIS community for new members
2. The system should require an account but one that can be freely
made by the user. User categorization can be used to denote users with more
experience within the community (see OpenMRS Developer Stages
1. As a side-note, I wish that Slack allowed for self-registration
and the lack of it is why I prefer similar solutions like Rocket.Chat
(which is nicely open-source as well)
3. I think that Discourse would replace google groups, much of the
project-related email, and maybe a little of what goes into Slack
On Friday, July 27, 2018 at 6:01:54 PM UTC-4, wes.brown wrote:
I don’t think that Discourse is very difficult to stand up (which, of
course, likely means that it will be) but one thing to note is that the
hosted version Discourse is not free
<https://payments.discourse.org/pricing>. The software itself is free
and open source and so we can host it ourselves for free, assuming that we
have a server (or VM or whatever) that has enough capacity to run it.
On Jul 26, 2018, 11:47 AM -0700, Mary Jo Kochendorfer >> <MaryJo.Kochendorfer@OpenLMIS.org>, wrote:
I don’t know much about discourse but I am definitely open to new mediums
to promote more discussion and interaction between the community.
I look forward to hearing more and understanding the LOE of switching to
*From:* <firstname.lastname@example.org> on behalf of
*Date:* Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 5:06 PM
*To:* OpenLMIS Product Committee <
*Subject:* Is There Interest in Moving This Discussion Forum Away From
Is there any interest in moving this forum (and other OpenLMIS discussion
forums) to another provider? While Google Groups is fine, there are other
options that have additional features and are just easier to use. I would
suggest Discourse as I have liked using it with other Open Source projects
but I am sure that there are other good options.
If you would like to switch to something else, please also suggest a
possible option of what you would like to use instead.
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