Is There Interest in Moving This Discussion Forum Away From Google Groups?


(Wes Brown) #1

Greetings All,

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.

Cheers,

-Wes Brown


(Wes Brown) #2

Greetings,

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).

From Craig:

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?

My Response:

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).
  3. 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)
  4. I think that Discourse would replace google groups, much of the project-related email, and maybe a little of what goes into Slack

Thanks,

-Wes

···

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 11:01:33 AM UTC-4, wes....@villagereach.org wrote:

Greetings All,

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.

Cheers,

-Wes Brown


(Wes Brown) #3

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!

Thanks,

Wes Brown (on behalf of the core OpenLMIS team)

···

On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 11:24:12 AM UTC-4, wes.brown@villagereach.org wrote:

Greetings,

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).

From Craig:

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?

My Response:

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).
  3. 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)
  4. I think that Discourse would replace google groups, much of the project-related email, and maybe a little of what goes into Slack

Thanks,

-Wes

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 11:01:33 AM UTC-4, wes....@villagereach.org wrote:

Greetings All,

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.

Cheers,

-Wes Brown