Profileration of community communication channels


I gave up on IRC a few years ago - too much mental gearshifting and server babysitting for me. Even with a good GUI client - mIRC on Windows, HexChat / Konversation / KVIrc on Linux - it’s just too geek-friendly and user-hostile.

I like Slack - if you’re against it for open-source religious reasons, maybe rethink your religion. To me the only issue with Slack is that if you want to use all the features you have to pay for it, and then you have to make the business case for why it’s better than a free tool or another paid one.

I won’t be dragged back to IRC, UseNet / NetNews, or any other thing that was the cat’s pajamas in 1990. :wink:


IRC is certainly not unfriendly to users, to say such a thing is just as mind
boggling as to say email isn’t user friendly. I don’t know what you mean by
“server babysitting”, but you can just put your info into the popups that show
up the first time you use your client and never think about it again, or just
connect with defaults and change it later with the case of Konversation.

I have no religious reasons for not using Slack, but one of the many reasons I
would not use it is that it is proprietary. I do not run proprietary software
unless I don’t have a choice. There are many reasons for this, however the
most important reasons are security and the ability to modify the software to
work as I wish.

If it were FLOSS, I still would not use it, for the same reason that I don’t
currently use Mattermost. The user interface is awful, it requires a web
browser just to chat, and the threading is horrible.

You’re more than welcome to click this link and come debate this with me :slight_smile:



Hello everyone. Thanks for your comments. Could you please start a new topic for “slack vs irc” as this is not what this particular topic is about?


Also, it would be good to discuss a maturity model for communications channels to help categorize the various tools.
For example, I think of Discourse as a content management system for 1:many or many:many conversations. The voting and cross-referencing come in handy when there is a wealth of opinions or sources of authority.


  • IRC is more of a 1:many publishing system, with a bias toward synchronous communication.
  • Slack, Mattermost, RocketChat, etc. are somwhere in the middle.
  • Email is more of a 1:many publishing system, with a bias toward asynchronous communication.

As a newcomer, I have trouble with IRC because I like to RTFM and lurk and the client that seems to facilitate that the most. FWIW, I never hear of Riot (Matrix) until I saw it recommended in one of the Fedora comm ops docs.

I would like to see the really smart people here figure out how to facilitate curated federation of the various communications channels, so that (hypothetically) a Discourse user and a Telegram user can get the immediacy of access to .oncall without anyone having to put up with the noisy chatter that can come up on Telegram (or the death by category tags so common in Discourse).
Sorry for the rant, it’s late for me.


IRC is a chat protocol. It is definitely not 1:many, it is many:many. Email is
a mail protocol. It is also not one-way. These systems are only 1:many if
Discourse is also 1:many, which it could be considered as, since all posts
must be by a single user.

As Discourse is not a chat system, I don’t think that the zodbot command
.oncall could be supported here.


I think this is why @x3mboy opened Fedora-Council/tickets#232, to help distinguish user communities maintained by Fedora community members. Some of this feedback may be helpful in that ticket too.

Fair point. I misinterpreted this part :slightly_smiling_face:

I think it is a good requirement to use a bridge between a new platform (e.g. Telegram, Discord) and an active IRC channel. It does depend on members of that team / channel to have users and moderators on both sides, like you said previously though.

I recently opened fedora-infrastructure#7389 as a possible option to making the Teleirc bridges more accessible to folks in the community who wish to have one set up.

Cool. I wonder if as part of this virtual docs sprint, we could use Ask Fedora as a base for populating new topics into quick-docs (and maybe bringing better organization in the navigation tree for existing topics).

Probably relevant to this thread:

Oops – I didn’t mean to imply this. I agree they are both separate topics.

I think this is the question we are contending with. In Fedora-Council/tickets#232, @x3mboy wanted to better understand how we promote user communities actively supported by existing contributors involved in the project community (and ones we usually have a better knowledge of what the community is like, better compliance with brand guidelines, and adhering to the Fedora CoC).

Perhaps this is the case for you and you find Slack difficult to work with. But user experience is subjective, not objective – what works well for one person may not work well for someone else (especially if you consider people with disabilities and require accessibility features to participate fully).

I think it’s okay to say the Slack user interface is not great for you, but we don’t put down and shame other things that might work very well for others. We can disagree respectfully without stepping on someone else’s toes. That’s how we do things here in Fedora. :slightly_smiling_face:

Somewhat related to this point, I’ve found the Open Organization Maturity Model interesting to read about.

Hmm. Not sure I understand why it is helpful to have features from IRC bots inside of Discourse, since they both feel like two separate things. Perhaps instead, it is better to strive for more similar functionality across platforms like IRC, Telegram, Discord, etc. What do you think?

(I also think @FranciscoD said the same thing first, it took me a minute to realize where he was coming from. :slightly_smiling_face:)


No bots. Zero. Zip. Nada. None. No bots, no captchas, no AIs moderating, …

That way lies rump of skunk and madness.


Nope, Alpine is number one on dockerhub.


The context here is an open source IRC bot, fedora-supybot (a.k.a. zodbot), used in Fedora IRC channels. zodbot is used by Fedora contributors to run meetings, to quickly find out who owns a package, see what member of Fedora Infrastructure is currently on-call, and other miscellaneous tasks. I believe this is what @blaise refers to.

In Discourse, these things don’t make as much sense (since you can use a web interface to look up many of these things and we don’t run meetings in a Discourse thread). However, in Telegram or Discord, I believe an integrated experience is important there, if these platforms will really be “first-class experiences” alongside IRC for Fedora contributors.

(Also, it’s a little confusing that Discourse and Discord are similarly-named.)

Thank you for the input, but base operating systems in Docker images is not on topic to this thread. If you and @JohnMH want to discuss Docker images further, please consider starting a new thread in Server, Cloud, IoT category. Thanks. :slightly_smiling_face:


I will try to write as sincerely as possible; I hope, some will not be offended, but we must put certain points on the table. I do not know who is official or not; that does not matter, because if you put official, many believe that they can demand support … Generally I help when I have time in Ask Fedora; I do not earn money for it; maybe I’m a fool; but I like to help …


  1. IRC. No one, nobody connects those channels … On their IRC channels; none answers. I never received answers on all channels (Since fedora 14) …

  2. Telegram? sure, a good idea; but is a waste of time; I change phone numbers as underpants … And you?

  3. Facebook … closed, admins maintains a ideological bias …

  4. Twitter … It does not exist.

  5. Google + … Soon to die; It was a good option; I think the community was a little active there.

  6. Fedora Discord; it works, but it needs love; I can’t see all 1300 members writing…

Solutions, mostly using fedora, we have projects on github or twitter; A friendly alternative is “gitter”; you can create sub groups, also a world of integrations … All for free; or IBM / Redhat can pay for premium services (they swim in money) …


Perhaps this is the case for you and you find Slack difficult to work with.
But user experience is subjective, not objective – what works well for one
person may not work well for someone else (especially if you consider
people with disabilities and require accessibility features to participate

User experience is not subjective, intuitive interfaces are always the best
user experience, and don’t get me started on its lack of accessibility
features. I’m not saying that it doesn’t have a good interface for me, I’m
stating the fact that the interface is horrible, and that’s ignoring the fact
that you must use a web browser to use the software.

Unless somebody here has stake in Slack, I don’t think I’m stepping on any
toes, and if I am, I’m happy to introduce those users to alternatives.


As a person who deeply cares for accessibility features, I have to say that this is the biggest case against proprietary software. I modified the source in some obscure programs to make the text bigger, there was not one single program where I could legally achieve the same with proprietary stuff and then also give it to an elderly relative.

Now about the proliferation of messaging channels, there are plenty off possible proprietary and FOSS ones that weren’t mentioned.

If Fedora council decides to centralize things it should definitely be a FOSS platform, have anyone looked at Zulip btw?

I’m optimistic for the proposed separation of channels in two categories:
some for Fedora teams and other for Fedora users.
How to bridge the engagement to both could be an issue though.

But channels for Fedora teams should not be based on proprietary stuff since it would go against the whole ethos of the project and would alienate many contributors.


We’ve already got IRC and mailing lists. I don’t see why yet another platform
would be needed.


I agree, it can be a user interface issue for some people but it’s not a protocol issue. And it’s not like other protocols are problem free either (there’s plenty of critiques about XMPP/jabber online for example).


I think you should consider to be inclusive to people with older hardware here, try using Slack on older AMD Sempron machine. It’s not about stepping on someones toes, it feels more like painstakingly skull crushing to me.


When you start firefox on a freshly installed fedora, lots of links are pre-installed:

  • #fedora irc via
  • reddit /r/Fedora
  • twitter @fedora and facebook, (seems like the same content)
  • (last post was a year ago)
  • discord and telegram (needs an account)

What is missing to add to the list? This platform seems like a good solution, i really like the “last visit” separator :slight_smile:


This is a great thing to reach out to the Marketing team for. You can see a past example of this here. It would be a good idea to open a new ticket there to suggest this link get included. :smile:


I created an issue here:
Thanks :slight_smile:


Thanks for filing it! :smile:


No sense to use Sempron now.

About the topic - big companies often have workers called ‘community manager’. I wonder why RH can’t hire someone for the subject task.