Can we have an official Scala discord server

Hi

Gitter UX has deteriorated a lot over the last year and I am growingly finding it difficult to use especially on ios/ipad.

Is there any possibility of having an official scala discord server as alternative to gitter for all scala projects?

I don’t know if this is the correct medium to suggest this.

Many thanks.

5 Likes

another possibility is Slack: https://twitter.com/jvican/status/1182578505349025792

1 Like

Great! Its usable unlike gitter :clap::clap:

Thanks @SethTisue

Oh, interesting – I didn’t realize there was a scala-lang Slack. Is that only for the core team, or are users welcome there?

Great news, its seems I wasn’t the only person experiencing pain with using gitter. Since I posted this we now have:

Scala Lang Discord: https://discord.gg/9Th65eK

Type level discord: https://discord.gg/D9BTYDf

ZIO discord: https://discord.gg/CNxar7r

Other existing but interesting discord:

Functional Programming discord: https://discord.gg/kENVVQ5

Please join and share. If there are any other scala related discord communities please share in this thread.

Great thing with discord is one account with discord you can join all of these communities.

3 Likes

Users are welcome as well. But note that it’s just an experiment for now.

Let’s hear community opinions about both options, Slack and Discord, as potential Gitter replacements. And if some people think we should just stick with Gitter, let’s hear that too.

It’s been hugely simplifying and beneficial to have nearly all of Scala OSS chat in one place, on Gitter. So I’m very much hoping that we can arrive on a new consensus, rather than scatter to the three winds.

8 Likes

thou shalt use free and libre open source software…

3 Likes

Advantages for Slack:

I personally find both these important.

3 Likes

I would immensely prefer if things to stay on gitter.

Sure it is not perfect, but it is where most of the community resides, moving certain channels to discord, or any other platform would not only tear the community apart, but also introduce a second chat application to most of the community.
I personally only use gitter when talking about programming stuff and have avoided discord completely in a coding context. I have used it for gaming purposes in the past, which it is built for, but it has always been extremely nightmarish. I would argue that the UX of discord is far worse than that of gitter. The UI is overloaded with features that I never use and the addition of voice chat makes it so that conversations cannot be searched. Due to the gaming and invite nature of discord, I have accumulated about a dozen or so discord “servers” that I do not know the context to which constantly spam my inbox with information that I cannot relate to, plus they constantly change their pictures so that I cannot tell why I joined them in the first place. Also discord is a complete walled garden and probably has no intention to add features for a small community of developers, since they are a mostly gaming focused company.
The thing is, gitter is simple. I never needed more than the features it provides.
But there should still be an “official” discord server, which links to the rest of the community, to prevent an unofficial one to become the “de-facto official” server.

If you just wish to organize your different chat platforms, you should probably give Matrix or Jabber a shot.
\rant

4 Likes

It’s worth noting that Gitter hasn’t been updated in well over a year. It’s clear that GitLab has no interest in maintaining it. The iOS app is non-functional due to bugs as of iOS 13, and the macOS app will cease to be operational in January due to notarization. Staying on Gitter is probably not an option for any of us.

To some of the other points… I hate slack threads. They take conversations out of the main line and make it hard to follow. I know a lot of people like them though.

Voice channels are very seldom used in my experience.

Slack lacks real markdown, syntax highlighting, and a unified community interface. It’s signup process is also worse than discord and the moderation and permissions tools are light years behind. That alone is a huge, huge point against it.

The lack of anonymous readability is a problem. Slack also shares that issue, but it’s definitely a point in favor of Gitter… if Gitter were an option. Which is kind of my point. It isn’t. It ceases to function on any Apple device in a few months (and already behaves very poorly where it does work), and it’s not like the Android experience is much better. It’s a dead platform, and sticking with it really isn’t on the table in my opinion.

4 Likes

Just a comment about Gitter because maybe some people are “lucky” to use a platform/device that works and don’t realize the pain for others.

The iOS app was already very poor (e.g. not adapted to the latest iPhones size, and a bunch of other issues) but since the latest version of iOS there is a major scrolling issue which causes the chat window to scroll up automatically. The only way out is too kill the app. It became literally unusable. When searching for this issue I discovered Gitter was planning to actually decommission the native apps (iOS and Android) and remove them from the store: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitter/webapp/issues/2281
The mobile web version is not a valid alternative because it is lacking features only a native app would provide (e.g. push notifications) in addition of other bugs. They clearly want to focus on desktop.

So I’m in favor of any alternative, with a preference for Discord since it was already chosen by ZIO, Typelevel and a few others so it would be more convenient to have everything in one place.

1 Like

Discord is good. We should switch.

2 Likes

As previously mentioned, not everyone is a fan of slack threads. In particular, I find it quite awkward when I reply as a regular message, but then someone else replies as a thread.

Here are some pros and cons I see in the two platforms:

  • Discord
    • pros
      • code highlighting
      • can link to previous messages
      • roles
        • role visibility
          • easy to see who’s a mod, from Scala Center, Lightbend, etc.
          • mods sorted to the top of the online list
        • custom roles to provide better information about some users
          • lightbend, scala center, etc.
          • pronoun roles can make the community/server much more welcoming for LGBTQ+ folks
      • can opt into multiple channels/groups of channels at a time (using roles)
      • can have your profile linked to some social media (admittedly most possible connections are gaming social media, but twitter is there) to help verify that people are who they say they are
    • cons
      • no references to previous messages (can only copy-paste as a quote) (you can copy a link in the context menu)
      • automatically added to channels (can be mitigated/solved with roles and bots)
      • shows what games users are playing, which many users may find undesirable in a professional context
        • this cannot be disabled per server; it can only be disabled globally
        • as an existing Discord user, this one is actually by far the biggest problem, and kind of a blocker for me)
  • Slack
    • pros
      • threads
      • can directly reference/link to previous messages
      • not automatically added to channels
    • cons
      • threads
      • no code highlighting
1 Like

Thanks everyone for pitching in.

I agree with previous comments about the issues with Slack:

  • limited moderation/admin tools
  • 10k message limit quickly becomes a problem with a popular workspace

Discord is a better Gitter replacement compared to Slack but it I hit on several issues trying it out:

  • no ability to link to a specific message. One thing I frequently do with Gitter is open a GitHub pull request or issue starting with “Context: https://gitter.im/…” (edit: this is apparently possible!)
  • by default, you get subscribed to all channels when you join a server resulting in a flood of unrelated notifications. You have to manually “mute” channels you’re not interested in.
  • no sign in via GitHub. I would love an option to restrict access to a server to users that have a linked GitHub account.

I’m sure there are ways to work around some of those issues using Discord bots but I haven’t figured out yet after a couple hours of investigating.

The problem with Slack and Discord is that they’re fundamentally not designed for developer communities and I don’t expect either product to change in that regard any time soon.

While I agree that Gitter is not a sustainable solution in the long-term, I’m inclined to hold out a bit longer and wait for GitHub to release a new community chat solution. Judging by this announcement in Nov 2018 I suspect GitHub is working on something in this space https://spectrum.chat/spectrum/general/spectrum-is-joining-github~1d3eb8ee-4c99-46c0-8daf-ca35a96be6ce/. The Spectrum product in its current form is closer to a forum than a chat so it’s not a suitable Gitter replacement.

Hey there. Two points that haven’t been mentioned so far in this discussion. I’m repeating them here as I’ve already formulated them in the #general channel of scala-lang.slack.com

  1. Biggest benefit of Slack is that developers are likely to already use it. Installing a new application and getting used to it takes time and effort. For example, I never got used to Gitter. I’d often miss important messages in Gitter just because I don’t have its tab open in my browser or I cannot get myself to make checking Gitter part of my day-to-day routine. However, I always have Slack open for work-related messages. That encourages me to participate more in discussions.
  2. I’m not convinced the 10K most recent messages limit makes Slack useless for our use cases. The Rust community maintains a community-driven slack channel at rust-lang.slack.com. They have 2,165 users and they also use the free plan. I was able to see the messages posted as far back as 7th March in the #beginners channel and February in the #general channel. ScalaBridge also has a Slack channel and seems to be working well for them too.

I cannot cope with Gitter anymore, so I’m going to give scala-lang.slack.com a shot for all my OSS projects. After this experiment, I personally will have more insights and be able to make a more informed decision on Slack vs Discord.

1 Like

Gys - how about a regular mailinglist?

Mailing lists were already discontinued: https://www.scala-lang.org/old/node/199.html

Okay, let me ask this in a more pointed way: how does one join the scala-lang Slack? Much though I like Slack, it isn’t terribly helpful (presumably for privacy/spam reasons) about telling you how to join a Slack unless you have out-of-band knowledge about how to contact the group admins…

1 Like

tarsa

		October 13

Mailing lists were already discontinued: https://www.scala-lang.org/old/node/199.html

I know, it’s a shame.

I think Discord is much, much better than Slack or Gitter. Discord’s #1 competitive advantage is how easy it is for people to join new servers.

Glad to see the new Scala Discord and I hope we promote it heavily.

I see there’s a Scala Slack server, too. That’s great. It’s better to have both a Slack and a Discord because many folks prefer Slack and it’s important to be accessible to everyone.

2 Likes