birmingham.io

Brum Tech Slack

I had to get some folks on a slack channel for planning some local events and thought it might be a good idea to have a general slack channel for folks in the area in tech.

https://brumtech.slack.com

Send me a message with your email address and I’ll sort an invite, if anyone fancies one :smiley:

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Sign me up (I think you have my email address, but I’ll PM it anyway)

I’m not sure your thoughts about this, but if you’re aiming for a fairly open thing, then there are projects which can let people add themselves to the channel, such as Slackin.

I’m sure someone has a server this can be hosted on if we ask nicely, and I can add a link to it in the main navigation above if you like.

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I recently tried Slack for the first time. Can someone please explain why this proprietary solution is better than an open protocol? I didn’t get it.

There are a number of reasons why someone might prefer Slack over IRC:

  1. It’s easier to use. Get an invite, log in, and you’re done. No messing about trying to work out which server and channel you’re meant to be on, or how to use the IRC client software, etc…

  2. It has wide software support. You could argue that IRC does too, as there are lots of clients for different platforms - but I refer you back to point 1.

  3. It supports push notifications.

  4. It offers lots more features, such as file storage, access rights, et al.

I like IRC for what it is, but it’s out of date and failing to keep up with modern trends, so is being replaced by solutions which give people what they want.

As with a lot of things, make something easy for people to use, and they’ll use it.

This sounds like an amazing idea. Let me have a bit of an explore and see what’s a good fit. Super happy to ahve a link listed. Will sort instant invites this week as well, thanks for the recommendation.

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Just thought of another feature of Slack: It keeps chat history.

Am in, please. {firstname}@somefantastic.co.uk

Christian Heilmann wrote a post about this topic the other day. Interesting read. Basically boils down to this: UX

Don’t Use Slack?

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I wasn’t thinking of IRC. I liked Jabber/XMPP but Google sacrificed it on the alter of Hangouts.

I hope WebRTC will offer a standards-based future.

The major reason is that, because it’s centralised, it can do a bunch of things that a federated protocol can’t easily do – keep chat history when you’re not logged in, allow external services to integrate by hitting a webhook, etc. These things are not impossible to do with something decentralised but they’re a lot, lot harder. More to the point, everyone working on open protocols didn’t do any of this stuff; IRC could keep chat history and allow web hooks and allow formatting and let you edit your last message, but they have conspicuously not bothered; IRC has not changed since about 1994. XMPP… maybe it could have taken off, but it didn’t.
(If your argument is not about centralisation but purely about the openness of the protocol, then you can use IRC or XMPP to access Slack.)

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Open protocols are better but I’m also concerned about single point of service. It’s the new OS monopoly.

I don’t care if it’s hard. I have my ‘arsy user’ hat on. :grinning:

Sure, me too, but without centralisation, how do you make sure that everyone sees the history even when they weren’t logged on? This is what I meant about it being difficult; it’s possible, sure, but it’s a serious engineering challenge, and there is to a first approximation nobody who is all of (a) desirous of non-centralised services (b) capable of building this © capable of marketing it so that people actually using it (d) capable of designing it so that people want to use it and (e) interested enough to do it.

I fear for the Internet without Mozilla.

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Me too. But not enough people care about what they’re doing to keep them alive.

Why don’t people learn not to take sweeties from tyrants?

“The network is the computer”, said Sun, back when they were the good guys no-one trusted. That’s where we need our personal centralisation to be, in our personal cloud with our trusted provider and backups if paranoid. Then we need distributed concurrency, like OO is really bad at, apparently. It is not entirely coincidental that I got interested in Clojure.

Mainly because sweets are nice, and eating dirt while feeling lonely but righteous isn’t. :slight_smile: In the fullness of time, yes, everyone who eats the sweets will end up worse off because of it. But most people, most of the time, won’t.

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I’m an open source devotee, contributor, etc., but FOSS dropped the ball on this. Slack is IRC via the web, though it has a lot more bells and whistles.

As a business tool, it’s lightweight, flexible, extensible, and cheap. I work for a 100% remote company. We have a product, and we provides 365/24 support.

Internally, we use Slack as as you’d expect for regular conversation segregated by topic (e.g. general, random, development, support, etc.). We also have bot channels for notifications: code reviews (someone opens a PR), Trello, deployment progress (inc. code quality, test coverage, etc.), daemon errors (multiple servers), etc.

We’re tiny, and trying to cover all of that manually would take a lot of time. Not hard work. Just time.

Where Slack really starts to shine is having shared channels with our customers. Those sit right next to the others all on one page. Ditto direct message channels for individuals (both internal and customers). Even though I’m dealing with Big Co’s, I rarely see more than a couple of emails a week from them. I open email first thing and perhaps after lunch. That’s a significant change from only a couple of years ago.

I still use IRC. I have textual open and use it for a bunch of things. For now, Slack is eating everyone’s lunch, and when you lean on it heavily, as we do, it’s easy to see why.

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Yeah, and IBM were the best value mainframes and AT&T wouldn’t try to exploit Unix once the anti-trust agreement ended and Microsoft has your best interests at heart and Google Talk was going to be the Tower of Babel and connect all the IMs together because they Do No Evil. I’m too old for this crap. The sweets contain crack cocaine and the price will rise until you die.

p.s. When I first entered the game, every time you changed the company computer, you had to rewrite all your software. Services that don’t follow open standards just give us micro-monopolies, each trying to suck in more with add-ons, extensions and the creeping feature creature.

Wasn’t it customers that dropped the ball? Gnome had a brilliant new infrastructure ready, that supported selectable alternative channels (Ubuntu may have jumped before it was cooked through though.) Instead, everyone jumped to Google Talk, enabling them to kill off XMPP, in order to damage Facebook, which responded in kind by getting it’s own waggons in a circle to own OUR social maps. Now we have Hangouts and Slack and Skype. Well done us.

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