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#1 2021-03-27 11:59:20

gaekwad
Multi-hyphenate
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,525
GitHub

Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

Edit: This was going to be IRC, now it’s going to be Matrix.

I’m looking into the feasibility of a self-hosted IRC Matrix server for Textpattern.

It would be used for community stuff, user chat, things perhaps outside the scope of the forum. It would be hopefully be less intimidating for newbies, which is one thing we really need to address. We’re not going to grow if there’s too steep an onramp, and a live chat feature might be a way of solving that. We tried Slack a while ago, and that failed. Fair enough. Things have changed since then, and maybe – just maybe – a self-operated, DIY chat server might be an avenue to explore.

So, I’m looking for beta testers for when the server is up and running. You’ll need an IRC a Matrix client initially, I will set up a web client in time (but not immediately), certainly in time for the official go-live launch.

If you’re interested, please leave a reply below and I’ll get back to you with info.

Thank you!

Last edited by gaekwad (2021-04-05 08:52:58)

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#2 2021-03-27 15:08:40

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,429
Website Mastodon

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

Sounds like social media for Textpattern users, so have you considered setting up a Mastodon instance, which would, of course, also connect to the fediverse?

Here’s a good article on how to run your own social network

Then there’s how to setup your first Mastodon instance and many others.

And Laura Kalbag has this on why use Mastodon?


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#3 2021-03-27 16:01:41

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 4,127
Website

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

zero wrote #329518:

Sounds like social media for Textpattern users, so have you considered setting up a Mastodon instance, which would, of course, also connect to the fediverse?

I’m (infrequently) on Mastodon, too, but as much as I would like to like it, I am not (at least not yet) convinced it can offer something better / complementary to the forum.

Pete’s in a better position to explain, but I think what Pete’s suggesting is live “in the moment” chatting?

Pete, is this the rocket.chat server you mentioned once before or the bare-bones text-only messaging of yore? I was thinking that to be useful one would want to be able to post code snippets and screenshots and stuff and not just messenger-style one-liners. How long do the chats remain there?

I’m always in two minds about it:

  • Pro: I like to chatting to you lot so I like the idea, though I have a feeling I may have to ration myself!
  • Pro: An informal area where people can ask things without having to think up a post question.
  • Question: Is an IRC chat more easily accessible to newbies than the forum?
  • Possible con: It shouldn’t divert too much attention from the forum – both in terms of new question that other people might find helpful as well as in the attention of the “experts” around here.
  • Possible con: If information persists there in a meaningful form, information may end up spread between the forum, the chat, GitHub etc. I already have problems keeping up and we’re not a very busy forum.

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#4 2021-03-27 16:50:01

gaekwad
Multi-hyphenate
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,525
GitHub

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

zero wrote #329518:

Sounds like social media for Textpattern users, so have you considered setting up a Mastodon instance, which would, of course, also connect to the fediverse?

I have no interest in social media, federated or otherwise, so this is not likely to happen unless the demand for it here is sufficient.

jakob wrote #329521:

Pete’s in a better position to explain, but I think what Pete’s suggesting is live “in the moment” chatting?

Yep.

Pete, is this the rocket.chat server you mentioned once before or the bare-bones text-only messaging of yore? I was thinking that to be useful one would want to be able to post code snippets and screenshots and stuff and not just messenger-style one-liners. How long do the chats remain there?

Initially, just IRC. Simple, tried-and-tested technology that’s lightweight and had years (decades) of use being deployed. If it takes off, then there’s scope for more advanced stuff (rocket.chat, or another self-hosted thing), if it doesn’t take off then I haven’t burned too many hours on a thing.

  • Question: Is an IRC chat more easily accessible to newbies than the forum?

Unsure. It’s different to the forum and by nature real time. A web interface to a chatroom might be fun, that way we can triage more quickly, answer questions, etc.

I don’t see it as a forum replacement, not even close, nor a replacement for any GitHub stuff or “proper” channels of support. Having a client or browser logged in as a background task provides a connection from a Textpattern person to another Textpattern person, a place to shoot the proverbial poop, ask quick questions that don’t need to litter the forum (or compound the information block we already have in here), and I think a real time thing would add a nice dimension to things, for example a few people could collaborate on a task needing done to make it happen more quickly, without the need for emails, issues, that sort of thing.

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#5 2021-03-27 17:22:07

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,429
Website Mastodon

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

gaekwad wrote #329525:

I think a real time thing would add a nice dimension to things, for example a few people could collaborate on a task needing done to make it happen more quickly, without the need for emails, issues, that sort of thing.

Ah, real time. Cool. I was misunderstanding.


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#6 2021-03-28 06:38:41

ax
Plugin Author
From: Germany
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 159

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

I understand that devevolpers nowadays collaborate using the secure chat protocol Matrix. This includes Mozilla, KDE or GNOME. The Matrix client Element is built on the Matrix protocol and is considered a reference implementation. Element is a cross-platform messenger available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

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#7 2021-03-28 10:58:06

gaekwad
Multi-hyphenate
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,525
GitHub

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

ax wrote #329534:

I understand that devevolpers nowadays collaborate using the secure chat protocol Matrix. This includes Mozilla, KDE or GNOME. The Matrix client Element is built on the Matrix protocol and is considered a reference implementation. Element is a cross-platform messenger available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Yes, absolutely correct. My view is that if there’s a need or appetite for real time communication, we can go for something beyond IRC, but only if it’s needed. Rightly or wrongly, I’d really like to see something beyond IRC, but this is step 1. If IRC works out, we can perhaps look at something more like Matrix, and something else like Jitsi for future needs.

One point in your reply that I would draw attention to is developers. I am thinking more of people who aren’t developers, who just use Textpattern in any context, who might want answers, or to reach out to a person who knows what they’re doing, in as low friction a way as possible. A web chat option would be, I think, the least resistance. People who might occupy this room longer term may choose to have a client on their device, or use the web interface. Each person would be different.

Setting up and securing an IRC takes single-digit hours from scratch, with minimal ongoing maintenance. The other options (Matrix, etc) need more work to do, which I am very much OK with doing, but there needs to be a need / demand for it to be sustainable from the community.

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#8 2021-04-05 08:40:43

gaekwad
Multi-hyphenate
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,525
GitHub

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

ax wrote #329534:

I understand that devevolpers nowadays collaborate using the secure chat protocol Matrix.

ax, I want to thank you for saying this – I have given the situation some thought over the recent days, and one important thing I have in mind is that whatever is set up doesn’t need to be just for developers. Most importantly, I want regular people here (I will call them enthusiasts) to be able to connect and share knowledge, stay connected, and so forth.

Although IRC is a much simpler thing to set up, it’s mostly for nerds. I say this in a good way. Setting up Matrix would – I think – be more appropriate for a modern audience, and with an appropriate web interface for anyone who doesn’t want to use a client app, I think we can achieve good things.

So, thank you!

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#9 2021-04-05 08:59:29

gaekwad
Multi-hyphenate
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,525
GitHub

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

jakob wrote #329521:

  • Question: Is an IRC chat more easily accessible to newbies than the forum?

No. It’s differently accessible, but someone looking for help or guidance doesn’t need another bloody hoop to jump through, so I’m having a rethink about this.

  • Possible con: It shouldn’t divert too much attention from the forum – both in terms of new question that other people might find helpful as well as in the attention of the “experts” around here.

Agreed 100%.

  • Possible con: If information persists there in a meaningful form, information may end up spread between the forum, the chat, GitHub etc. I already have problems keeping up and we’re not a very busy forum.

Again, agreed. I would hope the more real-time nature of things would add a level of energy that perhaps the forum is sometimes missing. For instance:

  • “we should do X”
  • “good idea, I’ll do the Y part of X”
  • “OK, I’ll cover the Z part of X and here’s a Github issue to track what needs done”
  • “I’ve updated the issue for Y of X and there’s also a W of X that has just reared its head”

…and so on.

Speaking for myself, I’m more inclined to work on Textpattern things in my spare time if I know it’s not in isolation, and connecting with other people doing Textpattern things in their own spare time would – I hope – boost their activities too, so we all benefit.

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#10 2021-04-05 09:00:25

gaekwad
Multi-hyphenate
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,525
GitHub

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

For completeness, I’ll set up Matrix and we can run some tests in due course.

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#11 2021-04-05 16:03:35

towndock
Member
From: Oriental, NC USA
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 308
Website

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

gaekwad wrote #329669:

For completeness, I’ll set up Matrix and we can run some tests in due course.

Looking forward to another way for Textpattern folk to communicate.

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#12 2021-04-05 17:23:03

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,597
Website GitHub Twitter

Re: Alpha & beta testers request: Textpattern IRC^H Matrix server

gaekwad wrote #329669:

For completeness, I’ll set up Matrix and we can run some tests in due course.

Yummy!


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