Official Zeek Community Slack Channel Poll

Hi all,

There was a question on the mailing list earlier this year and again at ZeekWeek19 about plans to create an Official Zeek Community Slack Channel.

Below is a 4 question 1 minute survey, please take a moment to respond. We will leave the survey up until 21 Oct 2019 5pm PT.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Official_Zeek_Community_Slack_Channel_Poll

We will publish the results to the mailing list on 25 October 2019.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer these questions.

with gratitude,
~Amber

I am sorry to open the can of worms again but is Slack already set as the platform? Personally, I am in favor of a more open and decentralized approach like matrix [1], which would even allow to bridge the old IRC channel.

Jan

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix_(protocol)

My private 2c here, not MoCo.

I strongly oppose having a closed platform chosen as a communication medium.

Slack has a long story of being hostile to projects as soon as there is an opportunity to earn 0.25 cents.

Slack lied about the IRC compatibility, making sure to first close projects within the slack world, promising IRC bridge would stay, and then silently murdering it.
I’m pretty sure it was planned for the beginning, to lure projects that would not move to slack otherwise.

Slack is notoriously behaving in a counter-inclusive manner, asking people to switch to a certain browser, completely ignoring user’s choice.

Slack user interface is so bad (on any browser) that it requires a specialized client or it will drain your battery in no time.
I refuse installing a 3rd party software or a client from a company with a long history of security ignorance.

Slack ignores Internet standards and bugs in web compatibility.

The list could go on, but I am strongly against closed solutions as they give away the power over the project to a single hostile company, for them to do whatever they want in the future.

Michal Purzynski, speaking privately, aka not MoCo. Feel free to quote me.

Jan, thank you for that suggestion, no need to apologize. And no, slack has not been settled on as the defacto choice. However, I wanted to followup with this topic since it has been brought up twice now by the community.

Michal, I understand the concern not only with Slack as tool, but also using closed source tools for an open source project. In addition to Matrix, which has been suggested by Jan, are there any other alternatives to Slack or IRC that you would recommend?

I think the important thing to note, and I believe what the poll will confirm, is that at the moment very few in the community are using IRC and many in the community have expressed that they would participate more if there was an alternative to IRC. I think most people are familiar with Slack because it’s a tool they use in their professional environments and something they are already familiar with that fits into their current workflow. All of which would lower the barrier to entry and promote more participation. However, let’s look into other options as well now that it’s been brought up.

I’ll leave the survey up open as planned, but will prepare to present to the community and to the Zeek LT a comparison of all alternatives to IRC.

What other suggestions does anyone have in addition to the following:

  • IRC
  • Slack
  • Matrix
  • Discourse (chat)

If you have any other suggestions, please respond here or to me personally before end of day on 18 Oct 2019, so that I can prepare the presentation to you, the community and to the Zeek LT.

This discussion is great!

Thanks in advance for the suggestions and feedback.

With gratitude,
~Amber

Slack is easy for beginners to use and is adopted by many other communities. What’s popular isn’t always right and Slack definitely has its limitations, as pointed out by others.

If other low maintenance, easy-to-use solutions come to light let’s try to use them. I agree with Amber; IRC is not growing the community and something else might.

-AK

Hello everyone,

I agree with Anthony. However, I had never heard of Matrix until Jan’s post. I checked it out via the Riot Web client, but I couldn’t tell if the bridge with the #bro IRC channel worked or not. Furthermore, bridging the channel required having a registered nick with Freenode, which I had to re-activate. Eventually I was able to access Freenode using their Web chat, but I don’t know if I was able to access #bro as it was quiet.

This is the sort of friction that causes new people to give up on chatting about Zeek. Slack at least makes it very easy for new users to learn about what happens in a channel.

Also, is there a concept of chat history in Matrix? That’s one of the best features of Slack, in my opinion. Reading back through time is a great way to learn.

Sincerely,

Richard

A befriended startup recommended Rocket Chat to me the other day: https://rocket.chat.

When evaluating other options, this might be a contender. It seems there’s IRC integration available as well [1].

Matthias

[1] https://rocket.chat/2018/07/17/v66-release-post/

Thanks! Adding it to the list.

~Amber

I think this depends on your target audience. Maybe edu folks have unfettered port/application access on school networks...I don't know, but I can tell you, good luck getting anything resembling IRC on my $dayjob network.

James

Hi Richard,

I checked it out via the Riot Web client, but I couldn't tell if the
bridge with the #bro IRC channel worked or not. Furthermore, bridging the
channel required having a registered nick with Freenode, which I had to
re-activate. Eventually I was able to access Freenode using their Web chat,
but I don't know if I was able to access #bro as it was quiet.

in fact it worked assuming you joined as taosecurity. However, you already followed an advanced approach by using a bridge to join the IRC channel. The fact that you required a registered nick is due to the fact that the #bro IRC channel has the +r mode.

This is the sort of friction that causes new people to give up on chatting
about Zeek. Slack at least makes it very easy for new users to learn about
what happens in a channel.

So does Matrix, you just tried to join an IRC channel using Matrix. A Matrix room essentially works like a Slack channel. An IRC bridge is an additional feature to keep IRC folks in the loop (kind of backward compatibility if you like).

Also, is there a concept of chat history in Matrix? That's one of the best
features of Slack, in my opinion. Reading back through time is a great way
to learn.

Of course Matrix rooms provide a history (e.g. I saw your test message although I was not part of the room when you sent it). Furthermore, there are different types of bridges. Without going into the details, I just created a room in Matrix (#zeek:matrix.org) and bridged it to #zeek-test on freenode. If you join that room via Matrix you have access to the complete history (including messages sent via IRC). If people would like to test additional integrations (Slack, GitHub, RSS, Gitter, Discord) just let me know.

The following link should bring you to the test room:
https://riot.im/app/#/room/#zeek:matrix.org

Jan

Thank you Jan, I will check it out!

Richard