[pgrouting-dev] Too many chat channels

There are too many chat channels! and this dilutes the concentration of information and requires surfing and monitoring too many channels.

pgrouting-users list
pgrouting-dev list
github issues
irc channel
stack exchange
redmine channels

How does adding more channels help?

I good example is the irc channel, that no one monitors. If an irc user has a problem and posts it to irc it falls on deaf ears.

It is much more helpful to the community (both users and developers) to concentrate the chatter about pgrouting to a few channels that are well supported and monitored. Typically this chatter is about technical problems and issues so it should be focused. If it were about marketing then a more shotgun approach would make sense.

Just my 2 cents,


Hi Steve,

I know I’m the cause for this email :wink:

Well, I think you can’t prevent people from using Facebook and Twitter for asking for support. Nobody may answer, but that’s the problem of the person who asked :wink:

I think the pgRouting website states pretty clearly the “supported” communication channels: http://pgrouting.org/support.html
This is mailing lists and Stackexchange. I will place a few comments inline:


pgrouting-users list
pgrouting-dev list

We could reduce it to 1, but I think there is only small overhead to subscribe to 2 lists. And I guess “users” may be bothered by discussions that usually happen when working on releases for example.

I think there is some barrier for users to first time subscribe to a mailing list. It’s also easy to get annoyed by mailing lists of projects, that you’re not so much involved in.

github issues

I’m always annoyed by support questions that come as issues.
It’s just the wrong place to ask questions.
But I think there is no alternative to issue trackers for development.

irc channel

Sorry, my fault. I’m probably using IRC the wrong way, but I just don’t get familiar with it. And I forget login credentials to administrate persistent IRC channels.

I think there are more comfortable tools nowadays that are better than IRC and easier to use for people like me :wink:

I would like to close those IRC channels if I knew how to do this. But I guess they are unused anyway. I assume that someone asking there while nobody else is in the chat room will soon realize, that this is the wrong place to get support.

stack exchange

It seems to be a platform, that a lot of people like. Very low barrier to join for new users, it seems.
But the nice thing is, that other users answer questions (people, I never saw on the mailing list). The motivation to help on Stackoverflow is very high. There seem to be quite a few “support addicts” (to collect badges and points).

I think we don’t need to monitor it, because it usually works and someone answers. I wouldn’t worry about it, even if you and I won’t participate there.

redmine channels

This one is new to me.


(or Facebook). I sometimes use Twitter for announcements.
But if someone expects to get answers through Twitter or Facebook … well, we don’t need to care, I think.


Well, I became a big supporter of chat tools, that are easier to use than IRC. And Glitter might be an interesting way to achieve a few things:

  • Avoid longish and hard to read email threads
  • Allows chats but keeps the history (with IRC I need to configure a bot and have to spend hours to keep a chat history somewhere)
  • It seems to allow to fetch information from other resources (maybe also notifications from Stackexchange or Twitter?)
  • Seems to integrate well with Github, has something called “Activity stream”
    Definitely there are disadvantages of chat tools. And you can abuse them. It doesn’t replace a mailing list for example. It would just turn into chaos.

I think a chat tool is the right tool, when you think, that it would be better now to call this person. You can also abuse a mailing list for that purpose :wink:

So in short: using the right tools is important. And they should be open for community matters.

If there are too many channels and it’s worth to monitor them, then there are for sure tools to do this. Using a mailing list for that (I know of projects, which send every commit to the mailing list) is bad in my opinion.

I’m evaluating Gitter now, because I think it’s better than the other chat tool I use. Otherwise I only care about ML and Github issue tracker (and I’m subscribed to Stackoverflow RSS for “pgRouting” tagged questions).

My preferred setup would be 2 channels:

  • “old-style” mailing list (mailbox)
  • easy-to-use chat group tool, that collects notifications from other channels as well (ie. Github notifications, Stackoverflow RSS, Travis Build notifications, etc.).

Hope that makes sense,

Georepublic UG & Georepublic Japan
eMail: daniel.kastl@georepublic.de
Web: http://georepublic.info