Discourse forum engine upgraded

After some delay, this forum is now back up and running with the latest version of Discourse (v1.9.0-beta). Support for oneboxes is finally restored so we can quote tweets and stuff like this:

Next question: does this forum, in this context, still make sense? Should we not try to run an international forum for the entire network – or, conversely, fold this into the opendata.ch infrastructure? Kind of feelin’ stuck, in limbo :musical_note:

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Cross posting some thoughts in a discussion currently happening in Slack: should we continue using and endorsing a closed source commercial and well funded* service based in USA, or look into alternatives?

  • :white_check_mark: Yes: it’s a great service and our focus is on data, not collaboration tools. Let’s not waste time arguing about alternatives. People who love open source too much to use Slack can go complain about this on our open source wiki or forum.
  • :no_entry_sign: No: we should not set up any more Slacks and migrate to an open source group chat tool as soon as possible. We should start running a Mattermost/Rocket.chat/Let’s Chat/Mastodon/… server next year as one of the key infrastructures the association provides for its community.
  • :balance_scale: Compromise: use this one to collaborate as a team, allow people to join on an open access basis through http://opendatach-slack.herokuapp.com/ and vet integration proposals (chatbots etc.) Install Discourse-Slack integration so there is at least one bridge into the open web.

Should we centralise the diverse platforms in our community into one?

  • :white_check_mark: Yes: diversity is slowing us down and we are losing track of parallel initiatives, so we should mandate that everyone does their work on a single platform.
  • :no_entry_sign: No: diversity is the great thing about openness, and we should not limit the choice of platforms, even encourage it, benefitting from the learnings everyone makes across the board.
  • :balance_scale: Compromise: working groups (Glam, Food, …) and partners (OGD, ONIA, …) have their own communications channels, and at the same time they should be represented somewhere central where we can reach out their reps. The easiest in the short term is having at lease one channel per topic on this Slack.

Should we try to aggregate and streamline visibility into the open data movement through our community platform?

  • :white_check_mark: Yes: creating data about our own movement is the best way to improve the way this association functions. We could be creating value for research as well as improving our own outreach through a data-driven approach, and invest serious efforts into central reporting of all hacks and initiatives. Having full access to our own data is another reason to use an open source platform.
  • :no_entry_sign: No: this is not a core concern of our association, we are here to support innovative projects and would welcome it if others wish to study and report on our community, but this is definitely not a priority area. We can use built-in tools like Slack’s monthly reporting and Google Analytics to measure our basic progress with little effort.
  • :balance_scale: Compromise: we continue supporting projects like Dribdat but not put the data-gathering exercise in the center, and use out of the box tools as much as possible, unless we see a clear short-term benefit in doing a more detailed data collection (like a recent datadump to a researcher of transport data).

(* see: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/slack )

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As Slack was down today…

…We are sorry too, but it was reason enough to give Mattermost a try. Here is a sign up link if you’d like to join us in testing the platform. And we just need to give sodabot a patch before letting it have a go.