[phpMyAdmin Developers] Slack

Isaac Bennetch bennetch at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 23:49:21 CET 2018

Hi developers,

We've talked before about using Slack versus Gitter, and I don't have
a strong feeling about whether one is better than the other. However,
I would like to add one to our list of ways to connect with us.

As a team, we've been long-time users of IRC and there's still good
reason to keep and maintain the #phpmyadmin freenode channel, but we
have to also adapt and recognize that there are new services that also
provide good integration and useful features. Many of our prospective
GSoC students have inquired about Slack/Gitter and have benefited from
using them. I'm ready to revisit this discussion.

At the time[1], we discussed some of the differences between the two platforms.

Gitter is free and basically the only limit is the number of members
in a private room, and I don't anticipate any significant need for a
private room. Gitter does not host files, so any screenshots we'd pass
around would need to be uploaded to some other service. Gitter is very
open and easy to sign in to those with a Github (or Gitlab or Twitter)
login, but the downside is that a user must use one of those services
for authentication.

Slack is sort-of-free and size-limited. They say the free tier is for
a team to try Slack, but we'd be committing to using it and I don't
feel it would be honest to use the free tier claiming to be running a
long term demo. I think we could pay for the Standard tier for core
team members and allow everyone else access as a guest, which is
nearly $7 per user per month. I don't particularly feel like $50/month
is a good use of project funds in this case. Slack's free tier is also
limited to 10,000 messages and according to my research, after passing
that limit it becomes uncomfortable to use due to the warnings and a
random order of old messages being hidden. Slack makes it harder to
sign in, as we'd have to invite users (which can be automated through
clicking a link on our site), but does use simple email/password
authentication rather than requiring a third-party account. Slack also
benefits from greater brand awareness and a flashier interface.

By the way, the Slack channel 'phpmyadmin' is currently taken. The
Slack folks were no help with my inquiry about claiming it but I've
written to the people who seem to control it to see if they would hand
it over to us. I haven't heard back yet.

Does anyone strongly favor either Slack or Gitter over the other, and why?

1 - https://lists.phpmyadmin.net/pipermail/developers/2017-March/019926.html

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