Slack Community


I think this forum community is great, but it would be cool to have a slack community where we could carry on cloud9 discussions in realtime.

Realtime feedback from other devs in the community and engineers at Cloud9 would be great. Especially as I am learning the SDK to start pumping some plugins into cloud9 from other editor worlds.


That would be great. We use slack for internal communication but I can’t see a way to add a public channel that anyone can jump into. Do you have any ideas? Or perhaps a addon that would allow syncing a slack channel with a public chatroom?


In slack you can create private channels, and those you could use for internal communication. Then delete the logs and information from the public channels and open the slack up.

You can also have two slacks (One internal and One External). There is a slack app that could communicate between the two.

This is similar to what pluralsight does. Sameroom Slack App.

Though I would think moving your internal communication to private groups would be the way to go. Then you could just setup a slackin self invite system to your slack. Slackin is very easy to deploy on a free heroku app server.


Why not an IRC server? :smiley:


IRC isn’t as accessible to beginners, and doesn’t have the same features that are easy to use (mobile notifications, etc) imo.


Dont mean to drag up a dead topic but surely someone could just start one and just invite anyone, an examplebeing the FEDS rooms or getbootstrap.


I agree this would be extremely useful for quick support, but the one thing it lacks is support history. If I’m having trouble with something, I’ll usually search the forums for it, and most of the time, somebody else will have solved it already, and I can continue without even needing to ask anyone for help. Any form of chat would lose that ability, meaning I would expect a lot of the same questions being asked. That said, this forum would still serve that purpose and I imagine anyone seeking support would only ask on a chat if the problem is extremely irregular and they can’t solve it using other resources or if the problem is urgent.

I fully agree that some form of chat would benefit the ability to provide support, and would be happy to participate in any way I can, including forming it, but I will defer to the @moderators as to whether this is a viable idea and is worth the time needed to set it up, promote it, and moderate it (chats, I find, are generally more volatile than forums).


What about Gitter? I think it could be a good option as well.


Gitter might be a good idea because many people who use Cloud9 have GitHub accounts that they can just connect, whereas a solution like Slack would require users to create yet another account, which can get annoying, even with a password manager to keep track of them (I’m on multiple Slack groups with different logins, so I sometimes have to try a few different logins before they work). That said, I generally find Gitter to be useful in the context of specific GitHub repositories, rather than general support for a product. In addition, I find the structure of Slack chats and their Apps and Integrations to be very useful in showing status and providing support, so I’d vote for Slack. Again, it would be really nice to hear the opinions of the @Cloud9 members, and if they would be willing to set it up, or if the community should set it up and run it.


Completely agree with this.


Good thoughts here, glad to have this thread back up and running @JoeEarly :thumbsup:

I’m not aware of current plans to start up a chat community like this. I think it would take some babying and care to make sure it doesn’t turn into a ghost town and I wouldn’t want to make that promise on our end.

At the same time, it could take energy and attention from posts and user visits in this community, which wouldn’t be ideal.

That said, ideas that are posted in this community are always good to revisit and reconsider so I’d never count something like this out. And I’d imagine there are a couple Slack/Gitter communities that exist already for programming help so you could latch onto something that exists or start your own and see what catches on :slight_smile:


@bradydowling instead of creating a separate community, why not just add instant chat to discourse?


Oh awesome! I hadn’t seen that before but that’s really cool to see. I’ll definitely have to read through that thread in depth to see what people are saying about it (I skimmed but just saw bug reports at the end).

However, I would say this requires in-depth planning and discussion around how we’d approach it because it has the potential to distract from building valuable community content in topics. For instance, if I’m a new user and I know nothing about programming, I’d be less inclined to make a new post with an accurate title and structured content than I would be to go to a chat and say, “help plz, my code doesn’t work.”

As @dannytech mentioned above, chat is ephemeral and is basically unusable after an hour, unless you were actively engaged when the messages were being sent.

Even this plugin looks like it’s going to require some research and more than just a couple button clicks to get it setup and running in a way that would be productive and valuable. That said, Discourse uses Ajax requests heavily so you can see updates to a topic while you’re viewing. Very chat-esque :wink:


Is there some way to install a plug-in for just some users? Or, do you have a staging version of the community? I feel like if either of those are possible, it would be great to install it, and then have some of the more experienced and active users (like the Regulars) try it out, while leaving the community in a normal state for everyone else. I remember seeing this a while ago, and after using their demo, I found that it really decreased the performance of the page, sometimes forcing me to kill that tab. That said, it would be interesting to try out, and would be nice because it integrates so well with Discourse and the accounts system.


No, unfortunately we don’t have a staging version of the community or the ability to install the plugin for just a few users. The best I could recommend would be to stalk that thread in the meta Discourse community and then see if you can find another community where that is enabled. I know that won’t give you the full test effect you’re looking for but maybe it’ll help a bit.


After some testing, I think I’ve come to a conclusion. When using Babble, the chat was fairly responsive, but apparent lack of automoderation tools and occasional long messages causing load times >100 seconds really changed my opinion. I did not have a chance to test the admin side of things, but from a user standpoint it is inadequate for live support and community help. In addition, I don’t really think that the Cloud9 team should make the extra effort to start a new support method. That said, I fully approve of the idea of a community-created and community-run chat, but in order for that to be possible, we would need to have a high amount of starting users, and would probably need Cloud9 to advertise it. Even then, I don’t think there are enough users asking for support every day to have a chat that won’t die. So, my conclusion is that this is not a necessary or useful addition, but in the future, as more users join, it might become a good idea.