Mon 20 Mar 2017 2:16AM

Establishing a Community Forum for IPFS and Related Projects

MZ Matt Zumwalt Public Seen by 386

In order to have a thriving, healthy community for IPFS and its related projects (Multiformats, libp2p, etc.) we need to create a Community Forum and maintain it. Over many months, this topic has been intermittently discussed. The background for those discussions, including a list of the proposals that have been considered, is outlined in https://github.com/ipfs/community/blob/master/decisions/community-forum-platform.md

Even if we don't use discourse, we need to settle on a strong plan for supporting the growing global IPFS community. If the first proposal fails, this thread will stay open until someone proposes a better solution and the community votes to adopt that approach.

We are testing loomio as a way to make community decisions like this one. In the long run we will probably revert to using github or gitlab for decisions, but loomio offers a useful way to learn the mechanics of decision making -- something that has been missing from the past 18 months of discussion about community forums -- so that we can apply those mechanics in github or gitlab.

The major proposals considered were:
* Proposal: Build Our Own Decentralized Forum Software on IPFS
* Proposal: Continue to Use Github for All Community Support
* Proposal: Use a StackExchange Subdomain for Q&A
* Proposal: Use Discourse for All Community Support

Related Github Issues:


Poll Created Mon 20 Mar 2017 2:52AM

Use Discourse for All Community Support Closed Thu 23 Mar 2017 3:01AM

by Matt Zumwalt Tue 25 Apr 2017 6:29AM

We're going to proceed with this proposal. It will take a little while to set up the permanent url at https://discuss.ipfs.io. In the meantime we will continue to use http://ipfs.trydiscourse.com

See you on discourse!

See Proposal: Use Discourse for All Community Support in the background document for further discussion of pros + cons of this approach.

  1. Name a DRI for the rollover to Discourse and for ongoing management of Discourse
  2. Set up discourse at discuss.ipfs.io subdomain
  3. Recruit a group of moderators from community and get them set up with appropriate moderator powers
  4. Move top FAQ items from ipfs/faq to discourse
  5. Move relevant topics from ipfs/community to discourse
  6. Update ipfs/community, ipfs/faq and ipfs/support to clearly redirect people to discuss.ipfs.io
  7. Update ipfs/ipfs README to list discuss.ipfs.io as the main place to seek support
  8. Announce our new discourse forum on IRC and on the mailing list

Ensure that:
* https support is enabled
* anonymous posting is enabled
* people are able to interact with our discourse install as if it was an email mailing list

After a 3-month trial:
1. Decommission the google group, redirecting all mailing list users to subscribe to discourse in mailing list mode
2. Consider archiving ipfs/support, ipfs/faq and/or ipfs/community if they are no longer useful.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 84.6% 11 FB MZ VB KS JJ H MR JK DR JB WS
Abstain 15.4% 2 DD JC
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 14 SN H K M LS HTW OK LA J GP DO TJR J(

13 of 27 people have voted (48%)


Matt Zumwalt
Mon 20 Mar 2017 2:55AM

The majority of the IPFS community has been underserved by our reliance on github. It's created a heavy, invisible burden on the core maintainers to personally support people who are looking for community. discourse is the best option for now


Marcin Rataj
Mon 20 Mar 2017 2:23PM

Discourse is becoming de facto standard for community-driven support and discussion forum.
It is a pragmatic choice that removes a lot of barriers.
I believe this move will positively impact signal/noise ratio of Github notifications.


Victor Bjelkholm
Mon 20 Mar 2017 4:17PM

The tests we have done so far have revealed some minor flaws with Discourse but I agree with both Matt and Marcin that currently we're lacking a good community support channel.


Jay Carpenter
Mon 20 Mar 2017 9:08PM

IPFS Telescope could be an alternative to Discourse in my view. Today during the 2017-03-20 sprint I gave a presentation on IPFS Telescope along with links to explore the presentation and a rough draft mock-up. To avoid any bias vote, I abstain.


Kuba Sztandera
Tue 21 Mar 2017 10:11PM

Github is very formal for casual questions which makes people not want to ask/answer them. People feel that as they are not directly connected with the project they should not answer them. Community forum would solve that issue.


Jay Carpenter
Wed 22 Mar 2017 12:14AM

IPFS Telescope could be an alternative to Discourse in my view. Today during the 2017-03-20 sprint I gave a presentation on IPFS Telescope along with links to explore the presentation and a rough draft mock-up. To avoid any vote bias, I abstain.


Jeromy Johnson
Wed 22 Mar 2017 1:29AM

Given we actually do everything outlined in the proposal, i'm :+1: to this.


Francis Brunelle
Wed 22 Mar 2017 3:14AM

We use Discourse in the SAFE Network community (https://safenetforum.org/ and https://forum.safedev.org/) and it makes a big difference! It would be awesome to use a P2P forum, but for now I think Discourse is the best option.

+1 for IPFS Discourse!


Dmitriy Ryajov
Wed 22 Mar 2017 5:07AM

I think discourse is more accessible to the general public and its going to be a lot better for community building than github issues. :thumbsup:


David Dias
Wed 22 Mar 2017 3:27PM

I'll abstain from this decision and not disagree with a vote of willingness to try it out after seeing so many new names agreeing. Will look forward to everyone using extensively :)


Wed 22 Mar 2017 4:24PM

I generally agree with how discourse will help and why we need it and I think there is enough commitment to make it work.


Kuba Sztandera Tue 21 Mar 2017 10:11PM

@jaycarpenter Telescope is great idea for aggregation of data and info but it won't solve the issue that we are facing which is unified community forum.


Jay Carpenter Wed 22 Mar 2017 12:13AM

@kubuxu did you read WTFM (http://roaming-initiative.com/blog/posts/wtfm) that @lgierth posted in the meeting notes from 2017-03-20? Yesterday was the first time I'd seen WTFM. Last night I read WTFM and thought it made some key points relevant to the community building intention at hand and organic documentation discussion. I'm interested in your views on WTFM.


Kuba Sztandera Wed 22 Mar 2017 2:26AM

@jaycarpenter Yes I know WTFM approach for a long time. I try to encourage it on many occasions (if you figure it out, write it down; I can help you but create doc on it).

Problem with WTFM is that it is hard to apply it fully in practice but it is discussion for other occasion but we should strive to at least partially follow and apply the WTFM methodology.


Oleksii Konashevych Wed 22 Mar 2017 10:17PM

I totally support this idea!


Jayanta (Jay) Wed 3 May 2017 11:50AM

Lets do it.. we need a Discourse and a proper place to hang out with IPFS community. I am in . :thumbsup: