[ocaml-infra] Request to start a gitter.im room for github:ocaml/ocaml and a bridge to IRC

Gabriel Scherer gabriel.scherer at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 19:34:12 BST 2016

Note: I asked to the #neovim folks about their experience, and they pointed
out that we wouldn't need to setup our own bridge server, as described in
the documentation that Yotam linked to, as they would be happy to add our
potential gitter/irc pair to their own bidirectional replication server.

(This discussion happened over IRC but you can have a look at the gitter
logs for it:

I'm personally not very enthusiastic about gitter itself, but in presence
of a bidirectional bridge I see no reason to not give it a try, so I would
support the experiment -- it could start with an explicit time limit at
which to reconsider the move, as we did for Github pull requests.

On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 2:05 PM, Yotam Barnoy <yotambarnoy at gmail.com> wrote:

> After surveying the opinions of people on IRC and discussions of
> advancing the community's interests on a mailing list thread ('How to
> encourage the adoption of OCaml'), I'd like to propose opening a room
> on gitter.im for the ocaml/ocaml repository (gitter rooms exist on a
> per-repository basis).
> An example gitter room can be viewed here: https://gitter.im/neovim/neovim
> In general, I believe having real-time chat with persistent history
> and notifications is extremely valuable. It is especially valuable for
> beginners or people inquiring about OCaml, who are afraid to compose a
> mailing list post. It is also valuable to developers of all sorts who
> need full-duplex high-frequency minimally-formal communication, which
> is often hampered by email.
> Gitter chat is readily available to newcomers, unlike IRC. Even the
> best current IRC viewer
> (https://vector.im/beta/#/room/#freenode_#ocaml:matrix.org) still
> requires steps to connect and lacks some of gitter's features. Gitter
> rooms are read-only before logging in (which is still of value), and
> read-write once you use a github login,  which just about every dev
> has nowadays. Additionally, gitter allows for easy integration with
> github issues, comments etc as can be seen in the example above.
> The trickier part is connecting gitter to IRC. We want to do this both
> to preserve history on our own terms - scraper tools exist for gitter
> but it's nicer to preserve our own history using existing methods -
> and to prevent fracturing of the community. The neovim project
> linked-to above does this using a gitter-IRC bridge, which must be run
> on a community server.
> This means that to establish the gitter room + bridge we need to:
> 1. Create the gitter room on the gitter site. This must be done by
> someone with OCaml github credentials by going to the gitter.im page
> and choosing to create a room.
> 2. Follow the instructions at
> https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-gitter using an OCaml
> community server. The bridge must have access to github credentials as
> well.
> 3. For maximum exposure, it would be nice to add the new room to the
> ocaml.org community page.
> Note that gitter rooms already exists for ocaml/oasis and ocaml/opam.
> These are obviously project-specific and have use by themselves. I
> envision ocaml/ocaml being used for the compiler as well as for the
> language as a whole. It's worth thinking about the idea of creating an
> ocaml/ocaml_beginners repo just for the sake of opening a gitter room
> for beginners, similar to the way we have a (non-working)
> ocaml_beginners list. Additionally, it would be a good idea to open a
> gitter room for ocamlbuild.
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