[Neuroimaging] Use gitter as a channel for Q&A

Ariel Rokem arokem at gmail.com
Sat Nov 21 18:14:20 EST 2015


We are considering (https://github.com/nipy/dipy/pull/773) whether to use
Gitter as a channel for users to come and ask questions about using the

- Give users another public channel to ask questions. This one seems to
have a relatively low barrier to entry, because it feels so "casual". This
is a good one in my opinion, because I suspect that many users facing a
difficulty early on in their use of the software might meet some small
technical issues (e.g. in installing) that would be very easy to debug in a
quick informal conversation over a chat.

- Messages are not archived in a google-able manner. Discussions are
sometimes hard to follow and follow up on. People have to be logged on to
get the messages.

- We are also using gitter as a channel to chat about development. This
might confuse some users. I think this is actually also a pro - some users
might feel compelled to get involved in discussions about development, and
in the work of development. In general, I agree with arguments Matthew has
made in the past that separating "users" from "developers" too firmly can
be counter-productive to a community that aims to empower users of
computation in science.

At the moment, I really just think of starting a little experiment of
offering this as a channel for help, including putting a side-car chat
window on the dipy website.

I might be missing a few pros and cons. What do you all think?

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