Good time of day, everyone!
As part of the growth of OSRF as a fully-independent entity, we’re reviewing all the services we do provide or should provide to the community for our projects - ROS, Gazebo, Open-RMF, and, although most don’t realise it, the infrastructure that supports them. Amongst those services are those used for communication by the community of users of the above projects.
There have been several in-depth conservations in the past about having a chat-based medium for discussing OSRF projects and related topics. Ultimately OSRF settled on trying out the new Discourse chat feature. Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out as we’d hoped. Many developers and users of our projects have found it cumbersome, feature-light, and in some cases buggy.
After much contemplation, OSRF has decided to bring that experiment to a close, and move to a new medium that I’m sure many of you are already familiar with: Discord.
OSRF has set up a new Discord server for the entire OSRF community. This server contains spaces to talk about all OSRF projects, as well as talk about OSRF in general. In general, we hope it will be used for such things as the following.
- Talking about OSRF projects (ROS, Gazebo, Open-RMF, and Infrastructure).
- Informally discussing ideas for improvements before taking the result of those discussions to a more long-form medium such as GitHub issues, PRs, and Discourse.
- Informally proposing how to implement or fix an issue from GitHub, such as asking if how you want to fix a bug would be a good way to do it, before making a PR.
- Chatting to others about your cool robot project.
- Organising community events, both in your area and online.
- Wholesome memes for robot teens.
However, there are some important things to remember while using this server:
- It is a community discussion forum. It is not the official place to go to talk directly to lead developers of a project. Those developers may or may not be there at their own choice, and are not required to respond to anyone in Discord.
- Like Discourse, Discord will only contain a subset of the community, and likely a much smaller subset than Discourse.
- Announcements about new packages are better made in Discourse, where they are more visible and easily found by search engines. You can announce it on Discord as well (with a link to the Discourse post), but the main announcement should be elsewhere.
- Discord is not suited to long-form or in-depth discussions. If you want to have a long, windy debate about a PR or how a particular feature is designed, Discourse or GitHub issues are the better venues.
- Discord is not a permanent archive. Do not use it for documentation or for anything you may want to come back and check next year.
- If you want to advertise your product or service on Discord, or advertise a job or internship, please ask OSRF first. If we get enough requests, we may consider setting up a channel specifically for such announcements. However we prefer job announcements to be made on Discourse where they are more visible.
- Although we have made channels for getting help in, because inevitably some people will want to ask for help in Discord, we do not recommend using Discord for help. You will get better, faster help using our preferred support tools (currently ROS Answers, Gazebo Answers, and the GitHub Discussions for Open-RMF). You will also find yourself moderated if you persistently ask for help outside of the channels intended for help.
To make this new Discord server a success rather than a silent wasteland, we’ll need your help to spread the word. Please feel free to share the below link with anyone who may be interested in participating constructively in this Discord.
If you want to join the Discord server, simply follow the link below! You will need to sign up for a Discord account if you don’t have one already, and must verify your email address. To access the OSRF Discord server you will also need to agree with and follow the rules of the server and comply with the code of conduct. These are available in the
#rules channel. Moderators and administrators will be actively enforcing these rules, so please keep them in mind and be excellent to each other.