One of the core tenets of Omni has been transparency: transparency in decisions, transparency in actions, and transparency in communication (to name a few). As we mentioned in our last update, we’ve been going through many changes over the past year and one of those has been in how we communicate internally and externally.
In the past we have used IRC where we had our internal team channel and a few public channels for discussion and development. This worked well for a time, but as our team encountered real-life challenges became a bit of a challenge to remain connected – so, as many development teams do, we added Slack thinking it would solve things. It did – to some extent – but it also presented us with the challenge that we have a commitment to Open Source and using a closed-source, hosted solution like Slack didn’t fit that commitment. So, we pivoted and moved to Mattermost, an open-source, self-hosted alternative to Slack. Over the last month we have been using it, and it definitely has improved our workflow and increased our productivity as a team.
The move to Mattermost was solidified for us due to the convenience of communication between maintainers and our core team was much better than on IRC for the following reasons (YMMV):
- constant IRC presence requires a bouncer or quassel, which generally cost money and/or are not available to all.
- many important topics of discussion quickly became buried in IRC between part/join messages and other irrelevant chatter.
- a private mattermost implementation allows us to maintain better communication over IRC as well as host the server on our own, making us completely self-sufficient
That of course brought about the next level of questions, which was “what about our transparency to the community?” To address this, and to make sure that we continue to be connected to the community as we work to improve and grow OmniROM, we have created a bridge between our #omni channel on IRC and Mattermost.
Over the coming weeks and months we aim to grow our communication with the community, and this seemingly small step is a great step in that direction.