Saturday, March 2, 2019

I started to review the README files of lino, xl and cosi so that newcomers like Marc would find us more easily. (I am not yet satisfied…)

The Lino team started using Mattermost

We started to use as our platform for discussion. This service is run by framasoft, a non-profit organization in France using Mattermost, an open source, self-hosted Slack-alternative.

I checked the License and their Manifesto and think that it is okay.

Slack ask 6,25€ per user per month and I think that framasoft should theoretically get some amount like this from us for their service. OTOH also the PSF and the DSF deserve some donations from Lino. And we must keep an eye on our budget. Until now Rumma & Ko has been profitable and that’s a good thing because it allows us to grant the wage for Tonis and Hamza at least until end of 2019. But at the moment my feeling says that we cannot afford any donations.

Another thing (after reading Mattermost vs. Slack for Enterprise) is that actually we should rather self-host our own instance of Mattermost.

Two impulses this week told me that this step was an urgent one:

Greg Polec writes in Software Development Outsourcing setbacks to avoid from now on that communication with a team of developers is a key factor for successful outsourcing, and that outsourcers must “minimize the risk of ineffective communication”. How true! He then advises team project management tools such as as Jira, Trello, or Slack because “all works are transparent for both sides” and the customer gets “a constant control over a current developers’ progress”.

And earlier this week, when I was still pondering the idea of eating our own dog food for our team chats by extending Lino Noi to make it usable from a mobile device, Vahur wrote about Slack: “Ma olen täielik fänn. Soovitan ikkagi Slack desktopi rakendust. Seal on kõige mugavam mitut workspace’i paralleelselt jälgida.”

Yes I am satisfied with that step. Mattermost shows that extending Noi would have been a lot of work.

This step will will influence our way of reporting about our work: many of our comments in Lino Noi will probably be replaced by Mattermost posts.

At least when we have found a solution for getting regular backups of our data on framateam. Framasoft writes that getting a backup of our team data is currently not possible but that Mattermost are thinking about this feature: MM-435. This ticket however doesn’t seem of high priority to them. Because they have an almost equivalent feature: the Bulk Export Tool. It means that framateam might develop an API for getting our backup from their server to one of our machines. We cannot really rely on them as long as this isn’t done. Okay already now it’s better than chatting on Hangouts, which was really almost equivalent of just talking. What I want in the long run is to have all our developer chats about Lino be stored as part of the project somewhere in a safe and public place, together with the source code and the docs.