Is there a live / real-time chat channel

(Patrick Lehner) #1

While Discourse and GitHub issues are great for well-prepared discussions and bug reports/feature requests, respectively, I think it would also be nice to have a place to chat with other users, contributors, and Mozilla staff about Common Voice.

So I’m wondering if there already is any such chat channel (e.g. on Gitter, Slack, etc.)?

Or if not, if the staff have considered creating one (that’s open to the public)?

That would be great for engaging with the community in a more casual way, and letting members of the community engage with each other :slight_smile:

Mission-driven Mozillians & SUMO
(Michael Henretty) #2

Good idea! How about #common-voice on Mozilla’s IRC servers?

(Patrick Lehner) #3

Haha, oh man, I forget that IRC is still around :smiley:

I personally prefer Gitter for open-source projects, since it makes joining the conversation for people who already have a GitHub account.
My second choice would be Slack (or one of its open source alternatives), since I find the UX of these nicer than plain IRC.

That said, if you have reservations about those tools, or just not the time to set up a channel/group/team for CV on one of them, IRC is totally fine (for now :wink: ).

Thanks for getting back to me!

(Omniscimus) #4

I believe there’s already a channel on irc called ‘voice-web’ on

(Francis Tyers) #5

IRC works, :smiley: I’ll idle there…

(Michael Henretty) #6

We have an official slack channel now! Use the link below to get an invite:

(Francis Tyers) #7

Why use slack, which is non-free software when there are tonnes of free alternatives, and also IRC ? :slight_smile:

(Michael Henretty) #8

We still use IRC! The #common-voice channel I mentioned above is still in existence, I hang out there, and occasionally we have conversations there too. But for better or worse, Slack is something people are familiar with, and indeed we have an order of magnitude more engagement there than IRC.

More generally, I’m not the type that thinks we should use Free-and-Open-Source for absolutely everything. Sometimes, it’s worth the time and/or money to use proprietary tools if it’s the right tool for the job (see Joel Spolsky’s 9th step on 12 steps to better code). Personally, I don’t like Slack. But if it’s free and easy to join, and our community likes it, then I won’t stand in the way. This is exactly what happened in this case.

Again, if you refuse to use it, I understand. IRC will also stay around, and you can find me there.

(Tirifto) #9

How about Matrix? It is a libre, federated protocol, which can be used with a libre client, such as Riot. You can make a room there and even bridge it over to the Slack (and IRC) channel.

Using non-libre software to communicate always has a bad and harmful aspect to it. Any discussion to take place there will be missed by those who reject this non-libre platform, and are thus unable to participate. Meanwhile those who prioritize maximizing their engagement may be pushed to run non-libre software, which they otherwise wouldn’t run, in order to do so. This is a significant issue which ought to be prevented, especially in pro-libre communities with an ethical mission, such as Mozilla.

(Michael Henretty) #10

Totally understand your viewpoint. Now does this mean you are offering to help set up one of those channels with the bridge? We will gladly support you in that effort.

(Michael Henretty) #11

and also, how is IRC non-libre software?

(Tirifto) #12

I can try to help to the best of my abilities. However, those may be limited, as I’m only a casual user of Matrix.

You can set up an account on Matrix by registering with a server, or hosting your own. I’ve done the former by registering via the web-based Riot client, at the server (There are other clients, but Riot is the most complete one.)

Riot offers the option to create a new “room” (akin to IRC channel), and also new ”communities”, which may be used to group rooms and users together. Users should be able to join your room via a link, or by searching for it. I believe you can set moderators for a room, although I haven’t investigated this much.

There’s an icon (“Show Apps”) which lets you add bridges to other chat apps. The current options are “IRC”, “Gitter” and “Slack”. Below I quote the description of the Slack bridge:

This integration bridges a Slack channel into a Matrix room. Users in Matrix appear as bots in Slack. Slack users appear as users in Matrix. To configure:

  • In Slack, you must add an Inbound Webhooks and an Outgoing Webhooks integration to the channel you wish to bridge.
  • Please paste the URL that Slack tells you for the Inbound Webhooks to the “Slack incoming webhook URI” below and hit save.
  • Then please paste the URL that we give you for the Outgoing Webhooks to the “Slack outgoing webhook URI” and hit save.

I have never used Slack, so I can’t assist you there, but I suppose you’ll know what’s to be done, going by the instructions. Let me know should you need me to look up further info or do something to help as a Matrix user!

I believe IRC is libre. My statements concerning non-libre software are general and mostly just relevant to Slack here.

(Michael Henretty) #13

Thanks for this background @tirifto. That’s helpful.

The problem is lack of time. You might think that Mozilla has a large team working on Common Voice and so we should obviously support every libre chat app like Matrix and Riot. But the truth is, we only have 1 full-time developer. Given that I have only interacted with a handful of people on Slack/IRC combined, and that our website has hundreds of thousands of users, we are going to focus what little time we have on improving the site rather than building chat integrations (especially when we already support IRC!)

Again, I agree with your philosophy. And if you care so deeply about it, and are committed to the cause, I will give you access to anything you need to set up these chat integrations (that goes for anyone else reading this). But until you have the time/expertise to fix the problems you mention, complaining about it and trying to convince us to work on it is unhelpful, because we have more important things we need to focus on right now (like multi-language Common Voice for instance).

Sorry if this is a disappointing answer. But again, we are in agreement with you philosophy-wise. I challenge you or anyone else to help us improve things here.

(Stefan) #15

Hi everybody, I’m new to the project and stumbled upon this thread.

I started a Matrix channel here:

In order to bridge IRC and Slack (and possibly Gitter, though I haven’t used it) via Matrix, I’d need some permissions:

  • The Slackbot for Riot/Matrix gives me Bridge returned HTTP 500 Internal Server Error: Guest access not allowed
  • The IRC bridge description states: “Bridging must be authorised by a channel operator on the IRC side.”

So if I am to bridge Slack and IRC, I’d need my Slack role changed to something higher than guest, and I need to become IRC channel operator.

My Slack name is Stefan and my IRC name is Stefan_Fairphone.

(Stefan) #16

Quick update: Connecting Slack to Matrix didn’t work out because of the lack of a paid plan (probably). #non-free