I was e-mailing with @CynthiaReynolds the recently and there is one topic I find important to bring up here. It’s regarding the chat communication channel at Slack which I find to be challenging the idea of an OpenFoodNetwork and limiting the potential of OFN’s growth and flexibility (see The Open Organization by Jim Whitehurst). Also I find it potentially dangerous because of e.g. (quote @CynthiaReynolds):
“OFN has gotten a free non-profit Slack plan, but yes archiving will be an issue, it was discussed and we chose to stick with it”
I think the archive issue, data ownership, gated community and lock-in of users are all big problems for both the short & long-term sustainability of OFN. Open channels and communication protocols which respects and upholds the same philosophy as OFN stands for will more easily get e.g. hackers more interested to contribute to the software.
So I’d like to start the conversation on the main alternative which can strengthen OFN’s credibility as an OpenFoodNetwork, foster community, avoid future pains and enable easier growth.
- XMPP (aka Jabber) - The Open Standard since 1999 (and what runs e.g. Facebook Chat & Google Chat)
There are numerous free and public servers to host chat rooms. (can’t add a 3rd link here as a new user)
There are also numerous great clients for Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS & Android
Example of Webclient https://conversejs.org/
There are more alternatives to present here but XMPP is the most long-term sustainable choice at this point of time and it’s constantly being developed, works great with other services, group chats and will never have to cost OFN anything.