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From Grant Ingersoll <>
Subject Re: #mahout IRC
Date Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:21:37 GMT
I'm on the fence.  It's used extensively in Lucene.  We also log it, or at least the dev channel.
 It's a boon for the "full time" devs out there.  For the rest of us, I'm undecided.

On the plus side, you get real time interaction.  You also get some fun banter from time to
time w/ friends.  On the down side, I think it takes away the opportunity for people to contribute
to discussions asynchronously, as there is a tendency to discuss on IRC, plop it in JIRA and
then put in the patch/fix/etc.  This is great if you are the one doing the work, but it's
not so great if you missed the conversation.     I think the big issue maybe is simply that
the logs from IRC aren't part of the normal mailing list workflow.  Sometimes, you also get
less thoughtful answers b/c email forces you to write down your thoughts/responses whereas
IRC is more on the fly.

I'm not against it, but, at a minimum, keep in mind that if a "decision" is made there, it
should be captured and put in JIRA and there should still be time allotted for it to ruminate
in JIRA (It is common courtesy anyway, for big stuff, to give warnings like: "I'm going to
commit this in 3 days unless I hear otherwise") so that others who aren't on IRC have a chance
to discuss it.  (See -- see
 That kind of covers the dev side.

On the user side, there is a huge benefit for discussions to be on the mailing list here as
I think most people's workflow, plus Google, etc. make it easy to lookup past answers.  That
being said, most users in Lucene land don't use the IRC channels for questions.  It's more
a dev hangout.

At the end of the day, I guess I'd say let's put it up on the wiki along w/ the mailing lists
so that people know where it is and let's keep an eye out for some of the telltale signs of
it siphoning off good community interaction and then make adjustments as appropriate.


On Aug 30, 2011, at 2:56 PM, Sebastian Schelter wrote:

> I like the idea too, I'll start idling a little in the chat. We should find a way to
protocol the discussions there to make the knowledge gained available later.
> --sebastian
> On 30.08.2011 15:42, Dan Brickley wrote:
>> On 30 August 2011 15:17, Dhruv Kumar<>  wrote:
>>> Interesting indeed!
>>> On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM, Ted Dunning<>  wrote:
>>>> Interesting.  I didn't know about the IRC channel.  The hbase group uses
>>>> IRC extensively.
>> In the RDF scene we've had #swig (previously #rdfig) in continuous use
>> for about a decade. It's not easy getting critical mass, but we found
>> having logs and a few tools really helped with the timezone-aspects
>> (see
>> and nearby).
>> Freenode don't seem to offer logging tools out-of-the-box but there is
>> at least a reasonable Web-based client
>> Dan

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