Stream: project leads (public)

Topic: Group Collaboration Tools


XAMPPRocky (Feb 05 2020 at 17:15, on Zulip):

Hey, I don't know about anyone else but I've had a few issues with our current solutions for group collaboration tools/services. I'd like to find better solutions for these, I've outlined some of my motivation for these tools below and separated them in sections. Primary which are things I think we should try to address first, and Secondary for nice to haves.

Primary

Calendar

Right now we have a public Google Calendar for community team meetings and community events. We also have a compiler team calendar. However to my knowledge not every team has a public calendar, and there is no way without importing every calendar, to see all of the Rust team meetings.

I'd like to try to have every public team meeting viewable in a public calendar. This would be beneficial for both new and elder members. New members would have a single place to see what meetings are happening and join ones they are interested in. When creating meetings, being able to see other teams schedule helps you avoid conflicts with members that are on multiple teams (a common situation in our organisation).

File-sharing

As Rust grows, more work is done in areas where manual version control with git is a hindrance. For instance this week I updated the favicon for the Rust website. This work was done with Affinity Designer (An alternative to Photoshop). I would like to keep the source work saved somewhere where other team members can access it. Even in this case where it's not likely to be updated frequently, I'm hesitant to put it in git because it will pollute the history of the repository and make clones take longer.

Another problem I have run into is when documents need to be private, we don't have a great solution that provides group level permission into files. I don't know how many times while organising the all hands I had to fiddle with GSuite's permissions on documents to ensure all the correct people could see the documents.

Secondary

Video Meetings

Right now some members have access to paid Zoom accounts to create video calls, and we also have Discord video calls. However Discord's calls aren't publicly join-able and not everyone can create a Zoom call when they need to. It would be nice if could offer all members a solution that allows any member to host video calls.

Potential Solutions

Right now the only solution I've explored in depth is Nextcloud, simply because they are an out of the box solution to the above three problems, which can be hosted or provided for us, and are open source. I'd be interested in solutions that are not Nextcloud though and any potential solutions don't have to address all at once.

Kyle Strand (Feb 05 2020 at 17:32, on Zulip):

I am 100% in agreement that a unified and easily-accessible calendar would be beneficial. The other two sound important as well, but I haven't personally seen the impact yet.

I don't know what Nextcloud provides for scheduling, but it would be great if we could replace Doodle-polls with some kind of calendar-integrated scheduling tool.

XAMPPRocky (Feb 05 2020 at 17:38, on Zulip):

@Kyle Strand Nextcloud does also offer some kind of polling solution ala Doodle, but I haven't looked into it much.

XAMPPRocky (Feb 05 2020 at 17:39, on Zulip):

The Nextcloud calendar also has Free/Busy, so if everyone put their Free/Busy times in you could create meetings without a doodle poll I guess.

nikomatsakis (Feb 06 2020 at 10:23, on Zulip):

+1 to calendar, this is probably the place to start imo

nikomatsakis (Feb 06 2020 at 10:23, on Zulip):

Regarding file sharing, I wonder if part of the problem is not having a "sync" from the team repo to google/zulip/other things where permissions have to be managed

nikomatsakis (Feb 06 2020 at 10:24, on Zulip):

I don't really know much about Google Drive but it feels like it may be the best choice here

nikomatsakis (Feb 06 2020 at 10:24, on Zulip):

But I don't claim to have exhaustively explored the alternatives

nikomatsakis (Feb 06 2020 at 10:24, on Zulip):

Well I guess you explicitly mentioned NextCloud, let me check that out ;)

XAMPPRocky (Feb 06 2020 at 10:28, on Zulip):

@nikomatsakis I think the problem with setting things up with Google Drive is that we'd have to actually use GSuite which costs per user per month. I don't know if Google offers any kinds of discounts for FOSS organisations.

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 10:33, on Zulip):

I think the problem with setting things up with Google Drive is that we'd have to actually use GSuite which costs per user per month. I don't know if Google offers any kinds of discounts for FOSS organisations.

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 10:33, on Zulip):

We have contacts at Google, if this is something we want we could just ask

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 10:34, on Zulip):

As Rust grows, more work is done in areas where manual version control with git is a hindrance. For instance this week I updated the favicon for the Rust website. This work was done with Affinity Designer (An alternative to Photoshop). I would like to keep the source work saved somewhere where other team members can access it. Even in this case where it's not likely to be updated frequently, I'm hesitant to put it in git because it will pollute the history of the repository and make clones take longer.

Wouldn't git-lfs work for this?

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 10:36, on Zulip):

Right now some members have access to paid Zoom accounts to create video calls, and we also have Discord video calls. However Discord's calls aren't publicly join-able and not everyone can create a Zoom call when they need to. It would be nice if could offer all members a solution that allows any member to host video calls.

Personally I'd try to stick to Zoom if possible. There are other video call services completly free to use and publicly-joinable, but in my experience Zoom is one of the few services that "just work" with a good call quality.

davidtwco (Feb 06 2020 at 10:57, on Zulip):

(there's also Zoom integration for Zulip)

XAMPPRocky (Feb 06 2020 at 11:03, on Zulip):

We have contacts at Google, if this is something we want we could just ask

If someone could make the initial contact I would appreciate it. :slight_smile:

XAMPPRocky (Feb 06 2020 at 11:09, on Zulip):

Wouldn't git-lfs work for this?

Not to me, git isn't a replacement for file sharing. to transfer a file to someone across git it takes a lot of steps (track, add, commit, push, pull) compared to a regular file share (upload, download). The more process we can cut out the more likely people (especially more non-technical people) are to use the tools.

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:14, on Zulip):

Not to me, git isn't a replacement for file sharing. to transfer a file to someone across git it takes a lot of steps (track, add, commit, push, pull) compared to a regular file share (upload, download). The more process we can cut out the more likely people (especially more non-technical people) are to use the tools.

But for the use case you mentioned (the favicon for the website), we want the file to be tracked in git, so we can see who changed what (even though there is no plaintext diff) and look at previous revisions.

XAMPPRocky (Feb 06 2020 at 11:26, on Zulip):

@Pietro Albini Most document sharing services have some kind of automatic version control, which I think would be sufficient.

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:27, on Zulip):

but it's more discoverable and easier to check out if it's just in git (lfs)

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:27, on Zulip):

I think we already have a problem of spreading information too much around

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:27, on Zulip):

we're making efforts to fix that ( :heart: for your focus on the forge), let's not make things worse

XAMPPRocky (Feb 06 2020 at 11:37, on Zulip):

@Pietro Albini Well I would pushback on that, because to my knowledge people have the option of using git-lfs right now but I don't really see people using it, instead typically they share through their cloud service because that's more convenient. When people do put these files in git it's usually directly. Providing people with a dedicated place to store these files helps to reduce spread.

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:40, on Zulip):

I don't agree, I think we should push to using git (either lfs or not) for assets related to repositories

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:40, on Zulip):

which is what we're already doing, like with https://github.com/rust-lang/rust-artwork

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:41, on Zulip):

for stuff completly unrelated (like receipts for all hands reimbursements) I agree having some sort of cloud storage could be useful

Pietro Albini (Feb 06 2020 at 11:41, on Zulip):

but I find having as much as possible available when I git clone invaluable

Last update: Feb 25 2020 at 04:20UTC