Forum OpenACS Development: Suggesion: Weekly OpenACS Chat

Posted by Bart Teeuwisse on

I'd like to suggest a weekly OpenACS chat at the OpenACS channel. A weekly chat could help the community become more efficient. While several community members already hang out at the OpenACS channel it always remains to be seen who is there at a given point in time.

The forums are great for questions, announcements, new developments, etc but lack when it comes to making decissions. The development of the OpenACS site and the next release for example could benefit from a weekly get together. The weekly chat appears to work well for the AOLserver community in this respect.

A quick preliminary chat at the OpenACS channel indicates that Thursdays at 20 GMT = 3 PM EST = NOON PST = early morning in Australia would be a good time for most. This time allows Europeans, Americans and Australians to attend. Neither does it conflict with the AOLserver chat of an hour earlier.

One can reach the OpenACS channel at irc:// Mozilla users (with a complete install) can simply follow this link. Others open their favorite IRC client and connect to the server. Then join the #openacs channel.

If you don't have an IRC client yet, find one that suits your needs at This short IRC primer is recommended reading for all IRC newbies.


Posted by Roberto Mello on
I very much like this idea. #openacs has been the home of many very nice discussions that ended up getting into OpenACS, and I think this weekly chat will be a nice way for the community to stay focused.


Posted by C. R. Oldham on
I second this.  It's a great idea.

BTW I know some have been squeamish about logging the #openacs channel, but couldn't we restart that and put the chat logs on the openacs server so only registered users could get at them?  I found the resource invaluable.

At the very least we should log the weekly chats.

Posted by Don Baccus on
It's a good idea, yes.  All it takes are a couple of motivated people to announce them regularly and perhaps to pick a specific OpenACS 4 topic or two to discuss?
Posted by Lars Pind on
Go for it, Bart!

It's a good idea to set the topics and the agenda in advance. A thread started on the boards a day or two in advance should suffice.


Posted by Peter Marklund on
Very good initiative Bart! I second that logging is very important. I would also like the dotLRN meetings (TAB, steering group etc.) to be logged or at least summarized in a public place, preferably on
Posted by Bart Teeuwisse on
With no objections to the day and time so far, I'd like to hold our first chat -of many to come- this Thursday at noon PST.

I propose the following agenda:

- 'To log or not to log', Should the #openacs IRC channel be logged?
  - And if so, all the time or only during weekly chats?
  - Where/how should the logs be published?

- Status inventory of:
  - OpenACS, the toolkit (4.6 has just been released, now what?)
  - OpenACS, the web site
  - dotLRN, where do we stand.
  - dotWRK maybe?

This should give us more than enough to talk about and the agenda of a subsequent chat could follow from the outcome of our discussion.

Suggestions for additional topics are welcome.


Posted by Talli Somekh on
Thursday would be great, as long as it doesn't conflict with the AOLserver chat. Anyone know when that is?

Paging resident ACT member, Tom Jackson...


Posted by Steve Manning on
The AOLServer chat is at 19:00 GMT/UTC which whilst this doesn't clash it does overlap. If you get a really good discussion going on AOLServer you may get fewer attendees at the OpenACS chat ;-P

To get a feel for whether this will be a problem you can sift through the AOLServer chat logs to see how active they still are at 20:00.

    - Steve

Posted by Don Baccus on
Jeff Davis has generously agreed to summarize our TAB chats.  We don't want to publish direct logs for a couple of reasons.  First of all, like everyone else, we just chat and thumb-twiddle for parts of the meeting and then apologize when our net connection crashes or one of us has a power failure (both happened today).  Lots of garbage.  Boring stuff.

Secondly we do discuss certain business and personnel issues which aren't appropriate for community exposure.  Issues regarding employees of Sloan or other entities that by all rights should be private.  Likewise at times business issues may raise their messy head.  In part this isn't so much due to the TAB stuff but rather that we're already chatting so we find it convenient to discuss stuff privately.

Which is why the general OpenACS channel is no longer logged by default, as I understand it.  Right?

I just don't think it's appropriate to publicize information given by, say, Lars Pind on Collaboraid's funding status with the University of Heidelberg.  If Lars wants to make details public, he's free to publish them on his own but I don't think our TAB discussions should be set up as a default public disclosure forum for all private business matters related to dotLRN.

I personally trust Jeff to expose in summary form everything that is of importance to the community that doesn't expose individuals or organizations to public embarassment or ridicule.

And we are planning to publish them in an obvious place, to be announced before too long (a week or two, not sure how long Jeff will take to summarize current stuff and for us to decide just where to dump the summaries).

Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
What is true for Jeff and the TAB chats might be true for anyone else and any other topic as well. I think copy from IRC window to the browser for insertion into a bboard message should not be that hard. And this way the poster has the possibility to add a Topic to the chat, continue a further lively discussion in asynchronous mode. If this goes out of control (we have more chat postings than other ones in the forums) we might consider opening up a special forum just for this.

Concerning the prominent space for TAB records. It would be cool if you could post them to the forum, maybe with a [TAB <date>]: <topic> in the subject. This way other people would have an easy chance to comment on and continue your discussions afterwards.

Posted by Ben Koot on
Hi folks,

I tried to access a number of times. The link apears to be dead, at least on my end.

Any thougts on how to get on board? I am using as IM client. Personally I think it would be more effetivve to create an interface between OpenACS an Trillian, as the would allow us to, "talk" to Yahoo, MSN, AOL and ICQ . Jabber won't give this fucntionality!!



What you are trying to achieve is what I have set up with the (crapy) deault Openacs Why not use our own system. I realize nobody likes it, but it realy works. It's not perfect, but that's what Malte has solved with his jabber application. (I mean if you are looking for a more sophisticated solution) I would advise to give this a try for internal communication with OpenACS hackers over the IRC soluttion!!!

During office hours I am in constant communciation with 25 Dutch secrataries around the country, have no problems with firewalls and no one complains about downloading software  (their system administrators won't allow). There are a few minor details that could greatly enhance functionality however.

The secretaries share files, the latest gossip, pictures and everyting else Open ACS allows. It would help to have a postgres port of the chat into 4.6, so if anybody is working on that I would like to hear. That would allow me to dump OpenACS 3.25.


Posted by Roberto Mello on
I think the link was not a very good idea exactly because of the situation we're seeing here. The link only works in Mozilla clients that have tho chatzilla client installed.

It won't work with other browsers unless you do some fiddling. Don't even know if it's possible with IE.

Regarding Trillian, read bugtraq. But if you want to insist on using it, then it can talk to IRC servers. Just go into your accounts and tell it to connect to as the server. And then join #openacs.

There's a link for IRC beginners at the openacs irc page.

On the integration issue, OpenACS is a server-side solution for web applications. Trillian is a client for multiple instant messaging protocols, and IRC. The AOLserver+Jabber integration was possible because Jabber also has a server. Not so with trillian.


Posted by Tilmann Singer on
Then let's change the link text to something like:

(direct link - doesn't work with all browsers)

Instead of removing it. In those cases when the link works it's an enormous time saver.

Posted by Bart Teeuwisse on
With the exception of the link on all links to the #openacs channel explicitly say that _only_ Mozilla users with a _complete_ install can use the direct link. Users with other browsers are instructed to open their favorite IRC client and connect to the server. Then join the #openacs channel.

Links to to find a suitable IRC client and a short IRC primer at are provided.

Ben, you'll find the same instructions at the top of this thread as well as Hope to see you at #openacs soon.