Migrating to Discord

TL;DR: The PureScript has a new dedicated Discord server for community discussions. You can join here. (https://purescript.org/chat)

The users and maintainers of PureScript have a variety of communication needs. For asynchronous communication, we’ve always used GitHub issue trackers, and we introduced the PureScript Discourse a few years ago. For synchronous communication we started on IRC, then largely migrated to the #purescript channel on the FP Slack.

As we’ve grown it’s become clear the FP Slack is not able to serve our needs as a community. Joining the Slack is a high-friction experience (the invite bot isn’t even functioning anymore), our message history isn’t saved, and we don’t have the ability to moderate our own community. We need a dedicated space for PureScript.

We’ve reviewed and experimented with various chat platforms (Zulip, Matrix, Gitter, IRC…), but ultimately settled on Discord. Like all platforms it has its problems, but it also has significant advantages:

  • As of 2021, Discord has 13.5 million active servers in any given week and 140 million active users in any given month. The service is reliable, stable, and supported.
  • Discord has strong, clear, and easy-to-use moderation tools.
  • Discord supports rich media and includes audio, video, and support for streaming to an audience – which means our PureScript team meetings and community meetups can move to Discord.
  • Discord has official mobile, desktop, and web clients, so you can install a client if you want but are not required to.
  • Unlike Slack, Discord preserves the history of messages sent in our community channels. Also unlike Slack, Discord is designed for communities, not companies.
  • Other open source projects have successfully migrated to Discord, such as Rust.

There are some problems with Discord – the biggest being that it is proprietary software – but ultimately its advantages outweigh the disadvantages for managing an official chat platform for the community.

  • Discord is not libre or self-hosted software
    We would prefer to use free / self-hosted alternatives instead of a walled garden, but the productivity advantages of Discord are significant. Similarly, we already use proprietary software to develop PureScript (GitHub); while using free, open source software is a significant plus, it’s not the only factor that we consider.
  • Discord shares some user data with other companies as described in their privacy policy.
    In locations with data privacy laws users can somewhat opt-out of this, but it’s not an option available for everyone and it requires using third-party sites. Please read the privacy policy before joining. If you need to have a secure conversation, please use other software.

The core and contributors teams have moved over to Discord already and have had a positive experience. We’ve made the decision to make Discord the official chat platform for our community discussions. In the future, we hope to also make Zulip (which is free, open source software) another official channel.

Other existing chats like such as the PureScript channel on the FP Slack still exist and you should feel free to use them, but only as unofficial gathering places. The core team is leaving the platform.

If you would like to try out the Discord, this permanent invite link will get you going: Chat

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I got this when using the invite link:

Would you mind trying again? I’ve just checked on my end and see it working, and I still see people joining the server. If not, I can create a backup link as well.

Apparently I had been signed out of the Discord app and that’s why I was getting the message above. Not a great user flow on Discord’s side :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I have edited this post because one of the Discord downsides is no longer relevant – threads! Discord has launched threads, and our server should have them by the end of the week.

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