Should Ember better define its use of Slack?

Just another .02$: I do think that it is really difficult to generalise the question, because different types of questions are more or less suitable for a specific medium.

The ember community to me is an awesome community, if you know all the places where you will find specific information because all the resources are scattered around a lot of places. Some go stale quicker than others.

the places you currently need to know to make the most of ember (and there still are things I don’t know where to find):

  • emberjs documentation - pretty much a no brainer
  • emberjs blog to follow up on past and future changes
  • ember learning & guides - best practices
  • GitHub to find out if the error you are seeing already is known
  • RFCs to follow up on changes that are currently under development
  • this forum - for questions, issues and best practices
  • stackoverflow - same same
  • slack - for obvious reasons
  • various great blogs about ember (mostly best practices) - pretty much scattered around the web
  • ember weekly - to get notified about interesting add ons (lists good blogs posts and videos as well)
  • emberobserver / npmjs et al - more addons
  • ember times - best practices and news

If anyone doubts this, I propose to answer the following question: “what was the current status of ember 3.1.0 on any day between 3/26 and 4/10 other than ‘not yet available’?”

I see a number of types of questions:

I am running ember x.x.x and now I am suddenly seeing error xyz and I am totally stuck

Should I open an issue on github? should I ask on slack? should I post here? do I use stack overflow?

It is not very easy especially for new devs to figure out what the right thing is to do. But it actually kind of is:

  • is it specific to your code or a general, replicable, framework issue? general issues should most likely end up on github, however the path until they get there is not clear.
  • the more specific an issue is to application code, the better it might be suited for real time messaging, as it might take several iterations to collect all the necessary information about the problem. vice versa, the more an issue is related to the framework or a specific version, the better it is suited for a forum or issue tracker, as a number of people most likely will run into it. The easier it is to find out where to search, the less noise everybody will suffer. I remember the last time I accidentally noticed an issue I was having was currently asked about on slack, and people already were that stressed that the only answer has been “the error already contains the answer”.
  • Probably we should have more detailed guidelines about which type of question is appropriate for which medium and what the needed details are

I want to build xyz, but I don’t really know if I should do it this way or that way. What is the right way (best practices) to do xyz with ember?

As an opinionated framework we probably should not have this issue as much as the less opinionated ones. However, in the past it often has been difficult to find out how to do it the “ember way”. And this has reached a point where I received an issue for an ember addon, which basically said: ‘you are not doing it the ember way. you should change that’. And no one (not even the submitter) was able to explain what the right “ember way” was. To some degree this is a natural thing, as things evolve and take time to get accepted. However, within the last year I often got the impression that the best way to do things in ember is found on a blog somewhere on the web, rather than on the emberjs website.

I really do like what @rwjblue mentioned regarding the ability to curate parts of a discussion and build a forum post from that. But maybe we could take it a step further and build some sort of moderated emberjs blog. A discussion about a specific question could end with a suggestion to write a post about that on the official ember blog. Someone would take the important parts of the conversation and write a short blog post from that. Before that post goes online one of the moderators would review it and to check if posted information is correct. That way we could end up with a central list of how to do things which is of good quality. Plus everybody gets the chance to appear on the official ember blog. And people with their own blogs could link or repost.

I have a very specific architectural problem that I don’t know how to solve and I need some opinions. Or I need to find out how to build this addon or anything else framework development specific

I believe this is where real time communication like slack really shines as feedback cycles are very short.

However, there is one huge advantage which slack currently has over this forum. Structure. Everything has it’s own channel. The categories here have improved since I looked last time, but we could probably find ways to refine this further. As already suggested earlier, adding an ember version field could probably also help a lot.

In the end I believe we should not ask if we should move everything from one place or another. But we should have good rules what goes where. And we should try to find ways to consolidate all the information that is available. There is a huge amount of great resources out there. But it is very hard to know all the places where they are, especially if you are new to the ember ecosystem.