Shopware goes gitter

A huge change for the community

For several years now, since 2011 to be precise, there is a small but vibrant chat community on freenode in the #shopware channel.

All these people chatting there have one thing in common, they are working on the Shopware ecommerce system, in one way or the other.

Now these times will be over. As of the end of October 2017, the IRC channel will be closed. If you hear a faint scream in the distance it may be one of the guys from the IRC channel who is just reading this post as you do now.

But! of course we will not leave you alone in the dark. And we are not closing the IRC channel because we don't like people chatting. In fact, we love your passion for shopware and we want to communicate with you and we want you to have a platform where you can communicate directly to other people involved with Shopware.

So, why the change? What changes? What are the consequences? Just read further, friend, and find out.

What will change?

For a short period of time (read: one month) the IRC channel will stay open. During this period we will actively transfer people to Gitter.

After this, the IRC channel will be closed and all chat activity will take place on Gitter.

If you are an IRC user by now, you can use your client for Gitter as well, just follow the steps mentioned at the end of the contribution page. Of course we encourage you to use the clients provided by Gitter, since most IRC clients don't handle markdown that well.

Since there are a lot of german users, those will find a german channel to make their lifes easier.

If you are new to the show, just Gitter!

What is Gitter?

In case you are new to this, Gitter is a free, open source chat where you login with your github or twitter account and are able to chat immediatly. Like IRC, but with more features and more or less integrated with our github repository. Like Slack, but more community-centric.

If you want to know the full story, there is a nice wikipedia article about the service.

One of the biggest changes for former IRC users: Gitter chatrooms are public and save history indefinitely. So everything you say is wisdom for eternity. Or embarrassment, but this is an unusual state of mind for shopware enthusiasts. So be careful. There be dragons. On the other hand, you don't need that icky bouncer anymore. ;)

But... why?

To cite the devdocs irc page:

Since 2011, the shopware IRC channel was active and well established.
Today, IRC is a little bit nerdy and we really love it. Most of the cool kids are playing on freenode.

But besides the coolness there are a few disadvantages that come with using IRC:

  • No history without 3rd party software
  • No mapping between the contributor and the IRC nick (Who is xenomorph again?)
  • No easy access except through anonymous web IRC clients
  • Lacks modern features like image sharing, formatting and such

Of course, all these points are arguable.
But in the end, we wanted to have a chat community with easier access and more modern features.

We hope to not lose any old IRC users (we learned to love you all at #shopware) and get many new and interesting people to join Gitter.

The transition

First step is, the IRC channels will get +m and +s and all users will get a message similar to:

Come join us and Gitter

From then on, every user who joins the IRC channel will automatically be notified of the new situation.

After one month, the channel will become invite only.

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