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  1. Request For Comments
  2. RFC-87

make hipchat history ephemeral

    Details

    • Type: RFC
    • Status: Withdrawn
    • Resolution: Done
    • Component/s: DM, LSST
    • Labels:
      None
    • Location:
      Jira

      Description

      Hipchat is currently configured to keep message history "forever". I feel that IM should be treated as fairly immediate communication mechanism which is more similar to a conference call rather than an indelible history. In light of the discussion at the 2015 AHM about moving durable communication to other mediums (I.e., discourse), I propose that we limit hipchat's message retention to 30 days.

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            jsick Jonathan Sick added a comment -

            +1. The legal implications of essentially all of our virtual water cooler conversations being recorded for eternity are chilling.

            Show
            jsick Jonathan Sick added a comment - +1. The legal implications of essentially all of our virtual water cooler conversations being recorded for eternity are chilling.
            Hide
            ktl Kian-Tat Lim added a comment -

            I'm not sure why "hipchat-room style discussion won't work well (cf. discussion of threading)". It seems to me that Discourse is no worse than HipChat (which has no threading at all) and, at worst, can be used in exactly the same way. The use of topics, quotes, and perhaps per-post replies can provide additional context that HipChat doesn't readily allow.

            Show
            ktl Kian-Tat Lim added a comment - I'm not sure why "hipchat-room style discussion won't work well (cf. discussion of threading)". It seems to me that Discourse is no worse than HipChat (which has no threading at all) and, at worst, can be used in exactly the same way. The use of topics, quotes, and perhaps per-post replies can provide additional context that HipChat doesn't readily allow.
            Hide
            rhl Robert Lupton added a comment -

            I meant that discourse is designed to work differently, and if we use a hipchat-style approach we're misusing the tool. For example, proposing a doodle poll clutters up the list of topics with something of transient interest. Adding marginally relevant comments to a topic is better handled by starting a linked topic.

            So we can use discourse as a new hipchat and it won't be worse, but if we change our modus operandus we'll find it more useful.

            Show
            rhl Robert Lupton added a comment - I meant that discourse is designed to work differently, and if we use a hipchat-style approach we're misusing the tool. For example, proposing a doodle poll clutters up the list of topics with something of transient interest. Adding marginally relevant comments to a topic is better handled by starting a linked topic. So we can use discourse as a new hipchat and it won't be worse, but if we change our modus operandus we'll find it more useful.
            Hide
            gpdf Gregory Dubois-Felsmann added a comment -

            Robert Lupton, are you suggesting that we not use Discourse at all for things like announcing a Doodle poll? Or that there be dedicated topics for this that we re-awaken as needed?

            In the specific case of that example, I would not have previously supported using HipChat as the main vehicle for announcing a poll, because it's too easy to miss a one-liner in reviewing a day's worth of HC. I think a new topic in Discourse would work fairly well, either in an open category for a meeting of general interest, a closed category for a meeting within an established team, or a private message to the team members.

            Show
            gpdf Gregory Dubois-Felsmann added a comment - Robert Lupton , are you suggesting that we not use Discourse at all for things like announcing a Doodle poll? Or that there be dedicated topics for this that we re-awaken as needed? In the specific case of that example, I would not have previously supported using HipChat as the main vehicle for announcing a poll, because it's too easy to miss a one-liner in reviewing a day's worth of HC. I think a new topic in Discourse would work fairly well, either in an open category for a meeting of general interest, a closed category for a meeting within an established team, or a private message to the team members.
            Hide
            mjuric Mario Juric added a comment -

            My few cents:

            I agree with John Swinbank's analogy; that is the problem that HipChat was introduced to solve. It was not meant to be a place to permanently store information.

            I think the intent/desire from the start was to use HipChat for ephemeral discussions, and mailing lists for more persistent/consequential conversations (including summarizing HipChat discussions). This unfortunately didn't happen; because HipChat retained history, summarizing to mailing list turned into an "when I get to it" task (which was, typically, never). That doomed the mailing lists (traffic is now practically zero), forced everyone onto HipChat, created anxiety about having to follow all chats instead, etc.

            While theoretically we could just decide to "do it right" from now on, I am doubtful that a culture change can happen w/o a bit of help from a policy change. This is based on the fact that we've been trying to change the culture basically from the moment HipChat was introduced. In retrospect, I think it was a mistake to turn the history on in the first place: if a tool allows an anti-pattern to get amplified, it will get amplified. And not having history would also clearly differentiate chat from mailing lists (and made it intuitively clear what is a good use case for one or the other).

            That's why support the idea (and would even advocate for an even shorter retention period, but am willing to settle for a month to achieve a compromise ). And, as K-T said, nothing that already exists will be deleted – this is about retention going forward.

            PS: I'm using "mailing lists" above, as RFC-85 hasn't been adopted yet.

            Show
            mjuric Mario Juric added a comment - My few cents: I agree with John Swinbank 's analogy; that is the problem that HipChat was introduced to solve. It was not meant to be a place to permanently store information. I think the intent/desire from the start was to use HipChat for ephemeral discussions, and mailing lists for more persistent/consequential conversations (including summarizing HipChat discussions). This unfortunately didn't happen; because HipChat retained history, summarizing to mailing list turned into an "when I get to it" task (which was, typically, never). That doomed the mailing lists (traffic is now practically zero), forced everyone onto HipChat, created anxiety about having to follow all chats instead, etc. While theoretically we could just decide to "do it right" from now on, I am doubtful that a culture change can happen w/o a bit of help from a policy change. This is based on the fact that we've been trying to change the culture basically from the moment HipChat was introduced. In retrospect, I think it was a mistake to turn the history on in the first place: if a tool allows an anti-pattern to get amplified, it will get amplified. And not having history would also clearly differentiate chat from mailing lists (and made it intuitively clear what is a good use case for one or the other). That's why support the idea (and would even advocate for an even shorter retention period, but am willing to settle for a month to achieve a compromise ). And, as K-T said, nothing that already exists will be deleted – this is about retention going forward. PS: I'm using "mailing lists" above, as RFC-85 hasn't been adopted yet.

              People

              • Assignee:
                jhoblitt Joshua Hoblitt
                Reporter:
                jhoblitt Joshua Hoblitt
                Watchers:
                Andrew Connolly, David Ciardi [X] (Inactive), Frossie Economou, Gregory Dubois-Felsmann, Jason Alt [X] (Inactive), John Swinbank, Jonathan Sick, Joshua Hoblitt, Kian-Tat Lim, Mario Juric, Robert Lupton, Tim Jenness, Yusra AlSayyad
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                  Updated:
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