Suggestion for growing the community around Crystal

Elixir and Elm are open source, yet they use Slack. So I think this sentence is not true.

The truth is, many people come to Crystal because they know Ruby and it has many similarities. Popular languages like Go, Java, C#, all have a syntax similar to the one that started with C, C++. Familiary is something good. It’s not necessary, but if it’s less familiar then there will be less initial adoption. Heck, even Elm has a syntax that’s pretty similar to Haskell.

We already tried Zulip and we are not convinced. You can’t freely chat, you always have to chat under some topic. That is, if you enter a channel, you can’t start talking. You have to either find an existing topic, click and, then chat there, or create a new topic. To me (and I think to Juan and Brian, not sure), this is an unnecessary friction. Having chat and individual threads if needed, like Slack does, is preferred (for me).

Also, neither Juan nor Brian had Zulip. I’m sure very few people have Zulip installed. But many, many people use Slack, so they already have it open during the day (and maybe night).

Slack is just a web app, where we need an account. I don’t get what means “having it”?
Application or not, a new tab/workspace has to be added, and a new account created.

One thing to keep is IRC, lots of people are using it.

I mean most people are used to Slack, know how it works, have the native app installed, etc.

Haha, I hope that is a freudian slip :)

I doubt that’s really true. Not sure what “most people” is supposed to mean. But Slack has what 12, 15 Mio users world wide, about half of them from the US. Given that also includes a fair share of users that are not really target audience for Crystal, it’s not far to assume that many potential members of Crystal’s community are not already using Slack. Especially when looking outside the US.
A noteworthy detail in this regard is that Slack has excluded users from certain US-sanctioned countries in the past (not sure if that still applies). That would make us subject to decisions made by others about who is allowed to participate in our community. I think that’s a very alerting situation. Similar things could probably happen with other (US-based) SaaS providers as well so it’s not an argument against Slack specifically.

@IEatReturnValues has already mocked on Slack not having a real native app (at least not for desktop). It’s just a web app shipped with a browser. But so is VS Code and it’s very popular in the Crystal community :man_shrugging:
Still, if you already have the Slack app installed, adding another workspace is a small step.
And on mobile I think the native app argument is fully acceptable.


You are right. I am judging based on companies I’ve worked at in the us so it may not be one of the most used worldwide. I believe it may be one of the major ones among programmers and programming communities but I don’t have numbers to back that up!

Right, let’s not turn “many employed people in the US” into “most people”. Younger people should also feel welcome.

Definitely. All should feel welcome. I don’t think we should make people feel unwelcome and sorry if my post made it feel that way.

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What we could do:

  • List all possible solutions, with a link to their features/plans (e.g. Slack Free plan, Zulip Standard plan, Discord Free plan, IRC, Gitter, Matrix)
  • Create a survey to probe Crystalers what they use, and what they wish to use, to have a better idea of what may fit better the community (may use an order of preference)
  • The result won’t lead to an immediate decision, it main use is to better know the community instead of making assumptions of what it needs, in order then to make a better decision.

It is a long time a survey was not proposed, it is a good opportunity to have one with other questions! Like asking what IDE they use, if they use it at work or only personal projects…


Did not come off that way to me. Oprypin just being oprypin :grin: :grin:

Mozilla had a similar discussion recently. Here is their decision.


Thanks for sharing that @oren!

Two details in that announcement struck me as being important to our discussion process here as well (highlighted by me):

Today, after almost a year of research, consulting, gathering requirements, testing candidate stacks and distilling everything we’ve learned in the process down to the essentials

They took a long time to evaluate and make a decision.
Our community is much smaller and has fewer operational constraints, so I’d expect we can act much more agile. But still, there’s no reason to rush. We don’t have a demand for quick migration, the current setup has brought us so far and can certainly do for a while.

it had to be not just transparent but open, not just legitimate but seen to be legitimate

We don’t just need a pick, but a decision making process that results in a solution that is supported and lived by the community.


And what they will definitely not use and rather just stop regular participation


Has anyone considered Discord?

There is an unofficial discord server.

In the mean time, @asterite could you post the new invite link to the slack server?


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Hmm in the interest of not splintering the community (and I realize this is an ongoing discussion);

I’m curious as to why this forum ( is not what’s linked from the crystal-lang home page. The home page links to this Google Group:!forum/crystal-lang

Shouldn’t the page link to this discord forum instead?


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Top link “Forum” is pointing to this forum. What link are you talking about?

Bottom of page “Community Channels”

“General discussion” is the google group. That should point here.

Note if you expand to “Show All” it correctly links to this forum again on that page. So this appears to be the only link to fix