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September 26, 2022

Give me some Slack

There was a time I could open up one or two Slack spaces and consume the news. But long gone are those days. There are dozens (?) of chat spaces to keep track of. And it seems a sign of the fragmentation of the Magento community.

TL;DR

The Magento ecosystem is fragmented and it shows, if you consider the amount of Slack (and Discords) out there. This is a listing of what I'm signed into (which might be of your interest) but also my complaint that this is too many.

My start: In the Dutch community

In the past, the Magento community in The Netherlands organized one of the first Magento events world-wide and this quickly was followed by the start of a Slack space: The Dutchento Slack was very active for years. Unfortunately, the activity of the Dutch community has declined, there hasn't been a MeetMagento event for years (but there have been MageTestFests and Reacticons, whoop whoop Yireo) and the Slack chat got quiet - people moved elsewhere. Still, it is in my list to check up for things.

MageChat

On an international level, the Slack space of MageChat came up: It was the ideal place for people to hang out and meet each other in chat. It is still thriving, I guess. It is just that other spaces came along as well. MageChat has also setup some channels for specific purposes like events: I'm in the #mmny channel even though I didn't go to Meet Magento New York 2022 - it's just to increase my FOMO and to confuse others as if I was there in New York anyway.

There is also an mChat Discord, potentially replacing the old MageChat Slack - simply because of the pricing model (let me comment upon this towards the end).

CommEng, correction Magento Open Source Slack

Magento realized years ago that they needed to join the discussion as well - hell, the discussion has always been about their work and efforts. Together with other initiatives like Contribution Days and a better workflow on GitHub, a Community Engineering Slack was set up.

After the Adobe take-over, it has been renamed the Magento Open Source Slack - a name that sounds a bit too ambitious to me, you can't just bring back to the community to a single Slack space simply by renaming it. I personally would have stuck with the name CommEng.

Magento Association Slack

While Magento + Adobe brought new spaces up, there was also an attempt to formalize Magento its community, outside of the company. This led to the Magento Association and therefore a corresponding Slack space. I'm there.

Hyvä Slack & MageOS Discord

But the Magento Association didn't bring direct results, it was moving only slowly. This led others to come up with their own initiatieves. While Hyvä needed its own Slack space for support, the MageOS initiative (a fork, no a distribution, maybe a fork anyway) needed it for more transparent communication. And a lot of people have now moved over from other spaces to the MageOS Discord. In my opinion, it could be seen as one of the most exciting spaces of this moment.

And more

ExtDN has its own Slack. GraphCommerce has its own Slack. I'm part of a Slack of Elgentos, MaxServ, TechDivision and Vaimo. I'm in an MDOQ Slack, I have my own Yireo Slack (with Ruud in there) and there used to be a Reacticon Slack. I'm in two Shopware spaces too (Shopware Community and Shopware HQ) and a VueStorefront Discord. And there are some other more generic spaces on PHP, Vue and React (and more).

And once in a while I find myself signed out of all Slack spaces, so I need to fight my way back in - through password resets, forgotten emails and one-time login links on duplicate accounts. As a matter of fact, I hate Slack because of this multiple login system. I really hate it.

Slack is expensive too. Moving to a Discord space sounds like a much more sensible to do, if you look at it from the economical side.

Where is this going?

Managing all of these different spaces is a challenge on its own (even though there is a technique called bookmarking) but besides that there are different people so that there are different discussions to be had, the fact that these discussions don't take place under a single umbrella is a sign on the wall. It shows the fragmentation of the current Magento ecosystem.

I don't have a conclusion here. To me, the fragmentation is simply a fact. The differences in seeing how to move forward with Magento, are a fact. In a similar way, people are considering alternative Magento frontends, people are considering alternative e-commerce solutions. It is a sign on the wall. Mic drop.

Posted on September 26, 2022

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