Proposal: Infrastructure - Applications (March)

Ryan Taylor

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This is a cross-post from https://www.dashcentral.org/p/infra-applications-201703

This budget proposal is to fund the acquisition of an annual subscription to the full version of Slack for our "working Slack". The core team uses Slack as its virtual office to coordinate all our teams located across the world. Acquiring the full paid version of Slack offers numerous benefits. The additional features of the paid version include unlimited message history, built in video calling, group calling (voice), unlimited integrations, guest accounts (restricted channel access for specific projects), 10GB per user file storage, and security features.

The team has been testing these features over the past month on a free trial. The feedback on our productivity and having a "real office feel" with frequent video interactions has been extremely positive. Our experience using the platform seems to indicate we are experiencing productivity gains and avoiding the loss of valuable message history (often with associated rework) has been eliminated. We also spend less time administering files to stay under the storage cap. We are also beginning to experiment with workflow integrations for key processes.

For these reasons, we feel strongly that we should shift to the paid version of Slack. The costs are relatively modest for each user, and we would more than make up for the benefit in productivity. We would propose upgrading from the free plan to the Standard Plan.

The full list of features can be found here: https://slack.com/pricing

This project is being led by Fernando Gutierrez, so if you have additional questions not covered in the original budget request, please direct them to him by tagging them with @fernando to ensure he sees your question.

Requested funding is as follows for the March 5th budget cycle:
  • 299.55 Dash for ~70 1-year user accounts plus some spare to accommodate team growth of about 3 users per month ($6,500 USD @ $21.699 per Dash based on February 22nd average rate at https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/price-dash.html)
  • 5.00 Dash proposal reimbursement
Total: 304.55 Dash

Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future applications expenses.

Manually vote YES on this proposal:
dash-cli gobject vote-many d47d5dd6e8d18e02a4f8474217e8bb63bd90702867dc90cdf320a5af9db165a1 funding yes
OR from the qt console:
gobject vote-many d47d5dd6e8d18e02a4f8474217e8bb63bd90702867dc90cdf320a5af9db165a1 funding yes

Manually vote NO on this proposal:
dash-cli gobject vote-many d47d5dd6e8d18e02a4f8474217e8bb63bd90702867dc90cdf320a5af9db165a1 funding no
OR from the qt console:
gobject vote-many d47d5dd6e8d18e02a4f8474217e8bb63bd90702867dc90cdf320a5af9db165a1 funding no
 

t0dd

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I will vote yes to this, but a synapse server + riot would serve the same purpose, be secure (end-to-end encryption is in beta at the moment) and you would control the server and data. Oh, and it has nice plugins to IRC, Slack, ...most things. And it is (they are) 100% open source. I have not tried their conference calling/video integration.

It isn't as polished as Slack at the moment, but it is close and has a very active community.

Just a thought. Not sure anyone looked at it in comparison.
 
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alex-ru

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@fernando
As I can remember, you was experimenting with some internally hosted similar solution...
So it wasn't successful - is Slack better?
(I think Dash team deserves the best of all existing solution, so if it is Slack - let it be...)
 

UdjinM6

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This proposal is about 1 year subscription, so it's 300/12 == 25 DASH per month actually. Annual subscription is ~20% cheaper, that's why funds are requested for 1 year.
https://dashorg.slack.com/pricing
Slack confirmed to be a very useful tool but we hit the limit of free tier and we are running in free 2 month trial period to overcome these limits for now.
 
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GrandMasterDash

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"Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future applications expense"

I always see this yet I am not aware of how and when it actually happened... it might of been stated somewhere but it's not clear to me where I can see the accounts. Where can I see all the accounts? - proper accounts where every penny is accounted for?
 

fernando

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I will vote yes to this, but a synapse server + riot would serve the same purpose, be secure (end-to-end encryption is in beta at the moment) and you would control the server and data. Oh, and it has nice plugins to IRC, Slack, ...most things. And it is (they are) 100% open source. I have not tried their conference calling/video integration.

It isn't as polished as Slack at the moment, but it is close and has a very active community.

Just a thought. Not sure anyone looked at it in comparison.
@fernando
As I can remember, you was experimenting with some internally hosted similar solution...
So it wasn't successful - is Slack better?
(I think Dash team deserves the best of all existing solution, so if it is Slack - let it be...)
Yeah, a few other options were considered. The one we put more time into was Mattermost, which is an open source and self hosted alternative. We had it installed in a server and played with it for a few days. It is great, but there were a few problems with that approach that made us go for Slack:

1- Self-hosted is not free. It was way cheaper in terms of paying for a server, but having someone from our infrastructure team maintaining and properly securing it would also be a big cost. We thought that our team should focus on our key assets and rely on third party solutions for anything that is not Dash specific. Same thing than with email server and that kind of stuff.

2- Slack is widely used. We have people from partners we work with in our Slack. Having them in our Slack is easy because many of them already use it in their own orgs and they just need to accept the invitation. With other solutions they also need to install additional apps or change their workflow, making their acceptance/presence more difficult.

3- We already have a long history of messages in Slack. As soon as we started the trial we got access to everything posted there in the last couple of years. That is a big advantage by itself. Slack offers some export tools, but they only include the public channels and in this Slack most of the activity happens in private groups or via pm (this will likely shift because now we can have external partners contained in specific channels thanks to having guest accounts).

4- Migration distraction. Related to #1. Everyone having to move and redo channels would take out time of other things that need doing.
 
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fernando

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This proposal is about 1 year subscription, so it's 300/12 == 25 DASH per month actually. Annual subscription is ~20% cheaper, that's why funds are requested for 1 year.
https://dashorg.slack.com/pricing
Slack confirmed to be a very useful tool but we hit the limit of free tier and we are running in free 2 month trial period to overcome these limits for now.
Also worth noting is that we only pay for what we actually use. The billing system is quite fair (they literally call it fair billing) and they don't charge for inactive users. Each month there is an adjustment and they credit or charge us for the difference from what we start with, so there is no waste in abandoned accounts. The requested amount covers around 70 users and a net growth of 3 per month.
 
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t0dd

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All valid reasons to go with something like Slack. You kinda get married to technology choices. I would just ask that folks be open to alternatives in the future. As a community advocating open source, security, decentralization... Well, you know where I am going with that. To me it is an odd choice. I am always kinda shocked how pervasive Slack has gotten in the crypto-space. It's antithetical to the nature of the whole concept.

But... in the end... use what you need to get the job done! :) Hell, there are still people using Windows and Mac out there! Heh. I don't "get" them either. ;)