CodeRefinery Zulipchat

The CodeRefinery zulipchat is where our primary discussion, planning, and action takes place. Many things are announced only via zulipchat. This is a public chat and everybody is welcome to join, no invitation needed, and we explicitly invite anyone to give ideas in any thread.

The chat is a joint community of CodeRefinery (teaching), NordicHPC (infrastructure), and Nordic-RSE (usage and software), which are other Nordic projects about scientific computing which share some of the same people. Together, we have a network of all aspects of modern scientific computing.

Unlike Slack, zulipchat is very heavily threaded, and it is easy to follow along without being active all the time. Respond within the topic (=thread) that is relevant, or make a new thread. Sometimes you can find old threads to revive. Don’t worry, everything is flexible and you’ll quickly learn by watching (and don’t worry about going wrong).

Streams

Once you join the chat, you will be subscribed to some default streams (a stream is basically a channel). The first thing you should do is join some more streams, depending on your interest. Join more streams by clicking gear icon by the steams list on the left side on that chat, then selecting what you are interested in.

Gear icon to join a stream

If you mute a stream, you can see the contents if you click on it, but you won’t get notifications. If you mute a topic, it will be hidden from view but you can later unmute it in your personal settings. Under stream settings, you can request email notifications for all messages in a certain stream (possibly useful for the announce streams).

CodeRefinery streams:

  • #general: Any topic and random chat (including for the other projects below)

  • #coderefinery: About the project itself. CodeRefinery members should be in this channel.

  • #lessons: CodeRefinery lesson discussion, one for each lesson we maintain.

  • #workshops: Organizing workshops and other events. One topic for each event.

  • #workshop-chat: High-volume staff chat during workshops. You typically join during a workshop, and leave when done to avoid the flood.

  • #help: Ask questions and get advice from others. Tell interesting things you learned via “TIL”s

  • #new members: Feel free to introduce yourself here

  • #announce:

  • #infrastructure: CodeRefinery gitlab talk.

Nordic research software engineer community:

Nordic HPC:

  • #NordicHPC: NordicHPC. Discussion about computing infrastructure (not just HPC)

Misc streams in our sphere of influence:

You can make topical private streams for groups that significantly overlap with our community. Currently, Zulip admins can’t add themselves or others to private streams.

Clients

Zulipchat can be used in a web browser, there’s a desktop app, mobile apps, and even a terminal client installable using pip.

Reacting and voting

We want everyone to take part in chat and express their thoughts, but of course people don’t want to give pointless agreeing replies (but you can always welcome to do that, too). So, we encourage everyone to use reactions in cases they want to express agreement/disagreement but not so much they want to send a message. Common reactions you might see are 👍, 👎 (thumbs up/down, agree with general sentiment), 🐙 (:octopus:, awesome/amazing/ace), and well, plenty more that are obvious.

We also use reactions to express some idea of a more concrete vote, to empower people to take an action (otherwise, it is difficult to get a decision on anything). This is not formal or necessarily binding (so it’s not really a vote), but a useful intermediate system for a young project. If you see a message proposing something and you want to say, in no uncertain terms, “I think you should do that” or not, let us know by the following:

  • ↔️ (+0, :left_right:: I see this and am neutral.

  • 🔼, 🔽 (+1, -1, :upvote:, :downvote:) or similar: I agree/disagree with this.

  • ⏬, ⏫ (+2, -2, :double_up:, :double_down:): I agree/disagree with this and am willing to work on making it happen/finding an alternative.

If you want to do something, ask for opinions, and a reasonable time later it seems the sentiment is positive, consider yourself empowered to do it. If you are voting, feel free to be creative with emojis or numbers, but realize that other reactions may not be so explicit. Note that if you are negative, you should explain why or alternatives, otherwise your opinion may not be weighted so much. The person doing the thing decides what to do (and this is open source: we find a way for everyone to do what they need to do).

Do you think you aren’t important enough to vote? That’s wrong, because we are usually interested in the thoughts of outsiders. We can see who voted and use that to weight our decision if needed.

Privacy

All activity (except private steams) should be considered public, and the data controller is zulipchat.com. Zulip admins can’t add themselves or others to private streams, but still: there is no contract guaranteeing confidentiality.