The history of the Elm Slack History

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Planted May 27, 2022 - Last tended Oct 5, 2023
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Author: @supermario
At least a couple times a year folks ask similar questions around Slack History and the history of what’s been considered – ironically, because the history of those conversations is not visible in Slack!
This page outlines some of the common questions that seem to recur and some of the history around Slack History.
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The current status is simply that there is a better place for more permanent discussions:

Why don’t we upgrade to a paid Slack?

For the size of the user base we have, covering the cost for a full license for ~1500 active users a month is not feasible.

Wouldn’t Elm qualify for the non-profit discount?

Even if the Elm Foundation was eligible to apply for it, and Slack were to award the discount, we’d still be talking about ~$1500 USD / month, which is still not feasible.

Has anyone reached out to Slack to try negotiate a solution?

Yes, numerous people have tried over the last couple years, including @eeue56 and @supermario most recently.
Despite a long and ongoing conversation with Slack, the final outcome can be summarised in these two email snippets;
We don’t offer any discounts for open source communities at this time.
As mentioned, there isn't an alternative we can present right now, but I'll be sure to reach out should I catch wind of any developments in this space.

Why don’t we do a Patreon / organise a coalition of individual sponsors / corporate sponsor/s / etc?

The Elm Slack community is growing rapidly so the costs are both unknown and rising.
If for any reason the funding stalls for, or even simply falls marginally short one month, we’re flipping back and forth between history and no history.
The combination of these two items warrants the question as to whether the history is worth the hassle and the significant ongoing cost to benefit a small number of very low volume channels, especially given we now have

Why don’t we just switch to something else?

There are over 20,000 members on Slack now, so a move anywhere is not trivial.
More than 80% of our message traffic is in high volume channels #beginners and #general which don’t particularly benefit from history.

Okay, but have you considered
<some alternative service>

Lots of other services have been suggested.
The migration issue remains regardless of which service it is, which brings the question as to whether history is worth a migration.
Slack seems to work great in most respects and many folks seem to like it just fine. We never see folks suggesting a service move because of Slack functions at large, it only ever seems to recur around the history question.
Any migration potentially just trades off one problem (it’s annoying I don’t have history) for a different set of problems (this isn’t Slack).

Why don’t we have some service / addon that keeps history?

The continuity of Slack's ephemeral nature is preferred now that we have precedence for it. It encourages fresh conversation and the movement of interesting information into other formats (Discourse posts, blog posts, etc) which are ultimately better for discoverability in the long run.
In the past there were some folks that had setup 3rd party history services with Slack, however those services broke Slack's terms of use, and combined with Slack API changes meant they disappeared. Recently there appear to be some new services for this again, but given the past issues and prior mentioned points, its unlikely these will be added to Slack.