Stan General Meeting, Mar 04, 2021, 11 am EST

My apologies for AWOL on general meeting for a while. Any details on the discussion w.r.t slack? I’m not on stan slack so the only background I have is Aki’s post above. It’d also help to @SGB when the you’d like to replay certain issue. I just happen to be in this thread get some update on PGM, thanks to @mitzimorris, otherwise would have totally missed it.

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Ah ok sorry about that @yizhang , my mistake, I’ll make sure to do the @SGB for stuff concerning them next time. In terms of the transfer of service from slack to another service. There was discussion of using Discord, Zulip (which is an open-source equivalent to slack), and a few others. The main two we talked about were Discord and Zulip though.

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Does @SGB want to be active in the choice of slack replacement?

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Feel free to pick an alternative. I was only addressing @bparbhu 's comment that “ultimately it looks like to be an issue for the SGB”, maybe I have misunderstood it?

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Sorry about the confusion @yizhang, perhaps my words were in poor choice. I think what we were primarily concerned about and why the @SGB would need to be involved, was that there would be a platform shift in how Stan users talk about issues or report problems and that said platform might warrant some kind of monetary decision. So that’s really why I said that this would involve the @SGB.

Oh, I see. Personally I’m platform agnostic. If a paid service is deemed necessary I can add it to our agenda.


Something else for everyone to check out:

@yizhang we actually would like to add something to the SGB agenda wrt to Slack.

@avehtari has recently posted that in the first week of March we had 52 active members and 31 posting members which means that a free Slack for nonprofits would suffice for us for quite some time if we let it grow organically and if we were to use something else for Stancon.

What SGB would have to look at is applying here:

Not sure if we can apply as Stan or if we would have to go through NumFocus.
If we get denied for this we can then look at any free alternatives.


Added to coming Monday’s agenda. Thank you @rok_cesnovar @avehtari !


What was the result? The current Slack limit is hurting us as we’re losing relevant discussions. We should switch to Slack nonprofit discount scheme or switch to some other platform. I think right now we’re waiting @SGB to check the nonprofit discount option.

Hey Aki,

Apologies for the lack of feedback. We don’t seem to hold the right organizational status to be able to get this. I’ve put out a question at NumFOCUS to ask if there is a way to frame us in the right context. Without the nonprofit scheme it seems quite expensive.

So far, responses that I’ve had suggested other projects had the same problem and some of them have switched to Zulip. Zulip has explicit free plans for open-sourse projects. Should we explore and consider the switch?

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Thanks for the update. From the other than Slack options, I think the Zulip would probably be the best. Zulip supports also LaTeX equations, which would be often useful.


Would you like me to try and set it up and apply for the free plan?


Sure, thanks!

I’ve approached them for the free cloud standard service. It seems like they have the ability to import the existing organization from slack. I’ve also asked how this can be done. It might require assistants from the organization owner in Slack, any idea who that is / those are?

I think @seantalts ?

Sean is the owner yes. But I am not sure we need to bother with importing Slack history. If we had the entire Slack history it would be worth the trouble, but we dont, so I think we can just start fresh. We only need to create a few channels.

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Allright, I’ll let everyone know when I’ve got more information


I’ve set-up a Zulip account and got confirmation that we will get the free upgrade. I’ll share the invite link widely when that upgrade has taken effect. In the meantime for anyone who already wants to explore, here is a link to join as member. For anyone who would like moderator or admin rights (@avehtari perhaps?), please send me a message. The link for that I’ll not share openly.


The upgrade has been activated, we now have the zulip cloud standard setup. I’ll take some time later to put up announcements on discourse and add zulip on the community part of the website as alternative for slack.