Discord Gitlab-Updater bot
A new tool for increased participation
What do we need a bot for?
The Crown community has multiple communications channels including Discord, Telegram, Twitter, Crown Forum, BitcoinTalk Forum, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, LinkedIn, and (apparently!) KakaoTalk. Each is better suited to a particular audience or use-case. Whilst pretty much everyone already has access to, or can easily get access to these social media channels, one of the most important tools, Gitlab, is much harder to gain write access to.
Github provides free read/write access to anyone who wants it but this enormous open-source repository is now owned by Microsoft. Many projects, including Crown, have moved away from Github since Microsoft acquired it. They have moved to alternatives like Gitlab. The disadvantage of doing so is that the alternatives are not always free. Everyone can read Crown Gitlab content but for write-access, we are in a pay-per-seat tier. This makes it not viable for everyone to have a Crown Gitlab login.
Most of the time most people don’t need one; Gitlab is primarily a source code repository and somewhere for developers and tech-heads to do serious work. It’s not a place for social chatting.
Sometimes, though, there are important discussions in Gitlab issues which affect the whole community. At other times people encounter problems with the code for which an issue has already been opened but they can’t add information to the issue.
At present, parallel discussions take place in Discord and other channels but the content of those discussions may only have a limited audience and may get lost or overlooked further down the line. It would be good if there was a way for people to participate directly in Gitlab discussions or add information to technical issues.
In an effort to facilitate this we have created a Discord Gitlab-updater bot.
How do I use it?
The bot lives in a new channel, imaginatively called #gitlab-updater in the Crown Discord server. To use it you need to
- be a member of the Crown Discord server and
- know the issue number of the Gitlab issue you want to comment on.
Then you simply type a message in the format
## issue-number comment
in the Discord #gitlab-updater channel. The bot will tag the comment with your Discord userid and attempt to append it verbatim to the Gitlab issue. It reports the outcome in the Discord channel following your message. For example
shows up in Gitlab as
- can only see comments when they are first created. If you type a comment but forget to prefix it with the magic string (##) and issue number you can’t go back and edit the post for the bot to see it. You would have to make a new comment with the magic string, issue number and copy-paste the old comment into it.
- is only operational in the #gitlab-updater channel.
- only works with issues in the crown-core project of the Crown repository.
- only ever appends comments to an existing issue. You cannot use it to create a new issue or edit an existing issue.
- may experience some teething issues. If you encounter any problems please tag me in the #gitlab-updater channel.
The channel is not intended as a place for discussion; it’s simply a way of getting comments onto the ends of Gitlab issues.
Credit: The Discord and Gitlab icons in the banner image were provided by I8