Summary: The TI calculator community is fractured and uncoordinated. Coding and hacking talent is still plentiful, and enthusiasm is strong, yet no central meeting area and sounding board exists for programmers and community members to cooperate on projects, discuss ideas, and share information. We propose beginning #ti once more as a neutral, reliable, and safe calculator-only discussion channel.
Background: Internet Relay Chat (IRC) has a strong tradition within the TI-calculator community, and multiple channels exist which help serve the needs of community members. However, these channels are spread apart, poorly advertised, and the user bases generally does not mix due to past grudges and misinformation spread about “rival” channels. The following is a partial list of currently known calculator-oriented channels:
- #cemetech (EFnet): The home channel of Cemetech, this channel focuses around the activities of the site and its associated programmers, and includes a “SAX” bridge which links up chats from various community sites into one place. Averages around 15-16 active users connected at any one time, as well as 4-6 additional ones through the “SAX” bridge. Cemetech focuses on multiple foci, one of which is calculators.
- #omnimaga (EFnet): #omnimaga is the primary channel of the website under the same name. As with #cemetech, this channel is closely linked with the forum associated with the website. #omnimaga averages around 15-20 users.
- #tcpa (EFnet): The “oldest” of the currently active IRC channels, #tcpa averages 50-60 connected users at any one point. It is, however, not associated with any programming group or website. Additionally, while the channel does contain calculators users, the discussion is technology-oriented with a focus on calculators.
Proposal: The channel #ti has a long history of being a community channel. We suggest that instead of attempting to reinvent the already-healthy #tcpa, that we use #ti as a primary contact point for programmers and those seeking assistance.The channel would be calculator-only, and all off-topic discussion will be referred to #tcpa.
Through this dual-channel system, we will be able to not only keep a channel for general discussion of mutual interests in #tcpa, but also provide an excellent experience for both new-users and experienced programmers alike in #ti.
While past attempts to create calculator-only channels have failed, we attribute that no advertising outside of #tcpa, and a general lack of community cooperation. Through effective leadership ensuring a safe and on-topic environment, encouragement of all programmers and users in a positive manner, and creating a place to share ideas, we believe that #ti can unite the community, while still keeping the distinctive site-oriented channels which are still active today.
Users seeking assistance would be directed to #ti in all situations, and through cooperation amongst current community leaders and forum moderators, we can make this channel successful once again.
We intend not to replace current channels, but to supplement them in a constructive fashion, where development and help can take place above partisan bickering.
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