A change to WITS members’ interactions

The WITS forum is being retired in favour of using Slack

During the rollout and continued maintenance of the WITS-DNP3 protocol, the WITS-PSA introduced a forum to WITS. The forum is a website which allows members to post and read messages, also providing email notifications when new messages are posted.

The forum was heavily used by the WITS technical teams for the review and update of the Technical Bulletins which drove WITS-DNP3 forward. Subsequently a specific, user-only forum was created to allow users to have open discussions without vendors being involved.

During the development of WITS-IoT the core team started using Slack to communicate between themselves. As more developers were drawn into the WITS-IoT work, the number of Slack members grew, with members being drawn primarily from the vendor community but also with a few users joining. Slack provides better access to discussions and documents through web pages or native apps on computers or phones. It supports push notifications so that you don’t miss any activity and is quick and easy to learn and use.

Meanwhile, users were requesting a new way of sharing messages that was more modern than the user-only forum. After WITS presented some options to the users, the users voted to use Slack as well; so a separate workspace was set up in Slack to allow the users to communicate instead of using the user-only forum.

The WITS-PSA has now taken the decision to retire the forum in favour of using Slack. We therefore request that members stop posting on the forum from now on and start using Slack instead. Eventually the forum will be retired, but it will remain available for the moment as a reference for previous discussions.

WITS is using two workspaces in Slack: WITS and WITS Users. The WITS workspace was originally used for WITS-IoT but has now been extended to cover WITS-IoT, WITS-DNP3, the plugfests and could easily be extended for other purposes. The WITS Users workspace is for the sole use of WITS Users. Both workspaces are open to current WITS members only.

The WITS-PSAC holds quarterly face-to-face meetings for all members to participate in the development of WITS protocols. In the time between these meetings we expect Slack to become the main method of communication. We therefore encourage all WITS members to take advantage of Slack by requesting invites from Steve Beadle, Gavin Rawson or Mark Davison. If you are a user, we will invite you to both workspaces. If you are a user who is using the WITS Users workspace, then you don’t have anything to do as we will invite you to join the other workspace at some point.

We look forward to you joining us on Slack!

Mark Davison, April 2019