Want to Talk IBM i OSS? Head Up the Ryver
September 1, 2021 Alex Woodie
The world of open source moves quickly, and it’s no different on the IBM i platform, where open source is being rapidly adopted by companies large and small. IBM i professionals who want to keep up to speed with the latest may want to check out a community of IBM i open source enthusiasts that was created on Ryver.
Ryver (pronounced “river”) is a next-gen communications portal that’s taking on Slack, Microsoft Teams, and others. Like chatrooms and mailing lists, Ryver allows people to have open discussions, as well as private chats and focused conversations. There is also the capability to have voice and video calls, although that function is in beta.
An IBM i Ryver group was formed in 2016. The group, which can be accessed at ibmioss.ryver.com/, is focused on the topic of IBM i open source software, or OSS. In 2018, the IBMiOSS group was allowed to stay on Ryver free of charge, due to the feedback the group has provided to Ryver, and the fact that it’s a non-commercial entity.
IBM i professionals will find a host of information on the IBM i OSS Ryver group. Got questions about YUM, or compiling Python modules on PASE with gcc? Have IBM i ODBC Node.js scaling issues? Want to send IBM i data to the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana, although now technically just called the Elastic stack with the addition of Beats)? You can find all that at the IBMiOSS Ryver group.
Upon logging into IBMiOSS Ryver, new users will find a menu along the left side, where they can access their account controls, jump to the various forums, search for content across the forums, or interact with any teams or other members they have decided to track.
There are 14 active forums and a couple of dozen archived forums. When a user enters a forum, they’ll notice two main streams: Chat and topics.
Chat is a free-flowing conversation that anybody can contribute to. The chat log is listed chronologically, with the most recent message at the bottom of the screen. Topics are more focused chats that revolve around a certain thread. Users can create a new topic from any chat entry with a few clicks of the mouse. (The Ryver platform also supports the ability of a user to create tasks from the chat window although that feature is reserved for premium Ryver subscribers, according to Ryver tech support).
Since the IBMiOSS Ryver group was started, it has grown to about 700 members. Among the folks you will find on the IBMiOSS Ryver portal is Jesse Gorzinski, IBM’s business architect for open source for IBM i; he is also an administrator on the site.
“Many of you may already be familiar with the IBM i open source chat on Ryver,” Gorzinski said in a recent webinar. “If you’re not, I highly recommend you go out there.”
As IBM i shops look to modernize their systems, open source is primed to play a more prominent role across all of the relevant disciplines: application development, systems monitoring/ management, security, high availability, and business intelligence and analytics. Sites like the IBMiOSS Ryver group seem destined to become gathering places where experienced hands can get up to speed on the latest techniques, and also share their hard-won knowledge with folks who are new to open source on IBM i.
There are many other worthwhile sites to check out for IBM i conversations, including IBM Community, various LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and of course good old MIDRANGE-L. Some local user groups also enable discussion online, as does COMMON. For open source topics, the IBMiOSS Ryver group should be on your radar.