Communication Channels

There are many channels available to us to communicate with each other: Talk, uberconference, IRC/Slack, the Wiki, the OpenMRS blog, and more. When discussion and the rationale for a decision can be easily found in any of these public, community spaces, it’s easier for anyone and everyone to follow and understand what was discussed, the decision that was taken, and the rationale for a particular decision. The OpenMRS community encourages wide participation in discussions and transparently make decisions by using community-centric channels, such as our Wiki and blog, Talk, IRC and Slack. 


This convention describes the primary, community-centric communication channels and how individuals, squads, and groups use each one in support of transparency, active participation and open decision-making.


Our website is an external facing mechanism where content is communicated to potential supporters, whether this is a donor, a potential implementing partner or service provider, or an individual contributor. Our website also includes our blog, where news and announcements of general interest to the community is published. 


Our Wiki houses our long form content. This includes:

  • community conventions, 
  • guidance for contributors/volunteer, 
  • processes and how-to articles, 
  • roadmaps,
  • project descriptions,
  • and more.

While our Wiki’s content is more dynamic than our website’s content, readers can have confidence that the content on the Wiki has been through discussion on IRC/Slack, at meetings, on Talk, and represents current community thinking.


Gitbooks is best suited for content presented as a guide or a manual that can be downloaded as a PDF and made available in printed form. A Gitbook can be downloaded and printed out as a book. Content on Gitbooks is highly stable. Examples include our developer’s guide and our implementation guide.


Talk is the OpenMRS community’s version of a mailing list. “If it isn’t on Talk, it didn’t happen.” Talk facilitates discussion and collaboration across time zones. It is best suited for:

  • making announcements, 
  • sharing ideas and proposals
  • engaging in asynchronous discussions
  • updates/meeting recordings and notes 
  • communicating decisions. 

Squads are encouraged to set up a single thread for their work where asynchronous, community discussion can happen openly.


Both IRC and Slack are excellent channels for real-time conversation or quick Q&A. IRC is our go-to chat room where our daily scrums and technical support occurs. For squads and groups looking for a place for real-time conversation on a specific issue and for rapid iteration, consider using either IRC or a dedicated channel in the OpenMRS Slack workspace to move your work ahead on a day-to-day basis. To help everyone find conversations easily, a list of Slack channels will be pinned on Talk (with links on how to join and use Slack) and posted on the Wiki. In the spirit of “sharing often and early,” we encourage squads and teams who choose to use IRC or Slack to think intentionally about how you use IRC/Slack and what you want to communicate via Talk (see above for ideas).