14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2016 7:12 AM by Tom W

    IRC ##tableau


      Hi community,


      I have seen that there is already an IRC channel on freenode (##tableau, http://webchat.freenode.net/, if you don't have a desktop client), unfortunately it is not frequently used.


      I wanted to push this a little bit, because I think IRC is a nice way to create a better community with quicker response for everybody.



        • 1. Re: IRC ##tableau
          Toby Erkson
          1. That URL doesn't work for me but I am behind a corporate firewall.  Strike 1.
          2. People will need to sign up for the Internet Rely Chat, right?  No thanks, I have enough stuff to manage and don't need yet another.  Strike 2.
          3. The great thing about forums is that everyone can jump in and help.  Thus it is documented and readily searchable for others who may have the same or similar issue find an answer quickly.  They can let others know that it worked or not, include Tableau workbooks and files and link out to other resources.  That rich history is lost in chat.  Strike 3.  Out!


          The vast majority of help here in the forums is VOLUNTEER based.  These forums are a free method of getting help instead of waiting on paid-for technical support from Tableau.  We have no time-line SLAs to deal with, no employee evaluations based on what we do in the forums, so I doubt there would be much of an increase in response speed.


          Not only is the OP being helped but many others who are lurking or searching.  A sense of community would be lost as well as there are threads that morph into other conversations and ideas.  How would the people who have a question get an answer if nobody answers them immediately?  Some questions (and thus their answer) don't get a response until a week or more later.


          I disagree, chat would be a serious detriment to the community.  We have DM (Direct Messaging) if people feel they must exclude others from the conversation (sometimes it can be a valid reason)

          • 2. Re: IRC ##tableau

            IRC is used to by many people supporting other technologies like Java, C#, Drupal, WordPress, Android, Swift,  HTML, CSS, PHP, Windows, Linux Distributions and many more... There are partly more than 100 people online in these channels all volunteers and it is simply great.

            I get your point about excluding people from the knowledge being shared there but often problems of people being discussed in these channels are somehow already solved in the forums or generally in the internet but may not have been understood well or whatever...but if you want to help you help and if not you don't, easy as that.

            What often happens is that people link to forums or any other resource and you can discuss that in real time, if your problem is somehow different but the same.

            People don't have to sign up if the channel is configured so.

            Utopistic said, if everyone joins the channel no one gets excluded.

            I came up with this because I have found a article about gantt diagrams and I tried to use it and solve my problem with that, but I couldn't. Creating a forum post was in my first thought a overkill... So I thought of IRC where I have some good experience with

            • 3. Re: IRC ##tableau
              Toby Erkson

              Okay, I see where you're coming from.  Being new here and also being used to the McGratification of such an arena I can ascertain that you don't fully grasp what we have here and how much more of an information-rich community we have vs. any messaging environment.  If anything were to be tried, a StackOverflow site would be a closer fit. 


              We also have Ideas, user contributed white-papers, internal blogs, meeting announcements, how-to documents, specific groups (by country, by occupation, by region) so while problem-solving is definitely a big part of the site it's not the only reason it exists:  it's everything together that makes this place greater than just a sum of the parts and what one sees on the surface when first coming here.


              I don't see how a forum question can possibly be over-kill   That really doesn't make any sense at all in a location built around questions and answers.  At best, the issue gets solved and then far more people are helped; at worst the question never gets a response (and that is rare).  I think you should post it!

              • 4. Re: IRC ##tableau

                I know you are right and I fully understand your point also I do fully grasp that this community is really great.

                Yet I don't understand your massive reluctance against an IRC/chat channel :\

                imho it is a plus, because in first place it extends the (already great) support for tableau, you can perfectly use it to direct asked questions to the right answer, without even answering the question instantly in the chat.

                However, I think it should be your own decision if you want to be in that chat to help others or not, I just wanted to make people aware that this already exists.

                • 5. Re: IRC ##tableau
                  Toby Erkson

                  I use chat at work as that is faster than email but more private and less noisy than a phone call in a cube environment (some of my customers are in the manufacturing plants so a phone call would be difficult, too).  I use chat with my wife and other friends on my smart phone.  I'm not a big chat user because if it's more than a couple sentences a phone call is more efficient in my opinion.  However, in each situation the people in communication are specifying a person.


                  I was reluctant with the Direct Messaging (DM) we now have -- it's actually new here in the forums.  Shawn Wallwork asked for it and a couple others helped convince me to try it so Tableau Community staff added it.  I have tried it and actually accept it now, even using it upon occasion, but I treat it like instant messaging/chat where I have a specific, named receiver(s).


                  Using it as a medium for problem solving and circumventing the current problem solving paradigm is what I'm against and that is what it sounds like you want.  If I'm wrong then please correct me!  How would it be used here, can you give me an example to help me understand?  Would someone just send out a broadcast to everyone who is using the IRC and from there people answer, making the request into its own 'thread' or does the requester request help from specific individuals (I would absolutely hate that!)?  Would workbooks and images be able to be included in the conversation?

                  • 6. Re: IRC ##tableau

                    Yes I think I can give you an example:

                    I am currently having the problem that I have 6 dimensions in my rows shelf (ID, name, supplier, any some other), but when I add another dim. the first two dimensions (ID & name) are combined into one cell and the header of the first dimension gets even hidden (ID).

                    I think that this is not a new question in the community, sure someone already had this question, I guess. So, this thought discourages me to create a new question in the forums (I hate redundancy, )

                    Now, I wanted to search for a solution, but I simply couldn't find one, because this question either doesn't exist (what I doubt), or I am not smart enough to put in the correct keywords in the search function...

                    Then I would simply (call me crazy) ask everybody in the IRC channel and maybe someone is eager to help me...again this is not uncommon for other topics like java etc. and I have good exp. with it.

                    If I still would get no solution I would create a new thread because I am sure this is a new issue.


                    What do you think?


                    edit: btw, I found a solution keyword: table layout

                    • 7. Re: IRC ##tableau
                      Toby Erkson

                      Okay, thanks for that, it helps.


                      It sounds like IRC would need to be on most of the time because people are requesting help and waiting for an immediate response, correct?

                      What happens if nobody answers?  Can unanswered requests be easily found?

                      When responding, is a separate chat window (separate session?) opened or are all inputs in one single window?  If a separate session is instantiated, can others see it and jump in (are they all public or do they become private)?

                      • 8. Re: IRC ##tableau
                        Patrick Van Der Hyde

                        Ahmed - are you sure this isn't 16 columns instead of 6.  A search of "16 columns" should return this - FAQ:  16+ Columns   very helpful index of a huge number of  posts on this topic. 


                        Try searching the forums a few different ways.  If you find something that works after searching, pleas add tags that you think make sense to the post to make it easier for others to find. 





                        • 9. Re: IRC ##tableau
                          Patrick Van Der Hyde

                          and I too would say - it is better to post that question to the forums than to a chat room where it will be lost for searching by others.  There are no dumb questions in the community.  There are lots of frustrating ones (please supply a workbook, EXCEL <> TABLEAU, Grand Totals issues) there are never dumb ones.  As a Tableau employee, I am constantly amazed at the willingness of very smart and talented Tableau users to share their minds thoughts with others here in the forums.



                          • 10. Re: IRC ##tableau

                            yes I am sure:


                            these are the default settings of a fresh workbook with 6 rows and 6 columns as maximum value.

                            • 11. Re: IRC ##tableau
                              Toby Erkson

                              Yes, those are default values.  Simply roll them up.  16 is the maximum.

                              • 12. Re: IRC ##tableau

                                I'd use the IRC also to push questions, that has not answer yet. Like
                                Problem with ODATA connection, no grid view, no pivot option


                                I am only in IRC right now

                                I can recommend this web client https://kiwiirc.com/client


                                • 13. Re: IRC ##tableau
                                  Toby Erkson

                                  One thing to remember is that sometimes even well-formed questions will not get an answer.


                                  Ultimately, if you think a chat is a good idea then create an Idea for it   Naturally its implementation falls on the shoulders of the Tableau Community Team so even if it got a hundreds of votes it would still be up to them to actually figure out how to do it (rules, moderation, administration...$head-count$!).

                                  • 14. Re: IRC ##tableau
                                    Tom W

                                    Yeah there's simply no way I would sign up to a chat program. The thought did occur to me recently as we use Slack at work and I subscribe to a couple of other 'general' developer slack communities.

                                    My problem with chat is;

                                    • There's no real benefit for me - getting direct messages for 'URGENT URGENT' issues would be a distraction, I don't work for Tableau or get paid for providing support so it has to be in my time, on my terms.
                                    • It doesn't create reusable, categorized, content.
                                    • It isn't detailed enough - the temptation to ask a question like "how do I get month over month to show in my report?" is real. In reality, we need a lot more detail than that to answer the question.
                                    • Finally, it doesn't promote the correct behavior around searching. Similar to the point prior, it's easier to type a quick question and have someone else do the work for me versus searching in the forum. It's easier for us to promote the correct behavior here.