Skip to content

Sunsetting Gitter: Towards Efficient Community Engagement

As we're starting to build a team around Material for MkDocs, we've decided to sunset and archive our Gitter channel on October 13, 2023 in favor of GitHub Discussions.

As part of our efforts to improve the processes for maintaining Material for MkDocs and for supporting the community, we have reviewed the use of different communication channels. At the moment, both Gitter and GitHub Discussions allow to ask the community for support and to discuss ideas and issues. In the past weeks, we have begun to question whether this duplication is in the best interest of our project. This post explains the rationale behind our decision.

The Constraints of Gitter

In the first years of Material for MkDocs, Gitter served as a helpful platform for quick community interactions and questions. However, there are some inherent constraints that necessitated a shift. Here's a breakdown of the challenges we encountered:

  1. Thread utilization – Even with the introduction of threads, many Gitter users were reticent to use them, leading to cluttered and disconnected conversations, making it difficult to follow.

  2. Search and discovery – Gitter's structure and interface makes it cumbersome to search for and retrieve past messages, resulting in lost insights and repeated conversations.

  3. User interface – After the acquisition by Element, the user interface of Gitter has experienced a severe decline, becoming more complicated, less intuitive and user-friendly.

  4. Access mandate – The necessity for users to grant access to their GitHub accounts to use Gitter posed an unnecessary access barrier and potential security concerns.

GitHub Discussions

Thankfully, GitHub Discussions emerged and continues to evolve to be a much better alternative, eliminating many of Gitter's constraints and offering enhanced functionality:

  1. Threaded conversations – GitHub Discussions supports structured, threaded conversations, ensuring discussions are coherent, contextual, and easy to follow for everyone.

  2. Integration and linking – the platform facilitates seamless linking to other discussions, issues, code, and much more, enriching conversations and providing comprehensive context.

  3. A unified platform – GitHub acts as a one-stop shop for support, allowing users to access varied resources and support channels in one place, greatly improving user experience.

  4. Discoverability – GitHub Discussions are easily searchable and allow for categorization, preventing loss of valuable insights and fostering knowledge sharing.


Sunsetting Gitter is a leap towards creating more efficient, user-friendly, and enriched community interactions. By consolidating communication to GitHub Discussions, we seek to mitigate the fragmentation of information, ease the user journey, and fortify the bonds within our community.

This concentrated approach enables us to provide consistent, fast and quality support to our users. In the past, the nature of queries raised on Gitter typically necessitated supplementary information or reproductions, prompting us to advise users to initiate a discussion subsequently. The shift to a centralized discussion forum is designed to simplify and accelerate this procedure, ensuring swift and efficient resolutions for our community. It is a testament to our ongoing commitment to support the community that helps Material for MkDocs flourish.

We are confident that this streamlined approach will spur more fruitful discussions, innovative ideas, and collective growth, and we are excited to continue our journey with the unwavering support and active participation of our community.