The FOLIO Project has four primary communication channels and several secondary communication channels.  Read about the philosophy of the FOLIO communication channels for more background.

The four primary communication tools are:

Some general guidelines that apply to all tools:

Discuss - Web Forum

FOLIO uses (an installation of the Discourse software) for public discussion.  The Discuss site is a web forum with categories, topics, and posts.  You can interact with Discuss like a mailing list if that is your preferred mode.  You can register yourself for an account on the Discuss site; see the "Sign up" link in the upper right corner of the page.  Discuss also offers a getting started guide.  When in doubt about which tool to use, use a Discuss topic as the way to start a discussion.

When to use Discuss

What to keep in mind when using Discuss

Wiki - Documents

FOLIO uses this wiki (an installation of the Confluence software) to store documents with some permanence.  Each SIG has a space on the wiki, which can be found using the space directory.  

When to use the Wiki

What to keep in mind when using the Wiki

The wiki uses the same account as, but this is a different account from Discuss. You must set up your account on first, but then you can log into the wiki with this account.

Issues - Bugs and Tasks

FOLIO uses (an installation of the JIRA software) to track software development activity, request new features, report bugs in the software, and track tasks that have interrelated parts.

When to use Issues

What to keep in mind when using Issues

GitHub - Source Code

FOLIO uses Git repositories in to store the project's source code and to facilitate the integration of new code using GitHub's "Pull Request" functionality.

When to use GitHub

What to keep in mind when using GitHub

Secondary Communication Tools

There are a nearly infinite number of secondary communication channels; some of the most used ones are described here.  Any significant idea, issue, or discussion that occurs in a secondary channel should be recorded in a primary channel (Discuss, Wiki, Issues, or GitHub) for publication and vetting to the wider FOLIO community.

Mailing Lists

FOLIO uses mailing lists for internal communication in SIGs and committees. A directory of mailing lists is on the mailing list service homepage.  The homepage also includes a form for subscribing to a mailing list and (for existing subscribers) receiving an email message with a link to manage mailing list options.  (The "Account Login" button in the left sidebar of the homepage is for the mailing list administrator only.)

When to use Mailing Lists

What to keep in mind when using Mailing Lists


FOLIO uses a Slack team for real-time chat communication.  You can request an account in the FOLIO team using the automated web form.  (There is no review process for new account requests; the invitation is automatically sent to your email address.) Slack offers a getting started with Slack guide.

When to use Slack

What to keep in mind when using Slack

Conference Calls

Most SIG online meetings and other FOLIO-related online meetings will be held using the Zoom meeting software ( See FOLIO Meetings with Zoom for the default password. OLE holds a license to Zoom and sets up meetings on behalf of the project. Information about times and joining SIG meetings is generally provided by the SIG on their wiki space. Requests for setting up special meetings should be sent to the OLE Project Manager at

Some teams meet in their Slack channel using Slack calls.


A visual overview is available at - Go to the “Participation Channels in FOLIO - How to Engage” session.


FOLIO Communication Channel Philosophy

Like similar open source projects of the same scale, we know we are going to need a variety of communication paths: channels where we are communicating in real-time -- like chat and conference calls and in-person meetings -- channels where we aren’t in real-time -- like mailing lists, blog posts and bug reports -- channels where we are physically located together in time and space, and channels where we are physically apart or separated by time.  We also know that there are and will be people who are focused full-time on the FOLIO project, those that have other responsibilities but need to track what is going on in the project, and those that are curious and just tracking the overall progress and ideas in the project.  We have also seen worldwide interest in FOLIO -- Europe, Middle East, North and South America.  And with that comes its own set of challenges across time and languages.  And finally, have a strong suspicion if not hope that the project will grow and evolve.  

With that in mind, we have set up four primary communication tools and acknowledge that there is a wide variety of secondary communication tools that will make sense for people to use as needed.  The four primary tools are Discuss -- a web-forum and mailing list combination, Wiki -- a document-centered tool, Issues -- an issue and task tracking system, and GitHub -- where the developers will keep track of code.  Almost everyone involved with the project will use the first two tools -- Discuss and Wiki.  Issues will become more widely used as FOLIO apps are created and tested, although there is quite a bit of activity on Issues already for the project as a whole and the platform code development.  The primary tools were chosen because they address the challenges from the previous slide: they don’t depend on people working at the same time or in the same place, they have features that enable individuals to follow along on a topic when they have time, and they allow for multiple languages.  We also know there are a variety of secondary tools, including a project Slack team, Skype, WebEx conference calls, and face-to-face meetings.  These tools tend to be more immediate in nature, but that immediacy is also exclusionary because not everyone can participate.  There is a motto that The Apache Software Foundation uses to tackle this problem.  Apache is one of the oldest organizations supporting open source; it can trace its origins back to the development of some of the first web server code in the early 1990s.  Apache also has many of the same characteristics that FOLIO has: worldwide interest, full-time and part-time contributors, and growing and evolving projects.  Their motto is: “If it didn’t happen on a mailing list, it didn’t happen.”  Or, put another way, if a conversation or decision didn’t happen in a forum with some permanence that everyone has access to, then it doesn’t count.  We use a FOLIO variation on this motto: “If it didn’t happen on a primary communication tool -- Discuss, Wiki, Issues, or GitHub -- it didn’t happen.”