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Zulip has easily the best threading model among all the chat applications and I prefer it over Slack, Mattermost, RocketChat, Hipchat, Discord etc. Each and every conversation is a seperate thread and has a topic. This model makes it extremely easier to catch up and participate in conversations. Once you get used to the threading model of Zulip its hard to tolerate threading model like Slack which is really inefficient and time wasting.
I use Zulip instead of Slack, Mattermost, or RocketChat because of its first class threading. One week after switching to Gmail (in 2004) I realized I was never (willingly) going to use an unthreaded email product again. I had that same experience the first time I saw Zulip.
Zulip is also fully open-source, with a well-maintained (e.g. 90+% test coverage, fully static python), easily extensible code-base. In many companies, your communication platform (chat or email) is the center of the workplace -- no one asks for a chat integration into their calendar, they ask for a calendar integration into their chat. A fully open-source codebase means you can customize Zulip to your needs, and are never at the whim of a corporate maintainer who can't or won't fix simple bugs, or who will charge you tens of thousands of dollars for making minor customizations.
I use Zulip because I love how it lets me focus on my work, and doesn't need me to be constantly online to be able to participate in conversations that matter to me. Zulip's topics make it super easy to get an overview of all the conversations that happened while I was away, and pick and choose the conversations that I want to catch-up with. Slack 's threads seem like an after-thought and aren't effective for catching-up at all!
I also love the Zulip community, and the care and effort put in by the members to make it a friendly and welcoming community to new developers, and to make the contribution experience pleasant for all the contributors.
For many(if not all) small and medium size business time and cost matter a lot.
That's why languages, frameworks, tools, and services that are easy to use and provide 0 to productive in less time, it's best.
Maybe Node.js frameworks might provide better features compared to Rails but in terms of MVPs, for us Rails is the leading alternative.
Amazon EC2 might be cheaper and more customizable than Heroku but in the initial terms of a project, you need to complete configurationos and deploy early.
Advanced configurations can be done down the road, when the project is running and making money, not before.
Finally, comunication and keeping a good history of conversations, decisions, and discussions is important so we use a mix of Slack and Twist
Slack is the industry standard for managed instant messaging (IM). A good alternative would be to self (or cloud) host an open source IM such as Mattermost but as always it would be a good idea to do a cost benefit analysis between the solutions.
Some of the main things to consider:
- Having a good SDK for plugin creation
- Having good integrations with existing tools ( JIRA , GitHub , OpsGenie , etc.)
- Maintenance and administration
- Covers all your businesses use cases
I use Slack because it offers the best experience, even on the free tier (which we're still using). As a comparison, I have had in depth experience with HipChat, Stride, Skype, Google Chat (the new service), Google Hangouts (the old service). For self hosted, Mattermost is open source and claims to support most Slack integrations, but I have not extensively investigated this claim.
From a StackShare Community member: “We’re about to start a chat group for our open source project (over 5K stars on GitHub) so we can let our community collaborate more closely. The obvious choice would be Slack (k8s and a ton of major projects use it), but we’ve seen Gitter (webpack uses it) for a lot of open source projects, Discord (Vue.js moved to them), and as of late I’m seeing Spectrum more and more often. Does anyone have experience with these or other alternatives? Is it even worth assessing all these options, or should we just go with Slack? Some things that are important to us: free, all the regular integrations (GitHub, Heroku, etc), mobile & desktop apps, and open source is of course a plus."
Today the impossible happened, our beloved Slack crashed sending chaos into offices around the globe. “Wow, how am I now going to vote for the flavour of our new office candy???”, I thought. But even though it might not have felt like it, everything else around us was still working: the world was still spinning, South Korea was winning over Germany at the World Cup, and today’s quotas and goals had to be met. In these situations, people most often turn towards traditional messaging tools like messenger, WhatsApp or email and hope for the best — that Slack will be back up soon. However, these temporary remedies are not without their complications: undelivered messages that you thought were read, lost documents, mental breakdowns, wasted time, etc.… In general, for us it creates a problematic gap in our office chat history.
But what if I told you that these crashes could potentially never occur again?
Yes, this is real life, and it’s exactly what mesh technology is about so we are going to explain it. In this scenario, if Slack ran with mesh networks, its users would not have been affected by its current technology’s single point of failure, which in this case was the crash of the server.
Lol okay, how is this possible bc this is real life???
Mesh networks might not sound familiar to everyone so let’s compare it with other well-known networking topologies. Consider a Local Area Network (LAN), where devices are connected to a central access point (imagine it like a star with the central access point in the middle and the devices located at the ends). Be it LAN or wifi, the idea is the same, so when I send a message on Slack, it first arrives at the Slack server (the central access point) and from there it is sent to the recipient.
In mesh networks, devices are directly connected to each other. They form a local network using existing connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as “connectors”. Devices can act as “routers” and forward messages and files to others, enabling the content to hop between them until it reaches a destination. This eliminates the need for a central entity.
Let’s apply this concept to today’s crisis. If slack ran on top of mesh networks, their consumers would still be able to communicate and send files even though they were not connected to the crashed server. Once it was up and running again, all their group conversations which would have taken place during the outrage would be uploaded back to Slack’s server once they were back online.
Honestly, it’s that simple. To Slack, it would not only be convenient for its customers in situations like these (because we would never have Slack crashes), it would also considerably reduce their own infrastructure costs and prevent them from having moments that they might find embarrassing.
So slack, if you see that mesh networks could potentially help you, come talk to us.
Slack is gorgeous and runs on multiple platforms - that's benefit #1. You can easily talk on your iMac then switch to your Android device on the fly.
The one thing I don't really like about it is how it handles multiple organization accounts.
I am a software consultant so I typically work with multiple teams over the months and it's odd to 'log into the right account'. It's not intuitive at all.
I would like there to be a way for users to easily pick a 'Persona' and not accidentally post to the wrong company.
Slack filled a very complicated role and did it elegantly.
Its very well designed and easy to use. Adding integrations can be complicated but their documentation with images makes it very easy.
Also I contacted support and get a relevant answer quickly!
All this on the free plan, you better bet we will be upgrading soon.
We have been using flowdock for about two years. We brainstorm in there and store important links and notes. We've integrated github, trello, twitter, several rss feeds and have all of our support emails go straight into our flow.
Internal Communications made easy