Friends vs Mattermost: What are the differences?
Friends: Like Slack except P2P, offline friendly, and open source. Friends is like Slack except P2P, offline friendly and open source. We transmit data over secure channels and authenticate messages. It's made by a group of open source developers who are motivated to make a public chat platform that is easy to use but isn't centrally controlled, and where data is owned by its users; Mattermost: Open-source, self-hosted, Slack alternative. Mattermost is modern communication from behind your firewall.
Friends and Mattermost can be categorized as "Group Chat & Notifications" tools.
Friends and Mattermost are both open source tools. Mattermost with 15.4K GitHub stars and 3.14K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Friends with 3.05K GitHub stars and 356 GitHub forks.
What is Friends?
What is Mattermost?
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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.
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.
It is no secret that we use Mattermost at Faelix — after all, it is a product we already support to be able to offer it to our customers. And like many network operators we use Oxidized to track and log changes to our routers and switches, even when those changes are made by automation tools.
As part of our move to using more ChatOps within the business I wanted to get visibility of network changes within our network operations channel in Mattermost. A quick and dirty script achieved this.