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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
We use Microsoft Teams as our primary workplace collaboration tool. It enables our team to work remotely and still collaborate on projects - with integration to JIRA and Confluence, the tool enables us to create War Rooms when problems occur and also provides information-sharing capabilities. Replaced HipChat.
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.
We run a major community project named as @Donut which is an #OpenSource social platform which allows communities to set up their own social environment and @slack platform drives us through the best experience of community interaction. Though we have been using some Open Source Interacting platforms like Gitter and Zulip but the fact that Slack exists and is such an essential tool, it’s really helped us with scaling and still feeling connected to one another across remote places with various teams with appropriate features in it.
The #User-Friendly Slack brings all the organised conversations at one place giving a prospectus to feel the better user experience on desktop.
Followings its pros:
- Allow creating of various channels which can be best suited to organised #projects, #teams and #events.
- Allow multiple tools and integrations such as Google Drive and GitHub
- Video Conferencing addition helps teams to organise meetings.
- No limit for addition of users and its free.
- Allow threads to keep side conversations from derailing the topic or project at hand.
The most crucial thing it supports the best security and protection with 2 factors authentication.
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.
Here are the main issues hard to solve with Skype but easily handled with HipChat.
Pickle #1. Group chatting Pickle #2. Offline mode Pickle #3. Sending pictures Pickle #4. Code snippets Pickle #5. Link search
And of course integrations.
We've gathered all our thoughts in an article - http://weavora.com/blog/2014/02/04/why-we-love-hipchat/
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.
I really like HipChat, not only because it's available on whatever "machine/device" you use but it has a ton of add-ons that you can integrate in you chat room that keep you and your team constantly aware of what's happening with your business.
Internal Communications made easy
I first heard about Slack from my friend Matt (shout out to Final!). He was helping me out with some Rails issues so we started using Slack and I liked it. Specifically, the chat interaction. But also all the integrations. I wasn’t thinking of it as a tool to end all tools at first, just a chat tool with some cool integrations. Then I created a Slack account for StackShare, and that’s when things got real.
Sentry got easier to stay on top of, Heroku was easier to see activity from, discussions were more fluid, and the mobile app was killer. Most of the tools I use either don’t have a mobile app or have shitty ones. Slack is like a replacement for all the mobile apps my tools should have.
I don’t find Slack particularly useful for focused discussions, so I doubt it will replace email anytime soon for us. Things like product discussions/debates are best via email. It forces you to think before you type and have a clear back and forth with someone.
Small gripe: I wish Slack would disable email notifications by default, I still haven’t figured out how to turn those off.
We haven't found a better way to communicate directly with the core contributors and developers for many open source projects we utilize on GitHub (Scala, Scala-js, Sinatra, Apache top-level projects, just to name a few).
It is a solid piece of software that appeals to us who have used Slack in the past, and the tight integration with a single GitHub repository or organization for each Gitter room just makes sense in our eyes.
Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration system It unifies your entire team communications, making your workflow, well, flow a lot better. It is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services. Slack teams allow communities, groups, or teams to join through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team admin or owner.
Hipchat provides a comprehensive and searchable chat system for development and customer relations. It is integrated with GitHub and JIRA so our developers can have specific rooms for each project, and we also have rooms for each customer tied into their Twitter feeds so we know what is relevant and can track issues via Nagios alerts.
Slack is our go-to communication tool and it's slowly replacing emails across all departments of the company. We built our own Slack Bot to help us with simple DevOps stuff; Honeybadger notifies us in real time of errors happening on production in our monitoring channel; CircleCI reports builds status and deployment info as well.
Everyone in our company uses HipChat. From our help center to our engineering department, we do most of our internal conversations in hipchat rooms. Also as a remote engineering team, it is super useful to have a service like this so that conversations are logged and in the open.
Team comms is essential. The R&D team is distributed over two offices, as well as the chance that people are working from home. Slack provides lots of options of keeping individuals and groups up to date. We also use it to integrate into services such as Github and Sentry.
Slack is a lifesaver, not only for our day to day team communications and it's direct links into our other tools, but for Beta testing as well, with our custom Slack bot in our beta group being an invaluable asset to avoid giving our testers direct JIRA access.
Many GitHub communities are on Gitter. It's a great place to ask and answer questions related to open-source frameworks and libraries.
Part of our team are spread over cities and they are connected by chats or conference, sharing insights, alerts and tech discussions.
I use HipChat to communicate with group members. I like that I can hop on and catch up on any conversations that I missed.
Team communications and notices, such as when a test suite has run, when commits have been made to one of our git repos.
Using Gitter for open source talks and directly communicating with contributors.