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#off-topic
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2020-06-14
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sova-soars-the-sora18:06:31

did slack really kill irc with custom emoji?

sova-soars-the-sora18:06:51

😛 i'm wondering what features from IRC were lacking... people wrote whole chat bots in IRC script

dominicm18:06:43

I think it was probably the web ui and mobile app. They've always looked good and been polished through.

seancorfield18:06:07

@sova Remember that Slack is aimed at companies and has a lot of access control and moderation facilities that businesses want in a communication tool.

alexmiller18:06:16

It was having a walled garden with good ui that companies will pay for

Lennart Buit19:06:03

yeah, I guess its also the convenience of a hosted chat platform that doesn’t forget. I’m sure you can get that with IRC as well, but Slack has it out of the box.

seancorfield20:06:08

And, for us at work, the easy integration of Slack with all the other systems we use: MS Office, Jira, New Relic, etc, etc.

dominicm20:06:05

Integration came later, no? The api was much lighter to begin with. Closer to irc bots.

borkdude20:06:24

I was at a company which used Hipchat before Slack became popular. Wonder if that still exists

dominicm20:06:05

And many of its users don't like it. That's one of the reasons the market was prime for the taking. The market was saturated with poor options.

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borkdude20:06:24

on wikipedia they speak about it in past tense 🙂 > HipChat was a web service for internal private online chat and instant messaging.

dominicm20:06:26

Discontinued! They partnered with slack, ha!

phronmophobic20:06:20

group chat is just really useful for work. at the places i worked, we tried gchat, irc , hip chat , and email. slack was, by far, the best option

Mattias20:06:24

I think it is, community by community. No idea why so many are still in free-users-are-the-product-Slack-land...

phronmophobic20:06:36

never tried zulip. how does it compare to slack?

seancorfield20:06:19

When I worked at Macromedia (2000-2006), we ran our own private IRC server internally and used it extensively for coordination of IT releases and for general chit-chat. When Adobe bought us, they wanted to shut that down, as I recall. They were fine with a more "corporate" system 😐

seancorfield20:06:42

I like Zulip. It's the only other Clojure community that I keep open all the time, and it's probably the most "successful" alternative to Slack for Clojure at this point. The free plan has unlimited storage and search. We archive nearly all channels here into topics under the slack-archive stream so you can go there and search for Slack history.

borkdude20:06:59

and it's open source, which means, if they ever go out of business, someone can still host it and load up all the archives and we can continue?

seancorfield20:06:11

But not enough folks have joined the Clojurians Zulip to create a tipping point.

seancorfield20:06:14

@borkdude I think a lot of people completely underestimate the cost and effort in hosting such a solution. Any number of companies might step up and offer but then we'd be dependent on that company not going out of business.

borkdude20:06:49

why is IRC hosting free, who pays for that btw?

borkdude20:06:54

freenode that is

seancorfield21:06:41

It's a federated system, right? So lots of groups can host IRC servers and it doesn't matter if one goes out of business because there are others.

andy.fingerhut21:06:15

Zulip has caught on, for the data science Clojurians. I think the complete true answer for why it hasn't caught on for many other Clojurians is simply: "the aggregate of many individual decisions is such that most have chosen Clojurians Slack, probably in most cases because that is where the most active conversations of knowledgeable people occurred when they chose a chat system to discuss Clojure"

andy.fingerhut21:06:12

I am no good at predicting the future of many individual decisions like that, but I suspect the only thing that would change that is if Slack went out of business, or degraded the features of its free service so much that people actually cared.

andy.fingerhut21:06:46

As even further off-topic, I have the strong impression that people who ask why the majority are making what they consider irrational decisions, are missing out on many of the actual reasons that others are making those decisions. (I am not here claiming that the percentage of human decisions that are irrational is tiny -- I am saying that I believe the percentage of irrational decisions is overstated)

David Pham21:06:50

But the analysis is correct, if the devs from the libs were all the time on zulip, I would go there more often. The data science forum is more lively there.

borkdude21:06:19

What if Github introduced some kind of chat system based on their hosted projects.. would that make a dent in Slack's market share? </speculation>

sova-soars-the-sora21:06:40

@dominicm one vote for polish + aesthetic. @seancorfield aha, they had a customer in mind! @alexmiller a vote for walled garden with good ui aimed at companies. sounds like they had a target audience and were uncompromising on UI. Nice lesson for any competitor. "Who is your customer?" IRC did not really have that question pinned down. So slack is actually the professional IRC. Interestinnnnn. @lennart.buit one vote for out-of-box readiness. That's gotta be there for any application trying to make money. @smith.adriane there is a need for group chat that has hitherto been unaddressed. talk about finding product/market/fit/demand...

borkdude21:06:41

Microsoft has something called Teams. I literally didn't hear about this before the corona crisis, but a lot of non-technical institutions use this (schools, etc.)

sova-soars-the-sora21:06:06

Microsoft Teams will remind you of its existence if you own a microsoft product, don't worry.

sova-soars-the-sora21:06:26

Zulip sounds awesome, let's have an Exodus.

borkdude21:06:06

The exodus thing has been tried a few times. It won't happen unless this slack is actively closed probably.

andy.fingerhut21:06:04

Even on Zulip, where history is searchable, and even for the last year or so for most messages that appear on Slack, I find that I don't use that capability terribly often myself. If something is worth recording in a form I want to find later, it is worth writing a blog article, or checking into a README in a public Github repo.

sova-soars-the-sora21:06:27

Google indexes it and when you search google it will come up, that's a plus

seancorfield21:06:16

Oh, you mean Gitter?

sova-soars-the-sora21:06:40

true of here as well, i sometimes find myself in the age-old slack logs...

seancorfield21:06:52

(sorry that was a late response to @borkdude about GitHub)

sova-soars-the-sora21:06:23

If there were some torrent-like program I could run to help host clojure docs and chatrooms I would. Seems like a distant future concept.

mpenet21:06:03

Matrix/riot is quite nice these days too

mpenet21:06:59

Some big orgs migrated from irc to it (like mozilla)

mpenet21:06:15

Zulip has a strange ui, personnaly I am not fond of it.

seancorfield21:06:18

UI is very personal. I really don't like Matrix/Riot. I like that Zulip can be entirely driven from the keyboard, even as a web app.

mpenet21:06:44

Strange as riot is essentially a slack clone

mpenet21:06:19

Zulip has a very unusual way of displaying conversations, some love it some hate it.

dominicm21:06:33

Riot can become more like slack, but your hold up with zulip is unlikely to change: that's the whole gimmick.

seancorfield21:06:43

And this subjective divergence on UIs is a big reason why we're all still here on Slack and none of the many alternatives have gained traction. As soon as one alternative is suggested, a dozen people pop up and suggest other alternatives they prefer and then we bikeshed for a bit and then the conversation dies off again... until the next person complains about Slack and proposes an alternative 🙂

mpenet21:06:17

It was a bit the first semi decent web ui for chat for free. Arguably an improvement over irc (at least for adoption)

mpenet21:06:49

But now there are plenty better alternatives imho