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You say that like there's not fragmentation on the closed-source side as well, with Slack, Hipchat, Skype, etc.

The reason there's competition is because ~"let's only field one perfect option" sounds great if you think you're the one with the perfect product, or you're a user whose needs are exactly like that product's pitch. In reality, user needs are diverse: there's no singular perfect product.

In general you're totally right!

In this particular case though, note the title of the article. Wouldn't it be much more convincing as "A Superior Alternative to Slack (Which Happens to be Open Source)"?

EDIT: You're second point definitely does apply here though.

I think it should absolutely be noted that being open source is a key mark of superiority over Slack.

Realistically Slack's market share of the "IM technologies used by teams" world isn't that high anyway. I'm willing to bet that they remain well behind IRC even in their own market.

All of this is a response mostly to buzz. Slack looks great, and is absolutely popular. So we (the open source community) want something "equivalently buzzworthy" while forgetting that we are, in fact, the entrenched monopoly already.

I'm not losing much sleep, nor will I be retiring my IRC client or pastebin links any time soon.

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