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As someone who doesn't use slack, why did we ever move away from chat programs and protocols that worked fine? I don't know why I need to use slack, hangouts, discord, etc, that are just reinventing irc and/or the garden variety instant messaging platforms that already exist.

  I don't know why I need to use slack [...] just
  reinventing irc
Features Slack has that IRC doesn't include:

* User authentication

* Support for multiple concurrent logins by one user

* Persistent, searchable history

* (Ad-free) file and image sharing built in

* Simple integrations, like webhooks, built in.

In other words, Slack is like IRC+NickServ+Irssi+Screen+Imgur, except easier to use, in the sense that you don't need to know key combos like Ctrl+A+D or Ctrl+Alt+2, you don't have to figure out how to send such combos from your phone's terminal emulator, and you don't need access to an always-on server to run your screen session.

Of course, it's not all good; Slack has a bunch of opinionated design choices, like a channel it's impossible to leave, no ability to block users, no off-the-record option, and suchlike.

You are trying to try people what they should prefer. This is about openness and choice. If I've been using screen and irssi/xchat/etc for decades I don't want to learn anything new. I don't want a huge app shoved down my throat that's not nearly as customizable and integratable into my workflow as all those tools I already know. The slack app is just a horrible tool designed to get into your way and interrupt your work. Thank god we didn't jump that shittrain on my current job.

Not to mention the webhooks. It's trivial to implement pushing data into slack.

They even give you a hello world sample curl when you opt to add the webhook. At the simplest you can just replace the hello world text and bam -- you're sending to slack. Just takes a very simple json input.

Discord is amazing, there really isn't a good replacement right now. Before that it was a mess/mix of IRC/Skype/Teamspeak/Whatsapp, now you can combine all that in one great client from a company that actually seems to care about its users. It's my favorite monthly Paypal charge!

not self-hostable. also, why is it a problem to use different tools for different use cases?

chances it will be around in 10 years? I would say 25%.

I replaced Discord with Mumble [0][1] / Murmur. (Self hosted). It scales really well. On a tiny VM I could handle thousands of people. That said, it isn't quite as happy-clicky-frictionless as Discord. They are working on that aspect of it.

[0] - https://github.com/mumble-voip/mumble

[1] - https://wiki.mumble.info/wiki/Main_Page

When I combine the feature set of IRC/Skype/Teamspeak/WhatsApp, I come up with text chat + voice/video conferencing, which e.g. Skype already provides. Is the difference that the client is great?

Yeah, a feature set doesn't matter if the features are bad. I would never want to use Skype as a platform for an ongoing text chat. (Does Skype even have persistent channels?)

Also now that Discord exists, I would never do a voice chat in Skype either. A substantial portion of every Skype call I've ever been on was people apologizing to each other for the bad audio. Discord apparently just has better signal processing.

> Does Skype even have persistent channels?

Skype for Business does. But... not the Azure/Cloud version; you have to host it on-site, and MS are rapidly replacing Skype with the less feature rich (if that's even possible!) 'MS Teams'.

Ever try to get Skype for business (née lync) working on Linux? With video/voice?

Discord's inability to separate identities is the deal breaker. I don't want to be logged into work and play at the same time. I'd also like to be able to engage in some communities pseudonymously and others not.

None of the chat apps ticks all boxes, which is why we need a universal client that puts the user back in control like in the Trillian/Adium days. And no, matrix+bridges is not that solution.

What's the problem with matrix plus bridges? I am uniformed, so don't take this question to imply there are no problems

As someone also relatively uninformed, when my team moved to Slack I was hoping to get a Matrix integration going. But I don't have admin rights to install the needed integrations on the slack side (and I think we're at max integrations anyway, somehow, why is that a thing...). Though recently I found a different type of slack-matrix bridge that works via user-puppeting, https://github.com/matrix-hacks/matrix-puppet-slack so no action needed on the slack end. Unfortunately it requires you to setup your own homeserver... One day I'd like to have a one-client solution to all these things again like I used to with Trillain/Pidgin. Matrix gets me a lot of the way there and with a little more effort (like my own homeserver) possibly all the way there.

One solution is for matrix.org to provide a hosted instance of matrix-puppet-slack - although we (matrix.org) are not very comfortable doing so because we'd start gathering everyone's slack credentials, which is quite a lot of responsibility. It'd be much better if everyone could run their own and have responsibility for their own bridges. In practice we haven't had much bandwidth for bridge work over the last year but hopefully this will change soon.

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