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Discord does not allow 3rd party clients (reddit.com)
61 points by mepholic on July 5, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments

Throwing your lot in with Discord, Slack, Skype, etc - is a huge mistake. They serve their own interests, not yours. Use open platforms and open protocols or you will inevitably regret it. Your incentives and Discord's incentives are misaligned.

Why can't you just say "you will possibly regret it" or even "you will probably regret it"?

It's not inevitable that people will regret going with Discord, Slack, or Skype. Most people won't.

Yet there is a network effect...I may regret relying on them, but I will also regret avoiding them. Boycotts without critical mass just punish the participants.

I dont have a solution to that, but I feel like we need to find one over just self-flagellation while waiting for a critical mass to appear.

Yep. Use MatterMost self-hosted at worst, or something simple like OpenFire/XMPP

I've never heard of MatterMost. It's good to see that there's an open-source alternative out there with a similar interface. I've never really given XMPP a fair rap... Maybe it's time again to check if any decent implementations have popped up.

If anyone can recommend any other open platforms for me and the other concerned readers of this post, that would be highly appreciated.

In my mind, federation is a pretty important feature, as it allows you the possibility to bridge the gap between all the disparate chat systems we currently have. Chat bifurcation is a major issue that is serving to help divide us all.

The problem is that neither of those really seem to fill the shoes of Discord for us. In Discord I can do text chats, voice chat, can post gifs, and can even screen share. It also does all of that with no requirements for hardware or setup on my part.

Yeah that's the issue with most self-hosted solutions. Pretty invariably they're either a pain to setup, require someone to provide an always on server (either in their house or pay someone else to host), or are hideous/missing major features. Discord does well because it requires pretty much zero setup on my part to have a place where me and my friends can chat while playing games!

Personally availability was always a major issue to me when it came to older self hosted solutions, with Discord I don't have to worry if group B has someone willing to bother hosting because it's always there hosted on Discord's servers and if something happened we don't suddenly lose our hub and chat.

The Discord client may be open source, but Discord can apply whatever terms of service they like to their server.

So just set up your own server using their open source server software, which surely they must have released under the AGPL, because they weren't just using “open source” as a buzzword.

...Yeah. The client software being open source is irrelevant if it relies on a single proprietary server. Choose open standards instead, or AGPL'd server software.

> he client software being open source is irrelevant if it relies on a single proprietary server.

At least you can make sure it doesn't send information it isn't supposed to send to that server - say, audio when you weren't intending, or screenshots.

It's not good enough for server independence, but it is way better than closed everything.

That's a good point.

Not really. You could reasonably easily reverse engineer the server side too based on how the client uses it.

(scalability is important though)

It is better not to have to do that.

You could, but that's still lots of work, and you'd constantly be chasing incompatibilities with Discord's servers.

At this point you may as well just use an open standard instead.

The reason for this should be obvious - discord has no profit model right now and wants to make sure they can monetize down the road.

I've heard them say they may introduce premium features that require payment. If you make a client that can replicate these features (like custom emojis or whatever), they might lose money.

They already have Discord Turbo. I agree that it's likely because their profit model is on shaky grounds, which makes me wonder: why do it in the first place?

What other avenues do that have for monetization? Could they potentially be collecting user data, chat logs, or voice recordings to potentially monetize off of down the road? Might they decide to start automatically injecting targeted ad content into chat sessions?

As with most of these "lose money now, make money later" startups, I think Discord's longterm goal is to get bought out.

I don't see any way they can turn a profit. If they charge for hosting servers, they'll lose a large number of servers (people will just consolidate). If they charge for quality, users will start leaving for the oldguard services (Teamspeak/Mumble).

Persistent text chat is definitely a plus, but all it would take is for one of the slack clones to have a mumble client built in for there to be a free/easy alternative. Or people to just go back to a groupme/whatsapp and a voice service.

Non-electron client would certainly be a big winner for Discord. They should hire the guy and rewrite their memory-hogging app.

Just mirroring the thread here in case the Discord Inc. overlords decide they don't like the bad PR.

Title: Ripcord - unofficial native Discord client. No Electron, no rounded userpics (Staff reply) >> This sounds like a good way of getting your account banned, or am I mistaken about the API rules? > You are not mistaken. We do not support 3rd party clients, and they are not allowed per our ToS/API ToS. (Staff Reply)

This is honestly unacceptable.

On this page here: https://discordapp.com/open-source

You claim that "Discord ️ Open Source". If this were true, than Discord Inc. would recognize that not all Open Source developers run x86_64 machines, and of those that do, not all of them use glibc as their system standard C library.

The fact that both Discord's standalone desktop application (which uses Electron; a resource hog on its own) and the in-browser version of the app are both massive resource hogs prevents those who are not well off and do not have modern computer equipment from using the service.

Additionally, Discord's web application fails to successfully function in most Linux web browsers that I've found. This includes Firefox ESR and Otter on x86_64 using musl libc. Text chat hardly works in Firefox, as the entire interface goes blank and acts like it's refreshing on a fairly regular basis; the login page doesn't even load in Otter. To even think that voice chat would function under these circumstances is a straight up joke; and sure enough, voice chat fails to function for reasons OTHER than the one stated above on both ALSA-only AND PulseAudio configurations: I cannot get it to detect my microphone (granted, Firefox's terrible, or rather, complete lack of an audio configuration interface is probably more to blame here)

The fact that Discord Inc. is threatening to ban users who use 3rd party clients just adds insult to injury. If Discord Inc. is really not willing to provide open and portable solutions to use their service to their users, they should at least allow 3rd parties to offer such solutions. The entire stance of "YOU MUST USE OUR CLIENT" makes me have one of two thoughts: 1. Discord Inc. is embedding Information Gathering code into their own clients, and wants to make sure that they can collect and sell information on ALL of their users; 2. Discord Inc. is not confident in the reliability and robustness of their server infrastructure, and therefore wants to limit which applications hit their _public_ API's.

Long story short, what I'm seeing here is a complete lack of customer obsession; it really seems like Discord Inc. doesn't actually care about their users.

This is certainly uncharitable. They seem to care a fair bit about accessibility; but certainly can’t chase down every possible issue on every possible configuration when it comes to browser compatibility.

Their service is currently free. You can take your business elsewhere, and convince your friends to do the same.

"certainly can’t chase down every possible issue on every possible configuration when it comes to browser compatibility."

You know who can? A mass of programmers making FOSS clients specifically to address these issues.

Oh, wait, sorry, can't do that with Discord because reasons.

This strikes me as pretty entitled. Developer time isn't free, and it's not impossible to self host your own web chat room.

Here's a crosspost of a reply to a comment on the Reddit thread that was along the same vein:

I understand that writing code is an artform that takes lots of practice and patience and also deserves a lot of praise. I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to make money off of their code. I DO think that support contracts are generally a more reasonable way of achieving this goal.

By closing off your source code from the community at large, you prevent people from auditing, extending, and improving your codebase. There IS power in the masses, and such a power can be used to offload the work that you DO NOT want to do, such as achieving portability, to those who actually care about it.

(The client in the reddit post isn’t open source.)

That's hardly the point. I disagree with cancel's distribution methods, and lack of providing the client as open-source; I would even go as far as to say that taking the position of "eventually charging for it" is probably one of the reasons why Discord has this policy in the first place. The fact of the matter is though, that these policies are destructive to any potential open-source innovation that would be to happen as well.

I understand that writing code is an artform that takes lots of practice and patience and also deserves a lot of praise. I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to make money off of their code. I DO think that support contracts are generally a more reasonable way of achieving this goal. My problem with cancel's decision is that they're saying they may eventually charge users for an application which in all likelihood will get them banned as a result of Discord Inc.'s crappy ToS.

You don't have to use Discord.

...Unless you want to talk to all of the friends who refuse to use other services.

Then use their client. Its a free service, what are you complaining about.

I want to complain about their privacy policy

This is probably the best solution for crappy business tactics in the end.

I've been using userscripts and stylesheets with browser plugins to tweak their webapp.

I wonder if this is also disallowed by their ToS.

Most likely, but who honestly cares about a ToS?

People who don't want to get banned due to breach of ToS (since that would cause them to lose contact with friends).

It is.

RIP bitlbee-discord :(

The only reason I'm not using discord is exactly because they have no native client but this electron crap

I've gone back to IRC and created some Signal groups. Slack, Discord, and all of these new chat applications are frankly abominations.

Of some note: some Rust core teams have already moved, piecemeal, official core team discussions to Discord, and are trying to get this done in a broad way:


It is essentially slack with voice chat.

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