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HipChat acquired by Atlassian (hipchat.com)
123 points by enra on Mar 7, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments

It seems the same person writes all these "we have been acquired" posts.

Interesting strategy by Atlassian. First they bought bitbucket, then SourceTree, now HipChat.

Also I hope HipChat will now finally get that native OS X client they've been promising for ages.

At least you can still get AIR for OSX. Trying running the HipChat client on Linux... it's pretty painful, and getting more painful as time goes on (and we get further and further from Adobe's last release of AIR for Linux). It's even more painful to get it running on a 64 bit Linux distribution...

As we speak, I'm running a Windows virtual machine in fullscreen on my left monitor. The VM's sole job is running Adobe AIR for the HipChat client.

Why haven't I thought of that?!

Sounds efficient :)

Hey, what else are you going to use a 6-core CPU and 16GB of RAM for if not to throw VMs around willy-nilly?

I agree. I have to use the web based interface whenever I'm on Linux. I'd really like to see a native client.

We just use the XMPP support and Pidgin for linux.

No images or file transfers, but it's pretty pain free.

^ this - I've just given up trying to get TweetDeck running on 64 bit Ubuntu 11.10

Native apps are definitely in our future. :)

What's wrong with the Air client?

I use HipChat daily:

- AIR doesn't play nicely with dynamically switching graphics chips (read: all MacBook Pros and iMacs). The app itself, AIR's installer, and updater, will all randomly crash due to this, with no hint at what's wrong. The only way to fix this (if you've somehow realized this is the problem) is to lock your graphics card in System Preferences.

- It will peg your graphics card, just like Flash on Mac. You can be looking at a plain chat window and hear your MacBook Pro spinning up like a jet engine, as if you're about to do something, well, more substantial.

- It crashes, and worse, it has a really bad habit of corrupting itself when crashing. To-date I've reinstall HipChat at least 10 times on my machine. The "AIR installer crashes randomly because of graphics card problem" undocumented bug makes this even more annoying.

- It's just slow.

johnnydoe is right. AIR is like client-side Java, or any other write-once-deploy-many products. It's lowest-common-denominator crap. It has all of the limitations of its target platforms, none of its strengths, and all of the laziness that comes with trying to design a one-size-fits-all UI for everyone.

Air stinks Stop being lazy and work your own native client or just don't do it.

But that's just my opinion.

Sweet, this means my Atlassian-loving company might finally start using a web-based chat room system. For some reason our teams love email, wiki, IMs, but won't even countenance the benefit of realtime chat.

We have a permanent jabber room on our server that all but one dev uses. No one was ever told they needed to be there.

Just start using a chatroom and invite people in. Remind a few to add it to the auto-join list. If your coworkers find a benefit in it, there doesn't need to be an official policy; the usage will just grow organically. If they don't see a benefit, why force it on them?

We used to do this in '99 with an IRC server with all the IT folks on it. We would train the bots with info about systems. You could type an IP - and the bot would reply with the system details, etc.

I really would like to say my congratulations to them. They are a pretty decent project management tool, we use them at ollaa and recently I have written a blog post about HipChat. http://ahmetalpbalkan.com/blog/why-we-love-and-hate-hipchat/ Atlassian is making really smart decisions.

In your blog post:

    Push notifications. They’re confusing. All the in-person communication is pushed, however room conversation is not unless you are @mentioned.
    If you would like to make an announcement to 10 people, you have to mention them one by one manually.
You can use "@all" to mention everyone.

I think HipChat is the best group communication tool http://www.quora.com/Should-my-team-use-Hipchat-or-Campfire-...

I wish them luck

I wonder if Github will offer anything similar? Or will 37signal and GitHub merge one day?

Congrats guys! Atlassian really seems like a good place for you :)

Now you have a good excuse to rebrand (and/or change that icon?)

Congrats guys!

why is atlassian acquiring commodity tech? I don't understand their strategy.

edit: as opposed to just building it themselves, what's so hard about a chat app? maybe i underestimate the amount of iteration in the hipchat product and they're buying that product knowledge, not the tech.

To be the be-all, end-all company that builds products for other software businesses.

Buying the tech helps them get there faster. Also they don't just buy another product, HipChat has a very fanatical user base. It will likely be easy for Atlassian to get it adopted by the rest of their user base.

It will still take time to build Bring in new customers who are using Hipchat Bring in new talent.

Congrats to Garret and his team!

Another product about to be ruined...

(I'm not an Atlassian fan)

> (I'm not an Atlassian fan)


Care to provide any more detail? A well reasoned post might have spared you some downvotes.

Crucible/fisheye - slow. I mean really slow. Unusably slow both with respect to the UI and back end. Half our team use IE which it just doesn't work in at all. Chrome is the only thing it just about crawls along in. Incredibly difficult keeping it alive with 50 users. Crashes once a week entirely and sometimes refuses to start with no error messages at all.

JIRA - workflow crash took our team of 30 devs at the time out entirely for 2 days. Overcomplicated administrative mess especially with respect to plugins. Reindexing takes out the entire JIRA instance until complete. Permission schemes and workflow is an epic mess of cludges.

Both products: Null pointer exceptions galore, scary memory ceiling. Integration sucks - all the horrible mappings to maintain.

They feel like bloated, slow and badly designed products which is worrying considering the cost.

TBH their support are good but I shouldn't have to use it on a product suite that costs that much.

How are any of these reasons that HipChat is "about to be ruined"? Both of those are huge products, and afaict were developed by Atlassian - not acquired.

Atlassian has made two big acquisitions that I know of (Bitbucket, SourceTree), and in both cases the product was better off after the acquisition.

From what I see, Atlassian goes in and provides cash and infrastructure, leaving the teams that were responsible for the product's success to continue making great things. I don't see any indication that things will be different for HipChat.

Fisheye was bought (as was Clover and Crucible) with Cenqua.


Adn they ruined it hence my original point.

I agree with crucible/fisheye being slow, but they have greatly improved it lately. As for the UI you basically have to run a recent firefox/chrome/chromium.

All your other points I somewhat agree with but to their credit they all improve steadily each release. Be mindful that the products were source individually from various places and need a lot of work to look and work together nicely.

Let me finish on some faint praise: they are by FAR the least worse of all the 'enterprise' software we use :-)

> Let me finish on some faint praise: they are by FAR the least worse of all the 'enterprise' software we use :-)

That's like saying "they're the least bad rapist".

I do agree though!

You pay maintenance (presumably); so...

Get onto Atlassian and get them to help you (at least with your slowness and crash issues) - their support is good once you get them engaged.

I've had all the problems you describe (large instance - 100k issues, internet facing) - sometimes it's as simple as a resetting a bad VTL template. They will get to the bottom of it.

Four words: "You shouldn't have to".

Unfortunately, due this responsibility being approximately 5% of my time, I don't have time to invest in to-and-fro with Atlassian. I expect something to work (ironically like Trac did - its predecessor).

On the positive side, we're upgrading to latest versions soon.

Half of your dev team uses IE o.O ??

Unfortunately yes.

Someone please save me (I'm serious there!)

Something tells me Atlassian won't be

I wouldn't want to be saved by them :)

We use a few Atlassian products and don't have any complaints. I'd be interested to hear more of your reasoning.

My personal experience is that JIRA is an unmitigated UX design trainwreck. Most of the UI pages and workflows that I've seen are nightmarishly kludgey. It makes Bugzilla's UI seem decent by comparison.

I haven't used their other products (other than BitBucket, which is fine, but hasn't kept up with Github), but JIRA desperately needs a UX design vision.

We are working on re-working the JIRA UX right now and we would love your feedback. Shoot me an email at james@atlassian.com and I'll pass it along :-)

Thanks, will send my thoughts later tonight when I have the time to type them up.

I really appreciate it, thanks :)

Take Trac, stick that in jpython on top of the JVM and you're done!

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