Just found this opensource.com article about Greenpeace becoming an 'open source' organisation. Quite ironic, since a few months ago I met one of their principal IT managers, who openly mocked our efforts to use #foss and #opensource IT in-house. Greenpeace relies 100% on Google's Gsuite. Any comparison with fair trade coffee was met with a "yeah but this is easier, we just don't care about Google's dubious side."



@Gina the author of that piece is part of a co-op with "open" in the name but their daily driver for collaboration is a Slack channel :/ It's not like there aren't free code alternatives, both hosted and self-hostable:

@Gina @strypey They probably do many cool things even though their philosophy is inconsistent. Many people do. 😀

@clacke of course. Not writing them off. Just being a ;) Also, I really like to hate on Slack in particular ;)

@strypey That's a great overview, thanks for writing and maintaining it!

I wanted to make an HPR episode on Slack alternatives way back when I first started using Matrix, but I never took the time to evaluate them.

We have Mattermost in the office, and I don't miss anything there that we were doing with Slack in my previous offices.

However, as we also have Skype for Business (The Application Formerly Known As Lync) that we use with other departments, and it's better at interrupting people, we more often tend to create an ephemeral chat there instead. 😕
@strypey @Gina I work for a company who's product is free software, but internally we use Slack for communication too. It's very sad, but the reason for using it is that we *don't* want it self hosted. We operate our own infra, and if it ever goes down, it'd be highly inconvenient if our main form of communication would go down with it.

There'd still be better alternatives, I'm sure, though I haven't tried looking around yet.

@tyil @strypey wouldn't outside hosting solve that problem?

(Although a hosted SaaS product might be easier and cheaper in that case)

@Gina @strypey That would move the problem, and increase complexity for me. Suddenly I have to keep track of a number of VPSes that aren't maintained like the rest of them. It's just not worth the added effort and complexity.

@tyil what about just using a SaaSS that uses free code under the hood, instead of ? Something like:
* .im - gratis, owned and hosted by
* - free for personal use, with extended features for paying enterprise users.
* - gratis hosting for free code and open source projects

@strypey @Gina I think a big factor in choosing Slack is that everybody knows it, so nobody needs to be taught to use it. I'd personally like to see alternatives based on free software, but I doubt I'll be able to convince the boss to hop over to an alternative, now that the entire company is using this already.

One benefit I personally see in Slack is that I can use it with my favourite terminal chat client, WeeChat. I know gitter.im should also work in that regard, but Wire and Zulip both don't have integration with WeeChat as far as I know.

We do use GitLab for our code repositories and CI right now, so perhaps Gitter would be a possibility, but I'd have to make a strategy in how to nudge people towards it first, and that will take time.

> everybody knows it, so nobody needs to be taught to use it.

Classic problem ;) The only way out is for some brave and forward-looking users and orgs to lead the charge.

> I'd have to make a strategy in how to nudge people towards it first, and that will take time.

Of course. The longest journey starts with a single step :)

@strypey @Gina Convincing the developers is going to be very easy, but getting the rest of the company on board is the hard part.

Consultants aren't very technical, and they like their shiny mobile apps. And there's many others of varying technical skill levels.

It's at least worth a shot, though.

> One benefit I personally see in Slack is that I can use it with my favourite terminal chat client, WeeChat

I wouldn't count on that lasting. Slack have taken a number of steps to force users to use their Electron monstrosity, including cutting off IRC and XMPP (classic embrace, extend, extinguish):

If Gitter doesn't already support integration, I'm sure they'd accept a PR.

@strypey @Gina I'm not counting on it to last, but I have something that works right now. I believe it uses the Slack HTTP API, so all data they're trying to gather they can probably still gather.

I know very well that you can't trust a proprietary platform to act in the best interest of its users, and that they will always move towards pushing people towards their own harmful ecosystem.
@strypey @Gina @tyil

#Keybase - Free, open source end-to-end encrypted communication, storage, and git repos. Best public key management I’ve seen anywhere. Join with one device. Add devices only by verification with another already-trusted device.

@clacke ooh, good question. When GitLab acquired Gitter they said:

> we will open source the whole of Gitter

It's important to hold them to that. Their repos are here:

It seems like code for all the user apps is available under free licenses, but I'm not sure if the other repos there constitute the full backend yet or not.

@Gina @tyil

@strypey @Gina @tyil TIL Zulip offers free hosting. Checked Mattermost and it seems they don't. Does anyone know of any third party service that offers paid Mattermost hosting?
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