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tl;dr: Slack’s XMPP implementation is broken in such a way that prevents discovery of channels. Several people (myself included) have brought this to their attention, but they’re refusing to fix it (because in fact they’re not working on their gateways in any way).

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    I can work around this issue, but I find it much more worrisome that their gateways are discontinued entirely. I use Slack through the IRC gateway, because I don’t want to have a CPU & memory gobbling browser tab for every organization I join.

    This means that sometime in the not-to-distant future, using the gateways at all won’t be possible.

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      Yes. It leaves me with the impression that gateways might exist primarily to ease the on-boarding process of new customers by being able to tell them, that they can continue using their IRC or XMPP clients. Once a company becomes a customer, the discussion is effectively finished and individual users will be pressured to use the electron or browser client anyways because Slack is what the company uses now.

      So, sadly, there’s little incentive for Slack to support those bridges as long they are good enough to say “yes, we’ve got them” in the beginning.

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        What if the gateways are still running by chance, and no one dares to touch them because the dev(s) that built it left the company.

        Anyway, as you wrote, it doesn’t make sense to spend money enhancing something that most users don’t care about.

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          What if the gateways are still running by chance, and no one dares to touch them because the dev(s) that built it left the company.

          That would imply that a not too small company with lots of resources would run totally unmaintained software in production, right? I hope they don’t, and if they do, they could least say so in their documentation and advertisements.

          Anyway, as you wrote, it doesn’t make sense to spend money enhancing something that most users don’t care about.

          That’s not what I wrote! I meant that there are little incentives for companies who care a lot about profit maximization and less about supporting users with more uncommon needs. But it would of course ‘make sense’ to spend money on such features if one would like to create a good communication platform for a more diverse set of users!

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            Yes, I’ve seen them mention their XMPP gateway support in advertising material. They certainly don’t mention that it’s broken and entirely unsupported.

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              That’s not what I wrote!

              Sorry, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. Thanks for clarifying. :)

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          If you’re using Weechat then give wee-slack a go - I believe its lead developer works at Slack. I switched from IRC gateway some months ago because my team insists on using threads and emoji reactions, and I insist on using tools which don’t consume tons of resources. So far it’s been great, it supports most of the features I need (threads, emoji reactions, some slash commands) and I don’t care about others (search, file uploads)

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            Seconded; wee-slack is a lifesaver.

            Where I work they won’t even turn the gateway on, but wee-slack talks directly over the same websocket API that the official client uses. It also lets me SSH into my work computer from my personal machine and keep my login credentials only on my work machine.

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            This means that sometime in the not-to-distant future, using the gateways at all won’t be possible.

            A bit like some time in the not-too-distant future, you won’t be able to unlock a new Android/iOS cellphone without something like “Face ID”.

            For your convenience and security, of course. Only a terrorist would want a phone without Face ID!

            The commonality here is that the masses don’t care about the alternatives, and so, the alternatives end up becoming impractical.

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            They are just following the trend. Support XMPP to get people using it and then drop it when they have enough power.

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              Wasn’t this the reason Google Talk shut down and got replaced with Hangouts?

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              of course are they not allowing 3rd party apps. These companies want to control everything you do and want to see every interaction you do on their platform. That is how modern data driven companies operate. It sucks for people who do not like it, but I am not surprised at all by this.

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                I was mildly surprised, actually. I’d assumed that, as Slack has actual paid users (my company is one) they might treat their users as customers, not product. I was sadly mistaken.

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                  I think it just becomes to costly for them to implement a second protocol that they do not control and that may or may not support all the things they want to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am no slack fan, but I understand if they implement the hot new party-parrot-super-feature, they want that to work for their users, not focus on XMPP, which only nerds care about…

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                    Then at the very least they should stop claiming that they support XMPP.

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                i hate slack. it’s a necessary evil. i’m still trying to figure out some norms and conventions to make people not think it’s a replacement for email.

                i use weechat for irc, and there’s a native/non-irc gateway slack plugin for it. works like a charm.

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                  I still have never used slack. How did this develop into a necessary evil? Wouldn’t Matrix or Rocket Chat fill the need? Mattermost? I find it fascinating that nobody wants to self host (use it to test your devops skills if you must) and nobody seems to care about some corporation having the chat logs of your developers (and code snippets, and and and)

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                    Having tried to self host Matrix, the current server Synapse is a total pain to manage, super resource hungry, single threaded and as soon as you join big channels everything start to crumble. The gateways are buggy or inneficient. Hopefully the new Go server will fix some of the pain point, but overall I found that self-hosting is great if you want to lose your time on debugging and managing server instead of actually working on your projects.

                    Right now I’m running The Lounge with IRC gateways and Bitlbee and it works great. Still some pain point and missing some slack features, but it’s all worth the RAM I save and the fact I can use IRC, Slack, Twitter, Facebook Messenger and Hangout in the same tab!

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                      I’ve been running my Matrix server for 6 months. It was dead simple to setup and requires no maintenance. I upgrade it regularly (I’m the maintainer on FreeBSD) and the IRC bridge works fine, but it is inefficient.

                      I don’t know what OS you ran it on, but it’s quite simple to use on FreeBSD.

                      edit: large rooms like the matrix dev room have no appreciable performance impact for me either…

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                        I don’t know, I ran it with avhost/docker-matrix docker image on a n1-standard-1 (3.75 Go RAM) instance in GCP along with the bridges and an HTTPS reverse proxy. After running it for a while, it could take me about 30 seconds to get my message aknowledge :| It could have been a bad config or slow I/O somewhere, in any case I gave up and won’t retry until Dendrite is stable. I had a much simpler setup that I used on a VPS a year ago until I got tired of cleaning the logs and message history that filled up the disk (There was/are no easy way to manage history and properly clean it…). The logs are also so noisy, seems like the dev mismatched INFO level for DEBUG.

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                          You have to run a Postgres database too so I wouldn’t try to run it on that hardware. I’ve got 24 cores and 64GB RAM, NVME SSD for ZFS cache, etc.

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                            I find it fascinating that nobody wants to self host […]

                            You have to run a Postgres database too so I wouldn’t try to run it on that hardware. I’ve got 24 cores and 64GB RAM, NVME SSD for ZFS cache, etc.

                            Your last answer pretty much explain your first statement. I can’t wrap around my head the fact that I need a few thousands worth of machine to exchange text messages to a few contacts.

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                              I’m running dozens of services on this machine. Which cost me $400 on eBay 2 years ago. Servers aren’t expensive. VMs are terribly overpriced. Matrix takes up about 1% CPU and 2GB of RAM

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                      you have to consider the audience, and the tradeoff. the audience is everyone non-tech i work with… i’ve pined for the day non-tech colleagues could use irc, but it just ain’t ever gonna happen. the tradeoff is being ‘part of the team’ vs. left out. in a distributed team, there’s no question about what to do to adapt.

                      for whatever reason, slack checked off the boxes that mattermost, hipchat, et al just didn’t. and i don’t see microsoft’s or google’s challenges breaking off any of slack’s pie.

                      the question of self hosting is (in my opinion) irrelevant, just like for most folks now the question of self hosting email is irrelevant.

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                        I run a Mattermost server for friends and family. The experience is still less polished than Slack, although it’s catching up fast. The main problem is mobile OS integration; even fairly simple things (sharing images from the Gallery to Mattermost) are as yet unsupported, at least on Android.

                        That said, at the rate it’s improving, it’ll be at parity soon. And for most cases it’s there already.

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                      Maybe someone will make a bitlbee plugin for slack? There seems to be one for Discord at least.

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                        The Bitlbee team has cited the existence of the gateway as a reason specifically for refusing to implement Slack support, so hopefully this can change their mind.

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                          I didn’t know about bitlbee’s Discord support, that’s great.

                          I tried to get weechat-discord into a working state but have come to the same conclusion as the author, that discord’s “API” is giant pile.

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                            Also hoping for libpurple…

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                            Is it a wonder that slack is closing up after having established themselves? Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? Maybe look at matrix and riot.im as a replacement for slack. And start migration by bridging slack to matrix.

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                              Unfortunately the Slack bridge to matrix seems to be unmaintained. They talked how they were looking about pupetting user over 1 year ago, but there was no effort in this direction since then. As long as matrix will not provide anything better than webhook integration to Slack I doubt anyone will move over. And that’s not talking about how managing your own matrix homeserver can be a pain.

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                                For the last year matrix has had a hard time with funding and little progress. But they got funding and the future is looking brighter

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                                Gah! Slack. Fixed, thanks. (Sourceforge was down during my first attempt to submit; I think this was qwertial aphasia).

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                                  Slack