Great that threads were added. A shame that they are slack-threads and not zulip/email/reddit -threads
I haven’t used Slack in years, what is the difference between their threading model and others?
IIUC, Slack threads branch only from a top-level message in a channel. Subthreads aren’t really a thing.
I haven’t tried Matrix/Element threads but I too prefer Zulip’s threading model to Slack’s.
You can reply to a Slack message in a thread, and the replies will be hidden from the main channel - the original message will have an extra line saying “10 replies” which you can click to view the thread in a sidebar. If you reply to a thread (or specifically subscribe to it) you get notifications for new replies, otherwise the thread is pretty much invisible once the original message scrolls out of view. I’m on some channels where people try to keep all conversations in threads, but the natural thing to do is to simply reply in the channel. If you want to add to a specific discussion once the main conversation has moved to another topic, you can either reply in a thread (and no-one will notice) or reply in the main channel (which means you are trying to change the subject back).
In Zulip, all messages in a channel (called a “stream”) belong to threads (“topics”) but the messages are also shown in the stream, ordered by time. Topics have names, kind of like email subject lines, and they are visible in a side bar with separate unread counts. You can click on a message to zoom into that topic. If you accidentally attach a message to a wrong topic, you can move it to another one.
I believe the decision stems from how the conversation is conceptualized to be represented in the chat thread.
Slack (and now element) conceptualize the threads to be “secondary” to the main conversation. Maybe you want to reply to an older message after the main thread has moved on or you have a one off comment to a message that doesn’t need to break up the main conversation. In this model, there is a 1:1 relationship between the channel topic and the conversation within. Threads give the option to branch off from this in a somewhat clunky way.
Zulip takes a different approach in conceptualizing conversations and threads. In their model, each conversation revolves around a topic (within a channel). This way to organize conversations is more akin to how mailing lists or forums organize content. This breaks up conversations into subtopic containers.
Both approaches have merits and drawbacks. But the main difference stems from wanting to model in the chat platform a “water cooler” conversation vs a billeting board.
Threads’ functionality in the Element apps aside, the addition of threads to the Matrix specification makes for a nice experience in non-chat clients. In matrix highlight, threads are used to keep track of comments on a single highlighted text snippet, and I dare say it works quite well!
I thought they had threads before? What is the change here?
While you could reply to messages, they weren’t threads. Instead, they were more like regular messages that quoted whatever you replied to. The new threads feature is essentially that plus the ability to group all the replies together.
I really hope they allow moderators to disable this on a per-channel basis; otherwise this is going to wreck my channels that are bridged to IRC, and bridging to IRC is the only reason I’m interested in Matrix.
oh they are copying discord
Zulip, WebEx, Discord, email, Microsoft Teams, and others have threaded discussions.
What makes this a Discord copy more than a copy of any other mentioned chat platform?
Discord added this feature recently
Well, threads have been on the roadmap for over a year IIRC and have been in development for months. So the timing wasn’t too deliberate.
Did Discord invent threaded discussions?
This comment is a bit distasteful. It’s not constructive and from my perspective insinuates that the work done is just a rip-off. Features like this are often requested from the community that find a particular pattern useful and want to see it on their platform of choice, which IIRC is why discord implemented it themselves. You could argue discord copied this from previous incarnations implemented in other services and standards but does it really matter?
Imagine if you were a developer of this feature and read this comment - how you would feel?
After Slack introduced threads, pretty much everyone – Element, Discord, even IRC – immediately put it on their roadmap. So it’s no surprise that Element and Discord release them at roughly the same time.