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      The only thing that keeps me sane is using weechat to connect: https://github.com/wee-slack/wee-slack

      I relay it over to Emacs using https://github.com/the-kenny/weechat.el which is almost as nice as my regular IRC client.

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        Author of weechat.el here. Any feedback? I’m aware of performance problems when connecting to a big list of channels, as well as the missing auto-fetch history. Anything else you’d like to see? :)

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          Thanks! The only thing that confused me was that it seems to use a white face for your own nick, which makes it invisible in the default color theme, so I had to remove "white" from weechat-color-list. Easy fix once you realize what’s going on, but very confusing at first.

          Also I’ve noticed sometimes the unread-tracking is a bit unreliable. However, this might be because I sometimes keep the web client open, and I’m not sure how that interacts with unreads. I will try to see if I can get more details about this and report an issue if so.

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            As for the color: Yes, we just copied the original colors from weechat itself, which is made for a dark theme. I’ll add a task to my list to create a more compatible color theme for bright emacses.

            When I developed weechat.el there wasn’t an acceptable way to sync unread status. I haven’t tracked the relay protocol for quite some time now, but I’ll check if it’s possible now. It’s actually a feature I’d like to see too.

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              Oh, one thing I just remembered is that it was very surprising to me that weechat-tracking doesn’t track unread messages at all by default but only tracks mentions. It would be helpful to make that clearer or make the default match other clients.

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        I did this for a while, but then it felt like my irc safe-haven was infected by slack and it made me sad, so I stopped doing that. Now at least if I’m staring at a terminal I can be in my happy place and properly brace myself before I switch to a browser window.

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        Personally, I use the web client. It has almost all the features of the desktop client and I can turn off desktop notifications, making the only actual notifications, then, the favicon updates which aren’t nearly as jarring.

        I think I’d prefer to use something else entirely, like your setup, but for some reason I’ve not taken any time to try it out. I do fear that I might become complacent or something and forget that I hate slack… because I’m not actually using slack, I’m using a chat service that feels like irc, and that’s dangerous.

        Slack actually bothers me more because the model is fundamentally different than what I’m used to–1 network, multiple channels. Where as in slack there are multiple networks and multiple same topic channels. “But, irc has multiple networks, too?” Yes, but the official communities will hang out on freenode#lobsters, or freenode#racket, or efnet#mtg (idk?), not create a whole network about golang, and then have a separate channel, in each network, about Battle Star Galactica, essentially making BSG discussion so bifurcated it doesn’t even happen anywhere.

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          It has almost all the features of the desktop client

          Because they’re the same thing. Thanks Electron!

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            Of course! The things that don’t work tend to be the shortcuts for switching rooms, or searching, and things of that nature–which is fine. The harder it is for me to waste time chat the less I’ll do. Get those conveniences outta my life, dammit!

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        I’ll need to take a look at this. It won’t help that much, but it’d at least make extracting/searching a lot easier than the official client. Thanks for the suggestion.

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          I tried to get that working first, but it was extremely unreliable at the time. Maybe it’s gotten better; this was about 6 months ago.

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            Aah, it has improved considerably in the recent months.

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        I’m extremely tempted, in my bid to not use graphical apps unless required, to connect to slack via the IRC bridge using suckless’ ii to script some grepping for notifications and piping those to dunst. I have a very hard time not responding to the shiny dot saying “NEW CONTENT HAS APPEARED.” I’d rather make it deliberate to catch up on content once every 2 hours (that’s only 4 times a day) for some timeboxed period of time than constantly monitor it. Bonus: More free ram.

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      a huge amount of information that previously would’ve been in emails ends up in Slack, and only in Slack

      I prefer this, because slack history doesn’t get misplaced like email does, and when a new person joins they have access to the history. Orgs could leverage google groups (or some mailing list archives) to get this same nicety, but I’ve never seen that happen in-practice.

      I trawl Slack history on a weekly basis, while I quite regularly see emails fall through the cracks and become unreachable. Maybe I suck at email? I don’t know, but it’s a problem I have, and have seen others have.

      As a remote worker, Slack (or something like it) is a bit of a lifeline for me. I do get plenty of alone time (hey, I’ve got an office with a door at home!), but an email feedback loop for everything would slow me and other people down incredibly, while also losing a sense of community.

      Some of the hate seems to be from misuse. Can’t be safely ignored? Come on, just don’t read the entire backlog - mark as read and move on after your vacation. Sounds like a bad company culture or a control-freak personality negatively affecting this person. If there’s important stuff that happened while you were on vacation, your manager or colleagues should be able to catch you up or point out things to you.

      Can it be a distraction? Sure. I think the benefits outweigh the costs. The days of distraction-free workplaces are over. Maybe I’m too young, but I’m honestly not sure if they ever really existed at this point - and I’ve been in the industry for 15 years. You need to find ways to carve out distraction-free time - it’s really not that much harder than blocking it off on your calendar I’ve found (and yes, stopping notifications. It can be done!)

      Now there’s other points I can get onboard with - the lock-in, and increasingly silly level of integrations are a bother.

      I really don’t like it for public communities because there’s no good moderation, usually lacking the history that I find valuable (most communities are on the ‘free’ 10k message backlog version it seems), and that’s where the proprietary thing really stinks because you’re at the whim of Slack’s goodwill. Several public communities have outgrown Slack’s free tier, and have had to expend wasteful effort to shift to other platforms (and there goes your community).

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        I prefer this, because slack history doesn’t get misplaced like email does, and when a new person joins they have access to the history. Orgs could leverage google groups (or some mailing list archives) to get this same nicety, but I’ve never seen that happen in-practice.

        I work with gecko at Khan Academy and we actually do use google groups extensively. I can’t imagine a new person getting much value from old Slack history.

        Ideally, stuff that a new person needs would exist in some place other than email or Slack. A docs repository, an issue tracking system, etc.

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          I neglected to mention that I often pin important stuff in slack. If it’s something that needs to stick around a long time, I would agree that Slack should not be the sole repository for that information.

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      I’m going to use up an entire heading purely to say that making foo be bold and foo be italic is

      Obviously, as everyone knows the right sigils here are *bold*, /italics/, _underline_, ~strike~, but yeah, _italics_ is one special atrocity… but at least its not as bad as Quip, which commits various formatting atrocities, like say, not allowing you to put code in `, because it’s used to toggle formatting, and can’t be typed at all.

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        I’d prefer ~~strike~~, the way that reddit does it. My friends and I have used tildes to indicate wishy-washyness for years.

        Or they could just allow escaping special characters. No idea why they don’t.

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        That’s certainly how I do things. My lobsters comments all end up looking not quite as intended, but I know in my heart I did it right.

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      Right behind open office plans, Slack is my #2 productivity killer. 90% of Slack activity could be an in-person conversation or an email (depending on if the topic necessitates synchronous or asynchronous communication). The other 10% could be removed altogether.

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        90% of Slack activity could be an in-person conversation or an email

        It could, but both of those are much higher overhead IME.

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      I’m not as anti-Slack as some but one thing really irritates me: the search is awful. It’s supposed to be one of the flagship features of Slack! Persistent, searchable history is always one of the big advantages over IRC touted by its defenders, but I spent years on a team that used IRC with a logging bot and it was far, far easier to find an old conversation than it is with Slack. Everything about the search is bad–the results themselves (I’ve had Slack return totally nonsensical results, in which none of my search tokens was present in any form), the ranking, the UI.

      (Is it just me or has full-text search gotten worse nearly everywhere over the past few years?)

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      If you like the Slack interface but don’t like the idea of a closed silo housing all communications, check out: https://about.mattermost.com

      I have no affiliation with this company but we do use this.

      The biggest things the Slack style interface brings to the table are search-ability, cross-device sync, and persistence. I like those, and that can hop in and scroll back and catch up. I still prefer aspects of IRC though, and all these Slack-style apps are a lot fatter than an IRC client.

      I’ve never had a problem with it disrupting work. I just close the damn thing if I don’t want it right now. If your org whines to you if you do this, you have a culture/management problem not a tech problem.

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      I hate slack because its proprietary, its a solution for a problem that was already solved, and you have to have new user accounts for every organization and a new tab open for each chat which eats up ram on my computer.

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        There were other systems that had the same featurelist as Slack, but the UX was always awful.

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      This is exactly what I dislike about remote/distributed teams, whether it’s Slack, HipChat, IRC, notifications/comments in that GDoc, Quip doc, Chatter, Yammer, etc., it’s all just too much. I want to sit with my team, with proper offices (like I had 10+ years ago at Google) and just get work done in a collaborative manner that didn’t require “ding”-ing, flashing interruptions to get questions answered, because I was already sitting in the same office as the ones who had the answers. Or, if they weren’t, I didn’t need the answer right-now-now-now-now and could wait until the next scheduled meeting, where nobody would have a computer/phone/device in front of their faces and actually engaged in the discussion. </old-man-rant>

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      Don’t let people @everyone if the message doesn’t require action from most of the channel. If necessary, remove their permission to. The fact that Slack can be async most of the time and real-time where necessary is its great strength; it means you don’t need to try and integrate two unconnected communication methods. But that only works if people only interrupt when they want to interrupt.

      There are IRC and XMPP gateways if you want a way to write simple bots. Customizability is a tarpit - the reason IRC doesn’t have decent standard ways of doing anything other than basic text chat (just look at the arguments-over-markup down the page) is because it’s customizable and everyone does it their own way. Extract-slack-message-to-task is a great idea for a piece of functionality - but I bet there’s a standardized integration already if the author had bothered to look for it.

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      A lot of the points here are why my cofounders & I have been building Braid. Haven’t really started promoting it yet, but we’ve been using it for 100% of our (100% remote) team communications for a couple years now and greatly prefer it to the Slack model.

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        If people consistently find a given system hard to use, fixing the system is often more practical than fixing the people.

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        How do you on board non-technical people to IRC? Do you have a way to get persistence cross-platform, or do you do without?

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          We have a company irccloud license that the non-technical people tend to use.

          Myself, I use a client without persistence. I see this as a good thing because I’m not tempted to “catch up” when I return. If someone really needs to contact me when I’m offline, there’s e-mail. And in the rare instance I do need to read backscroll, all the logs are stored on a webserver.

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