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Rejecting Proprietary Slack

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Software
  • Say No to Slack, Say Yes to Matrix

    Of all proprietary chatting systems, Slack has always seemed one of the worst to me. Not only it’s a closed proprietary system with no sane clients, open source or not, but it not just one walled garden, as Facebook or WhatsApp are, but a constellation of walled gardens, isolated from each other. To be able to participate in multiple Slack communities, the user has to create multiple accounts and keep multiple chat windows open all the time. Federation? Self-hosting? Owning your data? All of those are not a thing in Slack. Until recently, it was possible to at least keep the logs of all conversations locally by connecting to the chat using IRC or XMPP if the gateway was enabled.

    Now, with Slack shutting down gateways not only you cannot keep the logs on your computer, you also cannot use a client of your choice to connect to Slack. They also began changing the bots API which was likely the reason the Matrix-to-Slack gateway didn’t work properly at times. The issue has since resolved itself, but Slack doesn’t give any guarantees the gateway will continue working, and obviously they aren’t really interested in keeping it working.

  • On the demise of Slack's IRC / XMPP gateways

    I have grudgingly joined three Slack workspaces , due to me being part of proejects that use it as a communications center for their participants. Why grudgingly? Because there is very little that it adds to well-established communications standards that we have had for long years decades.

    On this topic, I must refer you to the talk and article presented by Megan Squire, one of the clear highlights of my participation last year at the 13th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS2017): «Considering the Use of Walled Gardens for FLOSS Project Communication». Please do have a good read of this article.

More on this from DD

  • Biboumi - A XMPP - IRC Gateway

    IRC is a communication mode (technically a communication protocol) used by many Free Software projects for communication and collaboration. It is serving these projects well even 30 years after its inception. Though I'm pretty much okay with IRC I had a problem of not able to use IRC from the mobile phones. Main problem is the inconsistent network connection, where IRC needs always to be connected. This is where I came across Biboumi.

    Biboumi by itself does not have anything to do with mobile phones, its just a gateway which will allow you to connect with IRC channel as if it is a XMPP MUC room from any XMPP client. Benefit of this is it allows to enjoy some of XMPP feature in your IRC channel (not all but those which can be mapped).

    I run Biboumi with my ejabbered instance and there by now I can connect to some of the Debian IRC channel directly from my phone using Conversations XMPP client for Android.

    Biboumi is packaged for Debian, though I'm co-maintainer of the package most hardwork is done by Jonas Smedegaard in keeping the package in shape. It is also available for stretch-backports (though slightly outdated as its not packaged by us for backports).

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Sparky SU 0.1.0

This tool provides Yad based front-end for su (spsu) allowing users to give a password and run graphical commands as root without needing to invoke su in a terminal emulator. It can be used as a Gksu replacement to run any application as root. Read more

Leftovers: Linux in the Ham Shack and Golden Age of the iPhone Is Ending

  • LHS Episode #264: The Weekender XXI
    Welcome to the 21st Weekender episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. This time around, we talk about the few contests and special event stations that are around for December. We also touch on Linux distros to try, things to do in the amateur radio and open source world and then we dive straight into hedonism, discussing good food, good music and good spirits. Thank you for listening and Happy Holidays.
  • The Golden Age of the iPhone Is Ending
    Apple’s premier gadget faces a less certain future than ever as the market shifts under its feet.

OSS Leftovers

  • The fourth industrial revolution is under way, and leaders must adopt open source thinking
    For the first time in history, knowledge is free and abundant, ordinary people are more empowered than ever before, and almost every boundary to communication has been lifted. [...] Welcome to the 21st Century where everyone and everything is connected 24/7, and where exciting progress opportunities and daunting challenges coexist. In this century, life and business have become “open source”. In order to succeed and thrive, our thoughts and actions must also become open source. It is time for business leaders to shed myths of the past, question conventional wisdom, and adopt “open source thinking” around the following fundamental questions/challenges:
  • Can real-world enterprises digest all this open-source, startup stuff?
    Why does the Cloud Native Computing Foundation now host more than 30 projects? Why are cloud-based startups coming out of the woodwork with narrow point solutions? Mostly just so users can have a better time with an application. But it’s all getting a bit weedy. How can enterprises pick out the right technologies from the aisles of them? “It’s really easy to forget that infrastructure is not a thing in its own right — it’s solely there to enable applications and to enable other things,” said Steve Herrod (pictured), managing director at General Catalyst Partners LLC.
  • CableLabs Open Source IoT Project Shoots for Scale
    Opening up another chapter in its open source story, CableLabs this week took another shot at the industrial Internet of Things market with its LPWAN Server project. The general concept is to create open source LPWAN Server software that can run on off-the-shelf hardware and support a wide range of low-power, IoT wireless technologies designed to transmit small bits of data over long distances. (See Blog: CableLabs Intros Open Source LPWAN Server.) "We don't see one clear winner in the LPWAN space," said Daryl Malas, principal architect at CableLabs' advanced technology group. "We don't see NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) dominating all use cases. And we don't see LoRA dominating all use cases."
  • The 10 Coolest New Open-Source Technologies And Tools Of 2018
  • The fight to keep ideas open to all
     

    “The only way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed.” This ominous sentence comes not from China’s one-child policy but from one of the 20th century’s most influential—and misunderstood—essays in economics. “The tragedy of the commons”, by Garrett Hardin, marks its 50th anniversary on December 13th.  

    The article, published in the journal Science, was a neo-Malthusian jeremiad about uncontrolled population growth. But it is remembered for the image that the title conjures up and for the anecdotes that Hardin used. The idea behind it is as simple as it is profound: a resource freely available to all will be used inefficiently. An actual common will inevitably be overgrazed. Who would restrict their cattle if other herders may not follow suit?  

  • Suriname community uses new open-source app to preserve storytelling traditions
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  • Bluespec, Inc. Releases a Second Family of Open-Source RISC-V Processors to Spur Open Innovation
    Flute is a configurable 5-stage application processor complementing the previously released 3-stage Piccolo microcontroller, both of which are suitable for IoT. The initial release provides synthesizable Verilog for a bare metal RV32IMA core and a supervisor level RV64IMA core. Future releases will add floating point and compressed instructions (RV32GC/RV64GC) and run Linux and FreeRTOS. The Flute download (here) provides working Verilator and Icarus simulations and the Verilog has been tested in Xilinx UltraScale/UltraScale+ boards.

Schedule a visit with the Emacs psychiatrist

Welcome to another day of the 24-day-long Linux command-line toys advent calendar. If this is your first visit to the series, you might be asking yourself what a command-line toy even is. We’re figuring that out as we go, but generally, it could be a game, or any simple diversion that helps you have fun at the terminal. Some of you will have seen various selections from our calendar before, but we hope there’s at least one new thing for everyone. Today's selection is a hidden gem inside of Emacs: Eliza, the Rogerian psychotherapist, a terminal toy ready to listen to everything you have to say. Read more