Lots of interesting and valuable conversations happen in Slack. These are often not bridged into other locations, and get permanently lost. There are alternatives: in addition to Discourse, the Julia Zulip provides chat with named threads and infinite history that makes everything easier to manage.
Zulip is an open source alternative to Slack which has
- Better Markdown support
- Julia Syntax highlighting
- Unlimited message history for us and other open source communities
- Beautiful built in LaTeX support for displaying math
- An approach to conversation threads that may be initially a bit different from how Slack handles it, but I think much better once you use it a bit
- Really responsive and helpful developers. If you have a problem or complaint with Zulip you can open an issue on their Git repo and expect a quick response! This really contrasted with my experience with Slack at various times, especially when Slack started screwing with text formatting.
The majority of Julia users can’t afford to be on Slack all the time, so we miss out on useful conversations that happened earlier. Experts can’t afford to answer the same question again and again, so they exit the help venues rather than repeat themselves.
I am wondering whether it would be beneficial to shut down the Slack in order to solve the coordination problems. What advantages do people see in keeping the Slack alive? How large are those advantages compared to the significant costs?