Don’t use Slack for FOSS

Please don’t use Slack for FOSS projects” is a compelling case for why you shouldn’t use Slack for Free and Open Source Software projects.  Make sure to read the discussion in the comments as well.  (By the way, many of the arguments apply to HipChat too).


The suggested alternative is IRC, which I agree with.  My only minor disagreement in regards to IRC is using it for companies as well.  Companies are much more fragile and sensitive than Open Source community, so it doesn’t work all that well in some places.  I think Slack/HipChat work great for company communications, but if you want to have full control over your chat system, then try out Rocket.Chat, which I blogged about earlier this year.

35 new ways to do your work right inside of HipChat

HipChat keeps extending the amazing list of integrations with other tools and services.  This blog post – 35 new ways to do your work right inside of HipChat – lists some of the recently added.  Included, among others, is even a multiplayer snake game.



Rocket.Chat – the ultimate self-hosted open source chat platform

Chat is becoming more and more important for team communication and collaboration (what is ChatOps?).  Old school applications like Skype are being replaced with modern, web-based chat platforms, that provide group/room and one-on-one chats, file uploads, screen sharing, voice and video communications, API integration and more.  There are plenty of solutions to choose from too.

Traditionally, self-hosted solutions were difficult to setup and maintain, and were lacking in integration options.  So many teams choose to go for the third-party hosted approach.  This is not very exciting for companies that deal with sensitive data though.

As mentioned before, at work, we are using HipChat.  It’s nice, it’s free, and it integrates nicely.  Lately, there has been a lot of hype about Slack, which I tried, but didn’t particularly like.

Today, however, I came across a very nice option, which seems to be a breeze to self-host and maintain – Rocket.Chat.  It’s modern – written in JavaScript, it has a long list of features, and there is a vibrant community around it.

You can try the live demo, or deploy it to your infrastructure via a gadzillion different methods, or read the beautiful documentation.  And there’s a rumor of HipChat and Slack import tool, so you won’t have to start from scratch…

Let me know what you think.

What is ChatOps? A guide to its evolution, adoption & significance

HipChat blog runs a rather lengthy post on what ChatOps are – “What is ChatOps? A guide to its evolution, adoption & significance“, which provides some insight into how the new generation of teams communicate.

At Qobo, we are at Stage 3 – Gimini, with a whole lot of dedicated rooms (one for each project, and a few more), some workflows (most notably “Hey Leonid, can you merge and deploy this pull request please“, or a shorter “@leonid, please m&d”), and some automation (we get monitoring notifications from Nagios and Zabbix, repository activities from GitHub and BitBucket, as well as do project deployments using slash commands).

We haven’t eliminated email completely, but combined with Redmine project management tool, we’ve significantly decreased the role of unstructured emails in our work.

Infrastructure update : GitHub, BitBucket, HipChat, TeamworkPM and Redmine

It’s been a while since I posted an update on our infrastructure tools, so here goes one.  (I know, ideally, it should be on our company’s blog, but we haven’t finished that part of the site yet).

Continue reading “Infrastructure update : GitHub, BitBucket, HipChat, TeamworkPM and Redmine”

HipChat releases the new web interface to the world

HipChat – the greatest team communication tool since IRC – released its updated web interface to the world.



I’ve seen it before, as I opted into the beta testing, and I’m glad they’ve finally pushed it out to all users.  It’s awesome, slick, and completely out of the way.

And if you haven’t tried HipChat for your team yet, I urge you to do so.  Here are some of the awesome things about it:

  • Unlimited rooms.  You can have rooms by subject, by project, by group, and so on.
  • Direct messaging.  You can do groups on one-on-ones.
  • Integrations!  This is one of the major reasons to use it.  We have it integration with GitHub and Nagios currently.  And a gadzillion of other services are available in just a few clicks.  Super awesome!
  • History.  HipChat preserves history of conversations, so introducing new members into a team is so much easier – they can read, scroll through, or search the previous room messages.
  • Clients for any operating system, including Linux, smartphones, and just web.
  • Flexible notifications.  You can configure when, if at all, you want to be notified of the new messages.  You even have an option to alert you with SMS, if you are offline.  Which is especially handy if you are using Nagios integration or similar.
  • Files, links, previews, emoticons, and a tonne of other goodies.
  • Free!  Yes, that’s right.  HipChat is free.  You only pay for premium features, which include video chat and screen sharing.  And even then it’s only $2 per user per month, which still qualifies as free.

This tool is truly indispensable!