Switch of Live Comms (From Telegram)

Recently there has been a heightened amount of Spam bots joining the telegram group, which has spurred the discussion of potentially switching from Telegram to another platform.

Currently Telegram offers a group that is relatively easy to join, has usernames/reply chats and ability to share what’s going on. Currently there are lots of separate sub groups in addition to the main group.
Telegram has the following difficulties/issues:

  • Cannot switch owners
  • Admin access is limited and switching admins is complicated
  • The many groups are fractured, with each being without connection directly to the others.

To this end we’ve looked at the different options available and have discussed: Slack and Discord

Given Slack is corporate it has it’s own limitations to Free tier, there are leanings towards Discord (which has a mobile app, desktop and web access).

I’ve created this post on the forum to allow for a larger discussion, but please lets keep the conversation to the following points:

  1. Agree with switching - Pro Slack
  2. Agree with switching - Pro Discord
  3. Agree with switching - Against Slack and against Discord. (Please include alternative if available)
  4. Disagree with switching - (Reasons)

Kat - Former Board, Original Telegram group owner.

Just as a Quick followup - This is not a fixed decision yet. Thus the larger Discussion before anything is decided upon.

I’m definitely for option 1 or option 2 - I’m not emotionally attached to either but do think there’s a strong case for moving from Telegram.

I’d like to suggest an alternative, IRC. There is a lot going for it:

  • It’s Free (in a number of senses).
  • There are native (and in a lot of cases, open source) clients available for most OSes, mobile or otherwise.
  • It is effcicient in terms of CPU usage (depending on the client).
  • A lot of people already use it and so wouldn’t have to install and run another native client.

There are some disadvantages I can think of though:

  • Some people claim it’s hard to use (I disagree with this but I’ve heard it before).
  • There are no “advanced” features such as notifications etc. (which I personally don’t think is a disadvantage, but some people might want them).

I can’t remember the original reasons for switching away from IRC, so I don’t know if any of this has been covered already :slight_smile:

If IRC really wasn’t an option then I’d prefer 1. because I already have Slack installed among the 5 comms clients* I have running concurrently and I’m not going to install another. This is the reason I’m not on Telegram, I don’t trust it, and I’m not planning on installing it.

* Yes, I have IRC and Slack running at the same time, and I much prefer IRC.

One question about IRC - do you miss messages if you don’t have the client running? I often don’t have Telegram open on my laptop and then go through messages on my laptop or phone when I have time.

My recollection of IRC is if you’re not online, you miss messages, but it was a good 6 years since I used it and things may have changed!

I’d also like any chat platform to have a list of channels, or whatever they’re called per platform, so that newcomers can go straight to the channel they want.

I’d also like to propose Rocket Chat - a self hosted chat platform that has apps for phones and web client. I’ve used it before and it’s really good.

With the new fancy server we’ve got, we could put an instance of it on there.

FYI - I had to stop using Slack because they stopped supporting anything except Chrome and Firefox (and broke it for my currently preferred browser, Pale Moon).

Yep, Though I never personally saw that as a disadvantage for a real-time chat platform. You miss discussions that have taken place when you weren’t there sure, just like you miss discussions that you aren’t present for in real life. It means the information that wasn’t necessarily relevant to you is filtered out automatically (if you were needed for the conversation people would have waited until you were available).

I guess you could say, do I miss them? No, I just don’t see them :slight_smile:

FWIW slack provides native clients for Linux, Mac and Windows.

That’s kind of the point of live comms, it’s contextual and current. IMO limiting it to that is a good thing, there’s a forum/mailing list for a different reason, and you just end up with several very similar communications platforms if you expect them all to do a similar thing.

I for one am an advocate of switching.

A few of us tried to to switch to slack (and got some backlash from it) the only limitation I can see is a limited message history.

I also use discord which does work well for gaming, I’m not sure how well it will fare with the onslaught of over 100 people in one room but you get full message history (I think) and all rooms are visible which are part of the group.

To get some requirements down then:
We need some way of stopping spam bots, will these two platforms do that?
Personally I like to have history stored in the cloud somewhere. I like to go back through conversations to get context of what is going on around a topic, if I have joined partway though. Also what if I am @mentioned will I miss that message? Can we are agree that is something we want to add as a requirement?

Can we get these requirements written down? Maybe a wiki page or something?

Ok… here are pros for Discord as I’ve experienced them:

  • Persistent state across all devices (1 login, many different servers)

  • simple notification options (again persistent across platforms)

  • multiple rooms/channels

  • distinct roles abd permissions

  • group voice

  • scrollback available without special config (ala irc bouncer etc)

  • ability to transfer ownership (nice for when board changes)

  • spam account protection

  • 2factor auth

  • server/group level nicknames for anyone

  • media embeds / link preview

  • ability to mark whole server/group as read

  • ability to ignore/mute channels/rooms

there are more I bet, but these are ones I’ve used regularly.

I’ve set up a basic discord server, for anyone to join/test/ask questions trial. Here’s the link https://discord.gg/Asc6bby


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Perhaps with a less featured live chat system we would use this forum more, which would be a good case for IRC.

I’m still not convinced by IRC as it is arguably harder to get going with especially for less technical people who are already excluded by Telegram. Also there were opinions expressed that Slack is hard to use so I’m not sure how well IRC would work as I’d say it’s harder to use than Slack.

Having said that there is or was an IRC server somewhere for hacman. May be worth seeing why people moved away from it in the first place?

Main reason for away from irc, if i remember correctly, was lack of permanence without extra things, like bouncer.
Telegram was what a core few were using to chat outside of hacman but generally ended up having a lot of people join and only ask hacman releated questions, so telegram group for hacman was created.

Matrix is also a good alternative, if self hosting is an option, with a plethora of clients and bridging to many chat platforms.