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Slack Is Shutting Down Its IRC Gateway ( 89

Slack, a team collaboration communication service, has updated its IRC support page to note that it is ending support for IRC on its platform: Unfortunately, support for gateways is ending. Starting on May 15th, it will no longer be possible to connect to Slack using the IRC and XMPP gateways. In another support page, which requires you to log in to one of your Slack groups, the company elaborates: As Slack has evolved over the years, we've built features and capabilities -- like Shared Channels, Threads, and emoji reactions (to name a few) -- that the IRC and XMPP gateways aren't able to handle. Our priority is to provide a secure and high-quality experience across all platforms, and so the time has come to close the gateways.

Please note that the gateways will be closed according to the following schedule: March 6, 2018: No longer available to newly-created workspaces; April 3, 2018: Removed from workspaces where they're not in use; May 15, 2018: Closed for all remaining workspaces.

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Slack Is Shutting Down Its IRC Gateway

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  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @05:07PM (#56229509) Homepage Journal

    The whole IRC and XMPP compatibility of Slack was used as an argument to placate the old timers at my company.

    Mostly I've found that people waste too much time making custom emoji and spend too little time working out real business due to the security and retention policies inherent in the Slack services.

    Hopefully this can trigger some businesses to walk away from this seemingly useless tool.

    • by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @05:37PM (#56229741)

      Another garden being walled off.

      I've been pushing for a return to mailing lists (listserv-type applications like Mailman, etc.) because of garbage like this. They ain't as fancy but the bells and whistles that Slack/Hipchat/etc. bring aren't really all that useful, are they? Emojis? Who gives a crap? You can't figure out what ":^)" or ":^(" means? Really?

      • by u801e ( 1647927 )

        I've been pushing for a return to mailing lists (listserv-type applications like Mailman, etc.)

        An internally hosted NNTP server would work better than a mailing list.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Add a short course to teach the lusers to not top-post but only quote what they're reacting to, and to use built-in features like setting in-reply-to: headers, and you can have an actual discussion. Well, somewhere after they (re)learn to spell, to use proper grammar, and to put a little effort in composing text and expressing thoughts, that is.

          You know what bugs me? How we keep on re-inventing things without bothering to make them work with the existing things. Like how "webforums" aren't built on NNTP, th

        • What do you use? I ran INN for a while, but it's really designed around the idea that you have unauthenticated users (authentication is possible, but configuring it for anything other than can/can't post was hard - for example, no requirements of from address) and a model where news is distributed between servers but doesn't have any persistence guarantees (bumping the cache size to a huge number seemed to let it keep messages forever, but seemed fragile). I also had issues with clients: news is largely u
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mostly I've found that people waste too much time making custom emoji

      Here's a little thing I've observed ... the incidence of emojis is inversely proportional to that tool being useful for business purposes. If you can make custom emoji, then it truly is useless shit.

      This endless social media and pandering to idiots who need more and more emojis and kittens makes me want to smack people in the head with an bat.

      A few years back I was at a place which was deploying a piece of software for content management

      • Fucking emojis and other crap is reducing software to the reward system for a 3 year old.

        That's precisely what emoji have become, a short term gratification. Especially animated emoji. I suspect it stimulates the same parts of the brain that video slot machines are designed to trigger.

    • by RonVNX ( 55322 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @08:17PM (#56230767)

      Yeah, most of us consider lack of emoji support a feature not a bug.

      • Yeah, most of us consider lack of emoji support a feature not a bug.

        Most half way modern IRC and XMPP clients support emojis (presuming you're running in a half way modern terminal) since they support UTF-8 and that has emojis.

        They seem to be talking about emoji-reactions which are presumably a layer on top of that. I have no ide what those are; they do not sound good.

  • TLDR; (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2018 @05:10PM (#56229527)

    We want to support more superfluous shiny garbage and supporting IRC might remind people they don't need this bullshit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Might also remind them that Slack owns what you send them.

  • by mtmra70 ( 964928 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @05:13PM (#56229555)

    They are shutting down the gateway because their system is more advanced than IRC and other XMPP clients? The entire point of the gateway is to allow two disparate systems to work with each other, even with limited features.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They are shooting down the gateway because it colides with their business case ("locking people into our shit")...

  • I'm more concerned about the trend to https-only on the internet. Eventually the only ports open will be 53 and 443. At that point, the internet will be silo'd into a consumer-only model just like cable TV. I think you can imagine what will happen past that.

    • Let me help you with your problem. []
    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      I'm in the same boat. I run limited bandwidth (read satellite) links out to a couple of remote sites that have no other option for connectivity. The advent of HTTPS everywhere has hurt the system performance dramatically. It used to be that my WAAS (or before that, squid proxy) could do a fantastic job of caching content locally, especially things like facebook. In tight knit communities, there's far more shared content than you'd think. Anyhow, now about 60% of the traffic is https, which I can do nothing

      • All of this so that people can encrypt their cat videos and other frivolous things that don't need it.

        They do need it. The government(s) seemed intent on everything everybody was looking at all the time. Even cute cat videos need encryption because it's none of the government's fucking business if I'm watching them.

  • Obligatory xkcd (Score:4, Informative)

    by plloi ( 1055946 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @05:42PM (#56229777)
    • In other news, operating systems developed nearly exclusively over IRC and mailing lists have taken over everything but desktops and phones, with the latter mostly using components (such as kernel) developed this way as well.

      I don't care what means of communication millenials use, software written by them rarely keeps being maintained for as long as six months anyway. Then, they switch to yet another video-over-twitter-over-facebook thingy while making another node.js framework that won't last.

      In unrelated

      • Heyheyheyheyhey
        Dont lump all of us millenials together.
        I am labeled that and cannot stand Slack, Discord, modern design paradigms, webapps, Facebook, snapchat, or the like. I have a cell phone that does SMS and MMS. All my friends have phones.
        Hell, I give 1 star reviews to Android apps that use Material Design 9 times outta 10.
        • Dont lump all of us millenials together.

          Apologies! Age doesn't imply wisdom.

          I give 1 star reviews to Android apps that use Material Design 9 times outta 10.

          Hell yeah, it's not just old folks that agree these UI designs are objectively worse []. But hey, if you say CSD is worse than Hitler, you have a beer on me (collectable only in person).

      • In unrelated news, on 2017-11-20 I was first told I have a grey hair in my beard, at age of 39 years 7 months.

        Baby's first gray hair.

        Millennials think youth ends at age 40. But Gen X and Boomers draw the the line at age 35 or less. So be thankful and feel young thanks to millennials.

        • Baby's first gray hair.

          What do you mean, there are people here older than me?!? Perhaps even ones wiser than me.

          At least I have the comfort of being sure here's no one with better looks than me.

          • What do you mean, there are people here older than me?!?

            I'll always be your superior by 2 years. Well unless I die .. .

            Perhaps even ones wiser than me.

            I wouldn't know about that. ;-)

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Thursday March 08, 2018 @05:46PM (#56229803)

    One of the big reasons to use the gateway was simple - the web client, the node.js "app" and all that were resource hogs. Probably one of the few chat things that needs an i7 with 32GB of RAM just to use it.

    Had one project where I was forced to use it, and was so dismayed when it seemed to consume half of one processor core and a ton of RAM. OF course, the IRC client takes 0% most of the time and barely any memory at all

    It doesn't have to be this way, since Discord offers similar features, and yet happily consumes barely any processor and memory.

  • by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @06:28PM (#56230113)
    ... if Slack is not based on XMPP itself.
  • by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @06:29PM (#56230119)

    crap crap crapity crap.

    Dang slack app is a wretched reeking steaming pile. Getting stuck with slack has been tolerable with the XMPP gateway. Bleah.

    I want information density. Text, that I can relegate to one side of the screen. Not a whole page taken up with pretty-pretty whitespace and formatting diddlypoo.

    • by u801e ( 1647927 )

      Getting stuck with slack has been tolerable with the XMPP gateway.

      I found that using the XMPP gateway would effectively lock up my client for minutes at a time whenever it reconnected. But it worked fine after it finally managed to connect. I ended up switching to the IRC gateway to avoid the connection issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Come on over to or any other Matrix server. They love bridges, more all the time! Plus, it's federated and supports encryption.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    the worst features define interprotocol interaction. threads are shit. the whole emoji thing is utterly pointless and doesn't add a shred of anything productive.
    on the other hand, those assholes on irc that try to do lame slack shit just look stupid, millenial, and well, just fucking stupid.
  • by jwymanm ( 627857 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @07:32PM (#56230521) Homepage
    Slack is progressively getting to be a company that is just going down the corporate toilet. Discord is eating its lunch but I don't think Slack even knows what its lunch is anymore. It doesn't give a crap about 99% of the market.. it keeps getting smaller and smaller and yet more and more resource intensive. No developments have helped it and it is hell bent on alienating its own usage by not changing archaic price models or anything. Total crap.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @10:24PM (#56231365) Homepage
    At the risk of committing heresy in public: I actually kind of like the Slack-style chat functionality.

    I hate the idea of letting some third party proprietary host (like Slack) decide how and when it should work for me, though.

    Personally, I'm running a Rocket.Chat [] instance - very Slack-like (and "Slack-compatible" if you have any bots you've developed for Slack's API that you want to use). Mattermost [] is another, similar option.

  • ... since everyone will need to double their system's memory to send their co-workers a morning "Yo."

  • Slack is basically just expensive IRC with a web client after all >:)

  • Check out wee-slack [] which is a python script for weechat that uses the slack api. Very easy to setup and works great. You get a lot more features using this and it's a good enough alternative for me.
  • This is on par with the general move of the internet towards walled gardens. From independent websites and blogs with RSS feeds for updates to Facebook/Twitter to abandoning the web itself in favor of apps. Also, every once in a while you'll see an article in the business/tech press bemoaning the existence of email when there are so many wonderful proprietary alternatives.
    If XMPP had become as widespread as POP/SMTP/IMAP, we would've been able to chat as easily we can send an email, using any combination of

"It's my cookie file and if I come up with something that's lame and I like it, it goes in." -- karl (Karl Lehenbauer)