If you use GitHub, consider SourceHut or Codeberg. If you use Twitter, consider Mastodon instead. If you use YouTube, try PeerTube. If you use Facebook… don’t.

That last bit gave me a chuckle :D

About Discord, what is actually the appeal of using it? The short time I used it was always a huge hassle, with millions of captchas on every login. Then you need to answer weird questionnaires to join communities. And in the end the content was pretty mediocre. Plus the format sucks, you cant really read old messages (like you could do in a forum or on Reddit/Lemmy). And for new messages, it goes way too fast once a few people are participating. Its like combining the worst aspects of a forum with the worst aspects of a chat.

agreed. i’ve been stuck with discord for years because i don’t really keep in touch with a lot of people and the three main people i keep in touch with uses discord exclusively (one is a developer and uses it within those circles, the other is a gamer and uses it within those circles, the third is an aquarist and uses it within those circles). i’ve argued so many times that we should move to matrix, but they insist that the community structure of discord is superior to anything on the market. @Ninmi@sopuli.xyz has a valid point that it has a good structure for plain communication, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good community platform for exchange of information; which is your point and i wholly agree. for the purpose of exchange of information, “guilded”, a discord clone, is superior as it actually has multiple information exchange features such as an actual forum on top of discords features. unfortunately it is also not FOSS and it is my personal reason for choosing matrix over it, despite matrix not having the features either discord or guilded does. it is frankly infuriating that something like guilded can pop out from nowhere with a small team and do what matrix has failed to deliver for years.

It starts as an alternative to Mumble for gamers to communicate. I can see it is easier to setup compare to Mumble and free. It is very optimized despite using Electron. Feature wise, it is also very complete and customizable.

It eventually grew to what it is today.

mumble (which displaced ventrilo/teamspeak as the previous dominant gaming chat clients) was already displaced by curse voice, which then got displaced by discord.

discord was selling itself as “the good guys” who would never do something scummy, and targetted the market as a slack for gamers, and right before launch, they sold out. but it was already “too big” to get people to change client. and now it’s growing even more because people are looking at it as an alternative platform to facebook groups - now that facebook is fucking up groups.

m-p{3}
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I use it with some casual discussion group where I don’t really need to follow up on everything, and it’s actually great to play some casual games like Jackbox Party Pack with a voice chat and sharing the host’s screen.

Ninmi
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Discord combines a lot of use cases in to one package. You get voice chat, modern chatrooms, video sharing/streaming, direct messages, group messages/calls etc.

But more importantly it operates on a paradigm where a user joining a “server” means you join all the channels automatically, and access to certain channels can then be revoked or gated instead of granted. This is the exact opposite of what, for example IRC had done (and what Matrix/Element still does to a large extent), and it fosters communities as one group of people can have an n amount text/voice channels dedicated to different conversational topics. This is very useful, even if it’s just for a friend group of 5 people. It is no wonder FOSS projects use Discord when it is so useful for it.

Ironically, what Discord does would work incredibly well as a decentralized system. I cannot believe it’s taking this long for the FOSS community create an alternative.

Hosting a forum and a general chat is probably the best choice. Mahbe even a big FOSS platform that can host a lot of forums simultaneously for others, almost like something that already exists and im making a comment using that platform 🧐🧐

poVoq
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As someone who does just that… user numbers speak against it. Forums are “dying” everywhere as people just seem to avoid them. I don’t like it either, but I don’t see a way to reverse this trend either.

I prefer the forum model to ask questions and drive discussions.

It is fully asynchronous, you don’t need to wait for answers in real time where in a real time chat, all this information is lost in a few moments.

Some chat apps like Element are working on chat with threads so it’s like a forum in a chat. There’s a proof-of-concept on develop.element.io https://github.com/vector-im/element-web/issues/2349

Element doesn’t work in Goanna-based browsers and has not the same speed as a forum.

GitHub has the Discussions tab, maybe Gitea and Sourcehut could do the same thing. GitLab probably already has it, that thing is so bloated.

poVoq
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Sourcehut’s shtick is that everything is managed though email mailing lists so I guess they already have that despite my personal dislike of email for such purposes.

Graveyard Leprechaun
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I quite like Revolt Chat, an open source alternative to Discord with a very similar UI - https://revolt.chat/

How does this compare to element.io?

Element uses the Matrix protocol which is decentralized with federation (like Lemmy!). Revolt is a centralized service but it looks and functions more like Discord, and last time i checked they didn’t have native apps so iOS users can’t get notifications for messages.

Perceptive readers might have noticed that most of these arguments can be generalized. This article is much the same if we replace “Discord” with “GitHub”, for instance, or “Twitter” or “YouTube”. If your project depends on proprietary infrastructure, I want you to have a serious discussion with your collaborators about why. What do your choices mean for the long-term success of your project and the ecosystem in which it resides? Are you making smart investments, or just using tools which are popular or that you’re already used to?

aks
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I have the community for my projects in discord, due to most of my projects being games. But for my FOSS projects, if someone has bugs or something I ask them to create issue on the relevant github page. I may eventually move to codeberg but idk yet.

Tommi
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YES!

THANK YOU!

I have been so limited in participating to conversations about great software only because they happened on Discord and I do not use it by choice.

Let us all use Matrix, instead!

Also, using Discord and the like makes an otherwise good FOSS project lose credibility

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Rather than trying to persuade people to use either incompatible or insufficient alternatives, we must call people to arms and actually create an alternative. Matrix/Element is getting very close and we need more people improving the ecosystem.

Element still needs a UX overhaul and voice channels and the basic building blocks are already there then.

As an element user for about a year: the biggest thing element needs is to make E2E actually work consistently. Every day I see random “can’t decrypt this message for some reason” errors, and it makes me embarrassed whenever I convince someone to try using Matrix instead of proprietary platforms and then I have to tell them I can’t read their messages and the first three things we tried to fix it didn’t work. This is the biggest reason why I want to abandon Matrix for good as soon as possible, and am working on creating another federated chat protocol.

element (like discord) is using an electron wrapper, which is awful and there is no way around it. what we need is a real client. nheko is far behind in features, so if anything, we need more people involved in improving that client.

sj_zero
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I can totally understand why a project with limited resources wouldn’t want to post a matrix using synapse, but there are other options out there.

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