Testing Rocket.Chat and Zulip

The MariaDB Foundation is publicly testing two new communications tools, Rocket.Chat and Zulip, and we’re seeing if they can meet a few of our requirements.

Roughly in order of importance:

1) Open Source
2) A tool similar in functionality to the proprietary Slack.
3) A tool for internal staff chat, replacing some of the proprietary options used at present.
4) A tool with a good hosted solution so that we do not have to worry about hosting and maintaining.
5) A tool to replace/enhance IRC (preferably with good integration).
6) A replacement for proprietary voice and video call channels mainly for internal use.

We’ve been testing Rocket.Chat a while, and more recently Zulip, and would appreciate more feedback, so come and join at https://mariadbfoundation.rocket.chat/ or at https://mariadb.zulipchat.com if you’d like to explore. These are hosted trials, and will be deleted in a few days. If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know.

So far Rocket.Chat seems to have an active open source community, and we’ve been using it extensively for internal chat and for its Slack functionality, where it works well. We have not been able to get IRC integration working, and this feature is not mature, and not recommended for production use. We have also tested it somewhat for video call (where it makes use of Jitsi) – the interface has some problems, but it seems to work reasonably.

Zulip has an interesting blend of topdown chat and threads, as well as good integrations. It seems to be more mature than Rocket.Chat.

We’ve investigated other alternatives too, but so far these two have been the closest to meeting all of our needs. What do you think? Post comments below, or on the chat channels.

This post was updated on 19 April to add Zulip at 09h30 SAST