Living our Principles, Drinking our own Champagne, Saying Goodbye to Slack and Hello to Status

dogfooding

#1

Slack has been good to us. We use it every day to chat, build Status, collaborate, and plot how to change the world with web3! The problem is that using Slack violates our principles (such as privacy, security, transparency, decentralization, inclusivity, openness… pretty much all of them!), and using it is especially gruesome because we have an alternative right at our fingertips that each of us has a part in crafting.

We have been building Status Mobile as a chat app, but haven’t been using it ourselves as we spend most of our working days on the desktop. Fortunately, there has been considerable progress on making Status desktop functional, and we are almost ready to start using it every day once a few rough edges are smoothed out. Some might say we should dog-food Status, but I much prefer Julien’s saying that we should drink our own champagne. Cheers everyone!

So let’s use Status to build Status. Let’s embrace our values and take one more step into the decentralized future. But how do we get there?

Use Desktop

Head over to https://status-im.github.io/nightly/ and download Status. Use it and let us know in #desktop how we can do better. Take a look at the FAQ and add to it if you think it will help. Are you missing an important feature? Is the app crashing? Reliability issues? Tell us.

Build Status Desktop

If you are a developer, it should be second nature to build Status Desktop, but there are a few rough edges. Take a look at the wiki to learn how to build Status. Does it work for you? If not, please help us tweak the docs or build steps

Improve Status Desktop

So far so good! You have downloaded Status, had a few chats, and finally built it locally. Drink some of that champagne! Now try adding a feature, or improving performance, or scratching that itch. Take a look at the Desktop board or browse the Desktop issues if you are looking for inspiration.

Already we have had commitment from #core-chat and #mobile-app to temporarily pause mobile releases and feature work to dive into Status Desktop. Can we get more help to accelerate Desktop and act as a catalyst? Everyone has the power to help make this happen!

Desktop release alpha v0.9.0

Within the next few weeks, Status Desktop will launch v0.10.0. This will be the first release that desktop endorses as a reliable and capable replacement to Slack. The desktop team will exclusively migrate to using Desktop, and other teams are encouraged to use it partially or fully. Updates will be released at a regular cadence.

Personally, I’ll be deleting Slack once this release is out and hope others will do the same.

Countdown to Slack Cancellation

Hopefully, by this stage most of us will be using Status Desktop, and we can cancel our Slack plan and stop using it entirely. We can give ourselves a 30-day deadline to make sure we migrate any workflows or create any essentials features. Finally, we can say goodbye to Slack, drink our own champagne, and live our values!

We will need to find alternatives to Slack bots, private groups, and other Slack-centric features, and it might suck for a while, but necessity is the mother of invention, and I’m sure we can cope without emoji-replies! There are some great alternatives like Github Issues, Discuss, and even good old-fashioned email!

Community Zero and Beyond

Status will be the first community using Status, and we hope it will be the first of many. To achieve this, we need to listen to community moderators and users to work towards this goal. The next community we can bring to Status after core contributors is the Status community currently chatting with Riot. Working with other communities will require moderation and other features. After these two communities we can cater to other like-minded decentralized companies and slowly widen the net to a broader audience.

Importantly, all these desktop features will be part of mobile too. Since we are using Status everyday we will also improving our tooling, monitoring, reliability and performance too. Status on mobile and desktop will be lurching forward with new improvements. We will think less about platforms and start thinking more about features everywhere.

So, let’s do this! Download Status Desktop and step into the decentralized future that we are building and start drinking our own champagne! :champagne:

The above are some thoughts of the desktop team but we’d love to hear from you. Can we do it better or differently? What do you need? Looking forward to hearing from you (ideally in Status :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).


SITG experiment #1 - Status intense micro adoption!
#2

This is really great! I’m really looking forward to push beyond the boundaries of slack with status. There is so much room for improvement. Unfortunately I got a glibc error when running the appImage on Linux. I will try again soon again.


#3

It has been about two weeks since this post so it is about time for an update.

Wow, what a difference two weeks can make! Since this post, we have had an explosion of chatter happening on Status and I believe that Desktop is driving this huge increase.

I’d like to thank everyone for downloading Status and using it every day. I ran an internal poll and was thrilled to see that more than a third of respondents use the app every day, which is a huge boost up from pretty much zero. At the same time, I’ve seen many conversations happening on Status Desktop and many new channels spontaneously popping up. So many have popped up that we need to devise a way of discovering and managing channels!

I’m excited to also share some of the progress we have made in the last two weeks. Here is a summary of some of the achievements:

  • Desktop usernames can now be edited
  • New designs and UI improvements were added to the message text field, including support for long messages and an animating send button
  • Added message status like “sent”, “not sent”
  • Added system messages like “fetching messages”, “couldn’t connect to mailserver”
  • The left panel had an issue where many lines of text were shown, but now it correctly shows just 1 and looks a lot spiffier
  • Introduced a bug reporter for crashes
  • Much better scrolling
  • Fixed a lot of issues when typing
  • Fixed issues with validating contact and topic names
  • Fixed issues with persisting text when users navigated throughout the app
  • Upgraded React Native
  • Made huge strides in unifying the build process
  • Big improvements to CI and Jenkins
  • New and improved log format
  • Fixed a security issue with the logs
  • Many many many fixes

We also have a few great features in progress such as:

  • Push notifications!
  • Group chat
  • New users can backup their seed phrase
  • Clickable links in messages!
  • Support to show transaction messages sent from mobile
  • More support for the “enter” key
  • Windows support
  • And many more fixes and improvements

This wouldn’t have been possible without the great work of the Desktop team (you guys rock, especially Tetiana who keeps things rolling), but I’d like to make a special shout-out to others at Status that have been lending a hand and taking Desktop to a whole new level including Pedro for his incredible build process work and windows explorations, Eric for jumping in and fixing bugs and focusing on some big problems, Dmitry for showing transactions in chat, Roman for his many many fixes and debugging, Goran for helping out new users by creating the seed backup flow, Andrea for bringing group chat to Desktop at the same time as mobile, Jan and Andrey their username work, and Jakub for the jenkins and build improvements. Also thank for the test team for giving Desktop some love, People Ops for packing up shop and moving to Status faster than you can see “drink your own champagne”, and the many others who have built Status, downloaded Status, and have helped start the migration. Sorry if I missed someone but there is so much going on!

To everyone else please come join us in #status-desktop, or try your hand at building Status Desktop, downloading Status (and keep updating the nightly every morning), and of course saying hello with Status. We still have a lot of issues and any extra help is very much appreciated!


#4

The progress has been amazing to watch, and to experience in the improved ux every day. It really feels like everyone has intrinsic “skill in the game” !


#5

I’m just so happy to read this! :sun_with_face:


#6

Another two weeks have flown by and there has been phenomenal chat and desktop progress with many contributors all across Status.

I’m pleased to say that about 20-30 core contributors have started living our principles and drinking our own champagne by deactivating their Slack account and switching to Status full time. Kudos to @oskarth for being the first! The exodus happened gradually, then suddenly, and now it appears that most core discussions are happening exclusively on Status. We’ve even had Michele, a windows users, switch even though we don’t have a windows build yet. That is dedication! (you can get a lot done with just a VM)

Also exciting is that in addition to core contributors we’ve had an influx of Chinese users and collectively we are sending 1k-2.5k messages a day in our default public channels. More details on analytics.status.im.

Here is a quick look back at some changes since the last update:

  • Links are now linking!
  • #channel names are now quick-links to public channels
  • Inline replies for chats
  • Scroll view optimizations
  • Fixed a dumb but severe bug that caused messages and contacts to not be saved in the database
  • Added random names to chat’s and profile’s for easier identification
  • Fixed a bug where certain characters like < and > didn’t display properly
  • Made changes to allow dev and release versions running at the same time. Now devs can make Status with Status at-the-same-time!
  • Updated Qt on build servers which fixed a few glitches
  • We now allow new users to backup their seed phrase for later recovery
  • Speed boost when switching chats
  • Group chats! (for testing, not for solid use)
  • Wallet transaction requests from mobile are now shown
  • Fixed a bug where certain messages would become pinned to chats
  • New chat colours
  • Mailserver pagination improvements
  • Fixed more typing issues
  • Many more fixes

We also have made great strides towards a Window’s build. We are doing some magic and building windows on Linux, and it sorta works but has some issues.

Up next we are working on fetching 7 days of history instead of 1, custom URL support so we can deep link to chats and profiles and have universal links work universally, integrating ubuntu-server into the app, fixing memory leaks, adding Mac dock notifications, push notifications, better scrolling, and more fixes. Our goal is to get a release ready after the board has been cleared. Not long now!

At this point Status Chat is solid on both desktop and mobile so I’d encourage everyone to grab a nightly and start chatting. There are a few quirks but overall I don’t miss Slack at all. Come join us! :champagne:


#7

The issues I’m running against on the Windows port are related to realm in ubuntu-server, hopefully bringing ubuntu-server into the app will make this easier to debug/experiment with.


#8

Saying goodbye to Slack has been easier for some than others. A few stragglers expressed reluctance to switch because it means losing years of conversations and knowledge scattered throughout Slack channels and threads.

Well, fear not! @jakubgs has helped us retain this knowledge and has provided a full export of every Slack public channel going back to early 2016. @exiledsurfer called this The Book of Slack. :slight_smile:

https://slack-archive.status.im

Since the archive contains all channels and may contain sensitive personal, legal, or security information we thought it best to protect this with an org-level login. Going forward we hope to do better by using Status with conversations are happening in the open with everyone is encouraged to join. We are also creating Status conversation archives, so if you are interested in contributing please join the automation discussion.


#9

Heads up everyone there is a breaking change in the latest desktop nightly. The good news is this change introduces early support for push notifications, but the bad news is that it renames the data folder so upgrading appears like a fresh install.

Here is how to upgrade:

  • Quit Status
  • Go to the data folder. On a Mac this is ~/Library/Application Support/, and on Linux this is ~/.local/share/.
  • Rename the StatusIm folder to Status
  • Download new nightly, install, and open
  • Status should start as normal.

If you have have already upgraded and need to fix:

  • Quit Status
  • Go to the data folder. On a Mac this is ~/Library/Application Support/, and on Linux this is ~/.local/share/.
  • Delete the Status directory
  • Rename the StatusIm folder to Status
  • Re-open Status
  • Status should start as normal.

To turn on push notifications go to the Profile tab, and turn on notifications.

Developers will need to install additional “extra-cmake-modules” packages to build the app locally without failure.


#10

I feel like no one is going to read breaking changes here, perhaps we should put this kind of stuff on the nightly page and/or even in app.


#11

Yes this just happened to me and I lost all my contacts and conversations, I just upgraded and installed over the nightly like I always do and then just found this thread. :expressionless:


#12

Also on Linux I had to rename the appimage to StatusIm.AppImage, do I now have to rename it to Status.AppImage?


#14

Yes, it should be named Status.AppImage ( but since data location path on Linux is taken from AppImage title, it should work fine with any title - StatusIm, Status or whatever. So you can continue use StatusIm.AppImage, I believe ).
There is one not done extra step to rename StatusIm to Status on desktop Jenkins pipeline left - rename built packages uploaded to server.


#15

It has been just 50 days since this thread started and challenged the team to quit live our values, drink our own champagne, and quit Slack.

Today, Status quit Slack and is using Status for all communications.

quitting

What’s more, Status did this live at Devcon! A Status gremlin even spontaneously materialized to mark the occasion!

quit-slack

In less than two months time the whole organization has rallied and united with most of the organization using Status daily, and incredibly most of Core contributing to desktop PR’s and pushing desktop and Status ahead in leaps and bounds. This feat is even more incredible if you consider that desktop nightlies didn’t even exist three months ago. This team has moved mountains!

Thank you to everyone that endured the bugs, lost messages, and the sometimes painful upgrades to make this dream come true.

So what’s next? The desktop team is working on some remaining issues including windows builds, improved reliability, and better network/connection state notifications, and more. When these are done an alpha version will be released that has gone through thorough security and compatibility testing, and will be followed with a regular release cadence. In terms of features, the team will bring wallet and dapps to the desktop and will work towards a beta release that has parity with the mobile app. Come join us for the ride. :slight_smile: :champagne:


#16

This is incredible! So proud! :clap:


#17

I haven’t been able to use the nightly on MacOS for the last week, any clue / help there? When I wipe and uninstall the entire directory then try to re-install the application never boots up after moving to the applications folder. @Chad know of any tips & tricks?


#18

@Hutch have you tried rebooting ? :slight_smile: (or make sure that ubuntu-server is not running, probably a reboot would do, but not sure on mac). It might be that the app crashed at some point and that service is still running


#19

That worked! haha :grin: Cammellos saves the (past life) IT guy on a last minute. “Have you tried pushing the power button”

The Ubuntu server wasn’t prompting (guess it was running in a background service). Thanks @cammellos


#20

Just for anyone else reading this here. There’s an issue on GitHub with that report + the “solution”


#21

Also for anyone else, the fix and other goodies are mentioned in the FAQ. Check it out!