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HipChat alternatives


Continuing the discussion from Where can i find the Hipchat logs:

While I agree it’d be ideal to have something like the chat from stackoverflow made open,
I’m not sure why not IRC. There are quite a few webchats for IRC (you probably know about mibbit and I just got to know about kiwi), and native clients are even more plenty.

As it is, I consider HipChat quite bad. Guests can only use the online version without any customization, which means either block all notifications or get 'em all, all the time. There is no log or search and there are limited features such as attaching files.

I realize it is integrated with github and codecombat’s own versioning so when you’re logged in it will notify people of what you’re doing, looks like, but I doubt that’s something that couldn’t be done within IRC.

With that being said, do you know ChatBox? I got to know it through Make Penn Bad. It’s made by this crazy dude, Phil Gordon and it looks quite promising. Since you’re going with proprietary anyway, maybe Phil can even help you there. He loves getting feedback and I think it’s all still in its early stage. At least it’s also cheaper than HipChat.

Although Atlassian is awesome and got the best general git gui client (although I enjoy more using GitHub’s own client right now) along with Jira, I feel quite disappointed from HipChat.


Yeah the only problem is if they already use a number of Atlassian products, it’s “easier” to keep on their platform. So might be hard to convince management to switch.

Also i haven’t really noticed any problems with hip chat other than if you are using the web version you can’t access logs. But nothing is perfect, especially the “free” version of it.


I’d be down to switch; I’ve just never seen IRC webchat that didn’t suck. My criteria:

  1. It should have a good IRC bridge so that people used to IRC can use it.
  2. The webchat should be easy-to-use, even for people who don’t know what IRC is.
  3. It should let guests view logs.
  4. The native client needs to be really nice–we live in here.
  5. It needs a good API so we can easily send messages to it from our servers, scripts, and other third-party services.

Current solution is missing 1 and 3, plus has that annoying notification sound thing. I have not been impressed with existing IRC webchat clients for 2 and 4. Haven’t looked into 5 for IRC.

I kind of just want Slack or HipChat to make things good, but I’m not holding my breath. We actually don’t use any other Atlassian products, so not married to it.


I’m not quite following you guys here…

@sotonin the notification is quite a big problem there. IRC have many ways to customize notifications, HipChat have just one and it’s either too much or nothing. At least for guests.

@nick what you mean by (1), exactly? If it’s IRC, you can use whatever means you want, anyway.

And for (4) the native client for IRC can’t be nicer than “pick your own”.

Maybe more importantly, which IRC webchat clients have you seem? I’m no expert there but I guess it’d be good to know this more in specific.

In any case, cool thing to know the switch can be done and I may help you find a cool alternative, since I’ve been experimenting a bit with all that over the years! Just maybe. :stuck_out_tongue:

PS: Have you seen Kandan or MogoChat?


yeah the notification thing didnt bother me. i dont use sound very often unless im watching something on my computer


It’s not just about sounds. The chat is open for many simultaneous conversations and there are many ways to participate. But usually when you want to jump in anything off topic to you you’ll be there watching and all you need to know is that there is new stuff there, not at all times when new stuff chimes in.

As it is HipChat makes it difficult to find your own mentions or conversation threads, easy to lose them (since there’s no log) and way too much distractive warnings (sound, popup and even the incremental red numbers with blinking title) for nothing.


I prefer the HipChat native client to any native IRC clients I’ve seen, but it’s true that I haven’t tried very many. Recommendations? I could be wrong, but it also seems that the HipChat protocol is enough better than the IRC protocol that it might not be that easy to make a client this good with IRC.

For IRC webchat clients, I’ve seen kiwi, mibbit, whatever they use on Freenode, and maybe a couple older ones.

Looked at Kandan and MogoChat; they don’t have enough maturity or momentum that I’d entrust them with my business yet.


I am Partial to Quassel.


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