0.12 is out, yes it’s better than Slack is out with version 0.12 for web and desktop. It is another fine example of an open source Slack (or HipChat) alternative (we’ve covered one Slack alternative before, Zulip). In this latest version they include widgets which are a way of sharing app integrations embedded within a chat room.

Embeddable Widgets For Your Chat Room

Widgets are embedded and pinned to the top of your chat room. This makes them visible at all times to everyone in the chat room. Similar to pinning a particular message.

The widgets included in this release are:

  • YouTube, for sharing an endless playlist of cat videos in a chat room
  • Etherpad, for sharing notes that can be collaborated on
  • Grafana, for sharing graphs of how much traffic is spiking web server CPU
  • Google Docs, for sharing documents

There’s an ability to add custom widgets so I’m hoping someone creates a custom widget for Kolab Now (which is a free/open source alternative to Google Docs).

Only the Most Proper Video Conferencing with Jitsi

The bigger news? has support for proper video conferencing with Jitsi! Jitsi is free/open source video conferencing software that is compatible with WebRTC and is scalable and matches what the big players of video conferencing  (Skype, Zoom) are offering. and Matrix, free/open source alternatives to Slack promises the same thing as Slack except in a nicer, more hackable free/open source package. is a client for the Matrix group chat server. Matrix is the free/open source infrastructure for setting up a Slack/HipChat alternative. There are other clients available for it. Matrix can be viewed as an alternative to XMPP/Jabber and as an upgrade to IRC.

You can support Matrix and free/open source chat/communications infrastructure by donating here through Liberapay (or Patreon or sending cryptocurrency like BitCoin or Ethereum BTC 1LxowEgsquZ3UPZ68wHf8v2MDZw82dVmAE, ETH 0xA5f9a4f9E024F6D727f7afdA9257e22329A97485).


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