Any alternatives to Discord?
90

Its looking like Microsoft is gonna buy Discord. Preferably open source, and has a big userbase, and has Windows and Linux option. (but mainly windows because i only game on windows now.)

manemjeff
333M

Element. Right now they’re implementing spaces, it’s basically directories for rooms and it’s quite neat imo. Far better than discord if the mods know how to use it, in which case, they probably will.

@Tgraswe
163M

I think you shouldn’t call it “Element”, but rather “Matrix” to avoid misconceptions about the nature of it and to give advantage to other clients.

manemjeff
123M

Although I do realize the misconception in my naming, but for non-technical person, I would rather call it Element rather than Matrix because the application that’s in play store and many more sites is called Element. YES I’m aware that there’re alternative clients, but I would rather call it element so non-tech people would better recognize it this way.

Anyway, I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re refering to as Element, is in fact, Matrix/Element, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, Matrix plus Element. Element is not a communication protocol unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning Matrix ecosystem made useful by the client, homeservers and vital system components comprising a full end to end communication solution defined by Matrix organization.

Many computer users run a modified version of the Matrix’s client every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of Matrix/Element which is widely used today is often called Element, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically part of the Matrix ecosystem, developed by the Matrix Organization.

There really is an Element, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the Matrix ecosystem they use. Matrix is the protocol: the specification in the system that manages the resources to the other programs that the servers run. The protocol is an essential part of the Matrix Ecosystem, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete end to end solution of the server and clients. Element is normally used in combination with server to make the whole system. All the so-called Element distributions are really distributions of Matrix/Element!

@tronk
11M

Brilliant. Thanks for introducing me to the meme. This makes your comment much more underrated

@Tgraswe
13M

For example, Schildi is an awesome fork of Element which has a lot better and frendlier interface and more features.

@Echedenyan
13M

Are you really using that meme?

manemjeff
73M

damn right i did

@disrooter
103M

I thought “Communities” were already used to group rooms?

Anyway I searched more for these “Spaces” and I found this:

Spaces are particularly interesting because they open up the possibility of Matrix being more than just a big flat namespace of conversations: instead they provide a global fully decentralised hierarchical filesystem, complete with decentralised ACLs, allowing users to publish and curate an arbitrary taxonomy of whatever data they choose (be it real-time conversations, history, data streams, files, objects, etc). This has potential to flip Matrix entirely on its head: Spaces could become the main backbone of the protocol, with chatrooms being mere leaf nodes in a giant tree of collaboration.

@kevincox
133M

Communities was kind of an experiment, and IIRC Element only. Spaces is taking what they learned and writing a proper spec for the feature so that it will be better and can properly be supported by all clients.

Communities is going to be replaced by Spaces.

manemjeff
103M

https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/blob/matthew/msc1772/proposals/1772-groups-as-rooms.md

I think this could clear up the confusion, and I think they will deprecate community as soon as spaces is up to speed

@zagebo
13M

cool!

poVoq
31
edit-2
3M

Definitly Mumble. Great audio quality and very low resource requirements.

It even has a new very nice web-client these days. Disroot has a test instance.

Also the great Pumble Android client got forked and now it back in active maintenance. It’s called Mumla now, get it via F-droid.

Edit: Guildbit allows you to temporarily set up a Mumble server for free.

An account is not even needed to use Mumble, so fuck off the email thing

10_0
creator
13M

got it ; )

@quantum
26
edit-2
3M

A lot of the comments mention matrix but also how it’s “not quite there yet”. This might sound a bit discouraging, but they’ve made some huge strides over the past few years, to the point where some authors believe that they should slow down a little.

So while I agree that matrix isn’t a replacement for discord right now, I’d also like to add that it’s much more viable than it was even a year ago. I’d say it’ll be the obvious choice in another year or so.

@trechnex
4
edit-2
2M

deleted by creator

The “communities” feature in Element is a bit janky,

Luckily it’s being replaced by Spaces.

@v162
173M

Telegram, Matrix and Mumble

10_0
creator
23M

which has the biggest userbase?

@Wild
33M

Telegram

@Ninmi@sopuli.xyz
15
edit-2
3M

People will suggest Element, but as of right now it is not a proper replacement for Discord.

However once Spaces (https://github.com/vector-im/element-web/issues/15930) land, we can start talking about a proper Discord replacement.

There are no important features offered by Discord that Matrix/element doesn’t offer.

If it does not have communities with shared text and voice channels, then it’s not a Discord replacement.

It does not matter if you think Discord’s features aren’t important. They matter to OP and they’re not here for Element because it does not have what Discord does.

Travis Skaalgard
3
edit-2
3M

You can absolutely do that with Matrix. At least in Element you can. You can make communities, which are functionally very similar to Discord “servers.” Groups of rooms with text and voice/video channels. You can absolutely do it.

No, you can’t. There’s no such features in Element and advertising it does is only going to lead to disappointed new users.

Again, when Spaces land, then we can re-evaluate the situation.

I’m very confused. You can text chat and video chat.

@Echedenyan
33M

Do you remember Mumble voice channel hierarchy in a server? With fast exchange and without having to start a call per room. They want that with video too (this is why Mumble is not a replacement for them too).

To emulate Element within Discord, all you need to do is make a new Discord “server” with one single text channel and just leave it at that.

Obviously it’s no longer Discord with such limitations, but that’s Element in a nutshell.

You do realize communities exist on Matrix with multiple channels and voice/video correct? I don’t understand what all you people are missing.

SeerLite
23M

Communities aren’t supported on mobile and aren’t part of the spec

And communities are simply glorified collections of channels without any of Discord’s features like access control with flairs and invites and such. The whole structure of a Discord “server” is wholly incompatible with the current community support.

Element devs themselves have stated they’re gonna burn community support with fire and replace it with Spaces.

@PureTryOut
23M

There is no such thing as a voice or video channel in Matrix. Not yet at least. Communities are going to be replaced by Spaces soon btw.

…what’s the difference between a “channel” and a chat?

SeerLite
43M

There isn’t voice chats/channels in Matrix afaik, only calls. One time calls are not what people look for in Discord alternatives. The appeal of voice channels is that they’re always there and show who’s online with other people already or looking for a chat, with no one specific mind. It’s just like Mumble channels.

I’m kinda confused why you keep saying Matrix/Element has features it clearly doesn’t.

Travis Skaalgard
1
edit-2
3M

…there are no limits on how many times you can call… if you’re looking for calls that are always open, using tons of bandwidth, yeah, that’s not as doable on non-corporate platforms… you’re not going to get the exact same experience. Element doesn’t have a purple logo either :(((

EDIT: actually, you can just keep a call open indefinitely. I’m in a room that does this regularly. People hop in and out all the time.

SeerLite
2
edit-2
3M

A voice channel (or “call” if you wanna equate them) with no people won’t use any “tons of bandwidth” though. There’s literally no data being transferred. A voice stream doesn’t even have to be allocated (or whatever the right terminology is for that).

EDIT: actually, you can just keep a call open indefinitely. I’m in a room that does this regularly. People hop in and out all the time.

That’s interesting, I’ve never experimented with that. Still, people want an obvious equivalent to Discord voice channels. Calls aren’t voice channels, no matter how much you want them to be the same. At a technical level they’re the same yes, but the UX is completely different.

Hell you could even say all they need to do to implement voice channels is at the client level because the server already kind of supports it through the Jitsi calls.

@Jitnaught
113M

Matrix / Element, or IRC. Mumble for voice chat.

10_0
creator
113M

is muble Foss?

@testman
173M

yes, completely FOSS

it’s audio only, but allows advanced room/channel management

Element (Matrix) however, can embed Jitsi Meet (FOSS Zoom alternative), which allows room members to use audio and video (camera or screen sharing) at the same time.

So Element is much closer to Discord than Mumble is.

10_0
creator
43M

mumble*

10_0
creator
23M

is teamspeak foss?

@fossdd
73M

No.

CULTPONY
83M

A few people have mentioned the issues with Matrix but I think a part of it is the severe lack of community moderation tools. Something like a mandatory pinned rules channel would help for communities (possibly announcements too, communities are a client convention atm so not very useful). There isn’t a good story for letting bots automod channels (useful when you get raids of about 2k to 4k messages per second), which also hangs on the server not being on the performance level to easily handle more massive servers if it gets raided for whatever reason.

So at the moment, there is no alternative that isn’t also a centralized single point of failure.

I’m just hoping one day someone writes some chat client that pivots over ActivityPub for discovery, sadly my ADHD will probably prevent me being that someone.

poVoq
23M

What you want is perfectly possible with IRC. There are also nice looking web-clients like Convos or The Lounge that are as user friendly as Discord once they are set up.

CULTPONY
12M

Well, no, because IRC lacks communities like Discord has them (called Servers there). I can’t coherently organize a community over several channels. IRC also has issues with netsplits as it doesn’t really have support for HA architecture. There is no chatbacklog either. And moderation cannot delete previous messages. Atleast not out of the box and requiring client support. There is also no option to require people to have created an account X minutes ago to be able to join or that moderators must setup 2FA to be able to access the server.

IRC is the absolute minimum of what can be called a “chat”, it has no tools that fit what modern and safe communities need.

poVoq
12M

You have seriously outdated information about IRC. Nearly all of what you describe can be done with one of the above mentioned clients and a modern IRC daemon like Oragono or a bouncer like ZNC.

CULTPONY
12M

Why should my users need to install or use a bouncer to be able to enjoy a fundamental function like “chat backlog”?

And this still fixes none of the issues related to growing a cohesive community on IRC. As mentioned, I can’t enforce 2FA/Phone/Email for users/moderators last I checked, not without making them use 1 specific client, so why bother at all?

Heck, IRC doesn’t even support proxied previews of links posted, nearly all of the IRC clients that have it will leak your IP without some extra care taken. This is a risk for many users that they won’t understand without guidance as most of them aren’t technophiles. A lot of them will simply jump board to discord facing such issues, and then nothing it won at all.

poVoq
1
edit-2
2M

If you are setting up an IRC server, you just provide also a bouncer or use an daemon like Oragono that has it included… really not rocket science. Just think of an IRC server as a set of micro-services ;)

NICKSERV does support Email and probably other types of account verification and is client independent. Phone would obviously required a 3rd party service, but such API access is probably easy to add (not that I would recommend using such an anti-feature).

And image/preview proxying is very much supported by the web clients I mentioned above. And AFAIK ZNC also does that client independent.

I really feel like you are making up excuses not to consider IRC. Sure there are old clients that do not offer all the functionality you want. But those are just optional, most users will use the client offered by you and that really isn’t any different from another chat system, just that those usually do not support 3rd party clients at all.

CULTPONY
12M

So why use IRC+Bouncer when I could setup something like Matrix (which granted is still not suitable)?

My issue is this is all client-side. If one user uses an older client or non-compatible client, I can do nothing about it and they will have a worse experience. It also still does not solve the issue of keeping multiple channels moderated at once, nor does it provide good moderation tools.

Part of the beauty of Discord (and Matrix I begrudgingly admit) is that there is integration. The protocol implements all these things, instead of having to be implemented on a half-working Layer 2 that some users might not adhere to.

I think you severely underestimate how hard it is to build up things like this. Especially when you’re a community that is under constant attack by internet trolls on a larger scale (can IRC moderation tools handle raiders sending 2k messages per second into a channel? Can the clients handle this workload even on mobile connections? Can I mass ban raiders easily from all channels? Is there even existing bots to handle anti-raid measures? Is there a coherent way for user PFPs across all clients? Can we set visible roles and channel access based on roles? This is all stuff that I don’t have to think about on Discord that’s why. Heck, is there even a way for me to just deliver a signed and trusted app to users with all settings and features preconfigured, including proxy for image previews? Atleast on Android and iOS I will have to pay dev fees and hope I never get banned. Is there webclients that are 100% feature parity with all this? Because the web-users will need to be able to do all of those things too, including bouncers. And if any of these settings or features isn’t working 100% I risk that users will be exposed to death threats or worse.

On IRC I have to worry about these things and make 20 different tools work together. Not exactly the UNIX experience when I need 20 tools to do one job and do it well; chatting in communities.

But on the other hand, why use lemmy or reddit when I could just dial into a BBS and get all the same features and more with just enough additional patchwork tools on top…

poVoq
1
edit-2
2M

Nearly all of that has 20 year plus “battle proven” solutions in IRC and hosting IRC is much more scalable than Matrix.

Sure it takes effort to set all that up, but you are comparing it to a a multi-million (billion?) dollar VC funded company like Discord. Of course you will not be able to replicate that with IRC on a 5$/month VPS set up from your bed room.

CULTPONY
12M

It might be an unfair comparison, but the comparison I have to make because that is where a lot of communities are. If you want to replace Discord with IRC, I don’t think you’ll have much success. And the thread is about alternatives to Discord so the comparison is necessary.

Matrix might be harder to scale but it’s easier to get started in with all the tools just working because they’re integrated into the solution. That is worth the extra price of scalability issues down the line (which if Matrix would get it’s stuff together, would be easier to achieve too).

poVoq
12M

Replacing a single Discord guild with a few hundred users is easily possible with a self-hosted IRC service. By using Oragono + Convos it is also quick and relatively easy as that is pretty much all you need (plus Mumble for voice chat), at least not any harder than Matrix, while being much lighter on server resources.

CULTPONY
12M

We’re talking 5000+ users, not a few hundreds. A community that has to constantly take attacks from 4chan and other vile places of the internet. I do not believe IRC would be the tool for managing this community not only coherently but as a unit.

Mumble solves audio chat, but not screencasting, which we often have in the game related channels. Audio chats routinely hold more than 20 users, with one or two people screencasting at 1080p30. Even if we used mumble, it would split the community from IRC as the people on Mumble can’t coherently interact with IRC in the same client.

poVoq
12M

There are good bridges between Mumble chat and IRC.

Screencasting… hmm. Would probably be not very hard to implement in a webclient, but yeah that doesn’t exists right now AFAIK. But I think Peertube is working on a chat addition that is based on XMPP/IRC/Matrix (not sure).

@urtlifnc
83M

using xmpp with mumble and matterbridge

@marmulak
73M

What does matterbridge do?

poVoq
53M

It supports Mumble text chat now, so you can link it to XMPP.

@urtlifnc
33M

with matterbridge you can link: Discord | Gitter | IRC | Keybase | Matrix | Mattermost | MSTeams | Rocket.Chat | Slack | Telegram | Twitch | WhatsApp | XMPP | Zulip | And more…

https://github.com/42wim/matterbridge

@urtlifnc
13M

yo can test it on: XMPP: general@conference.zecircle.xyz Mumble: mumble://zecircle.xyz/

zecircle.xyz

@federico3
7
edit-2
3M

IRC for text chat, Mumble for audio.

Curious, why do you look for alternative due to Microsoft buying Discord if you need it for Windows anyways ? Also While Mumble and Element/Matrix are fine alternatives, issue is common people do not use them. At best some game groups do use Mumble or Open-source / Free software people might use Element, but very few… not big user bases.

10_0
creator
03M

you dont get a big choice with OS’ but there is choice with voice calls and text chats, its just reducing data collection to the minimum for me atleast. if microsoft wasnt “threatening” to buy discord (or some other company) id have been happy enough with the state of privacy and security on disocrd. (but E2EE in dms would be nice.) (i only use windows for gaming anyway, because of auto opt-in stats collection you cant switch off.)

@rcbrk
43M

For a more structured thread/channel kind of thing, have a look at Zulip.

Mumble for voice groups.

10_0
creator
13M

is zulip on f-droid or the offical website?

Metawish
33M

Just based off looks alone (and just chat too) Cabal.chat looks a LOT like discord and has rooms. It’s still in early development, and it is P2P and without mobile access. I think I’d wanna transition to that

Another good one is Rocket Chat. It’s the most feature complete alternative I’ve tried. And there’s Mattermost and Session, although that last one’s a bit different, it’s a fork of Signal so there are invite-only groups, no list of channels, and you don’t see people come online or go offline. Out of these, only Rocket Chat has an established userbase, the others are more focused on self-hosting or creating your own group.

I know my position and the advocacy that I do, but realistically Discord has no replacements if you are looking on the aspect of available users and communities. Technicalities matter only so much, no matter the other alternatives like rocket.chat or Mumble.

If you can get around learning and practicing OPSEC, like me, simply do not type self doxxing PII, have a constant common typing grammar pattern and not share images or media without stripped metadata. It is plenty to obtain decent anonymity by obscurity, and decent amount of privacy. Use Discord as a resource tool rather than shitposting all day, and you are good. This is my personal way of usage.

@uhoh
1
edit-2
3M

Have you heard of Matrix? The information there will literally blow your mind. All you have to do is ask the right questions.

Your link takes me to a blog post about chakras that doesn’t mention Matrix at all…

cyborg
183M

The real post about Matrix will appear if your chakra are not blocked with negative energy

@uhoh
23M

Oops I’m so sorry wrong link https://matrix.org

You can press the three dots on the right to edit.

@uhoh
13M

Oh sorry I thought I did that. God I was a MESS on Lemmy that day lol

No sweat, didn’t even lose precious karma :).

@disrooter
03M

While I hope in the long term Matrix ecosystem will suit all the use cases, even the social ones by replacing/complementing ActivityPub, at the moment even its flagship client that most people are mentioning (Element) can’t replace Discord.

Instead I think the best alternative at the moment is Telegram because it has a large userbase, native clients for Linux, Android, Windows etc, voice chats that suit the Discord-like use case and it doesn’t use/sell users’ data.

@Nevar
4
edit-2
18d

deleted by creator

@ster
23M

I really hope that once spaces land Element will stabilise a bit, I still regularly encounter frustrating bugs and find it a bit too slow on the public matrix.org instance

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