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Software Linux

Slack Now Available As a Snap For Linux (betanews.com) 140

BrianFagioli writes: Today, yet another wildly popular program gets the Snap treatment, and quite frankly, it is arguably more significant than Spotify. What is it? Slack! Yes, Canonical announces that the ubiquitous communication app can be installed as a Snap. True, Slack was already available on the Linux desktop, but this makes installing it and keeping it updated much easier. "In adopting the universal Linux app packaging format, Slack will open its digital workplace up to an-ever growing community of Linux users, including those using Linux Mint, Manjaro, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Solus, and Ubuntu. Designed to connect us to the people and tools we work with every day, the Slack snap will help Linux users be more efficient and streamlined in their work. And an intuitive user experience remains central to the snaps' appeal, with automatic updates and rollback features giving developers greater control in the delivery of each offering," says Canonical.
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Slack Now Available As a Snap For Linux

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  • by OffTheLip ( 636691 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:22PM (#55953743)
    The summary is a feast of catchy names. All without explanation.
    • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:38PM (#55953879) Homepage

      oh come on! Everybody knows Slack == Slackware Linux
      http://slackware.com/ [slackware.com]

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @01:32PM (#55954301) Journal

      Slack is a bloated monstrosity that provides IRC and a few other things, using a combination of Node.js and Chromium to produce one of the largest and most memory-hungry desktop applications that you might ever need to run. Snap is Ubuntu's version of the old PC-BSD PBI installer, where each application comes with all of its dependencies and installs them in a directory so that the package maintainers don't have to worry about incompatible upgrades. The combination of the two allows Slack to consume even more resources, by not even sharing memory mappings for common libraries.

      The goal of Slack is to minimise productivity, by consuming all available computing resources and all available attention. This combination allows it to consume even more resources, but unfortunately does nothing to increase the amount of time that people waste on Slack.

      • We're going to get to the point where a chat program can't fit on a 650MB CD-ROM. I remember when I could only allocate 64kB chunks at a time in my programs.

        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          On macOS, Slack is 75MB on disk. A far cry from 650.

          • We're going to

            That's future tense, if you didn't know. Also it's a rhetorical device and not a literal statement of fact, because I don't have the ability to flawlessly predict the future.

      • but unfortunately does nothing to increase the amount of time that people waste on Slack.

        Hence the expression, stop slacking off!

      • Currently 80% informative, 20% interesting. I was going for funny, but maybe I was closer to the mark than I thought...
      • Slack is a bloated monstrosity that provides IRC and a few other things, using a combination of Node.js and Chromium to produce one of the largest and most memory-hungry desktop applications that you might ever need to run. Snap is Ubuntu's version of the old PC-BSD PBI installer, where each application comes with all of its dependencies and installs them in a directory so that the package maintainers don't have to worry about incompatible upgrades. The combination of the two allows Slack to consume even more resources, by not even sharing memory mappings for common libraries.

        The goal of Slack is to minimise productivity, by consuming all available computing resources and all available attention. This combination allows it to consume even more resources, but unfortunately does nothing to increase the amount of time that people waste on Slack.

        Wow, so now I have software that I can download and justify my purchase of a pair of 6 terrabyte drives. I just love to be able to run any software that actually brings along it's dynamic link libraries.

  • Only 147 MB (Score:5, Informative)

    by tonique ( 1176513 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:24PM (#55953763)
    Only 147 MB for a glorified IRC client! Get yours now!
    • I looked into these at some point, Electron applications come packaged with an unholy shitload of not-likely-used javascript and whatnot from node.js, leading to a base executable size of something around 80MB.
    • But... Emojis.

      Aside from some bug fixes and new useless features we've been reinventing IRC and Usenet since them.

      • Re:Only 147 MB (Score:4, Informative)

        by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @02:16PM (#55954657)

        Everyone seems to forget the reason why Slack is what it is... There is no self-hosting for Slack. Everything you do in Slack is in the cloud and the reason companies do it is so they don't have to hire someone to maintain an IRC server in their company.

        But yeah, Slack is just a bloated, slow, insecure, unoriginal, pile of horse dung IRC client. We all have to remember that the new hotness in IT is not having an IT department.

        • We could all sign onto FreeNode. If companies want to donate money to FN instead of paying Slack, then they are free to do so, and really at whatever amount they are comfortable paying.

          If you had a company of 1000 employees, I believe you're looking at paying Slack about $8k/month. This is right around the break even point for hiring someone to maintain an IRC server full time. You probably get a better deal with Slack because they would include hardware and services and 24 hour support.

          If you were a larger

          • about $8k/month

            I never bothered to look into pricing but.... there aren't even words.

            WTF. Most of the discussion I see on ircd requirements mention computers in the hundreds of MHz.

            • The cost of the computer is meaningless, because it's only a small fraction of what you're paying. The real cost is the cost of hiring someone capable of administrating it.

              • yup, for $2k - $10k in equipment you can handle multiple sites for an entire corporation. You'll be able to use at least half of this equipment for 2 years, and the other half of it for 5 years (like any switches or routers). We're talking about a rather low NRE (non-reoccurring expense) for the hardware.

                Full time sysadmin, let's say you pay her $75k/yr. With management overhead, facilities overheads and employee benefits a company probably works this out as a cool $100k/yr cost. (taking a wild guess there)

            • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

              IRC does one tiny part of what Slack does. It's not a replacement any more than a U-Haul is a replacement for a cargo train.

        • There is no self-hosting for Slack.

          Aside from learning, when was the last time you setup an IRC server?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I not so long ago accidentally destroyed a production IRC server VM, so recently!

            Note to self: When doing ^R in bash, read the entire command before hitting return.

        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          Does IRC support code formatting, snippets, utf8, images, and random attachments? To name a few things I use all the time with Slack.

    • by bluelip ( 123578 )

      When did configure ; make ; make install become too difficult?

    • 147mb? thats nothing. On windows, the cache files for slack can run well into the gigabytes after only a year.

      have a multi user machine with a small ssd and several users, now you are consuming tens of gigs... not cool!

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Only 147 MB for a glorified IRC client! Get yours now!

      So what kind of peanuts do you work for if that's an issue? I don't recall how many GB the work computer uses but it has Windows, Visual Studio, SQL Server so it's at least 50 GB+. And if it was 50.2 GB... nobody would give a shit. The computer could have IRC, ICQ, AIM, Skype, Discord, Lync, Slack, Jabber and a dozen more "collaboration" apps running just fine. But I'd like just one that works really well, the resources it takes are negligible. As long as the bloat doesn't translate to being slow...

      • Standard PCs cannot have more than 32GB of RAM.

      • Bloat always translates into being slow. I don't care how many gajigabytes of SSD storage you have on your system, all the page fault delays when mapping and unmapping them all into memory take time away from the app and everything else on the system. Sloppy coding practices like that tend to pile up (imagine that, laziness is contagious) and make for unusable messes.

        MS Word or Powerpoint on a new machine takes many tens of seconds to load and render some pages whereas the version of that software from abo
        • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )

          Bloat always translates into being slow

          Large install size != bloat != slow

          MS Word or Powerpoint on a new machine takes many tens of seconds to load and render some pages whereas the version of that software from about 10 years back has most of the same functionality but screams on even low-end hardware you can buy today. Why? Laziness. Laziness that wastes my time when I'm trying to work.

          Of course, it coudln't be anything else like increased demand of other functionality from both the program and the OS, having to deal with more and more use cases than the one a decade ago, or any number of other reasons.

          It's also not a good idea to assume that the PC your crapware is being run on is the same 4k top-of-the-line workstation you're testing it on. I don't know if you've heard, but mobile device are all the rage these days. The thing that distinguishes mobile from laptop from workstation is power consumption. On a desktop workstation, you can throw around gigabytes and gigahertz like you don't care. On mobile devices you count milliwatts.

          Good thing there is a separate [apple.com] app [google.com] for those mobile devices.

          • Bloat always translates into being slow

            You don't know how computer operating systems work, do you? Re-read my comment and these articles:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
              Those articles don't have "bloat" mentioned anywhere in them.
              • Do I need to spell it out for you? If the executable image is bigger, more of it needs to be mapped in to memory. If more of it needs to be mapped into a (finite) amount of memory, the system will end up swapping more memory out to disk, making it slow.

                If the executable also comes with its own libraries instead of using installed system libraries (the whole idea behind snaps and docker and whatever), then all of those will also need to be mapped in to memory instead of reusing the ones already mapped in fo
                • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
                  How is the first scenario "bloat" though? Maybe it just needs to be whatever size it is given its feature-set etc.
    • That means you need to rely on the snap package maintainer to keep all components patched and up to date, rather than updating each component yourself through your normal package manager. I'm not sure how timely those updastes are. I would only use snaps to try bleeding edge releases and not for normal use.

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:24PM (#55953769)

    This is written as if it was specifically to see who wins Busllshit Bingo. I just need one more buzzword and I win.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What is a Snap, a new Docker competitor or something?

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt.nerdflat@com> on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:32PM (#55953839) Journal
    Slackware, which has been a Linux distro for only a handful of months less time than there have been Linux distributions at all, is often informally referred to as Slack as well.
    • Yes, for technical people "Slack" means "Slackware", not yet another chat client for people too twitchy to use e-mail.
      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        Only if you mean "Linux nerds" when you write "technical people". Or ignoramuses.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:40PM (#55953889)

    I work with a few people who swear Slack boosts their productivity significantly. But whenever I'm in their office and they look away due to a Slack message, it's never a work thing - it's their husband or some friend telling them something non-work-related.

    Looking back a few years, I noticed my own productivity went up significantly after I started ignoring my then-boss's directive to stay keep a group chat window open all the time.

    Does anyone here have actual evidence - even a specific anecdote - that using Slack or another chat program helps them work better? Excepting those of you whose job it is to do online tech support, of course...

    • by davecb ( 6526 )

      Alas, I usually see the opposite: it's like being in a room full of people, all exclaiming "Ooh! Shiney!" all day.

      Only once was a chat useful: a small group of us communicated with team members at a particular customer while trying to debug a problem. And it was a free and trivial chat program, just a reflector for telnet.

    • Does anyone here have actual evidence - even a specific anecdote - that using Slack or another chat program helps them work better?

      FOSS projects like FreeBSD seem to get developed through mailing lists and IRC.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slack boosts their productivity significantly.

      That's hilarious. Slack is old IRC slang for excessively hanging out on IRC instead of getting work done. I assume the name is a reference to that.

    • We have a O365 Slack clone at work called Teams I'm going to try to promote to get rid of the inevitable super long email chains editing a Word document as a group... for chat mostly everyone here uses Skype, which does work well when people are at different locations, which can include being away from their desk and in a spot they can't bring a mobile phone. If people were always at their personal desk then it'd be better to just walk over, most of the time.
    • by gosand ( 234100 )

      Does anyone here have actual evidence - even a specific anecdote - that using Slack or another chat program helps them work better?

      I have two positive experiences with other chat programs.

      1. I worked at a startup back in 2005, and while we were all in the same office, we had our own IRC. It was the go-to place for the development team. We had to also deploy to production once a week in the evening. That is how we all communicated during those activities.

      2. In 2009 I was at a very large bank, and we were just starting up agile development there. The team was dispersed in different cities, and we had an offshore team as well. We u

    • At my previous employer, we used HipChat. I'd say it was helpful mostly because we had a pretty new team with lots of questions. Since most weren't pressing, they could just ping the whole group on chat. Progressively, the newer folks could field more and more of the questions. Only when they didn't have an answer did more senior people jump in and help. I found that much more preferable than having people stopping by my cube all the time to ask questions.
    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      I use Slack all the time. I was using it a short while ago, to communicate with a coworker who is also at home (it's 11:00 PM as I write this). It's also quite useful in the office, as an open floor plan precludes constant conversation.

    • Does anyone here have actual evidence - even a specific anecdote - that using Slack or another chat program helps them work better?

      I only have some analogies: using chat programs for work is

      • (a) the online version of open plan office spaces
      • (b) like trying to get work done during meetings
  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:48PM (#55953945) Homepage

    Slack box. I need it in a Snap because my BLT drive on my other computer just went AWOL

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The last thing you need is Mr. Kawasaki asking you to commit hari kari.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Phew!! [slackware.com]

    Snap ,slack, get back.......just gimme a command line.
      I don't mean to whine, but I'm a hack.
      I like my computing to be simple.
      No candy because of the pimple.
    None of this GUI for the dandy.
    I mean to compute and calculate.
    Because this fancy shit is to masturbate.
    That is it.

  • It was full of marketing buzzwords. After I had finished reading I had no clue what Slack is about. And honestly, I am not too keen on finding out.
  • I tried the Spotify snap on Ubuntu 17.10 a couple of weeks ago. It turned out to be a very bloated logout tool. So much for my first excursion into optional snaps. Had to roll back to the package.
  • Now we can be bugged no matter what OS we use. Back to HPUX for me I suppose.
  • yeah, I use Slack; but I gave up on the Slack Desktop for Linux a while ago since SSO isn't integrated into anything else I use so it's just one more to login to that I could avoid by just using Slack in a browser. The Slack Desktop App is basically a browser dedicated to Slack any way; it doesn't do any special desktop integrations that Chrome/Firefox/etc don't already do. So it didn't add any real value.
  • Ubiquitous? Maybe I've been living under a rock, but.. What's this Slack thingy? yet another messenger/whatsapp/telegram/skype/...? How many more messaging programs are we going to need? if this is just an IRC client and they found a bunch of idiots willing to pay for it that much, good job. The world is full of people just waiting to waste money on this kind of shit. Of course the usual thing will happen: to justify the price, they're going to pile more and more crap on this client, until even the idiots

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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