back to article It's not you, it's Slack: Chat app falls down – and at such a very convenient moment

Slack is down – in the middle of a pandemic during which millions are working from home and reliant on collaboration tools. The service noticed something was awry at May 13, 9:53 AM GMT+10 when it posted news that: “Users have reported general performance issues such message sending failures and timeouts. We’re working to get …

  1. pogul

    Enter the matrix

    How about the IT world adopting open, federated or distributed systems - the way this stuff should be done. Email never would have been acceptable if it were like this.

    Now, the tricky bit of trying to get my mum to use matrix

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Enter the matrix

      E-mail is like this. Bits of it break all the time. Generally not all at once - but if you have to use your alternate e-mail provider to contact your mum's alternate e-mail provider... how many times a week does she look there?

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Enter the matrix @Robert

        You're not thinking far enough back.

        Before the rise of Google, Yahoo, Hotmail et. al., email was very distributed. Major operations ran their own smtp server which, provided that TCP/IP and DNS MX records continued to operate, would allow messages to get through even when there was some disruption. And TCP/IP was originally intended to be resilient, and DNS is, by it's very nature, distributed.

        This wasn't very helpful for home users, but did work well for companies, and hey! there wasn't the demand for email from joe public.

        Sure, an organisation's own server might go down, but it's really not that difficult to have multiple mail exchangers for a mail domain, and many did. But even if one companies mail server broke, the rest of the email infrastructure around the internet didn't, and even undelivered mail would eventually get through if the service was restored, or generate a bounce message to the sender after a timeout if it wasn't.

        We're now suffering from single large suppliers of services becoming single points of failure, outside of the users or customers control. The very intent of the distributed Internet is being undermined by the Google, Facebook et. al. large service providers, and even companies that do understand, are putting their eggs in the AWS and other cloud providers baskets (Slack runs on AWS, yes?)

        It's all looking a lot like when companies used to do their batch processing at computer bureaus as it was in the '60s and '70s, but on a vastly larger and more pervasive basis.

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Enter the matrix @Robert

          Looking back a little further, one recalls the time when a well-connected person needed to have accounts with a whole zoo of email providers, Compuserve, Tymshare, AOL, Prodigy (just kidding) etc. to be reachable for ones friends/clients. This, in turn, was an echo of when competing telephone companies made companies with much custom have multiple phones from multiple companies, for similar reasons.

          (A boon for the pigeons, at least, in the days of open-wire overhead) .

          We seem to oscillate between having to deal with a dozen incompetent providers and being pillaged by a smaller group of corrupt ones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: trying to get my mum to use [the] matrix

      Perhaps you could try sending Keanu Reeves around to convince her?

    3. s2bu

      Re: Enter the matrix

      IRC gives you open and distributed, just not the federated part!

  2. Liam Proven

    Pidgin still works fine. Yahoo IM is long dead, though, along with AOL AIM and MSN.

    But ICQ still works!

    Pidgin also works rather well with Telegram, which for me is a big win, as Pidgin takes about 1% of the RAM of any of those abhorrent Electron-based clients. This puts Telegram ahead of Signal, Whatsapp, Viber, Slack, or any of their kin.

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