Zulip Chat with Tim Abbott – Episode 118

Summary

In modern work environments the email is being edged out by group chat as the preferred method of communication. The majority of the platforms used are commercial and closed source, but there is one project that is working to change that. Zulip is a project that aims to redefine how effective teams communicate and it is already gaining ground. This week Tim Abbott shares the story of how Zulip got started, how it is built, and why you might want to start using it.

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Preface

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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Tim Abbott about Zulip, a powerful open source group chat platform

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • What is Zulip and what was the initial inspiration for creating it?
    • Where does the name come from?
  • My understanding is that the project was initally intended to be a commercial product. Can you share some of the history of the acquisition by Dropbox and the journey to open sourcing it?
  • How has your experience at Dropbox influenced the evolution and implementation of the Zulip project?
  • There are a large number of group chat platforms available, both commercial and open source. How does Zulip differentiate itself from other options such as Slack or Mattermost?
  • Typically real-time communication is difficult to achieve in a WSGI application. How is Zulip architected to allow for interactive communication?
  • What have been the most challenging aspects of building and maintaining the Zulip project?
  • What is involved in installing and running a Zulip server?
    • For a large installation, what are the options for scaling it out to handle greater load?
  • There is a large and healthy community that has built up around the Zulip project. What are some of the methods that you and others have used to foster that growth and engagement?
  • What has been the most unexpected aspect of working on Zulip, whether technically or in terms of the community around it?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Zulip?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA