I’m old school cool. Real hackers chat on open, distributed platforms. Most technical discussion can be found on the Freenode IRC network. It’s not perfect, but the advantages clearly outweigh the drawbacks. Recently, I needed to join an existing large “community” on the centralized, proprietary walled garden that is the Slack network. The Problem: Connecting to the the Slack server requires that you use either the proprietary client or their proprietary web app.