Dropbox has released Zulip, a group chat app, under an open-source Apache license. The move, announced today, comes after Dropbox acquired Zulip in March 2014.
“The world of open source chat has for a long time been dominated by IRC and XMPP, both of which are very old and haven’t advanced materially in the last decade,” Zulip cofounder Tim Abbott wrote in a blog post on today’s news. “In comparison, Zulip starts with many useful features and integrations expected by software development teams today and has a well-engineered, maintainable codebase for those that are missing. We’re very excited to see what people build on top of Zulip.”
As a standalone group chat app, Zulip has plenty of competition, the most prominent of them being Slack. Threaded conversations — a feature of Convo and Yammer, among others — does distinguish Zulip from Slack in one important way.
Dropbox open-sourced the Hackpad collaborating text editing tool last month following that acquisition.