Zulip chat app open-sourced by Dropbox and you can download it now on several platforms
Dropbox may be renowned for its cloud storage services, but that isn’t the only service it owns.
One such example, is an app called Zulip.
It is a group chat application, which was originally developed by a start-up pf the same name. Dropbox acquired the start-up and its app last year, because of the plethora of features it offers.
And now, Dropbox has announced that it has released Zulip under an open-source Apache license. So now, developers who are interested in working on improving the app, and users who want custom servers can get the source code for the app along with the source code for the server at the official website.
This is a very welcome move, as open sourcing the app, will ensure that it continues to not just have developer support even if Dropbox chooses to stop working on it, but it also opens the door to new and custom versions of the Instant Messaging app, built using the source code.
Zulip supports threaded group conversations, group chat, history, history search and private conversations as well. Speaking of which, users can use @username to highlight that they are talking to someone.
The app displays inline previews for image, video, and tweet, and even supports drag-and-drop file uploads. Chat wouldn’t be fun without Emoji, which thankfully is available in Zulip too.A cool feature is that the app lets you edit your messages, to safey re-word those typos. And it has desktop notifications, including audible ones, but to be honest most IM apps have this feature.
The app is developer friendly, in that it supports multi-line code and can even highlight syntax.
The best part is that the Zulip chat app is available across many platforms: Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and iOS, and Google Android. Should that not interest you, there is a web client which you can use directly from your browser as well. You can download the app for the platform of your choice from the official page.
To be frank, I’m not a big fan of the UI, which looks a bit dated. That being said, some of the unique features it offers more than make up for its flaws.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first app that Dropbox has open sourced. Previously the cloud storage giant has open sourced a password strength estimator called “zxcvbn”, a cross-language bridging library called “Djinni”, the Hackpad codebase, and the Pyston JIT for Python.