3 convivial open source tools

POSTED: January 21, 2017

As part of the Convivial Mechanics experiments we have spent time finding and testing open source equivalents to the tools we have got used to using. I note three here for reference. I have no idea how many people know about these and I understand fully that the fact that I discovered them in the last three months says nothing at all about their popularity or lack thereof.


Mattermost looks and feels exactly like Slack. It has feature parity, and in some areas it has more advanced features than Slack. Slack has only just got threading for comments, for example, while Mattermost has had threading since we first looked at it. It also supports markdown fully, whereas Slack has a very limited set of pseudo-markdown commands to enable you to bold words, and so on.

One potential disadvantage lies in the fact that you have to deploy the open source version on your own server. Having said that John deployed it on Pixelache’s Linode in ten minutes, and it has caused no problems so far.


WeKan offers a fully-formed Trello clone that you can host yourself. It seems to have most of Trello’s features (or, more accurately, all of the features that I have used in Trello) and it has very active developers, and an active discussion forum.


OnlyOffice has two million users and offers a cloud-based office system that you can install on your own server. It includes Online Document Editors, Desktop Document Editors, Mobile Document Editors, Document Management, Mail, Projects, CRM, Calendar and Community sections.