Why I'm leaving Rocket Chat & Finding Alternatives


Rocket Chat has been full of bugs on iphone for over a year now.

Image upload - Broken
Changing channels - Broken (refreshes on every room change)
Menu on mobile menu - Broken, can’t select room options menu on mobile menu.
Scrolling open channels on mobile menu - Broken, as soon as you start to scroll it selects any random room.

These issues make this chat application affectively broken and useless for anyone who uses Iphone, 40% of my users.

The last working version is 4.2, and even on that one I had to hack the system to make the photo upload work. Here we are, 9 months later, and on version 5, and the system is still broken for iphone users. Yes all these issues have been reported, and I have actively participated in the reports to help get these fixed. I can prove that by showing you the thread from support in open.rocket.chat, but apparently I have been blocked by the one user I knew to be an official support agent, John Crisp, after providing him with information and offering my assistance in getting it fixed.

I can no longer expose my users to security issues that have come up since 4.2, just to have a working chat. I have reported all issues on github, tried to help in chat, and now I’m out of options. If anyone knows of an alternative that I can use, please let me know.

Server Setup Information

  • Version of Rocket.Chat Server: Any version since 4.2
  • Operating System: Centos
  • Deployment Method: tar
  • Number of Running Instances: Over 20
  • DB Replicaset Oplog: Yes
  • NodeJS Version: 12.22
  • MongoDB Version: 4.0.27
  • Proxy: apache
  • Firewalls involved:

Any additional Information

Hi! Thanks for your input. We really appreciate it.

Can you share here the github issues you have opened regarding this? Can you reproduce this error on a fresh, clean install using a docker container? Also, can you send a PR with the fix you have? It would help a lot.

While we do have a Community Support Channel as well as this forum, those are there to offer community support on a best effort basis.

John Crisp was an incredibly Community Manager. He doesn’t work for Rocket.Chat for almost a year now.

Please, check out this documentation on how to get the most out of our Community Resources:

Image upload - Unable to upload files with iphone and ipad · Issue #23483 · RocketChat/Rocket.Chat · GitHub - almost a year ago.

I can’t find the reports for the rest, but all these happen on open.rocket.chat on safari, and has been happening for a year on any install I do as well as open.rocket.chat. Yes, open.rocket.chat is broken too, so perhaps Rocket Chat Team should look at their PUBLIC version and try to debug this.

I don’t use docker, I do a manual tar install, and it’s irrelevant considering this happens on open.rocket.chat as well.

Every time I report these issues I always get referred to the app, THIS IS A BROWSER ISSUE, not an app issue.

If there was any sort of quality control at all, these problems would be found easily. Open you iphone, use open.rocket.chat, try to change rooms with the menu (scrolling required) , upload a photo or use any of the functions that I mentioned and you will see the error. This is not an error that only happening to me, these errors happen to hundreds of my users, and every one of them use an Iphone that experiences issues. This is far from an edge case, and I can not understand, for the life of me, why these issues are not detected by others, or seen by the developers. I would be pissed if I paid for this service and had these issues.

The image upload issue has been confirmed by other github users, I was told it would be fixed multiple times, and I posted a hack for, but it’s still present in your system all this time later.

I understand this is free software, but having bugs like this stay active for so long, should be taken seriously when you have a “paid service” that also has the exact same issues. I also offered to pay to have these issues fixed over on github and all I got was crickets from the Rocket Chat team.

Posting here is a last ditch effort to have Rocket Chat issues resolved and to have the best team chat service we can. I have all but given up on any other for of reporting these issues. I have reported them on Github and reported them in chat with no success, so here we are with this thread. I know I sound bitchy and direct, but what else is one to do? I am not the kind of developer that can fix these issues, and this is not an issue that can only be happening to me. If rocket chat wants to be a stable software, they need to work out these common sense bugs, considering they are the ones getting all the funding from the companies totaling over 26 million. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/rocket-chat/company_financials

Hi @serviceman - I will try to fix the upload issue by EoW (next) - or atleast share some updates with you.

If there are other issues - please list them in this thread. I’ll discuss with the community team to build a timeline for the fixes.

Thanks :pray:

These are all the issues I’m aware of.

Image upload - Which I shared the report with you.

Mobile menu to change rooms - this is best tested if you have already joined a lot of rooms, or have a lot of direct messages open. You can’t scroll to select a room because because it randomly selects whatever room you happened to tab on, to get focus on the menu, to try to scroll. It’s like it’s on a single click or something.

Can’t select sub mobile menu for room, from main mobile menu - If you do manage to have the mobile menu scroll, you still can’t select the sub menu for that room, from the mobile menu. I assume this is related to the next bug on this list.

When changing rooms/private messages, the entire rocketchat reloads, instead of just loading the room contents.

This happens on the browser version in safari and chrome on IOS. If anyone on your team were to actually use it on their iphone on safari even ONCE, they would see these issues. I have also had people on my team test directly on open.rocket.chat, and they have the same issues on that install on their browsers.

I really believe that the Rocket Chat Team needs to stop with all these new features, and actually fix the long list of existing bugs, especially the ones that hinder basic usage and can be reproduced on open.rocket.chat A release (or few) that is solely dedicated to bug fixes is really needed for this software. To be fare, even with the faults of the competition (free and paid) you can at least navigate properly on mobile, on their software. This isn’t an “or else” statement, but if basic features like navigation don’t work, I am forced to move to other software, and eventually so won’t many other users.

I’m really not trying to come across harsh, I’m in desperation mode at this point. I am thankful for the software and hate to move away from it. I have used rocket chat for years, since version 0.69.

Don’t worry about it :slight_smile: I understand.

Alright - so all of them are for IOS browsers specifically safari and chrome.

I’ll see what can be done with the upload situation first as I’d imagine that being a big blocker, not being able to use such an important feature.

Actually, I have a hack for that, so it’s really not. The navigation with the mobile menu is the biggest issue for me personally. However, with that being said, I don’t know if the hack would even work for rocket chat as I have not tested it.

Please understand, I use the software as a basic chat room for my users, I only use the most basic of features that would be required for a basic chat. I have no clue if there are any other deep problems with any features that wouldn’t be required for a basic chat room. At the same time, if I am running in to major issues, as those listed, that would stop me from using the chat, when all I require is the most basic features to work, It’s really frustrating to see dozens of new features introduced, and bugs fixed while basic navigational issues are ignored, brushed off, or what have you. I love the software, and it has served me well. Thank you for helping me and anyone else experiencing issues get through this road block so I can move forward.

Picture a new user of the software downloading the software and finding out that basic navigation doesn’t work. They would think the software is a joke, or not maintained very well, and move on to a competitor. It makes no sense to me not to put stuff like this on the top of the list. I also feel there needs to be better testing before releases are released to make sure, at the very least, basic usage remains workable, even if more advanced features don’t. While it may not be workable to test every small release, major releases should be fully tested. These issues have been present for all of version 4, and now are creeping in to version 5. That’s two major releases where basic functionality has not worked properly on mobile.

I have 7 deployments with a total of 20 instances that are used by thousands of users. I really wish Rocket Chat had some sort of way to report major issues by it’s users that have large deployments that can find bugs quickly that didn’t involve github. half the reports at github are user errors, and not actual bugs in the software. It is way too easy for these kinds of issues to stay under the radar. With github you post and pray that someone sees it. You would think that if a user has lots of people using it, and will find issues quickly, that could be put on some sort of “VIP” list, to have their issues looked at immediately, and then the Rocket Chat Team can decide if it is something that needs to be addressed right away, or can be put in to the huge list of reports at github.

Actually we do kinda have something like that, but it indeed is a very private group and not exactly something we advertise for people to join.

I was not aware of your deployment situation or how you have been using rocket.

Can I ask you to ping me on Rocket.Chat , please?

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Ping has been sent via rocket.chat

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This is exactly what I was referring to when I said “You post a problem and pray that someone will fix it” This post was started 2 weeks ago, I was told your team would try to fix the upload issue 12 days ago, I was then told to ping you 9 days ago, and now I’m ghosted, as I have not received a response to the ping. Is this how service works at Rocket Chat? I will say, at least i got a response, more than what I can say I would get over on github.

I really think it’s time for me, and anyone else who needs a stable software, to move on to another program. Perhaps one that believes in accountability, and actually wants to have a working piece of software that isn’t broken the moment you pick up an iphone.

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I completely understand your pain. I’m running an instance of RocketChat for an NGO that deals (among other things) with people with disabilities and for over 2 years the developers can’t make the screen reader under Android work correctly (it reads messages in reverse order).

I have never encountered software with developers so unwilling to solve basic accessibility bugs.

Oh well, apparently it’s just one of a thousand outstanding bugs that will never get fixed:

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With all do respect grzebo, the bug you speak of effects a small subset of users. My issue isn’t with bugs that effect a small subset of users not being fixed. My issue is with obvious navigational issues that effect every single user, and every single install on iphone, that hasn’t been addressed for well over a year. My issue is with being asked “how do you install rocket.chat” 50 times, when I have said, in every post, that it also effects open.rocket.chat. It’s like they can’t grasp the idea that EVERY SINGLE INSTALL OF ROCKET CHAT IN EXISTENCE, INCLUDING THEIR OWN, IS BROKEN for every user that uses safari or chrome on iphone. I am almost starting to believe that this is a stall tactic being used, and I’m over it. I don’t feel like I should have to play 50 questions when they can easily see the issue on their own install of rocket chat at open.rocket.chat. So perhaps they need to ask themselves how they use it, and how it’s installed, and work from their. It really should not be this hard to get navigational issues fixed when it’s easily reproducable, which has been going on for well over a year.

I know I’m not paying for this software, thank god, but there are plenty of users that are. Even if I was paying, I’d still be experiencing these issues. I might actually take advantage of their paid services if the software navigation actually worked. I feel only a fool would pay for this software in it’s current form.

I’d happily explain, in real time in chat, how to reproduce the bug and what I believe the cause of the issue is… But finding someone live in the chat at open.rocket.chat is next to impossible.

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@serviceman Please let me know what you end up moving to. I was always considering moving to Zulip but switching is a nuisance and everyone seems to just deal with the bugs because they know we’re not paying for it.

Nearly 3 weeks later and still no response at open.rocket.chat, even after them requesting for me to ping them there. Also, multiple updates on github, and non of these issues have been addressed.

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hi @serviceman the issue you pointed is in progress:

We understand that you would like to have this solved ASAP.


What about the navigational issues? That is the biggest problem because the chat can’t even be used by people on any mobile device using a browser in it’s current form?

I appreciate the photo upload issue being looked in to, I’m more concerned about the navigational issues. Thank you.


I see in the browser upload bug that someone posted a workaround for Chrome:

If you choose “Request Desktop Site” in Chrome on iOS it seems to work. After more testing, by removing iPhone from the UserAgent the issue is resolved.

Have you referred your users to that workaround?

Our of curiosity, why are your users unable to use the app version on iOS?

I actually totally agree with this statement.
STOP developing any new features, FIRST fix the annoying bugs.

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@rex, no I have not referred my users to the work around. I have 1,000’s of users that use the software weekly. I don’t have time to hold each one’s hand through the process, nor should I expect them to do a “work around” to use my sites. If a user has to do a “work around” and I direct them to the “work around” I am effectively admitting that my site is broken and that they should move on. With the “a phone that works” culture of an iphone, I’d be the laughing stock of my industry to even have that expectation of the user. Rocket Chat should be ashamed of themselves to have that expectation of a developer, especially for over a year.

As for why can’t they use the app version of IOS? Probably because they shouldn’t have to, nor should I have to be expected to support something on a 3rd party platform for the chat to work. I have a community site, to expect them to download an app to chat is ridiculous. Not only because they shouldn’t have to, it also increases my development costs greatly to skin rocket chat, and pay to launch it in the app stores. If I wanted, or need to do all that, I’ll simply develop my own software and ditch rocket chat.

Imagine how stupid this sounds. “Rocket chat is broken on iphone, if you want to use it on iphone, invest 100’s or thousands in this 3rd party platform to use our software with your community because we aren’t fixing it.”

Last, if it is SUPPOSED to work on a phone browser, then it SHOULD. If it’s not, then just say it never will and those of us that need it to can move on to other software. If I was any of the customers listed on rocket.chat, such as the British Columbia government, businesses funded by the Department of Homeland Security, and the US NAVY for God’s sake, I’d be ashamed to be tied to a piece of software that can’t even be used on a freaking phone properly.

I’m all up for fixing the software, but to ask any questions related to “Why can’t your customers do XYZ, instead of us fixing it” is a question deserving in a sarcastic answer.

Hi @serviceman

First of all, we never said we won’t fix the issue. We will. It may not be at the speed you want, but we will get there. As I mentioned before, we have a strong focus for this quarter on fixing issues after some big code refactor and improvements on QA. If you keep an eye on the PRs you can already see that.

Everybody, in every software, has a feature they want implemented or an issue they want fix. The great deal of open source is that you can go ahead, fix it yourself and contribute back with the software you are using.

Also, not everybody has the same environment as you have. Some users has a “controlled environment” where they can require some specific hardware and softwares, and might miss the use case you have, where you cannot dictate what your users should use.

I am sorry you have this experience, but trust me, getting angry and not being polite with everybody that are trying to help you, will not any good for all of us. We are doing everything we can to fix our paying customers and community issues and deliver the best open source communication platform out there.