Suggesting features and improvements

If you have ideas for how to make Zulip better, we’d love to hear from you! Many improvements start with a user’s suggestion. The best way to suggest a feature or an improvement is by starting a conversation in the Zulip development community. It’s a great way to engage interactively with members of the community, and explore how best to improve Zulip for you and other users.

Usually, if the discussion leads to a concrete proposal, Zulip’s product team will follow up by filing a GitHub issue to track the idea. Many conversations do not immediately lead to a GitHub issue, and that’s OK! Sometimes the time is not right to pin down a plan, or more ideas need to come in before a great proposal emerges. Regardless of whether a discussion results in immediate action, we appreciate the time everyone takes to make suggestions and brainstorm ideas.

What to include in your proposal

  • Describe your idea. It’s absolutely fine to bring up a problem without suggesting a concrete solution.

  • Provide context on how the change you are proposing would help you or your organization. It is often helpful to describe how you are using Zulip (e.g., “I work at a small startup”, or “I’m teaching a class”). This lets us combine our Zulip expertise with your requirements to come up with a great design for a feature.

  • If you are aware of a related issue in GitHub or a prior conversation in the development community, please include a link.

Starting a conversation about a suggested feature or improvement

Steps and best practices for starting a conversation:

  1. Join the Zulip development community if you don’t already have an account.

  2. Pick an appropriate channel to discuss your idea:

    • #feedback for suggestions for the Zulip web app or server. Use this channel if you aren’t sure which channel is most appropriate.

    • #mobile for suggestions for the mobile apps.

    • #desktop for suggestions that are specific to the Zulip desktop app.

    • #zulip-terminal for suggestions for the terminal app.

    • #production help for suggestions related to self-hosting Zulip.

  3. Start a new topic for discussing your suggestions, using a brief summary of your idea as the name of the topic.

If you aren’t sure where to post or how to name your topic, don’t worry! Moderators can always rename the topic, or move the thread to another channel.

Members of the development community will jump in to discuss your idea. You can help by participating in the discussion, including replying to any follow-up questions, and helping develop the proposal. The discussion may conclude with an issue being filed in GitHub to track the plan that was developed.

Filing a GitHub issue

Filing a GitHub issue can be effective when you have a very specific proposal for a feature or improvement. Steps and best practices for filing an issue:

  1. File the issue in the appropriate Zulip repository. The most commonly used repositories are:

  2. Do a quick search of the repository to see if there is already a similar request. If there is, add a comment explaining why you would also appreciate the proposed change, and make any additional suggestions you might have. Do not file a new issue.

  3. If you are aware of a related discussion in the Zulip development community, please cross-link between the issue and the discussion thread. Link to a specific message in the discussion thread, as message links will still work even if the topic is renamed or resolved.