What is the difference between slack and a normal, old school forum?
Both have threads, PMs, Images, Emoticons, etc.

Is it just the UI that got improved?

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    Notifications, integrations (with lots of apps), webhooks to your external tools (like CI tool output)

    To me, it reminds me of IRC in a modern way
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    IRC is the best. It reminds of the time when everything about the internet was still uncharted. It reminds me of that even now but in a different way. Slack is a great spin of the same concept.
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    Margaret Hamilton did lunar landing with kilobytes of ram, slack requires 6 gb just to deliver useless garbage like “omg sarah you dating brayden now omg” and “@ all 30-minute sprint ends in 5 minutes, 2 hour retro will be at the room 6” while still be lagging terribly no matter how much ram I have
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    You don't have to hit F5 to get the new messages. That's probably the most critical difference.
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    It’s more inclusive by being bi-directional
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    The server/account separation feels more intuitive for work related comms than eg. discord or irc.

    The biggest advantage over irc is how I don't need a BNC to be able to receive messages while offline, but I absolutely loathe the styling and how you can't customize it without basically dropping in entire css hacks. I prefer minimal UIs to keep noise at a minimum so you can imagine what my irc client looked like, and how I felt moving to discord.
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    @electrineer Yeah but you can't have a cool signature with a gif, so at this point it's a draw.
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    The old one probably works faster on desktop as it isn't made of Electron js crap.
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    Discord seems like a potential (R)evolution of irc ;-). If only it was decentralized and open. Discord as a standard? Who will write the RFC?
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    @AtuM That's where Matrix/Element come into play
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