Matrix IRC bridge considered harmful


I just got an email from a new-ish contributor: "I sent you some PMs about a week ago but I think you weren't online when I sent them so I'm assuming you didn't receive anything." Problem is the Matrix IRC bridge presents all IRC users as online, even when they're not. If an IRC user is offline, it lets you send private messages, but they get *silently dropped*. From Matrix, it appears as if the message was successfully delivered, but it was never actually sent to IRC.

Basically our chat has broken down into a dystopian scenario where users message other users, thinking they've successfully sent messages that were never actually sent. We've been living with this for a couple years now and it's just not OK that we tolerate it. I have no way of knowing how many messages I've missed due to this issue, but I'm sure it's causing problems for newcomers who don't realize their messages aren't being delivered.

WORKAROUND: Matrix users should ask "you there?" whenever starting a conversation, and assume your message was dropped unless you receive a response. If you get a response back, then a human is reading, at least initially. This applies to all stages of a conversation: if I sign off IRC partway through a conversation, the Matrix user has no way of knowing, so Matrix users must assume all messages sent to IRC after the last message received from IRC may be unread.

Anyway, a workaround is not a solution. Can we please either:

(a) Shut down the bridge to Matrix and force everyone to use IRC, which actually works properly; or (b) Replace our IRC with an actual Matrix server, so we get native Matrix. Matrix is very nice as long as you're not using the abysmal IRC bridge, which is unfit for purpose.

Personally, I think native Matrix would be a *lot* nicer than IRC, if we have sysadmin time to get it set up, but I'm not going to be picky here. I'd just like us to be able to trust that we're not missing important messages.

(Note I don't include rocketchat in the list of options because I don't consider it a serious option when compared to Matrix, which has become extremely popular and has a variety of client options: desktop Riot, mobile Riot, fractal, or whatever UI you prefer, sure to keep almost everyone happy. Or use the reverse IRC bridge, which I can only hope is not as awful as the bridge we're using now.)


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