Re: Matrix IRC bridge considered harmful

On Wed, 2020-02-12 at 16:35 -0600, Michael Catanzaro wrote:
On Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 2:09 pm, Britt Yazel <bwyazel gnome org> wrote:
I have had horrible experiences with Matrix/ I'm not sure 
which of those is due to the IRC bridge or which is due to Matrix 
itself, or which is due to the clients, but I really shouldn't 'have' 
to know the chat system at that level. My experience has been awful.

Here is my suggestion: fellow Matrix proponents, let's turn off the IRC 
bridge ASAP. All we've accomplished by running the IRC bridge is 
convincing GNOME devs that Matrix is awful. I'm pretty sure that all of 
this negative feedback is about the IRC bridge.

Yeah, I also think most of the Matrix issues that people see are either
related to IRC bridging or that the public servers we rely on were

So, said differently, I would expect that anyone using a walled garden
Rocket.Chat instance (i.e. without all that baggage
will have a great user experience in comparison. But, unfortunately,
that tells us nothing about which chat system is superior.

One could do this comparison properly. But it would need setting up a
private Matrix server for GNOME (possibly without Federation) and then
checking how well it holds up when compared to Rocket.Chat.

I have no idea which option is superior. And that can be a hard
question as it might even differ depending on whether your focus is on
e.g. short term experience vs. long term technical viability. That
said, I would love to see arguments here (for oragainst each chat
system) that I can compare in a useful manner.


PS: I had a nice chat with the Rocket.Chat person at FOSDEM who was
keen on getting IRC bridging up and running on their side. He said that
when I mentioned that Red Hat had experimented with it. If someone is
serious about this, I can pass on the contact.

(We also need to fix the fractal bug that causes it to create private 
rooms set to allow participants to view only messages sent after they 
have joined the room. I guess fractal is sending the wrong permissions 
enum value when creating rooms, or something similar to that.)

On Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 2:09 pm, Britt Yazel <bwyazel gnome org> wrote:
So, the last thing I'll say is this. As a project that is trying to 
attract more users, many of whom are young, new to FOSS, and or are 
non-technology skilled professionals such as artists, designers, 
writers, etc, is Matrix really the best option? Or do you just want 
it to be the best option?

It's really the best option.

The problem with Rocket.Chat is that with only a web client, I doubt 
very many developers would actually be willing to use it. (At least, I 
don't think I'm the only one who would be hard no to a web client.) And 
honestly I have no reason to believe Rocket.Chat will exist in five 
years. Alexandre says it's another silo, rather than an 
extensively-documented backwards-compatible protocol like Matrix 
(although since Rocket.Chat is open source, I suppose it might be the 
best walled garden among walled gardens). Rocket.Chat doesn't seem 
designed to unify online communication in the same way that Matrix is, 
and honestly without a desktop client I'd say that alone leaves it far 
behind IRC. We need to select something that we can really unify our 
community behind, something that everyone will like, not something 
that's only going to be used by people who like web clients. In 
particular, we don't want to wind up with one chat community on 
Rocket.Chat and another on IRC, which is where we're heading currently 
if we keep online.


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