I get that the environment is heterogeneous. It just felt a bit too lacking in clear branding compared to something like Signal.
“Is that Matrix?”
“Yes! Although technically matrix is the protocol. This is FluffyChat connected to my local HackerSpace’s Matrix instance.”
So I'm afraid the whole "Is that Matrix?", "Yes, I'm using FluffyChat/Riot/Whatever to connect to Matrix" conversation is still going to be there. Just like someone might say "ooh, what Web Browser is that?". This much is a feature, not a bug.
If I could wave a magic wand, formatting matrix usernames as “email@example.com” instead of “@alice:alice.com” feels like a similar opportunity to make things more friendly to newcomers.
It’s these little things that make a huge difference to success. TL=com/ORG=ycombinator/HOST=news addressing vs news.ycombinator.com. Or calling Outlook an “MUA” instead of just saying it’s a “mail client”.
It’s technically correct. Some people say that technically correct is the best kind of correct, but often it feels like the most convincing strategy is the one where you don’t need to add explanation or bon mots to win over opinion — people can just see it’s right.
I’m surprised that Matrix didn’t think they would benefit from trying to become well known as Matrix first, then diversify into FluffyChat etc second.
In terms of Matrix IDs, we very very deliberately made up the @user:example.com format to avoid folks ever confusing them with email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org (and to hint at a federated form of @mention notation, a bit like ActivityPub subsequently did). We find it super confusing that SIP URIs and JIDs look like email@example.com if you drop the scheme prefix (as often happens), given there's zero reason why firstname.lastname@example.org on email should be configured to correctly route to the same entity as sip:email@example.com or xmpp:firstname.lastname@example.org - and in fact the chance of it working in the general case are incredibly low (thanks to aliases, filters, routing rules, etc).
That said, we do not expect Matrix IDs to be used in the general case - we've always wanted people to discover each other based on their existing identifiers (email, phone number, etc). In practice this hasn't gone smoothly as nobody has properly solved decentralised identity (or if they have, they haven't hooked it up to Matrix yet), so we're in a bit of a limbo. But the solution is definitely not to make Matrix IDs look like email addresses.
So, my point here is that this is not "technically correct is the best kind of correct". If we renamed Riot to be "Matrix Client" we'd be quite rightly crucified by every other Matrix client developer out there. Just like Mozilla would if they renamed Firefox to be "Web browser" (even though they were effectively responsible for the modern web browser as Netscape).
However, we absolutely have made things even more unnecessarily complicated by maintaining separate brands for Riot, Modular and New Vector, hence consolidating them together. But we simply can't get away from the fact that the end result will be a Matrix client, not the Matrix client.
I mean I don't think the browser analogy is that great, it seems more the exception than the rule. Eg most IRC clients have the word IRC in them, or something very close (eg mIRC, irssi, etc). Most email clients have the word "mail" in them. Torrent clients, same. Why shouldn't a Matrix client have the word Matrix in it?
Just call it iMatrix or uMatrix or something like that, and you're removing a lot of confusion. If mIRC and uTorrent and Gmail can get away with that, so can you.
(and I also think PicoTorrent will get more downloads because it's easier to Google for)
Such as thunderbird, icedove, mutt, gnus, mew, outlook, outlook express, etc?
Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail are email services first and foremost. Most native clients do not have mail in the name.
Yes, but mail isn't the same as SMTP or IMAP or POP.
In public communication, it almost never helps to start a sentence with "well, technically".
The name told you what you could expect the technology to do. That's why it made sense to include these words in the name of email clients.
The same is not true for "Matrix".
Chat seems to be closest?
So MatrixChat might work?
Well, that's only sensible—you're not sending an SMTP message. SMTP isn't a message format. It's a wire protocol for passing along pre-formatted messages. What you're sending is a MIME message, over SMTP. (Just like you send HTML over HTTP.)
The distinction is even clearer in the email case, actually, because those same MIME messages also show up in other transfer protocols (POP, IMAP.)
There are actually a few email clients that use "MIME" in their names. But it's pretty rare.
Conveniently, though, "MIME" is short for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions", so "Mail" is actually in the name. ;)
Those get named after the overall framework (if they're not just named "fooVPN" or simply "foo") even though there's no single IPSec protocol, and many many different underlying protocols.
In English, the R makes for a good pun.
There are decent terms in the screenplay of the Matrix movie to draw from.
Despite nobody being able to spell most of them, the ship names would be good. Nebuchadnezzar, Logos, Icarus etc.
There’s also other terms such as “construct” (the local Matrix instance /site before you enter the real matrix)
Only 2 problems in computer science I guess.
And the first Matrix client was called Matrix Console. Much like all of the above, it sucked - it was a first generation thing I wrote in Angular on the Caltrain the day before we launched Matrix at TC Disrupt 2014.
So I'd say the analogy is pretty good. Riot (originally Vector) is a second gen client designed to make Matrix mass market - just like Netscape did for the Web. You can get away with the first crappy experiment being named after the protocol, but beyond that point it's just gauche.
If they had called FluffyMail they probably wouldn't be the juggernaut they are today.
That’s because swathes of people simply conflate the two. To a lot of people the icon for their web browser may as well just be called “The Internet”. I’ve heard that some single digit percentage of Google searches are people searching for Facebook.
I think you give too much credit to the level of technical knowledge of the average person.
You’re a lot less likely to try to browse to an incorrect spelling of the domain name.
Bookmarks, the solution you are looking for is bookmarks.
Work any sort of tech support and you'll find that many people who are otherwise intelligent, capable, and at the top of their field look at a computer as a box that they do certain specific things to, and it does those few things that they understand. They've never needed to delve, so they don't, and things even as simple as Windows shortcut keys outside of Ctrl-X/C/V, or any browser use beyond open it, type in the search box can be utterly mystifying.
Then take a person at that level of understanding who is paranoid that if they do something wrong they won't know how to get back, or that they'll lose their very carefully memorized workflow, and try to teach them something new. Even one small change that would save them surprising amounts of effort.
Most people _aren't_ imbeciles, but when it comes to things they don't know on "that box", the edge of the world is very sharp and bottomless.
They understand mouse, keyboard, screen,... and Internet, which is their browser.
This is not to make fun of them. I drive a car and only know where to pour gas. I have zero interest in anything else in the car, I just want it to work. Carburator? Spare tire? Not interested.
If you like car analogies so much, the car equivalent of bookmarks is programming the radio's bookmark buttons to tune your favorite stations. I am not a car mechanic, but I sure as shit can do that much. For that matter, I also know that my car doesn't have a carburetor but has a spare 'donut' tire in the trunk. You too probably know these things of your own car. Again, I am not a car mechanic and neither am I some sort of polymath genius with advanced general knowledge across a broad number of domains. Cars interest me about as much as American football, which is to say not even remotely. I'm just a regular Joe who's not a complete imbecile.
I work for 25+ years in IT in huge technological companies. I can tell you that in these technological companies the level of knowledge about things above the very basics (and how to use a bookmark is way above that) is poor to say the least.
This is something I know very well, not some kind of vague deliberation. If you have managed IT operations in a large company you would know. I therefore assume that you do not.
Now - expand this to the whole population.
And as for the car - I had to check if I had a spare a few weeks ago, when the car mechanic who was coming to fix my punctured tire asked me. He had to direct me as to where to look. I am probably an idiot, of the kind of idiots who are not interested in cars. But I do not call the ones who are not the same.
If you were stranded with a punctured tire in an area without cell service, would you have died from exposure? Or would you have figured out how to change your tire? I don't think you're an imbecile, so I think you would have figured it out. It's an easy sort of problem for an adult human to solve using little more than common sense, even if you've never been taught how to do it and never cared to learn anything about it before. The general population is capable of much more than you give them credit for.
You introduced the shoelaces level unnecessarily at the start of this whole debacle. Computers are, to the people we're holding under discussion here, a BAZILLION times more complicated. You can't make your shoes vanish by holding a lace slightly wrong. You can make your work 'disappear' in any of myriad ways, by accidentally mistaking a single keystroke, or leaving out a step, or doing something 'extra' as one person put it to me.
And the tire analogy is also skewed. Tires are another thing that's phenomenally less complicated than computer use, to someone who hasn't studied it yet.
You're holding up much simpler concepts and saying that if people can figure out a 10^3 complicated situation, they can figure out a 10^50 complicated situation.
So yeah, you indeed never worked in IT then. Never mind, this discussion is already beyond ridiculous.
Though "the web" and "the Internet" are harder to keep apart for many.
50% of the time when going to Facebook I mess up the typing and end up searching for it instead. I suspect that means I’m in those stats.
For people like my mom, I've explicitly told them to search things rather than type in URLs directly.
For downloading software for which I don't know the publisher's name, I usually look for the Wikipedia article and check the "official website" external link. Sometimes I even double-check the article's history, just to be sure.
Hope the new name is either more abstract or closely aligned to what the software actually does.
Some lazily searched synonyms for groups of people which would fit the criteria of being more closely aligned include:
pack, mob, crowd, crew, gathering, rabble, syndicate, family, gang
Most of those have some negative connotations in the right (or should that be wrong) context. It's depressing to think about a chilling-esque effect on something as mundane as a chat app name.
- gives you a bad time if they see the word Riot.im on your phone
- or, lets you go about your business if they don't, or sees [generic chat app name]
If someone is intent on abusing their authority, then they will abuse it. There's no reason [generic chat app name] won't become the new "evidence" for tomorrow's abusers, even if it does accurately describe the app's function.
I appreciate the argument about not giving them cause to abuse their authority. But, as you say, if simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time is enough cause, then it is completely impossible to stay safe by keeping a low profile. The system has been designed to give citizens little control and blur the lines of criminality.
I want to clarify that I don't want anyone to suffer, especially over something as mundane as an app name. The realist in me is happy for any measures to prevent abuse to happen. The idealist in me finds it disheartening that the motivations of abusive regimes and cynical legal systems even have to be given a moment's thought.
Symbolism matters. The tongue in cheeck nature of a name such as Riot can easily get lost or deliberately mischaracterised in a heated propaganda battle.
When authorities decide whether or not to ban an app, it matters what the main purpose of the app is, and it matters what the broader public belives its purpose is.
Using an app called Riot is simply unhelpful if you're constantly defending yourself against accusations of rioting.
> - gives you a bad time if they see the word Riot.im on your phone
> - or, lets you go about your business if they don't, or sees [generic chat app name]
In my Beijing experience, the police are not out to abuse authority, just to cover their behinds. Not reporting having seen the word "Riot" on your 'phone could get them into trouble, so they will report it - which means pulling you through the mill first.
I mean, branding matters. Discord has one of the best voice chat implementations, but asking my coworkers to use it feels a bit iffy just because it has gaming-focused branding.
Riot.im's potential brand association with the act of rioting stops with the name. There is no other reference to riots, or rioting, and violence is not a core part of the brand identity. There is no rioting community that it is appealing to, or normalising.
Discord actively affiliates itself with the gaming community in all aspects of its branding. The gaming community happily embraces it despite the (universally?) negative connotations of the name. You said that you would feel iffy about recommending the app because of the gaming-focused branding, rather than the name.
I get that this is a bit pedantic, after all the decision has been made and Vector, Matrix, etc. are all fine by me anyway. I'm all for changing insensitive, inappropriate names where they refer to specific cultural/historical events/figures which society feels should no longer be celebrated. But in my opinion this is much more superficial.
disagreement between people
Even Facebook didn’t get their brand that wrong.
I'm just saying that if I am arrested and at the trial it is stated that "xyz has an app called Riot which she used for coordinating illegal gatherings", some people in the jury may understand this as proof of intent. This is especially true in a multilingual society where the app name will be translated into Chinese for the benefit of the jury.
This is why I would not use an app called Riot in Hong Kong. If you are unable to understand or emphasize with our situation then you will indeed keep arguing against me and there's nothing I can say to convince you.
Your definition of that word seems absurdly broad. Is it "chilling" that Coca-Cola can't name a soda "Rebel Red" because it would remind people of the Confederacy?
Or is it just that brands have to be pretty tame and appeal to the lowest common denominator, and issues of free speech are secondary to people actually liking the brand?
Who is trying to make ideological points through their brand anyway? And what point is "Riot.im" making that society is now losing?
My point was just that choosing a universally inoffensive name is a very common and practical part of branding.
I would object to it being called Matrix though as it's only one of the many Matrix clients. It's already becoming too major IMO :) This is probably a result of most Matrix development being done by Modular, but it should remain a multi-client network as that's one of its strengths.
They already called it Vector before, not sure what was wrong with that. Was a much better name IMO. Strong link with the name of the Matrix network.
Anyway I wonder what the new name is.
Something like MatrixClient though...?
Shares the first two letters with "Riot". Make some funny "crossed out the "ot" with an "x"" logos for the transition.
Also, they can have the "most obvious" name, because they were first, and set the standards - literally.
I mean.. Google? Yahoo? Go Daddy? Duck Duck Go?
Really I wonder how these made it past initial adoption sometimes :) I think the name is not so important as long as it doesn't have a negative context. It's more about the overall brand identity. And now they're household names.
When a consumer would google "Go daddy" before the company was popular, they probably wouldn't find much unless they had safe search off ;)
A "Yahoo" is kind of a weird person if I understand the term correctly, or a statement of joy. Searches for that wouldn't have turned up anything else until the company got big.
And Google, it would probably turn up a wikipedia page about strange looks. In fact it's quite a weird term when you think of it. Though of course wikipedia wasn't around when Google was founded.
My point is, this goes for all brands until they're popular.
But anyway we know it's not going to be Vector again. Looking forward to seeing the new name.
Same for Yahoo, or Go-daddy. I'm sure there are things besides those companies that would get hit, but it wouldn't take long for them to beat them in pagerank.
>Searches for that wouldn't have turned up anything else until the company got big.
I disagree, I think they would shoot up there considering the pretty barren wasteland of other pages about Yahoo the expression.
Vector is super overloaded. It's a very important part of mathematics. It's also an MLM that sells knives. It's also a robot.
Vector the Matrix client would have much, much more work comparatively.
I think this is very good news: it strikes me that the platform is maturing to the point that it's going to be around for a very, very long time and having a "good name" is part of that. Along with OBS it seems that the app soon to be formerly known as Riot/Matrix became a critical tool during the quarantine and will be even more so if there's an encore quarantine this fall or winter.
I can’t wait to see what they come up with on the name and the improvements in the user experience. I don’t know anyone in my circles using Riot/Matrix, and I’ve been hesitant to push it aggressively because the UI on mobile isn’t that great compared to the more popular apps. In some ways, this will be good riddance to the phone number based centralized platforms.
I'm curious what name they have or will pick. I've been using Riot for around a year now, it's great!
Also, heads up that we consciously did not optimise for a made-up name like WhatsApp or similar. Just as Matrix (and Riot, for that matter) has ended up with high search engine scores, we believe the project is strong enough to support us borrowing an existing dictionary word. If nothing else, it'd be consistent with Matrix ;P
So, apologies in advance to anyone who's hoping Riot will end up being called Sporkle or Vroomio or Flibblr... :)
I always assumed it was some trademark crap that made them drop the name Vector but I don't think they ever communicated the reason. It's very hard to find some name that's not trademarked by someone somewhere, or even a close resemblance to it.
Consider the eelo Android distribution, they had to change because one tiny consulting company had a trademark for something resembling it (not even the same name, and not the same industry at all!)
Only a single search engine hit on the first page resolves in the mathematical definition of matrix. The others include the movie franchise, a hair products company, several dictionary pages, a computer warehouse, a vehicle tracking device, and several other non-math refrences to the word matrix. On google, riot.im shows up at #26 for me.
Vector.im already seems to be the parent organization of Riot.im, so it might be confusing.
The irony is that a google search for Vector first comes up with Vector Marketing, which sells Cutco Knives.
God I remember that shitty company. They recruit University students to sell their knives to their friends and family. They're not really good knives either, just slightly better than most store knives and sold at a markup near that of really high end commercial knives.
If you founded you company in the 1980's for sure you can choose any good sounding name, even a very common fruit and it willl be alright.
But in 2020 please don't hurt the community of devellopers that deal with graphical element by reverting to such a generic random name...
Even if the Deciders called it Vector.im or Vector Messenger, and did some SEO, it wouldn't be that hard to find.
In fact Riot.im shows up at #8 on DDG and #6 on Google (for me) when "riot" is searched, even when "riot" is a very hyped up search term. (https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=riot)
Agreed it's not the best parallel to draw these days, though...
Feel transparent and understandable. I am fine with a teasing like this.
Matrix/riot/modular has the potential to be hugely disruptive. This was much needed.
Matrix should aim at becoming the email of IM and video calls, by being somewhat less obscure than XMPP. Skype and Telegram should die like Microsoft Mail and Compuserve.
If I hear the word "matrix" out of context I'm probably going to think of mathematics or material science or something else first. In other words, "matrix" is already an overloaded term, and its other meanings aren't going to go away any time soon.
It used to be there were many systems/protocols and even self-hosted in isolation email systems and bulletin boards. Some still operate to this day, though mostly delivered over the internet, but through different channels than general SMTP internet email.
That said, email is a better term than matrix, but any other term still wouldn't be the same meaning... "matrix protocol" vs "smtp" might be more narrow/accurate.
for the end user it's just an "email client" - the problem with Matrix is that people referred to Riot as Riot being the network instead of Matrix, as Riot was the main client implementation (there are more, of course, but typically less mature).
Even the Riot app page says "Decentralised, encrypted chat & collaboration powered by [matrix]" - it's not powered by Matrix, it connects to Matrix instances. The way it's described is confusing.
I hear a lot of "my email", as in "I opened up my email" or "where's my email?" Sure they could mean their email inbox, but they also mean the email client with that phrase, and don't differentiate the two at all. Much like how a web browser is still, to many (most?) people, "the Internet" (or "my Internet", as in "I clicked on my Internet").
Both Signal and WhatsApp are much better if privacy is a priority for you.
Hacker News for example is also client to server encrypted using TLS (as are most websites) but obviously our comments are still accessible in plain text.
But to address your digression: Cloud Chats (as opposed to E2EE Secret Chats) are both encrypted in transit and at rest . The difference between the MTProto implementation between Cloud Chats and Secret Chats are, at a very high level, that part of the encryption key is held by Telegram.
To be unequivocally clear, at no point are Cloud Chat messages ever stored in plaintext or sent in plaintext.
"too techie" is only too techie
if you are too techie
otherwise it is just an appropriate name
I am very glad you are moving away from riot.
makes it easier to talk about.
Riot iOS will be transparently renamed.
Riot Android will be transparently renamed and upgraded to be the app currently called RiotX.
RiotX will nag users to switch to using the new app (sorry :/)
Riot Desktop will be transparently renamed
Riot Web will continue to work on the existing URLs, but also exist on the new canonical URLs.
Using that logic would leave us to believe that they are changing the name "matrix" as well. After all, more than just "a big game company" will try to block you from trademarking it
Considering Telegram and Signal are taken, protocol is Matrix, Neo would sound quite modern. Neo is using Matrix protocol is quite logical conclusion.
in parts of the world where the language diversity is more present, some people prefer choosing a more neutral name. esperanto is sometimes used for this, especially in the free software world. example of projects you may have heard of that use an esperanto name: [krita](https://krita.org/) (means “chalk”), [monero](https://www.getmonero.org/) (means “coin”), [klavaro](https://klavaro.sourceforge.io/) (means “keyboard”). it also increases the chance to find a more unique name.
english pronunciation is a mess, and if you would hear how non-english people pronounce “riot”, you would think twice before going for an english name.
Really? This reminds me of "newspeak".
Also, that company is owned by China, so...
Uh, thanks for caring so much, but you could've just announced that when you are ready. "We are going to do something in a couple of weeks, we won't tell you what now, but we wanted to give everyone a heads up so it doesn’t come as a shock." is not very informative and sounds more like mockery.