A few have created accounts, logged on, a chat or two then walked away, never really came back. The federated non-tech channels I'm in are pretty dead as well (hobbies and the like). Couple hundred people... maybe a post or two a month. Point being, it's not getting adopted outside of software/tech circles (almost every happening room/channel is based around some sort of software or tech solution) from what I can tell, so I end up having no use for it other than communicating with random folks ala IRC general chat.
Our goal is of course to use it as a replacement to WhatsApp / Telegram / Discord for social stuff, even though it's dominated by developers today. And we will get there (despite all the negativity on this thread :|)
This is a very regionally desirable feature, in my experience.
I have never (deliberately) sent a voice message on any platform, nor do I know anybody (well/any more) who would. But I went to a university with a high proportion of Chinese students, and it was really striking how much that feature was used (in apps that supported it obviously).
I'm just speculating, but I wondered if it was at least partly because of the tonal nature (roughly speaking: four intonations for each vowel, rendering completely different words, not just subtle changes in tone/emphasis) of mandarin, and relatively large number of different characters, making vocal communication more efficient than written; to an even greater extent than that may be true of English, for example.
I'm not really sure what I'm saying. Maybe it's not good to burn one market, maybe it is good to focus on excelling in others if (if!) the alternative is mediocrity everywhere, I don't know. Your comment just reminded me and I thought it was vaguely interesting.
Any app lacking them has no chance of gaining traction there.
I think it's because we dumped SMS (which has no voice clips) early and moved to WhatsApp (I think it's been the norm for like 8 years now in Argentina).
really dislike how people essentially just ramble on and on for what could have been one sentece or a few words.
so it costs the recipient a lot of time and concentration to get the gist of the message.
maybe a cultural thing because my wife and here friends use voice msg a lot.
In short, I don't think it's regional. It depends on the person with whom you need to communicate.
I'm not denying it's helpful/required for accessibility, I'm just talking about 'in general' large scale use of it (or not).
Maybe it's less about glasses (if you have to find your glasses to type a message I expect you also need to in order to unlock your phone, open the app, and tap the voice message button) for older people than it is about accustom to IM - the brief chatty format is more like a telephone call than a letter.
(But those I've known to use smartphones haven't used voice messages - as distinct from telephone voicemail - anyway, as I said.)
From my anecdotal/regional experience, people over 60 prefer to use voice messages almost exclusively while younger people prefer to text.
Maybe someone at telegram or whatsapp can provide statistical data to shed more light on voice message usage.
My personal pet peeve is that I have no idea what the difference is between "people" and "rooms", and why when I try to talk to a friend our chat is sometimes in one and sometimes in the other. Maybe you'd like to take a page out of the Telegram/Whatsapp book and not distinguish between the two, since they're all chats, they just sometimes have two people and sometimes more.
Best of luck, I'm really hoping to switch to Element for all my chats one day!
I still think that this is one of the more important open-source future-facing projects around and will continue supporting it, and urge others to, as well. If you dislike the hegemony of centralized services, then throw some money towards projects that support ideals you believe in.
I am a member of a social group that varies widly in age and technical experience. When I tried switching two of our members over to Element, I noticed them quickly growing upset with the app because the found it to be missing key features they expected like easily recording audio messages or the visual seperation of messages that are more than a few minutes apart.
From my personal experience with switching people from one chat app to another, people expect a replacement app to:
1. have 1:1 feature parity with the app it's replacing,
2. display all the information they've grown to rely upon,
3. and both feel and work like the app it's replacing. (even cosmetic things like text bubbles and larger font sizes)
Failing the first two points lead to the immediate dismissal of the app. Failing the last point is seen as a deficiency in the new app. Inversely, succeeding in all three leads to smooth adoption. It is why all my group is using telegram right now instead of whatsapp.
I'll have another go at switching my group to Element when/if the app gains the ability to send audio messages, but without Element looking and feeling similar its compition, I'm skeptical of my chances to succeed.
By the way, I really like Matrix and appreciate the hard work and care you're putting into this project. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Sign-up is a metric that your marketing team loves to track, but is a crazy user bottleneck.
Even if you only do it for, e.g. 6 months-1 year (spam concerns), let people chat with no account/sign-up. Let me give people a link that will let them chat with me, with no sign-up.
Element (back when we called it Riot) removed support for this a while ago BUT we are trying to design it back into the app, which you can follow https://github.com/vector-im/element-web/issues/9264
And yeah as a developer on the project, getting users into rooms quickly and chatting is a desperate goal of mine.
Whatsapp: 1) Install 2) it works. Even my 60+ relatives can handle it.
Discord: 1) install 2) it works. It also has voice/video chat rooms and a huge ecosystem of bots.
Telegram: Works, has bots, channels can be moderated, sticker packs, gifs etc fun stuff.
Discord: Works as long as Discord does not run out of VC money.
Telegram: Sends all phone numbers on your phone to a third party.
It's very strange to me to hear people describe Whatsapp as having good UX.
Having to give up your phone number and contacts is a feature for most people. They can instantly see that Marge from the office also uses WhatsApp so they can call/message them using that instead of paying for calls and SMS.
The limitations of WhatsApp web are mostly due to it being end to end encrypted. The "web client" is basically just using the phone as a proxy. It _is_ possible to have E2E encryption and allow multiple separate clients, but it's not a trivial problem to solve, thus most won't do it. (Telegram's E2E chats are device to device and not available on other clients than the one that initiated the connection.)
It's still crap, don't get me wrong. I'd rather use anything else, but at least where I live, it has critical mass and is the de facto standard.
> it has critical mass and is the de facto standard.
Yeah, it's the critical mass thing that is the most significant reason here, although it originally caught on back when simple onboarding was very unusual and that was its killer feature.
I’ll admit, the documentation isn’t perfect. But it’s pretty good, and they should be able to set it up. There’s a few things I think could be more explicit in the docs, but even a mediocre set of sys-admin skills should be able to fill in the gaps.
I’m not an IT guy, or a sys-admin. I’m just a lowly, mid-level web developer :) But I was recently able to successfully setup my own Synapse server as per the docs, the very first attempt.
However, to your point. A more streamlined, or ‘automatic’ installation option would be fantastic!
Also wary of it wanting to upload my contacts list - could you comment on how it’s used? Or is that entirely up to the specific app?
on the other hand, we use Matrix for all the communication in our little startup. we got some integration going on such as rss feed and notifications about new signups etc. works great as a Slack alternative.
The developers seem to really get average users, and the commitment to privacy over feature adoption schedule means every feature is as polished as the latest cryptographic design allows it to be. This means every feature is an actual feature that gives more power to the users.
Sure, there's stuff that indeed needs improvement, like usernames and registration without phone numbers, but once those come, it's likely to be polished enough not to require sudden knee-jerk patches like adding Google Captchas because a billion cryptocurrency scambots suddenly started spamming everyone, and there was no private Captcha alternative available.
I love that Signal doesn't consider privacy an individual feature (like Telegram Secret Chats) or Matrix opt-in E2EE (something that was the case at least in the past). Everything is E2EE, it's an integral property of every feature, there's no risk of downgrade attacks because the codebase never contained a non-E2EE implementation of some feature in the first place.
When working with TFC, I wanted the same with advanced properties like Onion Service based anonymity for everything, as well as endpoint security against key exfiltration, which I knew meant almost non-existent userbase due to the architectural design that requires custom HW data diode etc. I consider myself in a privileged position, I didn't have to consider every average user and that was almost exclusively due to the fact there was already a usable solution for networked TCBs, i.e. Signal, and a usable anonymity solution for networked TCBs (Ricochet and later Briar and soon cwtch.im). So I'm glad I didn't have to reinvent the wheel. Signal, Briar and Cwtch are _the_ interesting platforms. Signal is slowly taking over Telegram in terms of usability, while Briar is experimenting with an incredibly fascinating stuff like blogs and forums hosted on your personal devices' Onion Service. You could theoretically run a clone of any social media platform page for yourself from your phone, once average phones are fast enough and use fast enough Internet (5G/Wifi6 etc) to make Tor snappy (enough). Who knows, perhaps by then Signal will also run over Tor.
Signal still has usability annoyances, like this one where they decided to remove the UI for creating and leaving group chats from the desktop version in an impulse half a decade ago, and have refused to add it back again since.
On multiple occasions I ended up talking to maintainers or developers due to bugs.
It's been many years and you can barely use the official bridges for IRC and with many limitations.
Basically a split off of a subcommunity of a discord of a reddit community. (Specifically moving politics away from the community discord)
So, it is possible to move people over, but it only really works in terms of batches of people and basically as a island of people, rather than integrated into the wider community.
What good is a phone messenger app if I can't send someone a message on their phone number?
Signal just works, I use it as my day to day sms app, and it shows me who of my friends also have signal so I text them on messenger if they do, and WhatsApp if they don't.
So the real reason is Matrix just isn't even trying to compete with signal or WhatsApp, it's competing with MSN Messenger, which everyone stopped using over 15 years ago.
Element seems to be focusing more on the IRC/Slack/Discord style of communication though instead of Signal/WhatsApp. You can definitely use it for the latter (I use it for plenty of 1 on 1 conversations with RL friends) but right now it's more for channels and rooms and eventually Slack workspaces/Discord guilds.
That's all on the client end though; I'm sure someone will eventually write a Matrix client that mimics Signal/WhatsApp etc more.
The relationships between the home server, identity server, and client on Matrix are not made clear in any user friendly way in the Matrix documentation for homeserver operators so I can't imagine it's clear for end users either.
It's one of the things that I think keeps killing Matrix. Now let's see if Arathorn shows up to tell me how wrong I am. Wouldn't be the first time. Nothing inspires confidence in the maturity of a product like a CEO that joins discussions to tell users who've had bad experiences that it was their fault for not understanding the documentation. That's how Facebook got so big, don't you know?
I'm absolutely obsessed with chat solutions like Matrix and Arathorn probably doesn't remember me but I remember his attitude towards my feedback.
You may want to consider how your (seemingly legitimate) comments about the documentation might sound to Arathorn, who is obviously working hard to engage with the community and owes you nothing. For comparison, Arathorn seems to have engaged constructively with other more polite comments in this discussion.
I hate all the messengers that make you friends rat out their full phone address book (including your private phone number!) with a passion and I am very glade Matrix has not succumbed to this predatory practice like many others.
If you're interested, https://github.com/vector-im/roadmap/issues/10 is the relevant issue on the public Element roadmap: https://github.com/vector-im/roadmap/projects/1
If someone gives me their phone number I would find it to be extremely rude to them if I just pass it to some third party without their consent. And most people likely do in normal life:
"Hey Bob, can I give your phone number to Alice ? She would like to buy that furniture you re selling."
Yep people will just give their full phonebook to a third party so they can see who else is one the service (and betrayed their thrust by giving it their phone number!). I really hope this is just UX dark patterns, where the apps ask for phone book access but don't explicitly tell users how they are doing this matching. Users doing this willingly would be much worse...
I would say people didn't stop using it, rather than the service got axed.
> very privacy and security leaning in nature
were not already on Matrix?
Not all of us. Many of us realize the benefits of federation and the security implications of having a single point of failure.
It was turned on by default in May of 2020. It was available before then.
> I don't have any fear of Moxie turning and pushing backdoor keys into everyone's app.
He could, though, and you have to trust him not to. I see that as a problem.
Thanks! I do think default matters though. Do you know how they handle groups and metadata?
> He could, though, and you have to trust him not to. I see that as a problem.
Personally I don't. At the end of the day we have to trust a lot of people for society to operate. I'll stay on Signal where I can get my non privacy concerned friends connecting while all signs point to the opposite of Moxie turning. Especially considering the tradeoff of how the space is moving so fast currently. Maybe I'll revisit when no metadata E2EE group chats are widespread and Matrix creates a very simple server setup. Federation makes sense to me for mature technologies, but not for fast moving technologies.
They sure do, but you also have access to all the parts needed to maintain your own instance and so does everyone else. Failures, when they happen, are limited to instance who aren't "functioning perfectly" instead of extending to every user of a centralized system.
Just to keep everyone reading this thread on the same page: The point of failure being discussed here is the human factor. See comment ancestors for context.
Thanks for reiterating this, because I think it is a key thing people who are scanning this thread are missing.
I think this is actually the argument for a centralized system though. At least for something that's a replacement to text messaging. I think the issue with a federated system is that most people don't know how to run a server, even pretty technical people. So this makes sense as a slack replacement, but not text messaging. At least to me.
I did look into matrix, but either I have to host a server myself or I will forever be stuck on one other guys server, right? Then there is no reason to move to it and it is not really anymore federated than email.
> or I will forever be stuck on one other guys server, right
This is valid criticism at the moment.
There is work being allocated on fixing this issue, with multiple protocol drafts, but it might take a year a two before you can finally transfer accounts between servers.
In my mind a true federated service would allow me to move my stuff from one place to any other place, kinda the way I can move my domain to a new host.
The Element clients are the closest to what you could consider official clients, being made by the Element company, which does most of the Matrix design and development.
I could write a list of criticisms of Matrix's software products, organization, and track record, but the main problem is that we want an ip-native comms tool that's /actually/ decentralized.
Matrix is Open Source, federated, self-hosted Slack (plus voice calls). That's great, but that leaves you needing to trust a homeserver admin or host your own homeserver. Putting aside that there STILL isn't a finished homeserver implementation, you'll have to rely on a third party no matter what. Either it's hacker Joe (the admin of your homeserver), or the server hosting company that hosts your homeserver, or the DNS registrar who legally has to have your real identity...
It may be theoretically possible to host a homeserver without a domain name, but you'd still need to register your real name with an ISP to get a static IP.
Freedom from this kind of control should be baked into the software. Plenty of teams have tried it (retroshare, Scuttlebutt, etc.) but unfortunately none of them are quite there yet.
Keep in mind software of this kind doesn't just [poof] appear out of nowhere...it's typically built incrementally on meager budgets.
What you seem to want is a peer-to-peer solution, which at this point in time is not something Matrix has built or claims to have built.
I'm well aware that FOSS projects tend to be underfunded. Matrix is an outlier with some large grants fueling the project and opaque organizational structure.
> What you seem to want is a peer-to-peer solution, which at this point in time is not something Matrix has built or claims to have built.
Peer-to-peer is not absolutely necessary (it can be both). There's nothing wrong with routing message through a network, but e2ee is absolutely necessary, and it took until May this year for Matrix to enable that feature by default. Most importantly, in Matrix, your identity is associated with and controlled by a homeserver. It's under someone else's control. That's not good... Your identity should be under your control. We've known how to do this with asymmetric encryption for at least a couple of decades.
Except we have: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/06/02/introducing-p-2-p-matrix. We have people working on it full time, and hopefully going to evolve into hybrid P2P/Client-Server eventually as per that blog post.
Meanwhile, portable identities are also in active development (as part of P2P), as per https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/blob/neilalexander/....
> e2ee is absolutely necessary, and it took until May this year for Matrix to enable that feature by default
Sorry, you're complaining that we... did the thing you want us to do? But it took longer than you wanted? My heart bleeds.
I've managed to talk 6 people into making an account (matrix.org) and using element. None of them are linux-y or tech-y and they've mostly managed fine (apart from help with setting up e2ee, exporting keys etc which I helped with).
Is the app dead easy to use (like WhatsApp, Viber, Signal)? No it isn't but it's understandable.
Gosh sorry I remember seeing that post, but for some reason I thought it was more of a concept without anything shipped yet. I should do a better job of reading.
Wasn't complaining. I don't use Matrix.
> Meanwhile, portable identities are also in active development (as part of P2P),
Portable identities should be how it works by default. Nobody should be asked to sign up with a server and share their email address and metadata with it.
And it's better than pretty much any proprietary solution (including Slack) thanks to the ability to talk with people from outside the organization. Also, open-source doesn't hurt :)
At least, IRC had open-source servers and clients but in my opinion, it's too old nowadays.
as much as many projects could use a clean slate here, i dont think the burden of migranting them manually or the act of just dumping them is realistic.
So is much of the technology behind Discourse.
 https://discord.com/open-source (click on "OS Libraries")
A better term would be something like "Tied programmers" or "Dependent progammers". Maybe "sharecropper progammers"?
A large base of existing users, easy onboarding, and good visibility makes a big difference for many OSS projects. Using a self-hosted Git hosting system and mailing list is a lot of work—and it adds a not-insignificant barrier to entry for potential contributors. What issues exist with popular, proprietary Git and chat tools that make them unsuitable for OSS development?
What are some of the considerations you're thinking of where using a popular option is not pragmatic?
Does that include Hacker News?
And the reasons are entirely understandable:
- you don't have to run your own infrastructure
- you don't have to run your own protections against fraudulent activity, DDOSes, bots etc.
- you don't have to worry about availability on any number of platforms, including mobile
And if you look at hosted services like IRCCloud, it turns out they are not that different from Slack/Discord: closed source, for full range of capabilities you need to use their apps.
And by the point when Discord is going to get complacent (probably in a decade or so), Matrix is likely to be seen as kind of obsolete (like XMPP is now).
(Not that I'm not going to use Matrix as much as I can...)
Can't we just wait till they run out of money for all the free services they are currently giving away ?
Next they will try to agressively monetize their user base, which will make people migrate to something else - ideally self hosted or federated & based on open protocols this time.
People won't abandon Discord until all your private chat/call logs are hacked and dumped. When that happens, only a fraction say 10-15% of the userbase will look for a permanent solution (i.e. something that has always-on E2EE). My guess is about 40% will change to another service with better track record, but that isn't architecturally any more secure (i.e. that's still TLS-only). The remaining 50% will stay on the service because 1) they don't care, 2) their peers don't care or, 3) because they consider the incident response and related PR good enough.
To get people to switch from discord you need something that's faster, that just works better, that fixes some issues faster than Discord staff can fix them, and that adds something the users didn't even know they needed, say, in-game HUD for discord that fits the theme of the game or something, more intuitive management like push-to-talk management commands for the client via secondary button.
As long as it's about decentralization (value/belief system stuff) or about privacy (It's just in-game talk I don't care), and not about helping the user focus on head-shots and kill-streaks, it's not going to be adopted.
EDIT : Also, interesting that the American right has moved from Twitter to not Mastodon, but to Parler instead :
I wonder why ? Mastodon presenting itself as being too left-wing ?
(Though make no mistake, a lot of the American right is 'conservative' only in name, and is instead wildly anti-conservative both in their speech as well as in their deeds.)
IP, the Internet Protocol, was originally created for connecting networks (inter-network) using other protocols together (IPX, AppleTalk etc.). Once everyone supported IP and their own protocol everyone started using IP and the other protocols fell out of use.
I'm hoping Matrix & bridging will have the same effect. Matrix used to bridge. Then matrix used with bridging declining until nobody needs to bridge.
I think the concept shows promise, the execution is OK, and I know how hard something like this can be but the project looks mismanaged. Multiple rebrandings, multiple organizations for different commercial and non commercial purposes, simple bugs that would be found with a cursory use of the tools before release, it's like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
I still hold out hope that the project matures eventually.
I understand Matrix is a work in progress and has some improvements over existing solutions like wonky encryption and federation but you're right, it's no Discord or Slack. This is what most people want. An open source free as in beer copy of Slack or Discord with mobile apps, push notifications, and API support. My company isn't dropping a paid Slack plan with hundreds of integrations for something that kind of works just because it's free. This stuff has to be polished to be taken seriously.
Just look at iMessage which has been around for 7 years. Even Google is too inept to realize that it's what Android users want. What the hell is wrong with them?
Bullshit. the identity server has only one reference implementation. you can run your own but "This won't be very useful right now, though, and we don't recommend it." according to the faq. to date, matrix has no idea how to federate identity.
"The precise architecture of identity servers is currently in flux and subject to change as we work to fully decentralise them."
really? after six years theres no progress on it? matrix handles 9 million users but the web store hoodies and stickers were somehow a bigger priority.
As others have mentioned, identity servers only exist to map third party identifiers like email addresses or phone numbers to MXIDs. Most people just use MXIDs to start chats (mine is @cyphar:cyphar.com -- it's no more complicated than an email address). It is a useful feature to have, but given that other chat systems don't even have such a system (you can't find someone's email address using just their phone number -- GMail might implement this but that's just as centralised as Matrix's identity servers) it seems pretty unreasonable to say that Matrix's claims of decentralisation are "bullshit".
People have been working to make this system decentralised but it's actually an unreasonably hard problem to prove to everyone else that you actually have verified someone else's email address or phone number. And to be honest, I'd prefer they'd spend their time polishing the actual chat UX instead of a feature most users won't even use (let alone redesigning it to provide guarantees that only a handful of users claim to care about).
It is very important for some workflows, and we certainly need to do work to meet your concerns, but it seems a bit much to call "bullshit" on the entire project for this particular optional case.
In my opinion, it is really useless for anyone else.
Unfortunately it's simply an unsolved problem to properly federate the 3pid mappings. The long and short of it is that you need to find some way to prove to other identity servers that you properly verified a 3pid. That's theoretically possible with e-mail and DKIM, except there are too many e-mail servers that don't implement it correctly.
For phone numbers it's even worse.
I forgot: There is a working implementation of federated identity servers for e-mail, but that requires you to run an identity server on the domain of the e-mail address that you're trying to add as 3pid. That means it works fine if you host your own e-mail but it doesn't work for the gmails and hotmails of this world.
If you really want to, you can host it yourself.
There's also a Matrix URI specification in the works (https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/2312). Once that lands, we should start seeing support for Matrix URIs in applications. This will allow applications to also start recognising MXIDs and converting them into working links, which will in turn help with people's recognition of the MXID.
That's quite a harsh statement.
Are you saying that just because there's a centralised optional service for mapping Matrix IDs to phone numbers means that Matrix itself is centralised?
There is significant work being done to get matrix working p2p too, though. There is a demo of it, but it's not production ready. See https://p2p.riot.im/
And yet setting a full Matrix stack requires days of work and endless maintenance.
I'd rather use Briar or even Signal.
This is not true. People, don't let this FUD scare you.
My home server has been running for more than a year, was easy to setup (reading documentation took the most time) and takes little maintenance. Just apt update && apt upgrade.
Edit: and even if reading the documentation takes you 'days of work', you can follow a video of the server being setup in 30 minutes, including a jitsi instance for video conferencing: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/04/06/running-your-own-secure-c...
- buy a VM
- buy a domain
- configure DNS
- apt-get install
- fiddle with SSL certificates
- debug out a memory leak bug
- ask upstream and be told to use an unstable alpha release
- implement a workaround
- start investigating bridges for IRC, Slack, Telegram
- give up
In 2020 we should expect something like Briar:
- install Briar on your ws / phone. There is are no servers. Done.
It is not representative though. You do need a server and a domain name, but that isn't out of place when hosting internet based services like a chat server.
That avoids most of the need for domain, DNS configuration, SSL and SSL certificates.
A centralized chat server e.g. IRC runs on a raspberry.
Briar, as I said, runs without servers and provides also blogs and forums.
I would highly recommend looking at Zulip and telling me what you think. a good example of Zulip in action is the Rust communities Zulip instance.
Seems like an interesting study in developer-driven design: in Zulip the mental model is much better, but the appearance of the UI isn't as nice.
Apparently it's already in the protocol, just needs UI support from the clients. Not sure if they use Slack model though
When that does happen, I'm there I'd love to delete the plethora of chat apps I have to maintain for a client that works well for my tastes.
I just don't see what would motivate the incumbents to jump to Matrix?
I still don't get what is the maximum storage we can use, is it unlimited?
Try to ask your IT guy, maybe he'll know more about this!
> The Matrix standard specifies RESTful HTTP APIs for securely transmitting and replicating JSON data between Matrix-capable clients, servers and services.
It seems like a waste to try to push everything through HTTP, just because it's not being blocked (yet) by firewalls that software users might have no control over.
Especially when overwhelming IPv6 adoption seems to be finally just around the corner (with Europe having ran out of IPv4 addresses, and a lot of people, especially in Asia, never having had one in the first place), IPv6 which has a quite different approach to security than IPv4.
But of course "just around the corner" is also "not really here yet"...
Anyone has any idea what kind of performance improvements one gets with RTSP/UDP, especially for video ?
The thing is, with widespread high bandwidth internet and little funding they have to have priorities and while minimizing the number of bytes sounds interesting, it probably isn't more important than say smoothing out the user first experience
> with widespread high bandwidth internet
Well, not everywhere in the world. But this kind of compatibility is the best of both options !
As long as the code is open source, then there is always an out to create a new network, but why do that before it is actually necessary? (Basically federation is just a form of premature optimization) Communication networks should be like git repos. We should all be working in the same repo, but if sh*t hits the fan, then fork it and carry on with business.
XMPP is an IETF spec. Is Matrix?
Meanwhile, https://matrix.org/foundation is effectively its own standards body, and once Matrix is more mature I hope it'll end up being ratified by IETF or similar too.
In terms of "XMPP not being adequately improved" - XMPP is a very different proposition to Matrix. Matrix is all about replicating conversation history around the place. XMPP is message passing and pubsub.
Chat needs a stronger guiding body to keep it corralled. It's too easy and tempting to extend in incompatible ways.
Right now it is federated vs everything else really. There is no reason to think that Matrix is suddenly going to be used by regular people where XMPP was not. The bigger issue here can't be solved by purely technical means.
...and now it's bloated as well.
So far it seems pretty active.
this is not to mention that there is one usable client, element and its buggy on all platforms
I have no idea why you think it'd be acceptable for your server to randomly delete old messages from under you by default - I'd go nuts if my IMAP server or filesystem decided to spontaneously expire old data by default.
However, it's easy enough to flip the bit in the config to do so: https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/blob/ca2db5dd0c9fc430a.... If this is something that makes you hateful, I'm not sure it's Matrix's problem.
In terms of Element: yes, software has bugs, and we're working through them. weechat-matrix is very usable too, as is FluffyChat and a bunch of others.
IRC's discourse model is asynchronous and ephemeral, so if someone found IRC is enough then one will of course do expect messages to be ephemeral in any IRC replacements. Pretty sure that this is not a majority opinion, but this might be one reason.
That all being said, there are ways to make your rooms drop history if you wish through the config (and I believe it can be configured per room too).
I mean, if synapse got actually working blob storage (S3, etc) support for media, that would make it a far less balooning problem. There is some option there for it and it all ends up on disk still so I assume its a backup strategy
I personally run https://github.com/turt2live/matrix-media-repo/ which is basically a media server written in Go which has lots of bells and whistles for rentention, storage platforms and scaling.
Also what do you mean by "That are always full and require invite" ?
It's still astonishing to me that people think that open source somehow has any bearing on the issue of:
> Nobody can say what the server is doing nor what it is harvesting which could be very dangerous.
Thats still true, whether its running open source software or not. You cannot inspect the running code on a server, except, now you have to trust a whole federated mob of servers.
The problem is, say a MITM attack really happens. What is the user going to do? Will they assume it's a bug, will they press "accept" blindly without checking the fingerprints? Will they contact The Intercept to reveal MITM attacks are taking place? Will the press take their claims seriously? Will anyone on the internet drowning in misinformation, disinformation really care?
Then there's the key exfiltration problem. Snowden was very vocal about it at the beginning of the leaks. The NSA goes around E2EE by hacking endpoints and stealing keys. That's not a reason not to use E2EE of course, there are simply more threats with less capabilities but still, threats that are insane amounts of less risk-averse, who won't give two shits about e.g. abusing plaintext data exfiltrated from the server. My point is if you have to deal with risks such as MITM you're probably dealing with adversaries willing to infect your endpoint as well, so you might not detect MITM attacks. For that you need better endpoint security architecture with some guarantees against key/pt exfiltration.
Plus setting up your own federated Matrix is bloody hard, especially if you want it with the key and the identity servers. Running Prosody, and XMPP server is a breeze compared to it.
ICQ vanished when MSN got distributed with Windows (at least in Hungary it did), Whatsapp ate the mobile world in a blink of an eye.
What we really need is a cross platform, sync between your clients, multi-platform, new Pidgin.
I have a 256mb vps. It is running inspircd, atheme, znc, bitlbee, ejabberd, mumble, biboumi, and xmpp.js. Plus some non-communication stuff. I ssh in maybe once a year? I have to actively remember to go check on it because it never gives me problems.
I have a 2gb vps that runs synapse. There is always something wrong. Using all of my cpu. Using all of my ram. Using a ton of network. Generally slowing down everything else on the vps. Sometimes synapse crashes or doesn't come back up after an update or reboot. I gave up trying to dig through the gigabytes of log files that are produced. Why am I out of disk space? There is a 25gb table in postgresql for synapse that is... I dunno typing events or something. Don't worry though there is an api endpoint that might fix it. Good luck. I have 5 users.
A year (maybe 2) ago I gave up on federation and I'm just running synapse with sqlite. There are a lot less but not zero problems.
I've actually considered the idea of trying to set up bifrost to log into my xmpp server to use biboumi to connect to bitlbee running purple-matrix so I can join the matrix and synapse rooms on the matrix.org server using my matrix.org account. That fact that I've even thought that is insane. As crazy as it sounds I really do (sorta) actually believe that it might be more stable for me.
My personal server sits at around 1.8GB RSZ with postgres, which is about right for a poweruser personal server. Unfortunately a 2GB VPS is still unlikely to hack it if you're federating. Meanwhile Dendrite uses ~10x less RAM, but is still beta.
I love Matrix and use it every day on a self-hosted server. But it took me at least 3-4 attempts before I got the setup working in Docker (at the time, the Docker documentation was substantially behind).
Once I got it working, some aspects are still pretty janky/I don't understand them. (Generating a homeserver.yaml file was a nightmare, hosting on one domain but addressing at another (chat.foo.bar but with COGlory@foo.bar as my user).
Getting federation working was another nightmare. Hours upon hours of trying to debug why it wasn't working, what ports weren't communicating properly, etc.
Trying to get jitsi working and/or a TURN server has also been impossible to the point where I've given up.
In fairness, I'm not a super tech savvy user - I've taken one programming class in my life, and at the time, was hosting everything off of an MSI Cubi.
And no, the default install is never that hard, not even on FreeBSD. But then, on it's own, Matrix is just yet another chat system, which I really don't need - what I would need are the bridges. And setting up the bridges are horrible.
Interestingly, people don't really consider the privacy aspect. Average users claim they don't want another messaging app, but somehow they find the willpower to jump from facebook to instagram to snapchat to tiktok to wine to telegram to periscope to kik.
My peers use have an inside joke of "stickers > human rights" which describes what motivates people. Matrix or be it any other client, needs an exclusive throw-in feature that appeals to masses, basically something that combines sharing everything like they used to on social media, something that feeds their narcissism (likes etc.), and something that's fun (think tiktok videos). Signal doesn't have it, at least yet. Matrix most certainly doesn't have it. Telegram has some of it.
The usability needs to be intuitive and thought thoroughly, and it needs to make managing (social) life easier. We've already seen this with personal could in e.g. Signal's "note to self", or Telegram's polls -feature (I'm hesitant to consider it a feature since it's inherently non-private method to share opinions to Telegram developers about something: group chats are never E2EE).
My perception of Matrix is that it fails to deliver the stuff listed above, as well as life management, ease of use, moving responsibility of hosting to some trusted peer, and even security agility and default security feel off. The only thing that makes Matrix stand out is the ideological "decentralization means no individual has control over communication" which doesn't resonate with privacy-minded users who care about E2EE-by-default-for-everything, nor to average users who don't hesitate for a second to jump from TikTok to FlobbordSocial that allows them to share videos of their Plumbus X if it gives them social acceptance and likes, i.e. dopamine spikes. These people consider apps fads that come and go, they don't really consider long-term availability because they're always looking for the new shiny thing to fill their internal void. They know they can always call/text/whatsapp their friends if Flobbord suddenly seizes to exist.