Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC

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Zughy
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Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC

by Zughy » Post

PREVIOUS TITLE WAS: "Migrate from IRC to Element"

Hey there, I'll be short
  • IRC is way unpractical for common people. I myself have never used it before Minetest, and I've been on the internet since a lot of time. I'm still quite reluctant to use it
  • Element is similar to Discord, which is extensively used by gamers
  • Element, contrary to Discord, is FOSS (their GitHub)
  • Element runs on Matrix, probably one of the best encrypted decentralised protocols the world has ever experienced. (Matrix site)
  • Element has features IRC has not, like editing a message, deleting it (it leaves a "deleted message" notification), reacting to it, text formatting, link preview, sending pictures, calls, video calls
  • It supports different rooms, like IRC
  • It supports communities, a collection of rooms
  • It's widely used by the Veloren community, which is a FOSS RPG voxel game resembling Cube World and, actually, kicking it harder than the original. They're also more active than MT, it could create a good synergy between similar projects. (Their site)
  • It (also) supports a "keyword" notification system, which I'm in love with it
  • IRC is a dead concept nowadays
Benrob0329 already created a room on https://matrix.to/#/+minetest:tchncs.de, but it'd be cool if Minetest moved on Element officially

"Why didn't you create an issue on GitHub instead of a post here?"
Because all those issues trigger me hard, it's hell out there

Thoughts?
Last edited by Zughy on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:14, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by jas » Post

irc or bust

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

jas wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:24
irc or bust
Now, instead of being a dick, you could explain why you think is a bad idea :D

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by eyekay » Post

+1
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by ShadMOrdre » Post

IRC is tried and true. While not perfect, it's got history.

As for why not use IRC, using it is as easy as clicking this link from this wiki page.

I'm not against other options, but why reinvent the wheel here. Rather than ask an entire community to follow a few, the few are probably better off simply going with the flow.

Apps, whether web based or standalone, to achieve what is already possible seems unproductive.
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

ShadMOrdre wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 04:23
As for why not use IRC, using it is as easy as clicking this link from this wiki page.
I see your point, but Element is not that different: it doesn't even require an e-mail to be used
ShadMOrdre wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 04:23
I'm not against other options, but why reinvent the wheel here.
Because if Minetest wants to step up its game, imho it should stop to focus on a tool common people don't use anymore. This, beware, doesn't mean going on Discord - I remember Vanessa being quite reluctant and I agree with her - even if there actually is an unofficial community there (I also bet it's more active than IRC's), but it means that if there is a better wheel following the same principles of the former why not considering it? Especially when the new wheel stands closer to what people are used to nowadays and creates connections betweens similar projects.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by jas » Post

Zughy wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 18:55
jas wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:24
irc or bust
Now, instead of being a dick, you could explain why you think is a bad idea :D
Whoa! What's with the name calling, friend?

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

jas wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:02
Whoa! What's with the name calling, friend?
I asked for thoughts and your answer was "this or nothing", without any further explanation. That's pretty closed minded, useless and mildly infuriating to read for someone who's trying to help; and I'll also say disrespectful. Maybe I'm plain wrong and IRC is the best solution, but that's definitely not the way to point it out. I'm not gonna reply to this specific argument anymore, I'd like to create a debate and not a flame

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by jas » Post

Zughy wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 09:49
Thoughts?
jas wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:24
irc or bust
Zughy wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 18:55
Now, instead of being a dick, you could explain why you think is a bad idea :D
I don't need to explain myself to you. You are, however, expected to have some level of decorum.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by eyekay » Post

eyekay wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 18:56
+1
I should clarify that my post was for the first post on this topic, not for one which was made a few seconds before mine
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

A guy I know has just pointed out to me how Element could be externally bridged with IRC. It could be a compromise, idk

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by sfan5 » Post

While reading your post my first thought was that I have no idea what this "Element" thing is supposed to be.
As it turns out Element (previously riot.im) is a client for Matrix. Since Matrix is the protocol and Element just one client, this topic would more appropriately titled "Proposal: migrate from IRC to Matrix".

To the point: You can in fact already join our IRC channels via Matrix and 14 people (of 180) already do.
Recently there also was a Discord bridge set up to the unofficial MT Discord and it has led to some extra activity.
Zughy wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 09:49
  • Element runs on Matrix, probably one of the best encrypted decentralised protocols the world has ever experienced. (Matrix site)
This is a minor point, but to my knowledge most people do not use the end-to-end encryption Matrix offers, partially because not all clients implement it yet.
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Wuzzy » Post

I am neutral. If the commonity by large part decides to move to Matrix, I would probably follow. If not, then not. I have heard of Matrix before, but I just never got around to try it. This is just my laziness, but I have nothing against Matrix.

I think the features you praise aren't that important to me for now to be excited about it, lol.

Encryption is irrelevant for the chat. It's a PUBLIC chatroom. That's is the point! It's not supposed to be secret.

That having said: How big of a problem is IRC right now? Does the fact that it's IRC atm actively prevent players from joining chat? I mean, there is webchat, so everyone should be able to enter chat with a single click.

Anyway. If Element has the same appeal as proprietary Discord (as you claim), but it's actually FOSS, that would be great in moving players and whole communities off of Discord towards freedom. I have become very frustrated by other FOSS projects that only use Discord for chat, which puts you in the ironic situation that you must install a proprietary software in order to participate in FOSS development. I think the Discord usage in FOSS is a big problem, so I approve of any possible method to solve it. :-)

FOSS absolutely NEEDS projects that are ready for mass-appeal, made for Average Joe. Too many FOSS projects “criminally” neglect usability (Minetest included, by the way). But if Element gets usability right, that could be potentially be a BIG game-changer.

But note this is all theoretical, I have not looked at any of this yet because I am a lazy person. So my opinion is not final. :P
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

sfan5 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 16:38
To the point: You can in fact already join our IRC channels via Matrix and 14 people (of 180) already do.
Recently there also was a Discord bridge set up to the unofficial MT Discord and it has led to some extra activity.
Thanks for answering, I actually did. Unfortunately it doesn't send any message, aside from an RSS Bot. I've just checked the IRC log and people sent a bunch of messages today, but there is no trace in the Matrix room
Wuzzy wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 17:51
That having said: How big of a problem is IRC right now? Does the fact that it's IRC atm actively prevent players from joining chat? I mean, there is webchat, so everyone should be able to enter chat with a single click.
It's... something new generations never heard of; a few people following my MT projects - which are indeed teenagers - refuse to open it in the first place because it's "archaic". And they understand all the FOSS thing. Now imagine who doesn't care about it.
Wuzzy wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 17:51
I have become very frustrated by other FOSS projects that only use Discord for chat, which puts you in the ironic situation that you must install a proprietary software in order to participate in FOSS development.
Amen to that (or GitHub *coff coff*)

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Linuxdirk » Post

Wuzzy wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 17:51
Encryption is irrelevant for the chat. It's a PUBLIC chatroom. That's is the point! It's not supposed to be secret.
It’s more about validity and reliability and less about privacy when it comes to encryption of public chat rooms.

Yes, everyone should be able to read anything, but no-one should be able to change something.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by paramat » Post

Celeron55 recently wrote on IRC that migrating from IRC is 'unthinkable', so the decision has been made.

Many players are understandably likely to prefer other more trendy platforms, but can already use Discord or Matrix and bridge to IRC.
Devs still seem to prefer IRC. For devs there is no point migrating anywhere, all we need is to send text.
I dislike modern social networks, i would very much dislike being forced into some trendy Facebook-inspired social network to do development.

Trendy social networks come and go rapidly, so in a few years people would then be suggestng migrating again to the latest currently-trendy platform.
For devs, the wise approach is to only migrate when it is absolutely necessary.
So, it is best to stay with IRC as the dev's platform, and just bridge to whatever the currently trendy social network is, where many players will be.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by benrob0329 » Post

I dislike modern social networks, i would very much dislike being forced into some trendy Facebook-inspired social network to do development.
This is so disconnected from the discussion and uninformed its embarrassing.
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by freshreplicant » Post

Wuzzy wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 17:51
Anyway. If Element has the same appeal as proprietary Discord (as you claim), but it's actually FOSS, that would be great in moving players and whole communities off of Discord towards freedom. I have become very frustrated by other FOSS projects that only use Discord for chat, which puts you in the ironic situation that you must install a proprietary software in order to participate in FOSS development. I think the Discord usage in FOSS is a big problem, so I approve of any possible method to solve it. :-)
I think that's the big one. I'm pretty new to getting properly involved in the FOSS gaming community. Until this whole Coivd-19, staying at home business started, I had long uninstalled Discord in part due to its proprietary nature. But then I found that some social activities I had been involved in now required it for remote participation, so I reinstalled it. Then when I saw that Minetest had a very active DIscord it was just a matter of adding another server, didn't think much about it.

But since then, with people like Zughy raising this issue, it does strike me as really odd how entrenched Discord is in the FOSS community, with relatively little commentary on that fact. Makes me wonder if for others, the whole 'open source' thing is just incidental and that something else brought them to Minetest or other similar projects. Or if they feel somehow the things that are great about a game being free software somehow doesn't apply to messaging applications.

Probably doesn't help that Discord has this very smarmy Microsoft approach to the whole 'open source' issue, where apparently they <3 Open Source and brag about how many open source communities they support...while still being proprietary software: https://discord.com/open-source

I've noticed that the Unofficial Discord is probably the most active part of this community by far. It's a shame that if you're more committed to the philosophy of free software, or just don't want to add more proprietary tools to your toolkit, you'd miss out on that and maybe not even know how 'alive' this project is.

I think part of the reason that this was able to happen is right there in the name: Unofficial Discord. If the Devs are happy on IRC, that's perfect and there's no point in pushing them off of there (especially when you can bridge it easily). However, there should maybe be a more OFFICIAL stance on and support for community communications channels, that stays both true to the free software philosophy that underpins this project as well as the evolving or differing tastes of the community. The Devs love the old school, KISS IRC approach, but from the busy Unofficial Discord, it's clear the community, especially its younger members want a more full featured platform, with more modern design, reactions and all kinds of fun do-dads. If Matrix/Element or things like Rocket.chat are both free software and give the community what they want, it seems like a win win.

It wouldn't even require much from the very busy core devs...maybe even just grant the existing 'Unofficial' (see that word again?) Minetest Matrix Community the 'Official' title. Even if people stubbornly stick to Discord, it would be good to put the foot down and make the stance of this project clear.

Now, this is all based on the assumption that free software is actually important to Minetest as a project. I could be misreading it too!

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:23
I think part of the reason that this was able to happen is right there in the name: Unofficial Discord. If the Devs are happy on IRC, that's perfect and there's no point in pushing them off of there (especially when you can bridge it easily). However, there should maybe be a more OFFICIAL stance on and support for community communications channels, that stays both true to the free software philosophy that underpins this project as well as the evolving or differing tastes of the community. The Devs love the old school, KISS IRC approach, but from the busy Unofficial Discord, it's clear the community, especially its younger members want a more full featured platform, with more modern design, reactions and all kinds of fun do-dads. If Matrix/Element or things like Rocket.chat are both free software and give the community what they want, it seems like a win win.
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by v-rob » Post

I would migrate from IRC to Element if everyone else migrated too. If I had a choice, I would stick with IRC because, in general, I like programs that use less RAM and disk space. But it really doesn't make a huge difference to me.

As for making Element official but separate from IRC: I think the only way it can gain traction is if it's officially supported. Discord would be hard to unseat because of its popularity in general, not just among Minetest people. But if Element were official and promoted, then people might head over there. It doesn't sound like a bad proposal, and I have no problem with it being official, but I wouldn't be the one to take the lead in promoting it (I've never been fond of chat programs in the first place; I only use them because that's where everyone else communicates).
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Linuxdirk » Post

v-rob wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 20:14
I would migrate from IRC to Element if everyone else migrated too.
Is this “Element” thing open source and can it be accessed from command line on a remote server connected to via SSH and can the client be run as service or in a tmux session? (This is no made-up example, this is how I accessed IRC using irssi running on a server.)

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by benrob0329 » Post

Ah yes, the saga of "No, the client isn't the platform" continues after all these years.

Element is the official client for Matrix, Matrix is a decentralized HTTP+JSON based protocol for Instant Messaging. Element has integration with the Jitsi Meet service (also open source) for video conferencing. Matrix used to have it's own WebRTC signaling but this was deprecated a long time ago because it was very buggy and deemed redundant. Matrix has a lot of web-integration features built on top of it because the protocol is fairly flexible. Matrix also has a long history of having issues, namely unfocused development (sounds familiar).

Element is web based, so no you cannot access it using the terminal without some crazy next-gen tty web browser written by people who don't hate javascript. However, there are ways to access Matrix through a terminal client (such as a Wechat plugin, or curl if you're crazy) as well as local clients based on GTK, Qt, and others.

However, there is no reason to access it through a constant process running on a remote server (unless you want to run your own homeserver to connect to, as Matrix is a decentralized protocol) because it stores and retrieves chat history from the server (Matrix is account based, not device based).
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

Also, today I've noticed the Discord bridge in the IRC. Again, I'd like to underline how this could be a great possibility to push FOSS software while giving people features they're most likely to appreciate nowadays. If core devs don't want to migrate, at least please consider a bridge and to stick the "Official" term to it, as freshreplicant suggested. Everybody wins, but proprietary software

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by benrob0329 » Post

Matrix.org hosts a Freenode Bridge, these are the best you're going to get for connecting Matrix to Freenode at the moment. You can join #freenode_#minetest:matrix.org, #freenode_minetest-dev:matrix.org, etc from any matrix client to get access to the IRC channels.
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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Linuxdirk » Post

benrob0329 wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 04:41
Matrix.org hosts a Freenode Bridge, these are the best you're going to get for connecting Matrix to Freenode at the moment. You can join #freenode_#minetest:matrix.org, #freenode_minetest-dev:matrix.org, etc from any matrix client to get access to the IRC channels.
But why the extra step? Why not simply use an IRC client?

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