Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by benrob0329 » Post

Matrix Bridge Advantages:
  • Acts Like A Bouncer (Chat History)
  • No Multi-Device Juggling
  • One IM Client Rather Than Two (One for each service)
  • Ability To Quickly Upload Files Which Get Posted As Links IRC-Side
Matrix Bridge Disadvantages (some of these may outdated):
  • History Of Being Unstable (I think this has gotten much better since I last used them))
  • Doesn't Map All Features Perfectly Due To Fundamental Protocol Differences
Social: YouTube Peertube Matrix Room: #minetest:matrix.org | Games: The Infinite IKEA

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Linuxdirk » Post

So no real advantages but major disadvantages.

Sorry for acting as the Negative Nancy here, but I still don’t see a reason for using this over IRC.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

Linuxdirk wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 06:30
So no real advantages but major disadvantages.
People is the great advantage. Like it or not, new generations don't even know what's IRC and they grew up with Discord. Telling them IRC is the real alternative is kind of a joke for them. Element (a Matrix client), on the contrary, can be taken seriously. Remaining on IRC and on IRC only equals to those 50ish year old guys at the Linux User Groups constantly complaining why new generations don't care about FOSS when they're mentally stuck in the '90s. I mean, if core devs decided to bridge it with Discord, why not considering something which is philosophically better than Discord and that could act as a real alternative?

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by jas » Post

It's like telling someone not to use email because there is Facebook

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Linuxdirk » Post

jas wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 08:37
It's like telling someone not to use email because there is Facebook
Exactly this. But maybe there is a bridge that allows mails to be read via Facebook. This sounds like a good idea. Mails are only used by 50 years old neckbeards.

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by Zughy » Post

jas wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 08:37
It's like telling someone not to use email because there is Facebook
FB is proprietary, it tracks people and it's utterly immoral considering its algorithm and the general mindset. This is a stupid example, as Matrix is completely the opposite. Your behaviour, on the contrary, it's like saying people don't need a better wheel which makes no harm because you are fine with the actual one. Even if the majority of people are playing around with a wheel which does do harm and that's similar to the one proposed. A wheel which, ironically, now goes side by side with the one you actually like (since there is a bridge), so you might be actually profiled by Discord even if you're on IRC. You think you win, you actually lose, how does sound that?
Also, again, this is not just a matter of people, please don't cherrypick. The first post has plenty of reasons

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by freshreplicant » Post

I think as long as the proposal is to migrate all Minetest development/chat to Element, this will be dead in the water for pretty obvious reasons.

People in this thread may have reasons for disliking IRC, but if the devs do not wish to move, trying to force them or cajole them is not productive. Perhaps the title of the thread itself doesn't help in that regard, since its wording suggests the aim is to abandon IRC and move elsewhere, rather than maybe endorsing/incorporating other FOSS chat applications more officially.

The wording including 'Element' rather than 'Matrix' is also prescriptive, since Element is only one of many clients for the Matrix protocol:

https://matrix.org/clients/

Forcing or pushing users to use one protocol is enough of a challenge, without trying to also push a specific client (especially if that desktop client is based on Electron :p)!


There are other potential measures that may go some way towards addressing some of the concerns at the core of this debate.

1. Declare official support for Matrix as a supplement to the official IRC. This Matrix chat could be the 'officially sanctioned' community outlet. People will still go to Discord if they absolutely want to use proprietary tools, but at least the line has been drawn about the project's ethos and there is an official more 'modern' option for people who want one but don't like using proprietary platforms.

2. Bridge Matrix to the IRC, ensuring that neither platform is isolated and giving some cohesion to the community. I proposed this on the unofficial Matrix chat itself, but it was not received positively. No judgment, I am sure there may be valid reasons not to, but it's important to keep in mind the Unofficial Discord is fully bridged to IRC and has been for some time. Why give Discord preferential treatment?

Optionally, you could bridge Matrix to Discord too, but for Zughy and others, this might be unpalatable. It is also not entirely necessary as long as IRC is the hub/meeting point for these various platforms.

Bridge or no bridge, making Matrix an official option would certainly increase its visibility and activity.

To clarify, I am not a Matrix zealot trying to convert people, I am just of the opinion that Minetest as a FOSS project shouldn't be paralysed or embarrassed to say that it officially endorses, prefers or supports FOSS tools for its community.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Zughy » Post

freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:56
Perhaps the title of the thread itself doesn't help in that regard, since its wording suggests the aim is to abandon IRC and move elsewhere, rather than maybe endorsing/incorporating other FOSS chat applications more officially.
Title changed, and I agree with everything you said

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Linuxdirk » Post

Is it really about the protocol? For IRC modern clients exist. There are more than irssi and xChat. There are even web-based JavaScript clients if this is your thing.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by freshreplicant » Post

Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:09
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:56
Perhaps the title of the thread itself doesn't help in that regard, since its wording suggests the aim is to abandon IRC and move elsewhere, rather than maybe endorsing/incorporating other FOSS chat applications more officially.
Title changed, and I agree with everything you said
Just for the record, I said nothing about removing the Discord bridge!

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by rubenwardy » Post

Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 08:01
I mean, if core devs decided to bridge it with Discord, why not considering something which is philosophically better than Discord and that could act as a real alternative?
Because the Discord server has over 1000 users
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:56
2. Bridge Matrix to the IRC, ensuring that neither platform is isolated and giving some cohesion to the community. I proposed this on the unofficial Matrix chat itself, but it was not received positively. No judgment, I am sure there may be valid reasons not to, but it's important to keep in mind the Unofficial Discord is fully bridged to IRC and has been for some time. Why give Discord preferential treatment?
Matrix is already bridged to IRC - you can see matrix users there

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Re: Proposal: migrate from IRC to Element

by freshreplicant » Post

rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 13:52
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:56
2. Bridge Matrix to the IRC, ensuring that neither platform is isolated and giving some cohesion to the community. I proposed this on the unofficial Matrix chat itself, but it was not received positively. No judgment, I am sure there may be valid reasons not to, but it's important to keep in mind the Unofficial Discord is fully bridged to IRC and has been for some time. Why give Discord preferential treatment?
Matrix is already bridged to IRC - you can see matrix users there
Oh ok, I see! You mean Matrix and IRC are bridged on a protocol level? That makes sense. More specifically I suppose I meant the specific Unofficial Minetest Matrix room could be bridged or made official, in the sense that specifically the Unofficial Minetest Discord server is bridged. To my knowledge that isn't the case.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by freshreplicant » Post

Linuxdirk wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:58
Is it really about the protocol? For IRC modern clients exist. There are more than irssi and xChat. There are even web-based JavaScript clients if this is your thing.
I think it's hard to answer that, unless we survey the segment of the community that prefer Discord and similar tools over IRC, and then see if the features they are missing are implemented client side or through the protocol. From my experience, a very sizeable portion are using Discord over IRC.

Before I continue, here's some disclaimers:

1. I am not engaging in the argument of whether IRC or x is better.
2. I am not saying the design or UI of Discord or apps like Element is better than that of IRC clients.
3. I am not saying the features people use Discord for are objectively good or better than anything found in IRC.
4. I am also most definitely not saying ANYONE who loves the KISS style of IRC move anywhere.

I am just arguing that Discord and other 'modern'/'flashy' chat applications are popular and that perhaps a FOSS tool could be embraced as an additional official platform.

Some of the 'downsides' or 'limitations' of IRC can be strengths to its advocates, but it seems many people want to be able to do things which other protocols allow, like:

1. Edit messages
2. A flashy/modern/whatever-you-call-it UI
3. Full message history on join (within the application itself, not in a log somewhere else)
4. Connected to the point above: easily searchable message history.
5. The cheesy stuff - gifs, emojis, reactions, etc.

(Note: not an IRC expert, possible some of this is possible in IRC)

Just on point 2 above, compare the screenshots of various desktop clients below:

irssi:
https://screenshots.debian.net/screensh ... /large.png

xChat:
https://rocketfiles.com/storage/thumb/s ... shot_2.png

Discord:
https://miro.medium.com/max/500/1*q-icS ... QkNejA.png

Element (Matrix):
https://matrix.org/docs/projects/images ... -large.png

Spectral (Matrix):
https://matrix.org/docs/projects/images/spectral.png

Mirage (Matrix):
https://matrix.org/blog/img/2020-03-27- ... 5-maim.png

You can see that there's a very different design sensibility behind these applications. Please don't misjudge my point, again, I am not weighing in on 'better' or 'worse'. I am just saying they are different, and that maybe their design choices attract different types of people.

We can go full Principal Skinner on this, but at the end of the day, young people especially tend to gravitate towards non-IRC based applications.

Image

My view on this is not to destroy anything or muck up how people have been engaging with Minetest, just to expand it slightly, with an eye on embracing or not neglecting the free and open source ethos.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Linuxdirk » Post

freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:18
but at the end of the day, young people especially tend to gravitate towards non-IRC based applications.
No, they tend towards a specific UI style established by iMessage and WhatsApp.

In reality no-one cares what protocol or license is used.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by freshreplicant » Post

Linuxdirk wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:27
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:18
but at the end of the day, young people especially tend to gravitate towards non-IRC based applications.
No, they tend towards a specific UI style established by iMessage and WhatsApp.

In reality no-one cares what protocol or license is used.
That's another way of putting it, sure. I also agree, that yes, protocols and licenses are not at the forefront of your average user's mind. Yet certain features like image sharing, GIFs, reactions, etc. don't seem to be natively built into IRC, right? So even if only "behind the scenes", protocols do matter and their features or lack thereof will factor into where users go or don't go (even if they don't know what a protocol is).

Just on nobody caring about licenses, surely some of us do, as participants in the community of a FOSS game? Minetest's license is frequently held up as a reason why it's different/better/worthwhile when things like Minecraft exist or hyped-up games like Hytale are on the horizon.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Zughy » Post

freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 13:20
Just for the record, I said nothing about removing the Discord bridge!
I know, I did:
Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:11
A wheel which, ironically, now goes side by side with the one you actually like (since there is a bridge), so you might be actually profiled by Discord even if you're on IRC. You think you win, you actually lose, how does sound that?
Like, it's literally called "FREEnode" and it's bridged with something which expropriates user data. A lot of freedom in that /s
Or now I'm just the radical one? Also, the Discord can be called "unofficial" as much as people want, but since it's bridged with the official IRC is like calling "dog" a cat. Still a cat, not a dog. And this legitimise the tool. This is bad.
rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 13:52
Because the Discord server has over 1000 users
That's a really weak argument. According to this logic, Minetest official social account should be on Twitter instead of Mastodon, yet it's on the latter

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Linuxdirk » Post

freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:45
Yet certain features like image sharing, GIFs, reactions, etc. don't seem to be natively built into IRC, right?
There is DCC for sending/receiving files (SEND). A client can utilize this to display all kind of media, including sound and collaborative editing (WHITEBOARD). It also allows 1:1 connections between different clients without the IRC server being involved (CHAT).
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:45
So even if only "behind the scenes", protocols do matter and their features or lack thereof will factor into where users go or don't go (even if they don't know what a protocol is).
Except live audio and video chatting IRC is fully suitable to fulfill all common messaging services. It all depends on the used clients.
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:45
Just on nobody caring about licenses, surely some of us do
The majority of end-user does not even understand the concept of a license and why it matters. They don’t even recognize that there can be something like a discussion about licenses. (Source personal 20+ years activity inside and outside the FLOSS community).

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by rubenwardy » Post

Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 15:48
That's a really weak argument. According to this logic, Minetest official social account should be on Twitter instead of Mastodon, yet it's on the latter
There's an official twitter account here: https://twitter.com/MinetestProject

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Zughy » Post

rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 16:07
There's an official twitter account here: https://twitter.com/MinetestProject
My bad, the only thing I was to find was this: https://twitter.com/Minetest_c55. Still a weak argument

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by rubenwardy » Post

The reason the bridge was created was because the 1000 milestone was reached, and a case was made to celeron55. It's not supposed to be an argument, not should it be something we need to lock into

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Zughy » Post

But you've been locking in already. The exact moment you (MT staff) said "let's bridge it", you made it official. If someone didn't want to use IRC for whatever reason, now they have a substitute. A substitute which has being widely used for years by anyone, inside and outside FOSS development (first of all gamers, a public MT aims at), meaning a substitute people will quite likely jump into. I find paradoxical MT takes the free software stance and then it (also) relies on Discord. And like Minetest, a lot of other projects too. You staff are responsible for that, and I want this to be clear. Because you want it or not, you're accepting surveillance capitalism, and as a FOSS project, you're telling people it's fine too. It's not fine, it's mean and dehumanising. And the fact it's all around us already (Google, Amazon, Microsoft etc.), it's not a good excuse when there are tools doing basically the same thing while respecting people. One being Matrix

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Linuxdirk » Post

Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 16:36
I find paradoxical MT takes the free software stance and then it (also) relies on Discord.
It doesn’t. It was a mistake to install that bridge, though. But it was done and now can’t be revoked without cutting off people from the chat.
Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 16:36
Because you want it or not, you're accepting surveillance capitalism, and as a FOSS project, you're telling people it's fine too.
People dumb enough using Discord for anything more than irrelevant fun communication do not deserve compassion. Also please keep in mind that Minetest’s IRC channels are publicly logged.
Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 16:36
And the fact it's all around us already (Google, Amazon, Microsoft etc.)
Namely Microsoft GitHub being used as main application for issue tracking and version control.
Zughy wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 16:36
, it's not a good excuse when there are tools doing basically the same thing while respecting people. One being Matrix
You mean like the Matrix that is already bridged according to what was said in this thread?

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by freshreplicant » Post

Linuxdirk wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 16:02
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:45
Yet certain features like image sharing, GIFs, reactions, etc. don't seem to be natively built into IRC, right?
There is DCC for sending/receiving files (SEND). A client can utilize this to display all kind of media, including sound and collaborative editing (WHITEBOARD). It also allows 1:1 connections between different clients without the IRC server being involved (CHAT).
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:45
So even if only "behind the scenes", protocols do matter and their features or lack thereof will factor into where users go or don't go (even if they don't know what a protocol is).
Except live audio and video chatting IRC is fully suitable to fulfill all common messaging services. It all depends on the used clients.
freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:45
Just on nobody caring about licenses, surely some of us do
The majority of end-user does not even understand the concept of a license and why it matters. They don’t even recognize that there can be something like a discussion about licenses. (Source personal 20+ years activity inside and outside the FLOSS community).
Interesting to know that IRC has those features, have not encountered them personally in the clients I've come across, but good to know they exist.

My point however wasn't really about IRC, or what it can or can't do. I was just trying to rationalise why some people don't seem to use or want to use IRC and instead go elsewhere.

I guess part of the reason that this thread exists is that Matrix is a very popular protocol and FOSS tool that already has an unofficial Minetest community of around 200 members, with room to grow. Maybe those users are wrong and they'd be better served sticking to IRC, maybe IRC is better or more fully featured, but the point is they're not on IRC. Nor are the 1,000 or so users on Discord. In my mind, that's the people who are central to the discussion, not the people who are totally happy with IRC.

On the question of what end users do or do not care about, I think it's unproductive to distil the philosophy, ethics and benefits of free and open source software into a debate about 'licenses'. Ask people if they care about privacy, independence, user freedoms, customisability or any of the other common benefits of FOSS software, and you might get a different answer than if you ask them if they care about the LGPL or GPL.

I reckon on average more people in the community for a nerdy, hackable open source 'Minecraft-clone' care about free software than your bog standard Johnny End-user for any old software project. In my case, I would not have switched from Minecraft to Minetest if it was proprietary software, or spied on me, or was owned by Microsoft (those things often go hand in hand!).

To my mind just because most people don't care about things like privacy, free software or any other potentially beneficial idea isn't a good enough reason not to pursue them, promote them or support them. At some stage, celeron55 decided that on some level, free software matters to Minetest. Maybe it doesn't extend to the applications that the project promotes, guess that's for somebody else to decide.

I'm bowing out here though, that was my 2 cents. Seems like many of us are at cross purposes here, so it's getting nowhere.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by Linuxdirk » Post

freshreplicant wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 17:36
Ask people if they care about privacy, independence, user freedoms, customisability or any of the other common benefits of FOSS software, and you might get a different answer
I don’t think so. People just don’t care. Otherwise Facebooks services (Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook itself, etc.) wouldn’t be as popular. Same with this Chinese spyware disguised as social video app (TikTok).

People use what their friends use. A discussion outside this statement is impossible with those people (at least 99.9 percent I guess) due to the lack of a fundamental concept of that topic. The best answer you can get from the majority of people is: “Yeah, whatever.” (I tried rising awareness on security and the concept of open source to people for ages, but I eventually stopped because it’s worthless and painful.)

It’s like having a discussion about quantum physics with a toddler. It’s not their fault that they don’t understand, but they likely slobber on your papers and fill their diaper and be absolutely happy with that.

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Re: Proposal: make Matrix official as much as IRC and remove Discord bridge

by benrob0329 » Post

Oh dear, this discussion has turned into a dumpster fire. As the creator of the Matrix room and community, I feel it's only fitting for me to actually chime in with my own stance.

While IRC can theoretically have modern features (thanks to the tremendous amount of work those at the IRCv3 project have done) in practice it doesn't, not yet at least. Chat rollback won't happen on big networks like Freenode, any of the mature clients have too many "conservative" users to streamline their UX, and the more modern ones are either abandoned or majorly incomplete. The most modern and feature complete IRC clients I can recall are IrcCloud (a proprietary service) and a Web frontend for Wechat. DCC is also not an argument, as its a hugely outdated mess that is considered not only insecure (unencrypted p2p connections anyone?) but also can't get around modern IP sharing to save it's life.

Using Matrix (the protocol) as a bouncer has the major advantage that you can participate in IRC channels with persistent history and members without needing to set up a bouncer (a nontrivial task for your average user). Unfortunately when I was most active on Matrix, Matrix.org (the official homeserver) was severely under-powered and had stability issues. Last I checked the situation has improved drastically, but I don't have the recent experience to state that for sure.

People use Discord firstly because it's popular (communities are not communities without people), and secondly because Discord's Parent Company has focused on making it a fun place to hang out. FOSS platforms spend more time playing catch-up with every other IM platform and trying to appeal to so many different audiences that they generally lose focus and die. You don't appeal to the masses with privacy because the masses believe privacy is dead and we killed it. You also don't appeal to the technically minded anti-surveillance-capitalist by letting people add custom emotes.

Lastly, I made the Matrix room to spread Minetest, not Matrix. If I had wanted to spread Matrix, I would have made a client that didn't suck (same for IRC, and I pondered doing either of these for a while). I will go wherever the Minetest community is, and try to make the most of it. Would I like the Matrix channel to become official? Sure, but it doesn't need to be because the IRC channels are easily accessible from any Matrix client. At the end of the day, its better for Minetest to have more high-quality outlets, because it means we have more good visibility. I have been a moderator in both official IRC outlets and the unofficial Discord, helped convinced Ruben to make the official Mastodon account, and started a small community on Matrix (I also started the unofficial Blender room on Matrix, but that's been passed off to someone else now). People will move on from Discord someday, and if we want them to move to something more privacy minded then we have to give them a fun place to hang out that stands out from the competition (and also happens to be decentralized and standardized for those of us who care).

So basically: Be educated, be understanding, and participate where you feel comfortable.
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