Things that are stopping me from diving into Matrix:

1) No good client software. The only decent thing is Riot, which is an Electron app (read: garbage a priori)
2) No good server software. Synapse is a one-threaded Python disaster*, and Dendrite is dead**.
3) The protocol pretty much just uses HTTP polling, which means it will consume battery like crazy. Websockets? Nah.
4) There's NO EXCUSE for having IDs like "@user:domain.tld" instead of "user@domain.tld" like pretty much any federated system under the Sun has
5) What the fuck are even identity servers anyway? Communication works without them just fine, no downside, why litter the base spec with confusing useless garbage?

* don't get me wrong, I love Python, just if you wanna write something to manage thousands of connections, Python is absolutely not a way to go, gotta choose something way lighter, preferably even native and MT-ready, like Go/Rust

** don't give me "we got other priorities" crap. It's not being developed = dead.

@drequivalent We chose Riot because we have not found a mobile client that meets even minimum usability standards for any other non corporate system.
@drequivalent not if your users do not know what a server is and do not want to know.

also they wanted the ability to post pictures and videos and audio tracks.

riot for ios and droid were the only things that made the cut

@bamfic How exactly does Matrix absolve you from knowing or not knowing what a server is? In principle, it's the same as XMPP, just with "unique" ID scheme.

As far as pictures and videos are concerned, XMPP has now been supporting HTTP upload for ages, and Conversations turns links into pictures quite easily. No idea about the videos and audio though - but it doesn't mean it can't.

@drequivalent You're a nontechnical user. You download the RIOT app from Itunes or Google Play store. Enter your username and password. Done, you have an account. No need to know what a server is or how they work. You tell other people your username and they can find you, or you can search for them. Links to groups from mailinglists or websites just work. PMs work, and there's even encryption if you're paranoid.

That said, RIOT is far from perfect, and it still sucks compared to the corporate/evil mainstream apps. But, as I've said about 3 times now, we ran a side-by-side comparison a coupple years ago with all the non-corporate social media/chat apps and RIOT is the only one that wasn't too bewildering/frustrating/complicated/limited/flaky for our users (artists, producers, and DJs).

We in the open source community have a *serious* usability problem and it is creating a digital divide between those privileged enough to be technical, and those who are left to the evil corporate wolves.

Don't you think that if you use only homeserver that's preinstalled by default into the Riot app you just might as well use an evil centralized app? Cause that's what it is in the end of the day if you use it like this.

Our mission is building a decentralized system, that means making it easier for people to use different servers naturally, not piling everyone up on one server.

cc @aral

your missing the bigger picture in that the underlying network design is decentralized. so even if 99% of the population is on one server that doesn't preclude others from being a part of the network and you don't need to ask permission to join as a new person on a new server. also the whole stack is open source as opposed to proprietary and that goes a long way in potentially combating the bad actions of an implementer.

@bamfic @aral

One word:


E-mail too is federated, decentralized and open-source. Doesn't stop Google from spying on, like, a half of E-mail users. And that's more than enough for most uses. Why is that? That's because a lot of clients made G-mail the default. Even Elementary Mail, which I love, shows this (1) when you start it the first time. And when you want to use some other server, it suddenly blows up to this (2). It becomes a chore to set up, and considering E-mail, being what it is for that long, already has all kinds of autodiscovery tools like MX or SRV records or plain damn Thunderbird ISP Database, and failing all that, just poll the goddamn standard E-mail ports on the domain for auth methods, I'm prepared to wait 500 miliseconds while you do it, it's not hard.

So. Do we really need another Gmail?

@bamfic @aral

@liaizon @bamfic @aral

The real problem is that email doesn't give you the same privacy guarantees that snail mail.

They can spy on you, cancel your account if you get in legal trouble in ONE country, and you're still vulnerable to spam.

Why is it that it's a federal offense to have your snail mail interfered with, but email is handled by megacorps?

And all of our internet services depend on email. Think about it.

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral

Email is federated but e2e encryption is not a first class citizen. Matrix focuses a lot on e2e encryption even for groups.

In general you seem to underestimate Matrix folks. They know their shit and so far they managed criticisms with the class of competent people.


OK, talk with them and propose a better approach if you have one (no, XMPP is not an alternative to Matrix, they have different purposes)

@alexl @drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral

I agree, it is actually an impressive project, Matrix.

Many uninformed posts are simply not worth arguing with though 😉 letting it rest save a lot of energy.

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral You are just talking bullshit right now without having a clue of whats going on, how software and especially the specific app works or how Elementary operates.

Good job on trashing volunteer work these people put on just cause their priorities differ from yours you entitled asshole.

But of course, its those evil developers that get paid off by google, not that you need another life to make self-hosted email accessible to normal people.


@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral I should point out that Elementary's System Settings page has a spot where you can login to a Fastmail account and it will automatically send the configuration to the Mail app. Would love to see it more tightly integrated so you could do that without going to System Settings first but it's a start.

I heard they're rewriting Mail too so maybe they will more tightly integrate FastMail & hopefully others too

@revkellyn Yeah. But that would just be replacing Gmail with Fastmail. What good is that? Why not just make logging into any mail easier?

@liaizon @bamfic @aral

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral I think they are planning to add more providers. You have to understand though that they are a small team of paid employees and the rest is volunteers who have day jobs. Tackling a big rewrite of a mail app that does all this takes a shit ton of work and they don't get paid for it enough. We really need work like this to be paid for fairly if we want universal email apps like that. #Capital won't do it.

@revkellyn Well, is that just it? We're just going to add e-mail servers into the list, one-by-one? Is that the plan?

Or we can just come up with a design that supports them all with minimal effort on the users' part?

@liaizon @bamfic @aral

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral I mean yeah that would be ideal. You should be able to just enter an email address and password and the email client should be able to just configure itself based on that. But what about people using their own domain? That's where things can get fuzzy, email clients can't always tell what server to connect to or what ports on a custom domain. If you can think of a solution to that please alert the devs.

@revkellyn What server to connect to is generally what MX record poins to. Also, there's SRV records as per this spec
There's also Thunserbird's ISP database, which is basically a list of most mail providers with discovery data on them It's kinda centalised, but what the hell - you need all help you can get.
Ports are basically set in the standard. 25, 143, 465, 587, 993. Wouldn't take too much time to even poll, failing everything else.

So there's what, four autodiscovery mechanics? You should show manual conf only after all three fail or if the user explicitly says that they need manual conf.

@liaizon @bamfic @aral

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral Fair enough, perhaps it is easier than I give it credit for. I do have high hopes for Elementary's new Mail app though. Most mail apps suck and not just in the configuration department.

@revkellyn @drequivalent @bamfic @aral I think a lot of new projects underestimate the power of being able to search an app name in the centralized app stores. one of the first complaints I have heard of the fediverse is that theres no "Mastodon" or "Fediverse" app in the app stores on either monolithic platform. And when I tell them there are actually tons that doesn't work as an answer cause they are use to "The App" for things. Its something we need to work on solutions for.

@liaizon @drequivalent @bamfic @aral Ugh. That's the trouble with the centralization of the web. We expect an official app for everything now but a decade and a half ago you had your choice of email, IM, and browser apps, now we expect every service to have an app. A closed source app mind you. At least with Mastodon you can tell people to just add it to their home screen and it will basically be an app if they must have an "app".

@revkellyn We do have our choice of apps. Tusky, Fedilab, Twidere, Amaroq just to name a few.

@liaizon @bamfic @aral

Of course, but we gotta realize that people can get overwhelmed by having too much choice when they've got so much other shit to worry about. The closest thing we have to an official app is the PWA generated by our instance. It's up to the admin of each instance to recommend a client to start out with. Then inform them of other clients so they know they're not locked it. That would be approach anyway.
@liaizon @bamfic @aral

@drequivalent @revkellyn @liaizon @bamfic Well, better than having someone add Fastmail support to your “ethical desktop experience” and to have it rejected.

@revkellyn @drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral I certainly consider the duplication in functionality between the settings pane and the setup dialog to be a bit ugly from a UI design perspective.

And personally I'd split account setup into two screens in order to test if the second one is actually necessary.

@alcinnz @drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral I think the point of the settings pane is supposed to be to have one place to add all of your accounts and it would sign into all of your apps at once. Sadly, Elementary's account settings aren't feature complete yet. I hope they finish it when they finish their new installer and first run setup app.

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral google used to give everyone a XMPP account with google talk, they they switched everyone to hangouts and stopped supporting xmpp federation
having a decentralised design doesn't help you if nearly everyone is using one server

@drequivalent @liaizon @bamfic @aral
1) is federated in its hosting software, but I don't know if multiple instances even exist yet. It should be instancewise though, so you wouldn't have the default point of entry causing centralization.
2) Secure Scuttlebutt is P2P, & can replace e-mail, without the configuration problem you mention! But transferring accounts isn't available - ppl just say this is an alt of that on their profile. Not until a multiple-devices system is devised, but the community's pushing in that direction

@djenderesensjuelist That's not what I'm talking about.

Nobody is gonna replace E-mail, not with Scuttlebutt that's for sure. p2p is very bad at saving persistent data that needs to be accessed and mutated from multiple endpoints which is what E-mail and modern IM is all about. And not for the lack of trying, really.

And considering that, E-mail is fine (yes, in technical terms it's a piece of shit insecure legacy crutch show protocol which I hate, but hey, it works). We just need to find a way to hide complexity of it while not deliberately breaking its decentralized nature with assigned defaults.

@liaizon @bamfic @aral

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