Matrix and IRC - Mozillians custom client?

That is true, but I wouldn’t say that’s the basic summary. The idea for checking out this client is really more about the UX. People dislike IRC because clients are usually not designed for a novice user, hence the appeal of Telegram. But Telegram is incredibly similar to IRC. With the right client, it could be indistinguishable.

I feel people like Telegram because they are already there for other groups and conversations so they don’t have to care about having another app just for other specific case. Same happens with Facebook, people are already there and the effort to use it is zero.

But that’s not always true. People had to sign up for Telegram for some reason, it’s not a very popular app, but it’s popular among Mozillians. So that has to be because of the UX and not because they were already using it. Otherwise they’d just use Facebook. Facebook can do chat pretty much exactly the same way as telegram. Or IRC, many people who use telegram had been using IRC and just didn’t like it as much.

I wouldn’t jump into conclusions that quickly. Telegram IS a very popular app in Europe and Asia, some people use it instead of Whatsapp (it’s free and have a few improvements over whatsapp).

I’m not going to comment on specific tools. Tooling is not my priority for communication (though it should be somebody’s!)

However, I will make this note
Currently, communication is really decentralised. Right now, I have the following text based things on my phone just so I can talk to mozillians.

  • WhatsApp
  • Telegram
  • IRC
  • Skype
  • Facebook Messenger

Then there’s iMessage and SMS which I use 70/30 for personal/mozilla stuff.

Condensing is needed, and here’s the list of requirements that people seem to generally have

  • Free as in Speech
  • Free as in Beer
  • Simple to use, but with some advanced functionality
  • Private messages
  • Groups
  • Not disclose personal info

I know which tool I’d choose to meet all of those requirements. But let’s reverse this discussion and look at the problems, build requirements/MVP, and then how each tool fits in to the requirements

Maybe there’s another thread that I’m missing. This one seems really tool focused. Partially my fault for saying “OOOOH MATRIXXXXXX. SHINY”

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Yes, you’re missing another one, this one was specifically for discussing a
Mozillians’ specific IRC client, and we settled on Matrix as our experiment.

We actually did discuss the problems, and the functionality people seem to
like/dislike, which is why when you saw matrix you went “ooooh shiny!”

It checks more than enough of the boxes to be worth trying out, including us
not requiring yet another platform, which is the problem with slack.

I think it’s no longer going to be possible to centralize communications. As long as different apps are popular in different demographics, there’ll be fragmentation. The best we can do is bridge communications. And matrix can probably do that. With that, everyone can continue using what they’re using. (Not to forget FOSS and openness and decentralization)

Matrix vs Telegram, for me

  • As a Telegram user, what I think lead to easy popularity of Telegram is that the contact discovery relies on phone number. This makes it possible for people to figure out when their friends are on Telegram without having to ask. I will go on and say (with no evidence as such) that this single feature is the reason why Telegram became very popular (even among Mozillians). All dinoblah had to do to get drawn into the conversation was join Telegram. A friend (with phone number) would get the notification “dinoblah joined Telegram”. They’d immediately add dinoblah to all relevant groups.

    With matrix, this contact discovery could rely on email address, I guess. (And among mozillians, that might be much more efficient getting new people join conversations).

  • Except the polish, Matrix has everything that Telegram had for me - multi device support, cloud synchronization, large groups.

  • Although replying to messages looks like a small feature, it is a very useful feature in instant messaging where topics drift very fast and your reply becomes confusing if you take more than 30 seconds to type it.

What is definitely going to be useful

  • A matrix integration with Telegram that allows messages to be synced across each other = instant win
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@leo - @JLensmeister would like to help with setting up the back-end stuff. We wanted to make sure we had your blessing before letting him go with it. When we were triaging we saw how much stuff is attached to you. :wink:

Ah so you’re staying the key is that you get notified when one of your contacts joins Telegram? This is an interesting feature. Though in the context of Mozillians I don’t think this would be a leading wanted feature.

Do facebook and google not also let you search by your contacts to find friends on a messenger service? Or is the process significantly different?

If the vouching process on Mozillians were to work a bit more like friends, and create social links, then we could use the Mozillians API to replicate this sort of notification that a friend has made an account. Also the idea of remembering contacts is not a feature of IRC servers, but could probably be done with matrix.

I’m not sure this is key. But it just occurred to me when I started thinking about it.

Contact discovery. Google shows Google+ profile of people we communicate with right next to emails, also sends notifications when contact joins Google+. Facebook has friend suggestions (which uses gmail contacts if we upload gmail contacts). Instagram notifies you when your facebook friend joins Instagram. LinkedIn has suggestions based on email contacts. Twitter notifies you when your email contact joins Twitter.

Upload contact emails, compare it with email address of new users when they signup, send notifications. (And manage the privacy :P)

Totally! I don’t think I have any secret knowledge which isn’t available in the public documentation, but if @JLensmeister wants some help/advice/whatever with config I’m happy to provide it. For the time being I really should be focusing on SSO (when I’m not doing Physics Coursework…)


Is Vector fully borked on recent Nightlies for others? is a never ending “e10s spinner of death” as of today =(

Is it just me and my ISP doing wonky stuff to the packets or general Nightly bugginess?

@matthew Any troubleshooting ideas?


It should be working okay, but the nature of /beta is that it’s not guaranteed to work at any given point. Can you check your javascript console for errors (other than warnings about failing to load avatar images?)

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¡Hola @matthew!
It seems to be working alright now, except for those pesky “(IRC)” appendages that seem to annoy most fellow Mozillian =)

Just going to drop this here:

You could fork Hermes which is open source

It’s been some time, since I’ve last followed up on this conversation, sorry for being late to the party but allow me to share my two cents on this:

I think (at least a good part of) the community has adopted Telegram pretty much okay. I’m not saying it doesn’t have any drawbacks - it has plenty, but is a good place for overall communication, and is polished in ways that’s rather easy to overlook (and this polish goes a long way in enabling the ease of communication).

Also people above taunting Telegram or IRC make it seem like we could just, with a flick of a switch, migrate all the people magically to Matrix (or any other system we decided on using as the “one true open source solution for mozillians’ communication”). I know most of you did not mean it that way, but this might be how people reading this take this, and that’s just not true.
All systems have their own momentum, it will be hard to herd people to any other system, be that from IRC or Telegram. I think the proper glues and connections are invaluable here - and that’s a good point for Matrix, for sure, being open source, and thus, hopefully, highly customizable.

The Telegram bot we were using in the Reps telegram channel solved a lot of the problems (not all, certainly), with more customizations it could solve even more - but that wouldn’t solve the inherent issues in IRC, which was used for the “backend”, or rather, Nexus of conversations happening in Telegram.

I have absolutely no problem with using Matrix as the said nexus where all other channels converge (its mentioned malleability surely helps putting the required glues in place), but I expect that to be more a nexus (such nexus that Slack actually tries to be), at least for a few years, which consumes all the content from other channels (looking at IRC, Telegram, Discourse even), aggregating and storing them (for posterity) in a single central location. On the long term, I can imagine the UX and the inherent pros of Matrix sucking away most of the users from other channels/services (but I’d imagine this would take several years and really excellent UX & performance work to happen on the clients & servers alike), but those glues need to be set in place nevertheless so the conversations are actually less, rather than more fragmented with the introduction of this new system (and we do not fall to prey the Standards-creep, as per this XKCD-classic).

What this means, is I think before any migration could possibly be happening, we need to hose (ideally in a bi-directional way) other channels - IRC and Telegram at a minimum - to this new system.

Clearing up one or two things:

Matrix is not a new communication channel. It will not be set up to create its own rooms that are exclusively accessed via itself.

Stage 1: It will be connected to IRC. The goal is to make it as appealing as possible to Telegram users. Not specifically to try to get people to stop using Telegram, but to try to make IRC appealing to the types of people who very much prefer Telegram. If we try to connect Telegram right away then there is less incentive for Telegram users to help give input on making the Vector client better. People can just use Telegram.

There are some questions about Telegram that don’t need to be answered until we think the pilot with IRC is successful. At that point things could have changed with Telegram for good or for bad. But if it’s still popular, and if there aren’t any issues raised about connecting it, then we can use Matrix to connect Telegram to IRC.

Super excited to see all the reps and staff having usernames for matrix federation.

Also I’ld strongly support the all the work groups and regional groups of Mozilla are hosted on addresses all of them bridged with their respective IRC rooms.

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Now, now, now - here I am back almost 3 years after this thread started and 11 months after the last reply; but, I’m very much interested and curious to know what happened to this project after all this amazing discussion.

I hear that we’re all cozy with Slack right now. What happened to Matrix? Where is the discussion that proved @tanner’s comment on Trying out Slack? was wrong?

Or wasn’t the Matrix PoC not sufficiently convincing enough for existing IRC / Telegram users that they had to need Slack? Was there even a Matrix PoC?
Didn’t we even consider Mattermost like @nukeador suggested in Trying out Slack?

I’m still in favor of Matrix. I’d rather see bridges

than new paved roads.

Please bring back Matrix into the scene. Get rid of Slack (saving a lot of money in the process), that evil resource hog, and herd all of those new and young users (of Slack) back to the good old IRC (via Matrix, if they wish to have a better UI/UX). Please just bring back the Matrix bridges and get rid of Slack altogether.

Matrix FTW! :metal:


We’re still looking for people interested in driving the Matrix PoC. Lots of people interested in seeing it happen, but no one with time/expertise to get it going.

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