Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

engi wrote

Reply to comment by jaidedctrl in signal.png by celebratedrecluse

I don't really buy the user-friendliness thing. there's plenty of web clients for xmpp. if half the effort that has gone into matrix was spent on a new xmpp client with shiny ux then it could use the existing network instead of causing further fracturing in the federated IM space (splitters!)


jaidedctrl wrote (edited )

I dunno— XMPP is a pleasure to use (I use the cheogram SMS→XMPP bridge all the time), and I wish I could use it more… but the inconsistent implementation of some important features (OMEMO, video/voice chat) is kind of a down-side.

I've tried video/voice with Pidgin before, no dice. With Jitsi (not webRTC jitsi), worked, but poorly. Haven't managed to find an Android client with video— the only good libre one I've found on F-Droid is Conversations, which is great (OMEMO, too!), but no video/voice.

Like, whenever I've talked to friends about installing an XMPP client, I remember frantically searching for which Android/iOS clients support what bits we need, and having trouble explaining the issues to them. It's just a total headache.

Not even just clients, it's servers, too. Not all servers will support everything, it's… well.

Matrix doesn't really have that problem— there's a pretty canonical client (Riot) which supports all you need, and no-one even needs to spare a thought on compatibility, because everything pretty much follows Riot. There's more consistency, it seems to be catching on in these radical nerd-spaces, so whatever.

XMPP isn't bad, and if you have a well-informed friend to introduce you to it (“use X server, use X shiny web-client”) it's pretty much perfect. In cases other than that… it can be a headache.

EDIT: Not user-friendly-related, but I figured I might as well tack onto my dumb rant.

XMPP really isn't as group-oriented as Matrix is. It supports group-chats, yes, but there is variety in client support, and… there just isn't a “culture” around it. Group chats are becoming ridiculously widespread and mainstreamed. Discord is an obvious example. If you want your chat protocol or service to have a chance at hitting it big, group chats need to be first-class shit. Matrix treats group-chats as first-class. It has a developing “group chat culture”— there are communities using it, being created on it, and growing. Sometimes circumstance outweighs technical merit— especially when it comes to a tool for communication. XMPP just doesn't have the “culture” Matrix does.

If we're trying to push a chat protocol to comrades, federation and community need to be first class. Matrix fulfills both, XMPP only one. Hell, there're even a few Raddle Matrix rooms.

On the subject of federation and community— it's common practice to see Matrix, IRC, and Discord channels merged. Bridging seems to be less common (if it ever happens?) with XMPP in group chats. At the end of the day, bridging is probably the best option for dealing with this hodge-podge of protocols and services… if there is no technical limit to bridging on XMPP, it should be more often pushed.

Fuck, sorry about this block of text.


engi wrote

matrix is certainly better than signal. I agree that the xmpp ecosystem is a bit of a mess. one way to manage it is to just say "use this client, and we'll use this server" for your org. that it federates with other servers is then seen as a bonus, not a requirement

xmpp bridging used to be a huge thing about ten years ago

another way to look at this is that perhaps you don't need to do everything with one single protocol. we have mumble for voice, email for structured+archived discussion, irc for ephemeral chat. I see some of these new protocols attempting to please every damn user, and it's bound to fail imo. matrix and mastodon stand out in that regard