Is Matrix a good choice?

Max Mehl max.mehl at
Wed Mar 16 16:23:51 UTC 2022

~ Dr. Trigon [2022-03-16 15:10 +0100]:
>>Free Software and offers additional value for our community, and
> What is the additional value? (just curious)

In the process of FSFE teams deciding to switch to Matrix, quite a few
have been brought up. IIRC, just from the top of my head and rephrasing:

* Reactions to messages (like thumbs-up)
* More people use Matrix, therefore easier to attract new audiences
* More reliable archiving
* Upcoming features like polls
* Federated rooms with multiple addresses allow preserving a room if the
  "original" server it was hosted on is offline temporarily or
* Easy and seamless encryption, also for group chats
* Spaces allow for easy hierarchy and organisation of rooms
* Feels more actively developed and at the same time usable on all
  servers. Good interoperability of advanced features

All these points may have downsides, and in some cases XMPP may even be
better (e.g. OMEMO has a few cryptographic advantages in terms of
perfect forward secrecy). Also the client side of Matrix is admittedly
far from perfect as the protocol is developed rapidly. Again, it's not
an obvious choice, and I hope that fair and healthy competition benefits
both (and more) worlds.

>>see defects or bad developments, but let us also try to fix these
>>issues. If they are unsolvable, one should at least try to make the
>>competing software solution (in this case XMPP, but also sysinit etc)
> That is another good point. What facts would make you state "it is unsolvable"? To me the critics cited target the foundation of Matrix and from that I concluded even if it can be fixed it might be very costly and thus it's not worth the try. Just thinking aloud...

That can be a hard or soft fact. If the repository owner or project lead
is unresponsive and thereby let's the project die slowly, issues are
unsolvable, at least in this space (forks to the rescue). Also a license
change to a proprietary license is a hard no-no for our community.

But it could also be that you have personal difficulties with lead
developers, or that you generally dislike the strategy of a project.
Well, instead of badmouthing the project then, I am suggesting to invest
your energy in a project or initiative you prefer.


Max Mehl - Programme Manager -- Free Software Foundation Europe
Contact and information: -- @mxmehl
The FSFE is a charity that empowers users to control technology

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