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Re: Matrix communication protocol.

From: Adonay Felipe Nogueira
Subject: Re: Matrix communication protocol.
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:47:39 -0300
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Note: I don't speak for FSF, nor for GNU.

Em 23/07/2020 18:56, Msavoritias escreveu:
>    Guix on system. I am part of the Guix Channel on Matrix.>    […]
>    I created three channels on my server I know that there
>    are some GNU channels on the server but I went forth with
>    […]
>    I noticed that there are a lot of GNU projects already there. Some of
>    them are GUIX, Octave, Gnunet, a lot of GNU channels, Linux Libre and
>    so forth.

On the subject of channels/rooms, please make sure that these are pure
Matrix channels by checking the full address, since last time I tried
(many years ago) with purple-matrix, Matrix itself doesn't tell that
very easily. Also, make sure that the official pages of the projects
advertise these channels, if not, they might not be official.

>    creating one on my server. First for Decentralization reasons.
> is the biggest server. And second is slow due to
>    the number of users there.

>    we can al ways set up an IRC bridge to talk with people on the gnu IRC
>    server.

Setting up a bridge means allocating a separate part of the server to
talk to those protocols. How this communication is made (if a guest
account is created for every person or if each of them have to manually
set their own account in case the IRC network has rules to only allow
participation of registered people) is another set of issues. The best
option I know of thus far, which also helps non-experienced and
unregistered users although possibly having some limitations on which
IRC features will be available, is to set a bot to serve as a message
relay back and forth between the target channels. Disregarding the
message relay bot solution, Matrix's bridge services seem to be similar
to XMPP's. As for the bot, as a Free Software Directory
reviewer/evaluator, I saw a submission (still unapproved) for one such
tools, which I'm trying to review as of today.

>    Second a lot of new users nowdays expect modern tooling and
>    communication. I think integrating a Matrix server will be a great way

Indeed but, let's not forget that the means of communication and data
interoperability/exchange that are still stable as of today succeeded in
such a way thanks to one specific kind of standardization that was the
norm before the growth of the Californian ideology past 2000 (i.e.: the
term coined by Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, not to be confused
with beliefs of a random person from California). The standard in
question which resisted is called "open standard", not because it simply
came from a free/libre and "open source" software project, but because
it was/is approved by a national or international standards
body/collective/workgroup — e.g.: internationally we have many
organizations, including W3C, IETF, ISO, XSF. These standards bodies
often accept members from different groups so as to make sure that
everyone has a chance to participate.

These "open standards" can of course be obsolete or not reflect a new
scenario that arose, this is why the members of the bodies can
occasionally call on the others to make updated versions, which in most
cases, even if approved, are in no way immediately mandatory.

However, when it involves standards "auto-regulated" by their own
projects, we will occasionally see lots of anomalies, such as: new
versions being approved as mandatory very fast and thus breaking
software which, despite being updated, still implement the old version;
and other group of people making and following a partially compatible
parallel standard branched from the original (e.g.: original Markdown,
GitLab/GitHub Markdown, BibTex, BibLaTeX, abnTeX2, abnTeX2cite,

It must be noted that even if "open standards" suffer from these
anomalies — e.g.: WhatsApp which was a XMPP service provider too big
(because many people recommended it instead of pointing to either a
"XMPP server list" or a local provider), and so made "FunXMPP" which
embraced XMPP, extended it, and extinguished XMPP communications); and
the many non-conforming CSV and vCard implementations —, the original
reference is not lost and the revision approval has clearly defined process.

The failure to keep those means of data exchange standardized and
interoperable opens space to the abuses described in [1].

>    Also I think having a bunch of semi-official channel using
>    Non-FreeSoftware like Riot does't help anybody.
>    […]
>    Disclaimer: I am NOT saying to use Riot or any other proprietary
>    client.

The only free/libre one I have heard so far is purple-matrix for libpurple.

>    I would like to ask is it in the works to have an official FSF/GNU
>    server in the future? Are there any blockers I can help with?

FSF already has XMPP service for their associate members.

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