[Sugar-devel] [Systems] [IAEP] Social Help [was Re: New Discourse version, update available]

D. Joe sugarlabs at etrumeus.com
Sat Sep 30 17:13:45 EDT 2017

On Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 03:27:47PM +1000, James Cameron wrote:

> Cross-linking IRC and Slack via Matrix seems all the rage on the
> conference circuit, but that seems mostly a way to avoid having to
> change clients.  ;-)

I've only seen all three used together in one IRC channel, speaking from an
IRC-centric perspective. I can't say I'm a fan of the approach, but maybe
that is something that could be improved using different bridge software or
different configuration.

I *have* seen IRC+Matrix used in many channels, and have been using it in a
couple. I've just added #sugar via the matrix.org bridge to freenode, so
we'll see how that goes. I find this a moderately usable mobile experience.

As a die-hard irssi user I can assure you *I* don't do it to avoid changing
clients.  Rather, it's been to try to find a way of getting what people seem
to want when they say they want a mobile client--they often want not just an
IRC client that runs on a mobile device, they tend to want the illusion of
persistent in-channel presence that survives the rapid and frequent network
disconnects/reconnects that mobile devices tend to suffer.  This means some
form of network-side/server buffering or de facto logging. 

In any case, the combination appeals to many people who wish to use only
free-as-in-freedom software end-to-end, which can also be run in a
rehostable, decentralized, or federated way (so, Slack doesn't qualify here
at all). Matrix is the protocol. The reference software for servers,
bridges, and clients for Matrix are all completely free software.

Justin Flory has written up an introduction to using Matrix, available here:


This is a discussion that is coming up with some regularity across free
software development communities, see for instance my comments in this one:


The corresponding URL to access, for instance, the #sugar IRC channel using
across the IRC-Matrix bridge, from the Matrix side, using the Riot web
client, is:


consider that a proof-of-concept, perhaps, for using the corresponding Riot
mobile client (iOS or Android, from Google Play or from F-droid). Best use
of it requires registered accounts, one each on the IRC network side and on
the Matrix "homeserver" side (in the case above, the homeserver run at

I'm not sure how best to introduce Matrix further into our community,
especially given that we have already some mixed experience with the
"better than IRC" XMPP. 

I'm not sure Matrix is the answer to what people want. I just know that it
Works For Me, that of many of the chat systems-du-jour it is one of the few
that is end-to-end free software, and that it does have some current
acceptance and use.

D. Joe

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