[Linux-aus] Matrix (was: Operation Anzacathon is go!)

Ben McGinnes ben at adversary.org
Tue May 5 04:19:38 AEST 2020

On Mon, May 04, 2020 at 01:09:02PM +1200, martin f krafft via linux-aus wrote:
> Regarding the following, written by "Ben McGinnes" on 2020-05-04 at 00:42 Uhr +0000:
> > I haven't used a specific IM client in a few years (not counting group
> > chat things like Discord, Slack, and IRC).  Is Matrix effectively the
> > successor to XMPP?
> The team answers this question somewhat in [their FAQs](https://matrix.org/faq/#what-is-the-difference-between-matrix-and-xmpp%3F),

Interesting.  Though digging in, I now realise that this is one of the
few projects my fellow Pirates had been waxing lyrical about a while
back.  Now I see why.

> but for most intents and purposes, and without trying to offend XMPP
> folks, I'd say: yes.

XMPP was a valiant effort, but it clearly didnt grab enough interest;
even with Google and FarceBook playing with their bastardised versions
of it (or, arguably, *because* of what happened with those

> Matrix probably can't do much what XMPP doesn't also do, but it's
> easier to get up and running to a modern standard (media,
> multi-device, encryption, real-time voice/video),

Well, if it can do real-time voice and video then it's already got one
big plus over XMPP, which never quite got that behaving properly.  It
was eternally on the todo list.

> and has a stronger governance behind it.

So I see.  Particularly in their, quite welcome, resistance to certain
nasty, exclusionary trends in a number of projects of late.

> Best to just try it out. Get a matrix.org account using
> [Riot.im](https://riot.im/app/#/) or the Riot app (Android, iOS).
> There are also other servers to choose from, for instance ones
> on [this list](https://www.hello-matrix.net/public_servers.php). You
> can also use `matrix.madduck.net` if you want.

Cheers.  I'll poke around a bit first, but I may very well do that.

> To me, the best thing about Matrix is the concept of
> [bridges](https://matrix.org/bridges), which tie in other protocols,
> so you can also use Matrix to interact with the poor sods on Slack,
> or Discord users, or even some of the (other) proprietary
> surveillance shit that comes out of Silicon Valley.

That has a definite appeal to me too.  Also interesting that it's gone
for RESTful APIs with JSON data, which means getting it to play nicely
with the other Fediverse, built on ActivityPub and ActivityStreams 2.0,
should be fairly straight forward.

Which means I should probably finalise my draft (optional) protocol to
provide end-to-end encryption for ActivityPub and ActivityStreams
using OpenPGP, [Active Cryptography](http://files.de.adversary.org/crypto/ac/index.html).

It's almost complete, I just need to re-do the key sharing method
(because the SKS servers are showing their age, but WKD isn't quite
there yet).  Well, that and code examples for it, of course, but I've
done a fair bit of the ground work on that anyway.

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