[Tools-discuss] Chat services - my feedback

Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org> Wed, 17 March 2021 21:08 UTC

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Subject: [Tools-discuss] Chat services - my feedback
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For these trials I've continued to use Jabber, which I’m very familiar with, added on Matrix and used it for non-IETF use and tried Zulip regularly.

My preference by a long way is Zulip.

My reason for discounting Jabber is that the clients are simply too crude and that actively hampers my experience.  I can’t see any likelihood that will change so far as is needed to make this a competitor despite big improvements like movim.

My reason for discounting Matrix is that it’s nothing more than a working version of jabber with the same one-dimensional approach to chat.  That’s fine for a realtime conversation, but very poor for asynchronous communications as we have in the IETF.  While threading is on the roadmap [1] it’s being added as a feature not a core design choice.

Zulip on the other hand has a much more sophisticated chat model with the use of Streams and Topics within them, which has significant potential to actively enhance the work of the IETF rather than simply redirect a bunch of messages to a different platform as happens with the Jabber/Matrix.  Used well, and that would not be hard, Zulip could be a very powerful tool.  Tim April has provided some useful thoughts on that already [2].


[1]  https://github.com/vector-im/roadmap/issues/8
[2]  https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/tools-discuss/WAvOx6dkPKu-UanUYtzeNhGjydg/

Jay Daley
IETF Executive Director