Re: [Tools-discuss] Trial chat services: matrix and zulip

Adam Roach <> Thu, 01 October 2020 19:21 UTC

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From: Adam Roach <>
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Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2020 14:21:47 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Trial chat services: matrix and zulip
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Sorry for the noise, folks. I *meant* to send this directly to Robert. :)


On 10/1/2020 2:20 PM, Adam Roach wrote:
> Off-list reply.
> I'm happy to hook you up with the person who did this exact evaluation 
> for Mozilla when they decided to retire IRC (for many of the same 
> reasons that the IETF needs to move off of Jabber). The punchline is 
> that they finally settled on Matrix, but there was a lot of really 
> detailed work that he did which could probably inform what y'all are 
> doing.
> /a
> On 10/1/2020 9:25 AM, Robert Sparks wrote:
>> We are deploying trials of the matrix and zulip chat services to gain
>> operational experience and get community feedback about how well these
>> services meet the need for IETF related chat.
>> We have clear evidence from the IETF 107 post-meeting survey
>> ( 
>> that many
>> IETF participants find jabber a significant problem.  This is partly 
>> due to
>> difficulties in finding a free jabber service and partly due to 
>> client issues.
>> There are two paths to try to resolve these problems, one is to 
>> improve the
>> IETF jabber service and the other is to switch to an alternative 
>> groupchat
>> solution.  The community has already taken a step on the latter path 
>> with the
>> introduction of an IETF Slack space, and we want to ensure that this 
>> path is
>> properly explored by widening the range of options to well established
>> free/open source tools.
>> The installs currently have almost no local configuration or 
>> customization.
>> Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring reconfiguring them to use
>> datatracker credentials for sign-in, and explore bridging between these
>> systems, Slack, and Jabber. One consequence of these explorations is 
>> that there
>> will  likely be times, outside of meetings, when accounts will be 
>> disrupted or
>> even removed and will have to be recreated. Initially, we suggest you 
>> use an
>> email address for the username on each service.
>> We considered running these trials using instances run by the Zulip 
>> or Matrix
>> communities. We went with instances operated by the secretariat to 
>> learn what
>> would be needed if the community felt self-hosting chat was important 
>> in the
>> long-term.
>> The services can be found at and 
>> Any matrix client can be used with the trial matrix server. There is 
>> also
>> a web client available at at
>> Similarly any zulip client can be used with the trial zulip server, 
>> which
>> has a built in web interface.
>> We would like feedback on how well each client meets chat needs during
>> meetings, both the full online IETF 109 meeting, iterims, adhocs, and 
>> hallway
>> conversations.
>> Around December, we will assess our experiences and the feedback 
>> received to
>> inform what chat services we provide in the future and how we will 
>> operate
>> them. In January, these trial instances will be taken down. We do not 
>> intend to
>> preserve or migrate any account configuration or chat history from 
>> the trial
>> instances as we move forward.
>> This does add to the potentially confusing large number of places 
>> conversation
>> might take place. We hope to address that with some level of 
>> bridging, at least
>> with Jabber, but have been cautioned by the respective development 
>> communities
>> that bridging between Zulip and Matrix is unsatisfying since the 
>> conversation
>> models in the two applications are so different.
>> The chat services are intended to be explorational and informal. 
>> However,
>> please treat them as contexts where contribution rules apply (See
>> We are not, at this time, planning to host jabber accounts. We may 
>> revisit that
>> as an option as we continue to gather more feedback.
>> Please send feedback on the services to
>> _______________________________________________
>> IETF-Announce mailing list
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