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

Adam Roach <adam@nostrum.com> Thu, 01 October 2020 19:20 UTC

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From: Adam Roach <adam@nostrum.com>
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Trial chat services: matrix and zulip
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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
> (https://www.ietf.org/media/documents/ietf-107-survey-results.pdf) 
> 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 matrix-trial1.ietf.org and 
> zulip-trial1.ietf.org.
>
> Any matrix client can be used with the trial matrix server. There is also
> a web client available at at matrix-trial1.ietf.org.
>
> 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
> https://www.ietf.org/about/note-well/).
>
> 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 tools-discuss@ietf.org
>
>
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