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

Jay Daley <> Mon, 05 October 2020 20:13 UTC

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Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 09:13:53 +1300
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Trial chat services: matrix and zulip
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> On 5/10/2020, at 11:05 PM, Dave Cridland <> wrote:
> On Sat, 3 Oct 2020 at 20:51, Matthew Hodgson < <>> wrote:
>   * By deriding the bridge, you're just harming both sides of it. IETF 
> is less likely to use Matrix if they believe its XMPP bridge is as 
> irredeemably bad as you say; and meanwhile it sounds like pure XMPP is 
> off the cards anyway.
> I certainly agree that the best course of action is to have a IM solution that is as compatible with XMPP as possible. XMPP has, I think, served the IETF community well over the past decade or so, and existing deployed solutions - like Meetecho and the IETF Jabber server itself - have worked with reasonable effectiveness. The XMPP community, vendors and independent developers, have offered help with improving this too (and many from the XMPP community have gone on to do wider work within the IETF world).
> I, too, am unclear why we declare anything built privately on web technologies to be the moral equivalent of an open standard technology with specifications published through a recognised standards group and multiple interoperable implementations. One might as well use the criteria of "It's programmed in ANSI C".
> But I'm also, I confess, bewildered that the stated aim of using the likes of Zulip (which I've never heard of before, sorry) and Slack is that public XMPP services are not easily found, and yet simultaneously "XMPP is off the cards", and no public accounts will be offered.
> What's the blocker to offering accounts on the IETF XMPP server and hosting a web client?

This was ruled out by previous IETF leadership and has remained the policy since.  Technically and operationally it would be trivial to add.

I proposed the addition of user accounts a few months ago to the IESG and the Tools Team in order to address the feedback from the IETF 107 post-meeting survey, and the main concern expressed was that they would appear to be "official" jabber accounts and therefore representative of the IETF.  By contrast the zulip and matrix instances are specifically named as trials and therefore do not incur that risk.  

As that proposal was being considered, the community introduced the IETF Slack space and there were discussions in the SHMOO WG about this whole area.  In that context it did not seem appropriate to make such a change as that might be seen as acting inconsistently with the emerging community process.

I would be interested in views on this.


> Dave.
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Jay Daley
IETF Executive Director