The Internet was built as a kind of decentralized democracy. Change is slow and messy but it protects us from a single entity forcing their will on us.

When you move your data and social graph to a closed platform you vote for authoritarian rule.

Such choices never end well.

Many trusted their data and social graph to VK in Russia under a benevolent dictator that fought for their rights.

The Russian government saw him replaced with someone more ethically flexible and now they control those systems.

Many trusted all the Apple marketing on privacy.

In China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong we saw apps and emoji used for dissent were banned, rooms on private networks like Telegram were pressured to be banned, and encryption keys for iMessage/iCloud were handed over to the CCP.

The Oculus VR team intended to protect users on their network from excessive surveillance and abuse.

They sold to Facebook, who told them they would carry that vision forward and never require Facebook accounts.

Facebook changed their mind when they saw value in the data.

The founders of WhatsApp sought to provide easy secure communication for the masses, but scaling is hard and expensive.

Facebook offered to buy them and help them scale their vision for privacy, and keep them independent.

Spoiler: they lied.

The masses are now flocking move their data and social graphs to Signal, yet another closed network run by a well meaning benevolent dictator.

I am sure if will be different this time.

We have a choice.

HTTP is standard and controlled by no single party. You can choose whatever web browser or ISP you want and people who made different choices can all communicate and cooperate.

Same story with SMTP, ActivityPub, or Matrix.

@adfeno the matrix protocol is public and many are implementing clients and servers.

XMPP while first of its kind, is also heavily XML based and was largely developed without universal end to end encryption, or battery budget in mind.

Matrix corrects a lot of the XMPP failings that made it ineffecient and expensive to scale which is exactly why Facebook, Google, and others abandoned it for their large scale deployments.

@adfeno They intentionally didn't go the IETF route until all the major use cases are covered, however the IETF itself is in the process of moving to Matrix for their own internal use to discuss new internet protocols soooo.... Yeah.

They both leak all traffic metadata, depend on DNS and on trusting servers a lot. I hope the world can learn from #Briar

@federico3 @adfeno Briar is awesome but won't scale nearly as well. You can run your own server and house your own metadata on matrix though. Tradeoffs.

On that note, Matrix p2p is in testing now though where each client can be a server for itself automagically.

@adfeno @lrvick xmpp was designed from the start to be easy to expand and adapt to new needs: it is of course still heavily XML based (not that it really matters if you're not writing an xmpp server or a client without using an existing library), but the battery budget issues have been solved since a few years and end to end encryption is, with some caveats on the metadata that also apply to matrix, working as well as most alternatives.

The standard did have a few years of stagnation, just around the time when facebook and google started defederating from it (but afaik they kept using xmpp for quite some time, although they added some proprietary extensions with time), but it has since recovered.

@valhalla @lrvick I agree with you.

The argument that “it's bad becaus of XML” is moot. Sure it does consume more resources depending on the message, but with the for push notifications, it provides incentive for account providers to make those push services available for their own accounts, thus no longer depending on and such like.

@adfeno @valhalla @lrvick This old post comes to mind.
Yet, both JSON and XML require linear parsing and do not support zero-copy operation. It's like racing donkeys VS mules.

@lrvick @adfeno

> the matrix protocol is public and many are implementing clients and servers.

Clients, yes. But servers? I thought there was basically only one real server implementation that anyone used?

@lrvick @adfeno I'm glad Matrix exists and am glad for the work they are doing, don't get me wrong

Synapse is the proof of concept server, anyone is can make their own server code, Dendrite is one such example.
They just need to implement the different specs. This issue is that matrix is growing really fast and servers like dendrite are fairly new. There will soon be a time when dendrite catches up fully and only needs to add new features as and when they come.
@lrvick @adfeno

@lrvick @adfeno This is not true. XMPP works really well in resource constrained environments (and actually, it was developed for it, according to It does scale far better than current matrix implementations. Missing E2EE definitely is not a problem, as the core XMPP protocol is deliberately minimal. Facebook and Google simply don't want compatibility

@lrvick I don't know why then team didn't register the standards officially with a standards body such as , , or . This is my major point. Without this, team can change the specification as they see fit, without anyone even having a way to say no, nor a test period.

@adfeno Hi there, why wouldn't you mention this topic on Matrix's official forum? I think it must be worth doing so.

@ctonysem I won't be able to influence the developers that much. Better for those already registered there to raise awareness, even better if one is a developer too.

@adfeno we are seeing the test period right now. They want to see how the published spec works at scale before they take on the overhead of locking it in stone with IETF.

Meanwhile the IETF itself is using Slack and considering Matrix because there is nothing better atm.

@lrvick @adfeno Using slack is new to me in that context. The WGs I'm active in (CBOR, CoRE, ACE) still use EMail primarily, Jabber for chat during meetings, WebEx during interims and MeetEcho (which integrates Jabber) for the full meetings. Matrix and Zulip(?) got trials at the last full meeting, and at least the Matrix bridge is still up.

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