Over the past 2 weeks or so I've been trialling Matrix.org as an
alternative to my IRC client. This was partly due to my own curiosity,
and partly because a few people keep suggesting Slack (my objections to
Slack are, I think, well known :P).
Overall I'm pretty impressed with Matrix, at least enough to try it out
within our community. The rooms are "plumbed-in" to the IRC rooms, so
it doesn't matter if you're on Matrix or IRC, you'll see the same
content (and not via a single 'bot' account). Indeed, I've been on a
Matrix client for the last 2 weeks and only a few people have noticed,
I think :P. A few other good points to Matrix:
- Open source (of course :P)
- Federated (but our channels are on the main matrix.org server anyway)
- Persistent by default (for all you people without IRC bouncers)
- End-to-end encryption available for private chats
- Plenty of clients (Riot.im is nice, WeeChat plugin for CLI, etc)
The only downside I can see is that only registered IRC users can
private-message a Matrix user - unregistered users get a polite message
about need to register first. This doesn't apply to channels, only PMs.
I don't feel this is too bad, registering to IRC is trivial, and most
support should happen in the channels anyway.
I'll stress that there is no need to change anything if you're happy
with IRC, those channels are not going away. But if you've been itching
for something a little more shiny, or just an easy way to have a
persistent connection to chat, Matrix may be of use.
If you do hop on Matrix, I'm @gwmngilfen:matrix.org, and the Foreman
channels [3,4] are in the public Room Directory.