Hi everyone! Here’s the notes from the meeting:
- Red Hat’s Open Source Program Office is interested in this experiment and will fund hosted Element out of non-Fedora budget. That makes going ahead with a practical trial basically a no-brainer.
- We’ll have own hosted server at https://chat.fedoraproject.org/, and Element will provide a 1-day admin SLA at the level we’re getting. So, it won’t require ongoing CPE or volunteer resources at the sysadmin level. We’ll still need moderators and active admins of course.
- Log in will be through FAS, and we’ll also federate the server so you can come in with a different identity.
- Mozilla has seen a 4× increase in engagement since switching from IRC to Matrix (also hosted by Element). Also successful for KDE and SUSE. In progress at GNOME.
- IRC isn’t going anywhere. Many people still like it, and Freenode is still an important hub for free and open source software development. So, we will provide bridges.
- These bridges will be set up in a way that avoids some of the problems the GNOME project shared with their deployment.
- I had a concern that Zodbot would need to be ported immediately because of problems I’d heard about logged meetings, but we’re assured that those might be non-issues or at least easily fixed, which is nice for a soft-launch / experiment with no big infrastructure changes right off.
- On a slightly more controversial note: we know that the bridge can be somewhat annoying when Matrix decides it wants to send a URL rather than a long message, and that things like reactions just don’t get bridged. Our plan here, assuming the trial is successful, is to try and minimize these inconveniences but ultimately steer people to using Matrix natively. Many popular messaging clients (including weechat, for old-school folks) support Matrix directly now.
- When will this start? Basically as soon as the money is worked out.
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Fedora Matrix Brainstorm
- Red Hat OSPO / Element
- Technical stuff about bridging
- Existing channels
- Onboarding new users
- IRC isn’t going anywhere
- KDE, Mozilla, and GNOME (not fully migrated) have moved to Matrix
- KDE rewired everything around Matrix and Freenode. The closest to our workflow perhaps
- nb has bridged most of the main Fedora channels to native Matrix rooms now
- Fedora KDE matrix room has a nice setup to look at
1) Red Hat OSPO / Element
Marie and Matthew went to Red Hat OSPO and they are providing non-Fedora budget towards the Matrix effort.
Generally most people seem in favor of adopting Matrix with some reservations amongst a few. Worth going ahead. If it’s a disaster, we can try something else. Since it’s being paid for, let’s take advantage and move forward.
The Element team is excited about this and supportive. They will be helping with some of the initial configuration as part of the engagement. They have an option for Element to completely admin the system, so we are opting for that - no extra burden on Fedora infra. Will be under the gold plan with a decent SLA for support from the Element team.
Question re: performance with GNOME matrix - OFTC bridge has severe issues, main issues seems to be with performance of messages relayed through the bridge.
Question (open) - Is there a performance guarantee with gold plan
Question - Are we going to host our own matrix server? Using EMS (Element Matrix Services) seems that they dedicate a server for us, but we don’t manage it.
Question - How it will be the binding of existing Matrix/Element/freenode users to FAS users?
2) Technical stuff about bridging
Initially will set up with free freenode bridge. Over a few months maybe consider paying for upgrade for private freenode bridge which is more performant.
Default workflow for IRC channels bridged into matrix - you can’t join the room unless you have IRC nickserv / etc. worked out. With that fixed, the experience is considerably better for everyone involved. Most Fedora IRC channels don’t require registration to join, but require registration to join.
The spam bots haven’t been around much lately, so nb has removed being identified to speak as a requirement. jflory had gateway cloaks to freenode voice on the irc side. Removed registration bit and cloaked matrix users.
Generally: We can set it up so anybody with a FAS account can log in with FAS credentials and start chatting in any room, even if those rooms are bridged to IRC.
This is useful background reading on problems with interactions between IRC and Matrix: https://gitlab.gnome.org/Teams/Engagement/initiatives/chat-evaluation/-/issues/10. (None of these problems affect native Matrix.)
Plan to bridge all Fedora channels to Matrix.
Plumbing vs. Bridging. Bridged channels come automatically from the freenode bridge. Plumbing is where you plumb a specific IRC channel to a Matrix room.
Question: Telegram t2bot for KDE is self-hosted by opensuse project.
3) Existing channels
There are two Fedora communities on matrix.org, +fedora:matrix.org (admin by @kxra) and +fedoraproject:matrix.org. Seemed to only be supported by the Element.io client and Element folks said not to worry about them because a v2 of the feature is in the works that is more like discord guilds.
LDAP sync with FAS - could we create groups using this?
SAML vs OpenID connect - OpenID connect is a better option
Zotbot is one big monolitihic bot. Historical reasons. Would be better to split into a family of new bots or plugins.
nirik: I don’t think there’s urgency here
mattdm: except you cant start meetings on matrix, or with great difficulty. Mo couldnt get it to work but Neal seemed to think it would work. Nirik says he’s confident.
Element folks said there’s a thriving bot development community
Nirik suggests planning out what bots are needed, putting together some requirements. A future project.
Main concern is meetings and cookies.
Bridges don’t relay reactions. Reactions could be used in meetings for voting easily. For cookies, bot could send you a cookie image (emoji?)
5) Onboarding new users
thib had some examples of how this worked in GNOME. Issues GNOME seeings:
- matrix users and irc users unhappy
- major issue is spam. they have a lot of spam coming from the IRC side. the best way to deal with spam on IRC side is to restrict the channel to +r (only registered users can join.) side effect for matrix users is that if they aren’t registered, they get kicked.
- Neal has a workaround for this. you don’t have to be registered if you come from matrix. Neal’s understanding is that this isn’t available on the OFTC side.
- Talked to someone on the Mozilla matrix side, they had no complaints after they dropped IRC
- weechat native matrix plugin (rust based) could help?
- Moderate more heavily the IRC side rather than the matrix side. Every Fedora FAS account will already have an account.
- Can turn on a preview mode - you can view the channel, and register to talk. (There is also a guest mode where guests can talk but invites spam.)
- New FAS system will make it a little easier to sign up for accounts on mobile.
- Outreachy applicant use case - whatever we configure should work for that use case.
- GNOME issue - Outreachy applicants went into the default room, nobody in IRC was monitoring it though. Maybe we should have a watched general room. matrix.to can be used to direct newbies to specific rooms.
- email verification process is much improved now in terms of speed. our server will not allow registrations so the issue wont apply to us
Fedora matrix usernames will be hardcoded to fas usernames? (underlying id, not display name)
Logging issues -
- fractal will have feature added in next 6 months
- fractal will also have centralized notification view,
- element now also has a notification zone to show in reverse chrono where you’ve been pinged
Could have a newbie welcome bot.
When to deploy? Basically imminently, just working out payment details.
Neal looking at proposing matrix client by default in KDE.
What needs to be updated when we go matrix?
- Fedora wiki page on communication
- Various docs need to be updated
Fedora custom sticker packs
IRC users getting a URL to longform matrix messages - element admins are able to disable this feature! thib said this was possible with element
Can Element run a Jitsi system colocated and connected to our Matrix server? (Yes, that will be part of the service level we’re getting)