I have multiple instant messaging chatrooms.
- The ones listed below are for comments to my blog, this website in general, my FOSS
spamactivity and a contact point for reaching me in general for not so private matters. They are connected together by Matterbridge.
- Many linking here utilize the rules listed below.
- Others are simply curious about protocols, transports, relays, bridges, etc. Why did they end up on this page when they could have ended up anywhere else?
Contributor Covenant 2.1 is the primary Code of Conduct here (which isn’t forked due to this community forming around me and my website. Any project growing bigger would have its own), but we do have a couple of other rules too:
- Don’t send private messages without asking for a permission first unless your message is purely moderation related.
- Please include your business in your first message and not only greeting. See nohello.net for more about that.
- Don’t share personal affairs of other people outside of the room. This includes, but isn’t limited to, gender/sexual/romantic orientation questioning, plurality, religion, etc. When in doubt, assume it’s private.
- Mind the limitations of machines and people especially in the private side. Transport encryption is not end-to-end encryption, which can be broken by a compromised client device (including, but not limited to bot/relay/bridge) or the protocol in question may neglect to encrypt something like Matrix does for reactions.
- For other matters, Chatham House Rule applies.
As for languages; English is preferred due to majority of the discussion
participants speaking it, but Finnish and Esperanto are also fine.
I sadly don’t consider myself capable of holding a discussion in other languages, but I do hope to be able to grow this list in the future.
#mikaela.infomy selfhosted IRC server.
- (Recommended) Gamja webchat
MapAddress etro.mikaela.info otzmigofmchtadpek223bkmrzqoa6mmvhmr5dxqurcrtwalizfibuxid.onion
#mikaela.info:matrix.org, a decentralised conversation store.
- Gamja webchat
MapAddress irc.pirateirc.net cbmtec5xuhpjwjq245kpp5jk2wij63ydgu5vwbxvdamzibfubc5uzaqd.onion
- Telegram, invite link a popular instant messenger with open source clients.
- Twitch, Ciblia, a propietary game streaming
- Expect my streaming to happen in firstname.lastname@example.org (PeerTube) instead.
email@example.com, a federated chat protocol.
NOTICE ON LOG AVAILABILITY! The logging and history visiblity varies by protocol and thus users joining in the future could see messages up to one year or longer in the past.
A couple of words on protocols
- IRC was invented in 1988 and regardless of developing integrated message storage since then, it’s still trivial to setup and runs well on a toaster. IRC servers are generally easy to enable Tor support on and IRC clients widely come with proxy settings where Tor can be enabled. My personal IRC history begins in 2010 as user and since then I have also opered mostly on Charybdis+Atheme and nowadays on a couple of Ergos.
- XMPP runs on a bit more powerful toaster and the servers talk to each other without prior approval, it was originally introduced in 1999. I don’t have a record on when I begun using it as all multi-protocol chat apps that were common even before 2010 supported it. I haven’t had a need or desire to selfhost.
- Telegram was introduced in 2013 and is a popular instant messenger with many open source clients (not server) also on minority platforms (by third parties). It’s favoured by many for stickers and ease-to-use, while that comes with concern on security and privacy.
- Matrix was introduced in 2014 and I started using it in 2016. Many of the
client and server implementations are heavy, especially on server side requiring what to outside looks
like a constant maintenance to deal with the implementation performance issues,
I am not interested in even trying to selfhost a Matrix (home)server and bridges
until the situation significantly improves. Matrix clients also seldom support connecting through Tor easily,
while the Synapse server by Matrix.org team doesn’t support connecting through I2P or Tor at all.
- Exception: Hydrogen (GitHub) is the only client I have encountered that works well on Nokia 1 TA-1047 or in other words passes the so-called toaster test. It does self-describe as A minimal Matrix chat client, focused on performance, offline functionality, and broad browser support, which it redeems.
And on transports, relays and bridges
- One of the marketing points of XMPP was to connect to other protocols by means of transports. They plug into a XMPP server and can be provided either by yours or be open for other XMPP servers.
- The word relay is often used on bots which copy messages from one protocol/network
and paste (or more simply said relay) it to another. They aren’t transparent and thus the
messages from them appear to be coming from bots beginning with the message
sender instead of being completely transparent. This is what is commonly
used on IRC to connect to other IRC networks or protocols.
- Matterbridge regardless of the name acts like a relay. Like IRC and XMPP, it also runs on a toaster requiring only the binary and a config file being trivial to setup anywhere quickly or move around.
- Recent IRC development allows (RELAYMSG) allows relays to be transparent making messages appear from users outside of the channel that don’t actually exist. This is similar to Discord webhooks (that Matterbridge also supports) and Matrix Discord bridge.
- Common complaint from Matrix users is that they look ugly, but as shown by IRC and Discord, that doesn’t have to be the case and I hope Matrix will fix their issue allowing low-budget “toasterbridges”.
- Bridges are popularised by Matrix and are almost XMPP transports. However
while XMPP transports connect to the other protocol, bridges attempt to
copy everything on both sides so Matrix users see each other directly instead
of through the transport on the other side and on the other side of open protocols
Matrix users can be interacted with as if they were native to it.
- Unlike XMPP, the bridges also tend to be heavy and require a full homeserver setup. The IRC bridge also generally requires blessing from the IRC network and while some public bridges exist, they move the control away from you hijacking the room to their rules and often have performance trouble compared to “local toaster matterbridge”.