I see the matrix is more popular than xmpp, but why?

  • dfyx@lemmy.helios42.de
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    41
    ·
    3 months ago

    Don’t get me wrong but I just don’t get all these „why do you use messenger X and not Y?“ threads that occasionally pop up. The answer is almost always „because the people I want to talk to use X“.

    I use messengers to talk to specific people. Friends, family, the people I game with. It’s not like lemmy or reddit which are more about topics than about people. I can join a community about my favorite hobby on any platform and get more or less the same experience. But with messengers that doesn’t work. Matrix can be a thousand times better than Discord or XMPP but if the people I need to reach aren’t there, it’s absolutely useless to me. And convincing them to switch over with me isn’t really an option. They rightfully ask why they should get yet another messenger just for me when everyone else they want to talk to is on one they already have.

    It’s almost a miracle that so many people switched from IRC to Discord when that came out but I guess they just had a bunch of features that people wanted.

    • Dyskolos@lemmy.zip
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      9
      ·
      3 months ago

      Well. I do it the other way. I would not install effing whatsapp just to reach someone. I tell then once where to find me, and, if they want to know, why this is and why i prefer it and why i wouldn’t install app X. If they don’t, then bad luck for me. Or not.

        • Dyskolos@lemmy.zip
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          4
          ·
          3 months ago

          Aye. SMS still exists. And for those boomers with their facebook and WhatsApp, it’s not even a new thing ☺️

          Added bonus: those who do install “your” app, show a minimum in interest. You’re even worth the “effort”.

    • doctorzeromd@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      8
      ·
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      That’s the reason I use matrix, I have bridges so that if someone messages me on ANY platform, it goes to matrix and I can respond there.

      It’s not the best solution, but it’s worked well for me and I like having everything in one app

    • ᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴏʀ 帝@feddit.uk
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      4
      ·
      3 months ago

      This is the right answer - you go where the people are.

      I keep in touch with friends and family on WhatsApp, do gaming stuff on Discord and most of the Lemmy/Fediverse chat is on Matrix (partly helped by some degree of Matrix integration to provide secure messaging). I am in XMPP but no-one else I know is, so it just sits there unloved.

    • interdimensionalmeme@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      3
      ·
      3 months ago

      The question makes more sense in the context of “our friend group is deciding to move to a new communication system” Which should we choose.

      We narrowed it down to xmpp, signal and matrix. Signal looked terrible to impossible to self host because the clients might make it hard to choose another server.

      Matrix looks good but slow and more like irc ? Also like signal, there’s few clients.

      Xmpp was just more mature, more diversity of clients. But missing new things like comment retractions, comment reaction, opengraph url previews, combine image+text messages and image albums.

    • hauiA
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      18
      arrow-down
      8
      ·
      3 months ago

      typical “my opinion is objective reality” comment. Matrix works well, as does XMPP. Looking over my own experience as user and admin as well as other users and admins, matrix has about the same reliability as the large IMs like Whatsapp and Signal.

      • RayJW@sh.itjust.works
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        18
        ·
        3 months ago

        Matrix does definitely not have the same reliability as WhatsApp or Signal. I’ve used it for around 3 years now with a group of tech savvy friends.

        It’s still a regular occurrence that we get cannot decrypt errors, sometimes the app doesn’t show new messages in the chat but they are visible in the preview, also the app can be soooo slow.

        Also, I know it’s not user error. If you check the Matrix development and follow their blog posts they already acknowledged the issues and are working on fixes. But for now it’s just wishful thinking when one calls them reliable alternatives for mainstream use. I’m not hating and will keep using the project because I truly think they are doing amazing work.

        • hauiA
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          5
          arrow-down
          3
          ·
          3 months ago

          I have had about three whatsapp outages in the last year I used it regularly. They have been regional/global outages, visible on outage tracking websites. I have had zero outages with matrix (bar one that I have caused myself by misconfiguring and the server restarting).

          Depending on the time you have used matrix you will have a lot earlier experiences than I do. Yes, sometimes I cant figure out why something is not working but the service itself runs like clockwork.

          The issue here is perspective. Whatsapp is proprietary software which runs on company servers. Matrix is a mostly community/non profit led effort and just doesnt have the manpower or money to develop in high speed. For that matter, the protocol is in its infancy.

          Its just unrealistic to say whatsapp is „more reliable“.

          • RayJW@sh.itjust.works
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            9
            arrow-down
            1
            ·
            edit-2
            3 months ago

            I don‘t think you understand my point. Let me be a bit more high level. It’s not about the three major outages WhatsApp had this year for like 30 mins. or whatever.

            A perfectly set up Matrix server with more than enough resources allocated has issues decrypting messages when there’s a few hundred people and that’s without federation. This is still happening to today, fully updated server and clients.

            As I said, I know they are working with a lot less resources than Meta. But at the moment the implementation doesn’t even do the most basic thing, deliver messages reliably. I know their new encryption library is supposed to do a better job but it’s just the cold hard truth that it’s not up there with the big messengers yet. Denying that doesn’t do the project any good.

            • hauiA
              link
              fedilink
              arrow-up
              2
              arrow-down
              1
              ·
              3 months ago

              I got your point before but thanks for elaborating. The hundreds of people on an unfederated server arent my concern. The thousands of people I and others are talking to on a daily basis are my concern.

              There are usecases where matrix apparently doesnt work well but I havent seen them. I absolutely wasnt able to decrypt a message or two but that is explainable by the sheer amount of devices and clients I have. One was always able to decrypt stuff.

              The point you are making stands on sand because you‘re saying matrix isnt up to snuff to whatsapp. I‘m saying if you count its situation it is ten times better at least.

              I‘m fine to just disagree with you and walk away but I‘m not gonna pretend whatsapp is some godsend. Its a billion dollar project that is shockingly bad for the resources put in and matrix (and probably xmpp) is unbelievably good considering the resources and nature of the service.

          • Zerlyna@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            2
            ·
            edit-2
            3 months ago

            Last I heard whatsapp was owned by Meta. I have an account for one vendor in Mexico for work. And I’m sure sucked as much web info I could offer in exchange.

    • toastal@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      4
      ·
      3 months ago

      A more general chat platform will really want end-to-end encryption which IRC doesn’t have. Matrix & XMPP offer decentralized rooms so you don’t have to create an account & join each server to chat, but rather your server can connect to another server.

      • Digital Mark@lemmy.ml
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        1
        ·
        3 months ago

        You don’t have to solve every problem in a single application. If you need privacy, use iMessage or Signal.

        Public chat is by definition not secure, anyone can be sitting in the room logging, so it’s not that essential as long as client-server uses TLS. Modern IRC does have SDCC chat, but not all clients will use it, so stick to secure messengers.

        • toastal@lemmy.ml
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          2
          arrow-down
          1
          ·
          3 months ago

          iMessage doesn’t exist outside the US in practice. Signal is centralized, requires a SIM and a Android or iOS primary device (i.e. you must have a phone & it must use the duopoly OS) making it a low recommendation from me.

          TLS is fine for an open, public room, but not all chat rooms are public tho. Folks DM each other too an a chat platform & their talks definitely shouldn’t be un-E2EE as it probably shouldn’t be the server operator’s business.

          You don’t have to solve every problem in a single application.

          I know what you are saying, but also why not? In the case of XMPP, it is meant to be extended to solve any communication task provided someone can engineer the theory into practice (which is usually a money limitation not a technical one).

          • Digital Mark@lemmy.ml
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            1
            arrow-down
            3
            ·
            3 months ago

            If you can’t afford an iPhone, that’s tough, but I live in the US where it’s 56%, and around the world it’s 28%, which is not “doesn’t exist”. And in any case Signal exists for the others. Yes, if you use a freecycled GNU/Linux phone with not-sold-in-Shenzhen wireless chipset not supported by any carrier so it has to be hardwired to ethernet, you’ll have a harder time.

            And if you do try to do everything at once, you fail at everything. Which is what happened after Google EEE’d and crushed XMPP, it’s unsupported in full by anyone. There’s no money in open source networking, it’s near impossible to fund the people who work on critical infrastructure, let alone new toys.

            Meanwhile, there’s a system that’s been working for 35 years.

            • toastal@lemmy.ml
              link
              fedilink
              arrow-up
              2
              arrow-down
              1
              ·
              edit-2
              3 months ago

              What an L-ass take. Nobody is stating IRC is bad, but stating that it’s flawed for a entire swath applications (encrypted chat) & at that rate you could say e-mail & mailing lists are older & could serve the same purpose (see what DeltaChat is trying to do).

              If you think folks should be forced into Apple or Google products just for instant messaging you are a goober since chat doesn’t require that level of lock-in (see IRC as you noted existing & working before phones). Some folks don’t even want phones for being annoyances or don’t like a series of monitoring radios/sensors on their person phoning home at all times & making them get one just to talk to you due to you not wanting to pick a platform with broader reach is a dick move. …& that’s without getting into the class issues of telling folks “just buy a smart phone” ̇

              XMPP isn’t crushed either. It’s used massively in commercial applications, especially in the video game industry that need… a presence & messaging protocol that is also extensible to their product needs. Extension & maintenance happens all the time from these applications opening up parts of their code bases for feedback/adoption. Has XMPP waned in personal usage post-Google’s dick move, sure, but it didn’t die & if anything has been gaining in popularity as folks look for chat alternatives with a large feature set & are self-hostable + decentralized to prevent lock-in–especially once they see how Matrix is too expensive to run.

              • Digital Mark@lemmy.ml
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                1
                ·
                3 months ago

                You made an obviously incorrect claim, and now you’ve doubled down on “nobody should have a phone or computer”, which is… no longer in reality. Thanks for not having a productive conversation.

                PLONK

                • toastal@lemmy.ml
                  link
                  fedilink
                  arrow-up
                  2
                  ·
                  3 months ago

                  Incorrect claim about what? That Apple’s chat system has very minor usage outside the US (+ Canada)? Last I checked, the majority of the population is not American… with my specific phrasing “in practice” holding true. Having a phone & having a computer are two separate things due to Google+Apple’s control. They do not want to let you use the device as a general compute device & almost nobody can use it for general compute so one could definitely prefer one & not the other since they unfortunately, in practice, are two separate categories. You should be able to chat with a phone & without a phone, with a personal computer & without–any platform that requires you must use one or the other is a bad technology.

  • hauiA
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    22
    arrow-down
    2
    ·
    3 months ago

    XMPP used to be pretty popular until google EEEd it afaik. Matrix is kind of an attempt to build on XMPPs “fall from grace” if you will. It’s still very good from what I hear and some say the server is vastly more efficient but I only tried matrix and it works pretty well.

    • MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      3 months ago

      Matrix’s most feature complete server is synapse, which is written in python. Hence not very efficient and scalable.

      It’s mostly fine, but to really go big, one of the other server implementations will need to be used, but none of them achieve feature-parity with synapse as far as I know.

      • hauiA
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        3
        ·
        3 months ago

        I agree that matrix isnt infinitely scalable, which is a great thing imo.

        The reason being that most people, especially users, are brainwashed into thinking that centralization is normal or good. It is neither.

        Ideally every small group of like 10-100 people has a small server which is one out of millions at some point. Thats the idea of the fediverse.

        My server federates with some 8000 servers at this point which is great and matrix.org has like 30% of all users afaik (which are over 100mil in total at this point)

        And before I hear the always same argument: yes, it is hard to find peeps on matrix sometimes (it is a lot harder on whatsapp). Be the change you want to see and help with sites like joinmatrix.org

        Have a good one.

        • bitwolf@lemmy.one
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          3
          ·
          3 months ago

          Do you self host? I read that the federation is where performance becomes a challenge?

          Has resource usage gone up dramatically when you started federating?

          • hauiA
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            4
            ·
            3 months ago

            Yes, I do. Federation is a joke in terms of resource usage. It really depends on your system and config of course but I host 4 fediverse services and a lot more stuff which doesnt even touch the 10% cpu utilization, doesnt touch 50% of my ram.

            The information you find online is mostly outdated and people who dont self host dont have barely any real knowledge about the services.

            I encourage you to try for yourself so you can see what works and what doesnt. Feel free to hit me up if you want to know anything about it.

        • MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          1
          ·
          3 months ago

          Agreed. The main advantage of something more efficient will be the ability to run instances on cheaper potato hardware.

          • hauiA
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            3
            ·
            3 months ago

            I run a multi user environment with 4 fedi services, 2 other public websites, many surrounding services (ie heimdall, nginx, portainer, grafana, etc) and a minecraft server on one machine, I dont touch 10% cpu utilization. I get hundreds of hits per minute (which not a lot compared to big websites, i know).

            I‘m probably gonna buy the cheapest banana pi or whatever equivalent and try running all of it on that machine just to prove that most people have no idea what they are talking about.

            Hosting any fedi service today is no problem if you have skills and dedication. Any 4 core old laptop should easily do the trick, provided you immediately delete windows.

            • MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz
              link
              fedilink
              arrow-up
              1
              ·
              edit-2
              3 months ago

              I run a system with an i5-4670.

              My situation is much like yours, except I wrote a script which will suspend services when transcodes or game servers cause the system to approach resource capacity, to prevent more users from joining games and deteriorating the experience for everyone.

              I know for a fact people using pies or old laptops can’t do what my system does, because I personally know people who have tried. They can’t even get a basic media server going that performs anywhere near mine, in the menus.

  • sep@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    16
    ·
    3 months ago

    Hosted my own xmpp server back when you could talk to facebook messenger and google chat users via federation. But when they closed their walled garden there were nobody to talk to so i stopped it.

    Now with matrix i have again a homeserver. Bridged to messenger, google what the new thing is called, slack, and a few others.

  • Leonie@discuss.tchncs.de
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    13
    ·
    3 months ago

    It’s faster and it’s not Synapse. I could serve hundreds of people on a single Pi while I would need to order a VPS with 4GB RAM to serve the same amount of people. I know there’s better server software out there, but it’s nowhere near Synapse. XMPP simply doesn’t care, clients and servers are well built and almost every client uses OMEMO and honestly I had a lot of decryption errors on Matrix and if you used something else than matrix.org you’d be screwed. It’s simply just better, because it’s faster and has a bigger ecosystem. The only thing that’s not cool about XMPP is that the federated userbase is kinda small. The biggest non-federated XMPP server is WhatsApp and that’s kinda sad. Also the protocol is nice, because most clients keep a socket open to listen for new messages and this is especially nice in the college WiFi environment some of my friends are in where a timer is set after bedtime which would wait until all sockets are closed which doesn’t include XMPP so messaging with my friends after bedtime is still possible.

    • GnuLinuxDude@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      12
      ·
      3 months ago

      Just the other day I got downvoted for posting that it’s stupid that 8GB of RAM in laptops is not enough. Software like Synapse, trying to lift the load that it does in Python, is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about.

      the college WiFi environment some of my friends are in where a timer is set after bedtime which would wait until all sockets are closed which doesn’t include XMPP so messaging with my friends after bedtime is still possible.

      The college tries to just shut off the WiFi at night??

  • toastal@lemmy.ml
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    12
    ·
    edit-2
    3 months ago

    more popular

    That’s not true at all. There are a ton of business applications for XMPP from IoT messaging, to Nintendo’s user presence, to being a 90% chance your favorite online game’s chat back-end. Behind Jitsi & Zoom & WhatsApp is an XMPP server. Matrix by design will never scale to these demands if history needs to live forever & all servers need to duplicate data.

    More trendy would be a more appropriate phrase since Matrix wants to chase after proprietary Slack & Discord, where as XMPP is extensible & more generalized for all sorts of applications. Even with all of these proprietary applications, there are plenty of open communities hosted for MUCs & also blog/community thru Movim/Libervia & as an alternative back-end for UnifiedPush, etc. With the server resource usage being much lower, it’s cheaper & easier to maintain an XMPP server alongside another application in a VPS or even on a home network with dynamic DNS. If you are inclined, set one up & test it out.

    • lud@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      3 months ago

      I have never used matrix but why would anyone design something that won’t scale by design?

      I understand scalability not being a priority but designing something to be poorly scalable by design seems odd.

      • toastal@lemmy.ml
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        3
        ·
        3 months ago

        If you want the messaging to be resilient, this makes sense as a server can go down but anyone else connected has the whole history on their server.

        But I think that is better suited for a forum where copying Slack/Discord’s lead & trying to preserve all history in a chat isn’t worth it as I see this sort of thing as better tasked for ephemeral communication. However, there is something communal & intuitive about chat apps that make folks interact pretty well so they can make decisions. This is a ‘good thing’ where forums don’t get the same engagement—but at the cost of you had to be there or worse, you need an account to see the discussion for that decision.

  • Elise@beehaw.org
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    10
    ·
    3 months ago

    On a related note is anybody able to tell me why Matrix hosting is so darn expensive? It seems you need to self host to have bridges?

    • toastal@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      4
      ·
      3 months ago

      There are quite a few stories of communities shutting down their servers since the costs of duplicating all messages & attachments for all rooms for all DMs for all users on the server. Add to the mix that the implementation server in Python consumes a lot more resources, it’s not a big surprise. As such, everything centralizes around Matrix.org where they get an unreasonable amount of the network’s metadata.

    • MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      3 months ago

      I think it’s just more difficult to set up than most self-hosted services?

      But like, if you learn to do that yourself any old VPS will work.

      You don’t have to self host to have bridges. Some instances provide them, I know pikaviestin.fi does, but they only accept Finnish citizens.

      • Miaou@jlai.lu
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        3 months ago

        Im self hosting conduit and it was surprisingly easy to setup, and at this point just my mom and I are using it so ressource usage is OK. Otherwise I read that CPU can be tough in big chat rooms, and I assume a lot of things are copied on disk for federation which can also be costly. You can always de-federate to avoid these problems but at this point I don’t see much reason to self host if you’re only going to chat (signals does that just fine)

    • krash@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      I know part of what makes it expensive is the propagation of messages in complex rooms (I.e. the official matrix room). I haven’t hosted matrix servers myself, but data.haus did which I was on until it sunsetted late last year due to this issue.

    • lseif@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      1
      ·
      3 months ago

      cant u just run a docker environment on a cheap hosting service or something ? (i am new to this)

  • m-p{3}@lemmy.ca
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    9
    ·
    edit-2
    3 months ago

    I believe the learning curve to have an XMPP server up and running is lower than a Matrix server, and from what I can see, a Matrix server won’t run as well in a potato.

    • MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      1
      ·
      3 months ago

      This is true if you run Synapse, the matrix server written in python.

      There is also Dendrite, written in Go, and Conduit, written in Rust. They run better but are behind in terms of implementing the spec.

  • stoy@lemmy.zip
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    7
    ·
    3 months ago

    I tried getting on Jabber/XMPP before trying to get on Matrix, never got any traction of frieds who was intrested in switching to either long term. So at the moment I just use sms/iMessage and Discord.

  • Sagar Acharya@sopuli.xyz
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    6
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    3 months ago

    You’re welcome to use my hosted server for free XMPP.

    It is way more secure and minimal than matrix. It has OMEMO encryption which is end to end encrypted.