Matrix is an open source project that publishes the Matrix open standard for secure, decentralised, real-time communication, and its Apache licensed reference implementations. – Matrix.org (2020-03-06)
This very high-level description of what Matrix can be. Currently boils down to one of the most innovative and fast growing chat ecosystems in the world. Due to its federated nature it becomes a natural choice when it comes to projects that want to collaborate across the borders of organizations. This alone makes it a perfect fit for free software projects and is probably the reason why nowadays major free software organizations like GNOME and KDE as well as Mozilla opted for Matrix instead of walled garden solutions.
Main advantage of matrix is that channels don’t rely on the right servers to be up. As long as your “homeserver” (that’s basically your matrix account provider) is online, you can talk to the room. The homeserver will take care of informing all other homeservers that participate in the room about your messages. By default only direct messages are encrypted, given you run Element (previously known as Riot) as matrix client. Public rooms, which are a large portion of the general matrix room ecosystem, are not encrypted by default which helps to scale them easily to have thousands of participants while providing a decent usability.
As part of the Shivering-Isles I run an own homeserver and founded various channels to the ecosystem as well as providing a room list of well-selected channels. But to make them easier to discover I provide this page which gives a little insight about channels I founded and what to expect from them.
“Random talks with Sheo”
My main room is the “living room”, also called “Random talks with Sheo”. As the name indicates it’s my personal playground and I’ll share all kinds of things there. You can join you can leave, but if there is anything you want to say or ask, that’s probably the place where someone will answer.
It’s a diverse set of people who met me in one way or another over the internet. As in the CommitStrip above this group of people that shows interest in stuff I build or talk about but also has a lot to share by themselves. It’s also the room that is referenced in most of my projects as it uses the alias
If you ever want to talk about OCI-containers or container-engines, this is your place to hang out. From
kubernetes you’ll probably find someone to talk with in there. Wondering how to build a CI integration for your image or want to check for additional hardening you can do with your containers? This is your place. You can find it using the alias
There are more git forges out there than Gitlab.com an GitHub. This room should help to exchange knowledge between those who host git forges themselves, be it GitLab, Gitea, Gogs, sourcehut or just a server with a few SSH keys and git directories. Feel free to share your knowledge and ask your questions about hosting, integration and other things surrounding the hosting of a git forge for organizations and your personal pleasure. The room can be found at:
“Philosophische Verwirrungen und andere Debatten”
As the name indicates this a German-speaking room. It’s called “Philosophische Verwirrungen und andere Debatten” and provides a great place to have philosophical debates about topics that are probably off-topic in other, more tech-focused, rooms. Expect long messages and getting into various different areas of a discussion. There is a lot to debate, a lot to learn. Don’t expect to get out there “victorious” but with new insight into a topic. The alias to join this channel is:
Starting and running a blog can be challenging. From all the CMS systems (Jekyll, Ghost, Wordpress, WriteFreely, Hugo, …) over theming to most importantly the writing itself, this room is intended to let people exchange about the way they blog. If you look for other bloggers, ideas for article, and a place to share your RSS feed, as long as you don’t spam the room and participate you are more than welcome! The alias to join this channel is:
There are some very basic but probably necessary rules, which apply to all rooms mentioned above.
- Don’t try to provoke. We are around for calm discussions, so please try to stay calm and don’t provoke people intentionally.
- Avoid swear words. We are all adults and should be a good example for other people including kids. You never know who looks at a screen so try to use appropriated language.
- Be kind and expect the best intentions. No one knows everything and sometimes people might say something insensitive. Try to not get offended by things and expect people to have good intentions. Maybe clear the situation by explaining why you feel offended and figure out a way to get along with each other.
Those rules are very basic but my experience showed me that various people on the internet don’t seem to make it to live with those without having them explicitly written down. So far there are no bans in the rooms I maintain and I would prefer it when it stays this way. But I’ll not hesitate to use bans if you either seem to intentionally breaking those rules or continue breaking them after being pointed to them.
Update 2020-08-09: Starting from today, it’s also required to introduce yourself. We started to get waves of what looks like bots into the channels that just sit around silently and lurk. It makes me, and probably some other people a bit uneasy. If you are a human, please say hello and something about yourself. Maybe why you joined the room or what you are interested in. Thank you!
All in all it’s a great and peaceful environment and I hope you enjoy your stay.
PS: Want to get started and don’t know how? Check the Element help page, it should be a good point to start.
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash