[Replicant] The IRC situation and Freenode hostile takeover

Adonay Felipe Nogueira adfeno at hyperbola.info
Thu Jun 10 13:05:57 UTC 2021

Em 10-06-2021 05:12, amuza escreveu:
> And, just in case Matrix comes into the conversation, I think Matrix is
> not a good idea.
> https://www.hackea.org/notas/matrix.html

Indeed I also hate it, thanks for the reference.

Also, as a subnormal monocular sighted person with distance and
ambient-sensitive color blindness (ICD 10: H47-2, H54-1), I find it
difficult to use most of the clients since they either impose font
faces, sizes, line heights, spacing and color schemes not compliant with
the system-wide theme I use or customize myself. And since the most
featureful clients are web-based or partially web-based, there is no way
to customize them flexibly either, unless the end-user learns
programming and spends 3h figuring out what and how to modify, things
which should just let the browser use its default style or find a way to
better integrate with the desktop in order to pick desktop's choice of
theme, font, font size, spacing, colors, heights and so on.

Besides, Matrix is not a standard per see, but “auto-standardized”,
meaning they can change a thing in the specifications anytime. On top of
that, the thing about bridges or puppets is not builtin in their so
called standard, but just like a XMPP, they are extras. So there is no
standardized IRC, XMPP or whatever bridge or puppet.

Most Matrix related stuff (server, extra features, bridges, etc) can
only be achieved if you install some package from a repository which was
not explicitly committed to follow the FSDG. While for XMPP you already
have some minimal working servers packaged by free/libre distros (I
didn't check the case of XMPP's own bridges/transports, but since, just
like Matrix, they are not explicitly in the standard, I won't bother).

While XMPP does dictate what a normal text-only message body can have
([1]), Matrix (the so called standard) failed to do that and, as a
result, some clients decided to support Markdown, which in turn allows
for link forgery in the context of instant messaging. Markdown is good
for documents aimed for web publications, but for instant messaging,
since they imply “instant” in the name, it is unsafe, since some
end-users might not pay attention and stop to investigate what a given
link does, and some clients don't even show a popup asking if you want
to visit link A which in turn was forged as link B, worse than that is
the fact that some other clients will previsit the forged link to
provide nice thumbnail, title and descriptions. All in all, I hope
someone's grandmother never receives a message from that someone in
Matrix telling her to visit [www.banka.tld](www.fakebanka.tld) in order
to confirm a transaction.

As an addendum, I still have to research what is the conferencing
technology used in Matrix, and I also have to find a way for WebRTC to
accept ALSA-only input devices as microphones, since imposing only a
single audio system such as PulseAudio for WebRTC is not a good idea.
Anyways, this last part (WebRTC and ALSA-only inputs) is still an
unfinished part of my research), but so far I was only able to get audio
from WebRTC, not send to it.

# References

[1]: https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0393.html .

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