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So given the Matrix outage, I went and made an XMPP account.

People like to talk down flagship servers in the federated ecosystem, but honestly hunting down an xmpp server as a host with was a pretty needless exercise. I went with xmpp.is. Are they any good? No idea!

It didn't help that out of the pro-XMPP posts boosted into my TL, not one of them recommended a particular instance to set up an account. Without recommendations, I default to wanting something authoritative.

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@ishara XMPP is really geared toward setting up your own server, imo. That's when all the benefits of it shine. Worth checking out homebrewserver.club/ for a good guide on setting up Prosody with modern defaults.

The reason XMPP feels more personal is because it *is* more personal. It's not public. It's private direct messaging. Meanwhile, the majority of Matrix usage has been as an IRC clone, which focuses on public rooms that can be joined/left by anyone.

@ishara Although, seeing you chose xmpp.is, I'd have to say that yes they seem quite good as a public host. Because that's really what an XMPP server is. It's just like an email server. The reason it was harder to choose where to sign up is because there's no "flagship" or superior option. They're basically all the same, as long as they're up-to-date and configured properly. In the email world, most people choose Gmail or Outlook because that's just what most people are aware of.

@ishara There's a good article explaining the separation you feel between XMPP and Matrix, in the way they have ended up today: blogs.gnome.org/tbernard/2018/

tldr: all communication falls into 1 of 3 categories:
1) Personal (direct chats)
2) Private (group chats)
3) Public (room chats)

Historically, XMPP fills 1 quite well, even though it can do 2+3 with MUC (multi-user chats) -- it's just not as clean.

IRC was written to do 3, and to do it efficiently. That's why it doesn't really do 1+2 well.

@ishara Slack, Discord, and Matrix all inherit their main design from IRC (room/channel based) and thus naturally predispose themselves to case 3 better than 1 or 2.

I personally use IRC for 3, XMPP for 1, and only really need a clean way to do 2. I see 2 as a closer extension of 1 (i.e. direct chats that add more participants) than it is an extension of 3 (i.e. rooms with restricted entry). But you can certainly extend your metaphors in either direction.

@ishara Note: nothing in the protocol really prevents either XMPP or Matrix from addressing all use cases -- but rather, the protocol lends itself to certain client apps being created. XMPP's focus on delivery has caused more messengers to be written (and thus be terrible for handling big public rooms). Matrix's focus on rooms has caused Riot to look a lot like Slack or Discord (and thus be terrible for direct chats).

@trwnh

But itโ€™s also terrible for big public rooms. Message latency is terrible, and ordering of responses is just broken.

@ishara

@trwnh That's a great article that articulates a lot of feelings I've expressed in much less eloquent ways.

I definitely think that it's OK to have different programs/infrastructure to handle those kinds of chats: you don't need fine-grained permissions systems in a 1-1 chat room like you do in a huge public IRC channel.

@lyliawisteria Ah, yes. It's always great to see a federated environment survive an outage of its flagship instance.

@ishara I feel this.. Also it's almost impossible to find an xmpp server for your own domain. I've found one, hot-chilli.net, but I have no idea how realisable it is. Plus no one I know uses xmpp so it's all moot anyway.

@ishara I used to use jabber.ccc.de until I set up my own server.

A great way to meet people was to hang out in the MUCs (multi-user chats) over there.

@ishara

I think it's natural that server populations might fall into a Zipfian distribution.

simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipf

@ishara

I actually did the same! And I kinda liked it so I proceeded with setting up "my own" server at "linux.monster".

I do know that @amolith is hosting one and @AtomicBlond does have one at trashserver.net

@selea
Yep! I've also got a short guide at nixnet.xyz/jabber-xmpp/. I am having issues with SSL certificates at the moment so, if anyone signs up, they'll have to ignore that ๐Ÿ˜…
@ishara @AtomicBlond

@ishara I recently made a disroot account which comes with xmpp, so that's the server I've been on so far. I might look into hosting my own later on.

@ishara site that compares #xmpp servers by supported features:
compliance.conversations.im/

more green is better.

this is made by the developer of the excellent android xmpp client #Conversations, available for free on #fdroid (donations appreciated) or as a paid app on google play.

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Barry Peddycord III

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