[linux-elitists] Matrix seems pretty nice

Teh Entar-Nick nick at teh.entar.net
Thu Feb 12 04:22:45 PST 2015

This morning I woke up to the following LWN article:


If you're not a subscriber, you may need to wait a week to read it, but
I encourage everyone to join LWN.  It's still worth it.

Basically Matrix is a bit like Usenet in its flood-fill-on-demand model,
but it has a stronger authentication system and signed history.  Here
are some interactions with the devs on freenode #matrix, which is
bridged to one of the Matrix chat channels via a gateway that prepends
'M-' to the users on the Matrix side.

    11:14 <Spads> So what sort of anti-harrassment facilities does this
                  matrix thingummer have?
    11:15 <M-matthew> basically irc-style atm
    11:15 <Spads> how is authority managed for that?
    11:16 <M-matthew> similar to a decentralised chanserv
    11:16 <M-matthew> room creator gets privs; can delegate that priv
    11:17 <M-matthew> whenever you do something privileged over
                      federation you have to prove your privilege (by
                      showing why you have permission to do the thing).
    11:18  * Spads nods
    11:18 <M-matthew> as we (will) have relatively strong identity, we
                      can also apply rules perserver and peruser to try
                      to fight spam. but that's not in place yet. 
    11:19 <Spads> A lot of people are comparing the architecture to
                  Usenet, and harrassment has become a hot topic in tech
                  channels lately due to twitter being in the news and
                  things like Linus's crude tone
    11:19 <Spads> I discovered this shortly after posting
                  so I'm in the market for something New And Better :)
    11:19 <Zappelin> Title: [linux-elitists] No results found for
                     "social justice growth hacking". (at zgp.org)
    11:21 <M-matthew> right - usenet has no strong identity obviously,
                      and no ACL system (beyond archaic moderated
    11:21  * Spads nods
    11:21 <M-matthew> and isn't really realtime... and doesn't really do
                      arbitrary data sync
    11:21 <M-matthew> and doesn't have cryptosigned history
    11:22 <Spads> so the flood-sync is clever and on-demand, right?
    11:22 <M-matthew> yup, basically
    11:22 <Spads> like, if a channel has 10 years of history I don't
                  need to wait for that to catch up to start participating
    11:22 <M-matthew> correct
    11:22 <Spads> cool
    11:22 <Spads> so what about privacy management?
    11:23 <M-matthew> you store as little or as much as you like on your
                      local server, and pull stuff in on demand
    11:23 <Spads> which I realise probably overlaps heavily with the
                  anti-harrassment stuff I asked about
    11:23 <M-matthew> with eventual consistency semantics
    11:23 <M-matthew> for privacy, you can create anon accounts and use
                      otr-ish stuff on top (which we will spec rsn) 
    11:26 <M-matthew> spads: the other difference from usenet is that
                      it's entirely open federation. and http apis.
    11:26 <M-matthew> and hopefully not overrun with pr0n and warez :)
    11:27 <M-matthew> but yes, there are slight parallels
    11:27 <M-tadzik> well, everyone is free to host their own pron and
                     warez matrix servers :)
    11:27 <M-matthew> but just as much with IMAP or AFS and stuff too
    11:27 <M-matthew> tadzik: indeed
    11:28 <M-tadzik> can't wait :P
    11:28 <M-matthew> hence the joy of open federation

I pointed them in the direction of redecentralize.org and they said that
seems like a good match.  So look forward to an interview with them
there some time this year.

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