14 votes

The Matrix Holiday Special (2020 Edition)

14 comments

  1. [14]
    dedime
    Link
    Truly an incredible update. I've been following matrix for years now, and since the beginning the technology (and company behind it) has never ceased to amaze me. In my opinion, Matrix is going to...

    Truly an incredible update. I've been following matrix for years now, and since the beginning the technology (and company behind it) has never ceased to amaze me.

    In my opinion, Matrix is going to be reaching a turning point soon. They may already be in the middle of it, with major deployments in Europe. They've already nailed down the most crucial components of a major chat platform:

    • Default E2EE
    • FOSS
    • Federated
    • Self-hostable
    • A gorgeous client that's a pleasure to use
    • A user base

    and in the pipe there's even more crucial features coming soon

    • Social logins
    • Battle-tested massive scalability
    • An easy to deploy, low resource server (Dendrite / docker)

    As such, I predict in 2021 more and more businesses will switch from using expensive, bloated, or proprietary solutions like MS teams and Slack, and switch to Matrix. Especially as the element client continues to improve, which, all else considered, is probably the single most important aspect to nail. The train has left the station, and I really have no idea how competitors like Slack and Teams will convince people to stay on their platform when their competitor steamrolls them on freedom, features, privacy, UX, price, and data sovereignty.

    IMO, their biggest challenge, and one that major competitors like Slack and Teams have failed on or simply don't target, will be increasing personal usage. Matrix has a moderate amount of success with technical communities, but I would really love to see non-technical communities and users pop up more. Discord has really nailed this market, but I think with the right combination of features (social / anonymous login, screen sharing, user activity sharing, communities / spaces) they could also take over this market. The good news: The spec is ready for all of this and more.

    9 votes
    1. [6]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      I share your excitement and understand where you are coming from in terms of Slack and Teams. However, I haven't seen the 'ease of use', especially from a non-tech user experience, with Element.

      I share your excitement and understand where you are coming from in terms of Slack and Teams. However, I haven't seen the 'ease of use', especially from a non-tech user experience, with Element.

      8 votes
      1. [5]
        dedime
        Link Parent
        Hmm, I think there's definitely a lot of room for improvement on the ease-of-use side but even still, it's pretty much comparable (in my eyes) to Slack. I wonder what the missing "elements" are...

        Hmm, I think there's definitely a lot of room for improvement on the ease-of-use side but even still, it's pretty much comparable (in my eyes) to Slack. I wonder what the missing "elements" are from Element to make it awesome to use for non-technical users.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          Maybe I'm seeing something different from what you are seeing? The Element app that I use on Mac looks strikingly different from what I see in the web implementation of Slack.

          Maybe I'm seeing something different from what you are seeing? The Element app that I use on Mac looks strikingly different from what I see in the web implementation of Slack.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            dedime
            Link Parent
            I was speaking specifically to ease-of-use, interface wise I'd say Element is much closer to Discord than any other major platform. Maybe a pointless exercise, but if I had to rank major chat...

            I was speaking specifically to ease-of-use, interface wise I'd say Element is much closer to Discord than any other major platform. Maybe a pointless exercise, but if I had to rank major chat platform's UX on ease-of-use and polish it'd be this:

            Ease-of-use:

            1. Discord
            2. Slack
            3. Element
            4. Teams (I use it for work, I hate it, my coworkers hate it.)

            Polish:

            1. Slack / Discord
            2. Teams
            3. Element

            I'm pretty harsh on my beloved Element, but it's made such giant strides lately I can't help but imagine it'll be in the #1/2 spots in my mind this coming year. Besides, the world could use more optimism :)

            3 votes
            1. tindall
              Link Parent
              I think ease of use also depends on your use case. Element Android is one of the easiest apps to use for basic text messaging and even sending images to individuals that I've ever used; much less...

              I think ease of use also depends on your use case. Element Android is one of the easiest apps to use for basic text messaging and even sending images to individuals that I've ever used; much less crap involved than, say, Telegram, so long as you and the other person have Matrix accounts already. Group chats and onboarding are a bit rough but that's what they're addressing this year, so here's hoping these new projects go well.

              2 votes
            2. suspended
              Link Parent
              That looks fair and I'm equally optimistic for Element's progress. I've seen it come a long way thus far.

              That looks fair and I'm equally optimistic for Element's progress. I've seen it come a long way thus far.

              2 votes
    2. [3]
      petrichor
      Link Parent
      Interesting, I personally think the Element client is one of the Matrix ecosystem's biggest weaknesses. Maybe my feelings will change with spaces-related UI overhauls, but there's also a lot of...

      A gorgeous client that's a pleasure to use

      Interesting, I personally think the Element client is one of the Matrix ecosystem's biggest weaknesses. Maybe my feelings will change with spaces-related UI overhauls, but there's also a lot of small stuff - especially on the desktop client - that just feels clunky, unintuitive, or off. Regardless, I'm in agreement that Matrix's only just starting to hit its stride, and the developers are only making it (and Element) better.

      The Android and iOS apps are fantastic, though. Perks of writing a client for a single platform.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Eric_the_Cerise
        Link Parent
        Agree. I'm running a private host for friends & family. I am enthusiastic and "tech-ie" enough that I find/figure out how to do everything I want in the client apps, but most friends/family have...

        Agree. I'm running a private host for friends & family. I am enthusiastic and "tech-ie" enough that I find/figure out how to do everything I want in the client apps, but most friends/family have trouble learning how to use them. IDK what, exactly, the issue is (possibly as simple as "but it's not Messenger!"), but yeah, there seems to be something broadly unintuitive in the client designs.

        Eg: Sometimes old/unsent messages or other "hiccups" get stuck in the client app. There is a button to clear out old cache, effectively a "have you tried rebooting it" button ... but it's buried at the bottom of the "Help & About" screen. I have never seen any app ever put anything functionally useful on their Help/About pages.

        6 votes
        1. tindall
          Link Parent
          I'm really looking forward to seeing wider adoption of E2EE in non-Element clients. Quaternion and Fractal are both amazing.

          I'm really looking forward to seeing wider adoption of E2EE in non-Element clients. Quaternion and Fractal are both amazing.

          2 votes
    3. [4]
      vegai
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I like your optimism, but I think an organisation that’s subscribed to O365 has near zero reason to move from Teams to Matrix/Element. For one, it’s an extra price to be paid, secondly it’s...

      I like your optimism, but I think an organisation that’s subscribed to O365 has near zero reason to move from Teams to Matrix/Element. For one, it’s an extra price to be paid, secondly it’s another authentication point that has to be managed and thirdly Element lacks almost all integrations to existing Microsoft things. And number four might shock you: Teams is easier to use than Element. edit 5: Element/Matrix afaik offers no Enterprise security features (auditing etc).

      Slack (or Salesforce who owns it now), on the other hand, should be afraid. Good timing from Slack’s owners on that sale.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        tindall
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I think O365 has such horizontal integration - especially now that you can easily link your Cloud AD and your org's other SSO solutions - that I doubt anyone currently using it as their...

        Yeah, I think O365 has such horizontal integration - especially now that you can easily link your Cloud AD and your org's other SSO solutions - that I doubt anyone currently using it as their primary solution will move off any time soon.

        On the other hand, there are many organizations that use a little O365 here, a little Google Workspace there, Dropbox for sharing files, Slack for chat, etc. (my workplace among them). We desperately want to move to a single solution, or a few more focused solutions, because there is just so much fragmentation of information; we looked at Rocket Chat in the past, but it didn't really solve that problem. However, Matrix integration with Gitlab and perhaps some other enterprise-y tools could really position them well in that space - and since it's open source and has a federated protocol, that should be pretty easy to do.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          Have you considered Twake?

          Have you considered Twake?

          1 vote
          1. tindall
            Link Parent
            I hadn't heard of that; it's possible management has considered it but I will suggest it to them, thank you very much!

            I hadn't heard of that; it's possible management has considered it but I will suggest it to them, thank you very much!

            2 votes