No hate, genuine question... why do people use #Matrix over #XMPP?

Aside from "XMPP is old" I don't see any reason to favour Matrix. I also don't see XMPP being around long enough to have a strong ecosystem that's constantly built on to be a bad thing.

From a #selfhosting perspective XMPP is far easier to run as well.

For E2EE they both use OMEMO.

And ofc it's in the name, XMPP is extensible.

"Old" is not just about time, but also about UX.
I don't like Matrix at all, but it's close to current generation of messengers for genal audience.

@skobkin what's bad about the UX of Conversations? It looks pretty much the same as Signal, WhatsApp, Threema, etc and not all that different to Element really except less crowded. There's also other clients, some a fork of Conversations, that are designed with a more customisable UX. All the properly maintained ones people actually use have a modern feel.

> "The devil is in the details"

The same small details which make current proprietary messengers more friendly to the user.

For example how many years it took for XMPP to release XEP-0363? If I'm not wrong, it was released only in 2020.

Also if I'm not mistaken, Conversations still doesn't support it according to this page:


BTW, I had my XMPP server (ejabberd, then migrated to prosody) running in ~2007-2016, but I've shut it down because neither me nor other users were interested in it anymore.

@skobkin I certainly am not arguing with the fact that average users prefer centralised commercial services, my question was aimed at the FOSS crowd here who go for self-hosted decentralised solutions. We're a niche of course.

Tools shouldn't come before people. I'm a developer myself, I love FOSS (I'm writing this message from Linux right now), but it's unlikely that I'll be using some *messenger* if there is nobody there to send messages to.

XMPP has something to learn from Matrix which is closer to the people.
I dislike Matrix in a technical way, but I can't deny that it has much more chances to win general crowd sympathy than XMPP.

XMPP had it's chance in ~2010 when many companies were implementing their solutions using XMPP. But it talentlessly lost it being unable to change fast.

> question was aimed at the FOSS crowd here who go for self-hosted decentralised solutions.

Your question was: "why do people use #Matrix over #XMPP?".

Anyway. I'm that kind of person and I'm currently running Synapse on my server. I don't like it very much, but at least it solves a bit more "common people" problems than it creates (for now).

I was thinking about running Prosody again, but every time I'm stopping myself because I know that I'll have very few contacts in my roster comparing to other services. And there's almost no point in it because top five people I'm having conversations with wouldn't use it anyway.

And for situations when I need real privacy and security, I can use email with GPG encrypted data.

The situation around XMPP makes me really sad. But I'm trying to be realistic 🤷‍♂️

@skobkin but herein lies my question: aside from knowing more people who use it, what advantages does Matrix have over XMPP?

Not looking to pick a fight, it's a genuine question.

Fwiw I used to self-host Synapse but didn't know anyone else who used it. I do like some of the groups, but most of those have bridges with XMPP as well as centralised platforms like Telegram anyway so I use those more than I open Element.

> aside from knowing more people who use it, what advantages does Matrix have over XMPP?

I've just provided one example above. File transfer is much more user-friendly in Matrix. XMPP implemented something like that in 2020, but it's still not adopted.

To continue this I need to actualize my XMPP knowledge and check how other things like history synchronization, some MUC-specific features, notification stability on mobile devices etc. But I don't want to spend my time doing that right now because the only thing I'll get from that is the longer answer to your question.

So basically it's like I said: some small UX details. And don't get me wrong, I'm not praising Matrix because I hate Electron and it's UI make me want to throw up, but still.


Sorry, can't help repeating that this post is inaccurate, XMPP has had solid file transfer for many many years.

What you're saying about XMPP vs Matrix UX brings to mind the reasons I started Snikket though:

The main difference I see in Matrix land is the existence of Element (the company and the app), which gives them resources (they've raised $millions) and consistency (they control the app development on all major platforms).

@mattj @aspie4K

> has had solid file transfer for many many years

In my experience (which I had from ~2007 to 2016) it was bad. P2P transfers were working like shit and often required to manually change account settings to add proxy address.

Direct text-based transfers always weren't worth mentioning in real life.

Sending the file to the person who is offline or to the MUC was a problem too.

If you and me had such drastically different experiences, then it means that something is wrong with XMPP ecosystem. And that exactly was one of reasons I left it.

> the reasons I started Snikket

I can totally agree with these goals. The fragmentation and sporadic feature support from client to client and from server to server was one of reasons me and my friends are not using XMPP anymore.

I can only with you luck with such project and hope that it'll work because I'm not fond of what Matrix doing and how it's implemented.

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