I personally hope the Matrix protocol continues to improve and become more popular.
They’ve been working on improving their privacy lately, and it seems to me that they’re the only one with E2E, federated, decentralized group chats seeing growing adoption (e.g. France, KDE, etc.).
Definitely not an easy issue from what I’ve seen, especially compared to something like Signal where iirc they just use phone numbers as ID.
Right now in E2E isn’t enabled by default since the support of so many platforms and different devices results in the hassle of having to verify each device ID.
However, it’s been improving over the years and I believe one of their long term goals is to make this as convenient as possible.
I encourage people to check out the various homeserver implementations and contribute to them if interested, the reference implementation is Synapse written in Python, there’s Dendrite written in Go, Ruma written in Rust, and probably others as well.
The various project members are also very easy to reach through the official rooms like MatrixHQ (#matrix:matrix.org), and Matthew the project lead is on lobste.rs as well (/u/arathorn).
The problem, as usual, is that desktop clients aren’t great, from my limited experience. I’m still missing something like Gajim or Pidgin or Miranda (from a usability/non-electron point of view). I’m in the process of looking intro spectral and quaternion right now, in order to replace XMPP. (Need proper, small clients for Linux and Windows, not necessarily the same for each).
Definitely agree with you on that, right now Riot is so ahead of the alternative clients it basically forces you to use either Electron or WeeChat. It’s getting better over time though, especially with something like Fractal which is developed by GNOME. I’m personally waiting for a nice Qt client to mature and reach parity with Riot. But I have faith in the underlying ideas and spec, and I expect that in the future users will have great freedom in choosing whatever client they want to use.
I actually got nheko, quaternion and spectral to run on windows yesterday. I think currently spectral looks best, but quaternion just needs some more polish (maybe take some hints from quassel). nheko is a little too non-native for me.
A federated, confidential instant messaging service that’s not a huge PITA like XMPP would be nice.
I think we can do better than Trust on First Use, though. E.g. keybase chat does better.
A really simple algorithm to make identities persistent is to just encrypt a master key for each user on the client with a user-known passphrase and then store it on the server. And/or you can share keys between devices (matrix do both of these, keybase does the latter).
Slide 36 talks about keeping metadata private. If they can’t mine the metadata for value, then what’s the business case for something like WhatsApp? (Honest question)