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An instantaneous chat platform for the ROS community

Yeah, but it’s something someone has to maintain. And has many of the same privacy and accessibility issues as the other platforms (in my opinion). We were piggy backing off of ( but it’s hosted service is gone now. There weren’t many hosted options when I last set that up. If someone wants to set that up and the rest of the people in the IRC channel are ok with it, then I’ll help with any channel permissions or w/e, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of time monitoring or fixing it if it goes down.

As I introduced to @emersonknapp, you can use the matrix/riot as personal IRC bouncer, so you can later view/search message history while your client was disconnected, thus making the IRC channel immediately more usable:

FYI, the IRC server will stick kick you off if you remain inactive for more that 30 day.

@mjcarroll , in the #ros FreeeNode IRC, you mentioned correctly setting your nick through Matrix so it worked correctly with Riot:!$

Could you expand upon what you did, or what the process should be? It might be helpful for others who’d like to use more modern clients while retaining @-mentions capabilities across the IRC/Matrix bridge.

Yep, so to change my nick, I opened a chat with and used the following: !nick mjcarroll. I think that the command may vary depending on which connection to Freenode you use (I saw used in other places).

After that, you can open a chat with NickServ, which is and authenticate with the standard mechanism by sending a message to the NickServ such as identify mjcarroll hunter2

If you haven’t previously registered a nick, you can do so by sending register <password> <email>

I think tha tyou can also message with !storepass <password> so that you don’t have to keep messaging NickServ.

Finally, I think that matrix sets +R by default, so you won’t get messages from users that aren’t registered to IRC. I think you can change your mode but I haven’t experimented with that at all.

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I’m not sure if this was intended, by we can actually see your pw here.

Thanks, but it was actually a nod to the old quote

Rest assured, my password is not actually hunter2.

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Perhaps I should’ve added a :wink:

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Well there goes an hour of my time, lost to nostalgia.


Some of the discussion here deviated into an instantaneous chat platform discussion. Linking it here for err … completeness?

Let’s do that. I need to get better at searching history to look for context. I am going to table slack discussions at this time. One thing I want to think about is perhaps a way we can support real time discussion in the future. I think some sort of real-time support office hours could scratch a community itch but I need to talk with a lot of people about ways we could perhaps make it happen.

I have used slack in the past and it is perfect thing for discussions.

And the IRC does exist. Now that I know about matrix/riot I’m likely to use it more. Maybe a better approach for now is to make that information and some recommendations for how one should connect more clear.

Matrix makes alot of sense, we use riot on the ROS perception maintainers & making more and more use of it for navigation2 planning and designing. @mjcarroll has mentioned before some other maintainer groups use it as well.

There’s admittedly a learning curve to it (especially on the admin side), so if ease of use is a concern, Slack might be something to consider @Katherine_Scott.

As I linked to in a previous comment above, using riot as a matrix client to connect to the old IRC channel works better than any IRC client I’ve ever tediously configured. Perhaps we should disseminate the matrix link below where we also reference IRC or community discourse forum website:

I think we should also look into hosting a concise index of community links such as an organized list of active working groups, TSC members, the schedules for these working groups and TSC sessions, where the meeting notes can be found, what are contact points, e.g. what sub tag they subscribe to, or who to ping, etc. @gbiggs and I where talking about this not too long ago:

That being said, I’d still think it would be worthwhile migrating from freenode to matrix in order to really support all the features of a modern chat tool, like:

  • hyperlinking to previous archived threads via public links
    • allows github tickets to link back to prior context over chat
  • Multimedia expansion
    • get web previews of links for readability
  • Security/authenticity:

Mozilla has also been investigating Matrix as a candidate replacement after retiring their old IRC server. Not sure about the current state of the migration as of late:

The ROS Security WG has been using it’s community under to host a few rooms for about half a year now. Its helped us communicate/whiteboard on a number of issues, especially when an idea/question isn’t fully formed enough to post on discourse. It’s also a nice place to sync or onboard others on small/temporal tasks that don’t quite warrant their own resting space, like an entire github ticket.

You're invited to talk on Matrix

Riot seems nice, but I think is a serious contender and the both of them should be seriously considered and compared.

I am restating my previous comment as I fear it got lost in the flow of the conversation.

Is Spectrum chat owned IP of GitHub now? I couldn’t find any communities still active on the site to test.

@smac , mind sharing the matrix link?
I’ve been committing to navigation2 for bit, but remained unaware of this.

Oh sure, I’ll PM you

I did my research and it I find it even better than I first thought.

Is Spectrum chat owned IP of GitHub now?

Actually, it is Github who opened and made Spectrum free software by first acquiring the company and then making it fully free and open-source (their license being BSD-3)

I couldn’t find any communities still active on the site to test.

I don’t understand what you mean here, when I browsed the link that I previously shared I saw a respectable amount of communities with 200 to 300 current online users, which seems pretty active to me. Many if not most (if not all, as it is the target) are open-source projects, like Apollo Graphql which recently made the switch.

An additional argument is that Spectrum is likely to be integrated straight into Github at some point, as stated in the first link of this post (first acquiring the company): 3. Expect deeper integration with GitHub!

Most ROS packages being currently hosted on Github, if deeper integration means that each existing project can easily create its own community (or actually whatever else that means) it has the potential to interface better the ROS core platforms to the individual packages.