A Matrix space for Doom Emacs

I am keenly aware of Discord’s flaws[1], and folks have requested I switch Doom off of it many times[2]. Our Discourse was a step in the right direction, but it’s no replacement for realtime chat, so—as mentioned in #3589#issuecomment-1116025874—I plan to create a Matrix space for Doom.

There is no ETA on this—and I may change my mind—but I’ve created this thread to track its blockers:

  • Spaces is still in beta, and missing some important features, like synchronized access control,
  • A Discord server → Matrix space bridge is not available yet,
  • I need 2-3 trusted moderators for the Matrix side,
  • Some basic moderation tools are missing(?) on Matrix[3]:
    • Rule gating: Discord requires the user read the rules, have a verified email address, and can complete a CAPTCHA before they’re allowed to post.
    • Cross-platform mod commands: Discord mods should be able to safely ban, mute, warn, or kick a matrix user using console commands from the Discord side (and vice versa).
    • Mirrored deletions: Our Discord bots (including ours) may issue warnings, ban s[pc]ammers, and delete messages. Will the bridge mirror these for us?

Can these all translate to Matrix? I don’t know. If you’re Matrix-savvy—particularly with multi-room communities—I’d appreciate your input.

:warning: Please don’t suggest alternatives to Matrix. I’m not in the market for one and have no intention of adopting additional platforms.

  1. Its proprietary, login-gated (without SSOs), has an abysmal search engine, and questionable leadership. ↩︎

  2. And not always so kindly… ↩︎

  3. Porting our auto-mods is particularly important, because policing people isn’t fun for anyone. ↩︎


Re: spaces
I think you might be out of date, see Spaces launch in Element

Re: moderators
:raised_hand: I want to be more active on Matrix anyway

Re: moderation
I’m not sure how much, but GitHub - matrix-org/mjolnir: A moderation tool for Matrix might help. I’m also on a server with a Matrix <-> Discord bridge, and IIRC Deletions are mirrored.

Yeah I’m happy to help out to moderate, need to also get into matrix more.

Asking for help from active nix matrixers (eg bach) might be good too.

Perhaps Graim is a better choice for Matrix <-> Discord moderation.

About Discord’s abysmal search engine:

In my experience, Element/Matrix isn’t better :grimacing:

I’m not sure. I took that to mean Element’s client implementation of Spaces was out of beta, because I couldn’t find anything official on matrix.org.

Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind once we’re closer to launching it.

These look very promising, I’ll look into them. Do you have any particular reasons for your recommendations?

I suspected as much, though, is this a client issue? Or something endemic to the protocol?

In any case, I think our Discourse addresses searchability well enough. FAQs end up here anyway (in fact, I’ve seeded #support with a bunch of common ones already). The accessibility of Matrix clients is a big enough win over Discord to warrant adoption for me (e.g. SSOs[1], more client choice, and better support for accessibility tools).

  1. Being able to register/log in with Git{hub,lab}, Google, etc. is much more convenient. ↩︎

From what I gather, search is done server-side (so, on matrix-synapse if using this homeserver implementation) for non-encrypted channels; encrypted channels are done client-side on Element or any other client that implements it.

See this synapse GitHub issue for instance.

The good news seems to be that it’s not protocol specific; just a matrix-synapse issue?

Couldn’t agree more; I wanted to raise the search issue as I’ve been quite disappointed with it myself. Other than that I fully support the move to Matrix.

Regarding rules:

Would having the rules in the description of the Space and in the channel topics not be enough? I’m one of the mods of a channel with >2.5k users (also bridged to IRC and telegram) and we rarely get spammers or other violations of our rules. With our mods from all over the world there’s always someone online and it usually doesn’t take long to warn/kick/ban any offenders.

Or are you worried in particular about bots overwhelming the mods (because you explicitly mentioned CAPTCHAs)?

Since our rules are in a reasonably visible place on our Discord—and folks still fall through the cracks—I doubt it’d be enough, but it’s certainly a necessary first step.

My main concern are folks asking for help. Some submit to the wrong channel, others don’t do their homework before posting, and more omit common information from the get go[1]. On average, 3 in 5 posts[2] are false positives or issues that could’ve been resolved with a Google, Github, or Discourse search beforehand.

This Discourse was the first step to mitigate this[3], but I’m also working on a Discord bot. It will auto-delete messages[4] that don’t ping @helpme (and aren’t replies), then DMs the user to explain what happened and direct them to resources they likely missed—next to the rules where the @helpme requirement is documented.

At the moment, my money is on that. Maybe it’s heavy-handed, but I’d rather a bot communicate mistakes, rather than a mod (who might be grumpy that you’re the 20th one to do this today).

I just hope the bot’s actions will reach across the bridge…

Yes. It’s a problem on our Discord that our rule-gate has (apparently) fixed[5]. The few that have gotten through have been shut down by the bots[6].

That said, this is nothing new to Discord servers. Maybe it’s not so bad on Matrix?

  1. Playing 20 questions with every user in our help channels is a tremendous time sink. ↩︎

  2. I’ve kept a personal log of questions/answers since October 2021 so I don’t have to deal with Discord’s absymal search engine to find them again. ↩︎

  3. Answering with a link is easier than wrestling with Discord’s search to dig up old answers. Also, Google indexes our Discourse. ↩︎

  4. Only in help channels. ↩︎

  5. By locking unverified users in a hidden room where the server member list isn’t visible (and so, bots can’t DM folks unless they verify). ↩︎

  6. It’s beautiful…


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As I read the situation, about 2y ago discord became fertile ground for spam/scams. Matrix is not yet approaching this point.

Yea, that’s probably the correct interpretation. I’m not sure what the status of the MSCs are.

Just that I’d seen mjolnir in the past, nothing more.

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Minor update: I took a peek at this, and found MSC1772, which is now part of the Matrix spec.