9. Matrix, the New WordPress Chat


The WordPress Community welcomes a new instant messaging technology, Matrix, now available to all WordPress.org members.

Remember that you can listen to this program from Pocket Casts, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts or subscribe to the feed directly.

Program transcript

Hello, I’m Javier Casares, and you’re listening to WordPress Podcast, bringing the weekly news from the WordPress Community.

You’ll find updates from November 27 to December 3, 2023.

Ask anyone in the WordPress Community about the WordPress chat platform, and the resounding answer will be one: Slack.

Until now.

For some time, more visible in recent weeks, work had begun on a tool to migrate all public Slack messages to Matrix, a task now completed.

This isn’t the first time a platform switch has occurred; the first major change was in 2014, moving from IRC to Slack.

But what is Matrix?

Matrix is a real-time communication protocol and an open standard. It’s used for online chatting, voice over IP, and video telephony.

Technically, Matrix is an application layer protocol that uses HTTP APIs to distribute and persist messages in JSON format across an open federation of servers. It can also integrate with standard web services via WebRTC, facilitating browser-to-browser applications.

While Matrix is a protocol, the most well-known tool is Element, its software available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Web. Visually, we can say it resembles Slack.

It makes a lot of sense for an open-source tool like WordPress to consider using a protocol like Matrix, but why Matrix?

The reason is simple. Automattic, the company of Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of WordPress, invested 4.6 million US dollars in New Vector (now Element) in May 2020.

Is this technology already usable? Yes, and in different ways.

The simplest way to start testing is to use the web chats created for each Make team.

The other option is to use any of the Matrix applications, specifying community.wordpress.org as the connection server. This will lead you to connect your WordPress user account, and from there, you’ll have access to all the chats.

On the Developers Blog, there’s an interesting post about the new Details block and how it can be used and customized, both from a user’s perspective and from developers’, with examples of usage like FAQ or spoiler sections.

The Plugins team has once again opened its call for volunteers.

In recent weeks, the onboarding process for the team has been refined, which will expand in January by three more people.

The tasks include reviewing new plugins that arrive, responding to emails, improving team processes, and developing some tools, like Plugin Check.

The Meta team has enabled a new feature allowing Make P2 sites to create explanatory tours of the site.

This system allows highlighting different parts of the site in a step-by-step model, where each step includes a brief explanation of that element’s usefulness.

Should sponsors be allowed to have a demo room or a track at events? This is the question the Community team has posed for discussion, generating positions for, against, and neutral.

This proposal, for now, seems not to be entirely closed off as a possibility, but it won’t be applied universally and cannot be demanded by sponsors, although the door is left open for events that want to experiment.

And the BuddyPress 12.0 version enters its release candidate phase. Scheduled for final release on December 6, it primarily includes two major changes.

First, we have the Rewrites API, which essentially allows changing all BuddyPress URLs.

The other significant change is the option of having a community only for registered members, keeping all information accessible only to those who can log in.

Finally, this podcast is distributed under the EUPL license. For more information and links, please visit WordPress Podcast .org or follow the content, also, in Catalan, Spanish, and French.

Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!


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