Dontcord

A couple of days ago I decided that the passport thing was the final straw, and I'm going to start moving my things off Discord forever.

This is because I don't trust Discord to know about my personal life, which they can gather a lot of by reading the over a million messages I've sent in my time.

Now to figure out how to do that.

One advantage for me over many other people in the same situation is that I don't participate much in public servers, so I don't have to worry about leaving those behind. However, there are still many things that I'll have trouble separating from.

Private groups

I'm in several private discussion groups with friends that I've acquired from various places. For two of those groups I've installed the matrix-to-discord bridge so I can send messages through there, and while this somewhat disconnects my identity from scrutiny by robots, it's not a full solution for the eventual goal of completely getting my messages from that group off Discord, because then everyone in the group would have to use Matrix to talk there too and only then can we disconnect the bridge. I think I could convince a couple of groups to do this though.

Direct messages

This is the smallest barrier. I DM everyone on Discord telling them my Matrix handle, showing them how to get started, and then instructing them to message me there in future.

Public groups

There are sadly many public groups where Discord is the only option to participate. There aren't any public groups that I crucially need to stay in, but this would be an annoying barrier to talking to other people in the future if there's a community that I'd like to talk to.

Screenshare

Screenshare is a good feature, especially now that Discord finally has a good implementation for it. I'll be sorry to see it go, but there are always other sites that we can create an ephemeral screenshare room on, like peercalls.com, though this site is still a bit buggy.

Voice channels

Voice channels are a really well done feature and I'm really sad that Matrix doesn't have an equivalent. This has been on their issue tracker since mid-2017, and while I hope that it'll come at some point, I definitely can't count on it. The pains of not having $300M+ in investments, I guess.

Well, Mumble is good, actually.

Clients

Discord uses a lot of system resources, mostly because it's made in Electron, but it is at least consistent and reliable. Riot kind of sucks, especially how it splits the room list in several fragments for categories. I'm currently maining nheko, which is pretty good, though currently in the AppImage version the tray icon is invisible unless you have unread messages. This should be fixed in the future, the development team is pretty cool. Building from source works great. Just make sure to download the nightly version, since the stable version is about a year behind. 0.7.0 will release soon, though!

Guilds

Guilds as the API calls them, or servers as the UI calls them, are a convenient structure to group channels and members into their own space that no other instant messaging system has, as far as I've seen. For example, Matrix and IRC just have standalone rooms that all members have to join separately and that aren't grouped in the UI and that have separated permissions. Matrix's communities are trying to be guilds but they act as a filter bar which is a little annoying to use and definitely time consuming to set up though once the setup is done they work very well in nheko.

I feel like communities could be changed in the client to behave just like guilds in terms of auto-joining all rooms, syncing permissions, and such, but I unfortunately don't have the energy to wrangle with doing this myself.

Bots

Matrix has hardly any bots. I've been thinking about writing a webservice which translates all requests to the Discord API to the Matrix API instead. I don't know if this is actually possible but it would be cool in theory, and for bot owners this would be an incredibly easy way to join the Matrix universe, hopefully without having to edit any code in their bot except for the URL of discord app dot com.

My bot, Amanda

This is a big ass problems and I don't know what I'm gonna do about it. Fortunately my other team member went through verification so I don't have to. I have these options:

I do not like any of these options.

I sure hope this post looks good because it's way too late at night and I don't wanna proofread it.

— Cadence

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