yaxim

yet another XMPP instant messenger

yaxim Enters the Matrix

Starting today, yaxim is switching its protocol foundation from the deprecated exchange of clumsy and inefficient XML streams to the modern and elegant combination of HTTP and JSON/REST, the Matrix protocol.

Protocol History and Comparison

The XMPP protocol celebrated its 20th birthday early this year. The Matrix followed two months later and is currently in the middle of its own celebration. Some fifteen years later, a small company decided to use the strong brand value of the Matrix name to reinvent XMPP with a modern facade.

Evil voices claim that MATRIX stands for Monolithic, Awefully Trendy Re-Implementation of XMPP, and there is some truth to this, if we compare the words of the respective founding fathers:

Jabber is a new project I recently started to create a complete open-source platform for Instant Messaging with transparent communication to other IM systems(ICQ, AIM, etc).

I think they missed the bit where Matrix is called Matrix because it bridges (matrixes) the existing networks (Slack, IRC, Telegram, Discord, XMPP, etc) in, rather than needing to convince everyone to join.

However, the Matrix protocol has outgrown Vector Ltd, there is a version 1.0 0.4 specification, and even a Matrix.org Foundation.

This is much superior to XMPP, which is based on some arcane specifications maintained by a bunch of grey beards, plus a separate organisation for protocol extensions. In addition, Matrix supports working over 100 bits per second connections, while XMPP only gives you 75 bps.

The monolithic protocol is another huge advantage compared to many hundreds of optional extensions, and the rumors of Matrix fragmentation are a blatant lie.

Enter the Matrix

Therefore, the yaxim developers have decided to take the blue pill, to move forward, and to use the better and more modern and mobile friendly polling based HTTP scheme. Starting with the current beta release, you can enter Matrix chat rooms and talk to users on the Matrix.

The legacy XMPP protocol is remaining in the release for now, but will be removed in the near future to reduce the bloat of yaxim. You will be able to migrate your contacts to your new Matrix account by using the Bifröst bridge.

In parallel, we are working on switching yax.im from prosody to Synapse. The data transition is already completed, and we are only waiting for the data center provider to add 512GB of RAM to the machine before we can switch over.