Matrix

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"What is the Matrix?"

Matrix is an open, lightweight protocol for decentralized, real-time communications.

After a long evaluation period, Mozilla has switched to Matrix from IRC as our preferred open discussion platform. Matrix is a huge improvement in usability, accessibility and safety for the Mozilla community, and we're excited to make this change.

Community Participation at Mozilla

The heart of Mozilla is people. We put people first and do our best to recognize, appreciate and respect the diversity of our global contributors. The Mozilla Project welcomes the participation of everyone who shares our goals and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our communities. To that end, as with all Mozilla spaces and events we expect participants in our Matrix forums to support and uphold the Mozilla Community Participation Guidelines as a condition of participation.

Please note that the great majority of the rooms on our Matrix instance, like Bugzilla and Discourse, are public-facing forums that can be read anonymously, and should be considered a public place. Your participation in public rooms like Mozilla-General will be publicly visible. Some people create alternative accounts or log in with alternative email addresses for this reason. See Mozilla's Websites, Communications & Cookies Privacy Notice for more information on our privacy policies.

Getting Started

New to Matrix, new to Mozilla?

Start with the Element webapp and create an account. Once you're signed in, clicking these links will let you join the #general:mozilla.org channel for general questions or #introduction:mozilla.org if you're interested in getting involved with the Mozilla development process. There are lots more channels to choose from - there's a list of some of them below - and we'll have more as soon as we get them sorted out.

For more details, scroll down to Connect to Matrix below.

New to Matrix, already part of Mozilla?

Mozilla's Matrix server is configured to use Mozilla IAM, and supports the following accounts:

Any of those will work if you go through the web interface; the details are in the Connect to Matrix section below.

Already using Matrix?

If you're already using Matrix, you can join the Mozilla conversation by joining the #general:mozilla.org room for general topics and #introduction:mozilla.org if you're interested in getting involved with the Mozilla development process. The whole Mozilla list of rooms isn't settled out and synchronizing across the Matrix ecosystem yet; although many are linked below. In the meantime, those are friendly channels and the people there will be able to help you find your way around.

You can join our rooms using Matrix via the Element web app, the Element native mobile app for your platform, or any other Matrix client.

Using Element Web or Desktop you can view our room directory using the following steps:

  1. Click on the Explore button
Element Explore button location
  1. Click on the dropdown that says "Matrix rooms (yourserver.com)"
Matrix rooms dropdown.png
  1. Click Add a new server
  2. Type in mozilla.org and click Add

Now you can view the Mozilla server's room directory and join a room.

Community Participation Guidelines

The heart of Mozilla is people. We put people first and do our best to recognize, appreciate and respect the diversity of our global contributors. The Mozilla Project welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our goals and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our community

Despite our very best efforts, occasionally people do experience behaviors on Matrix that are not inline with our Community Participation Guidelines. If happens to you, please reach out to the room moderator or use our reporting hotline.

Changing Accounts

While you can change your "display name" in Matrix, because of low-level design decisions in the Matrix protocol, accounts cannot be renamed nor can accounts names be re-used, and deactivating them is permanent. For most Matrix users this is not an issue, but accounts tied to SSO such as Mozilla's cannot be reassigned to new owners. Changing the address associated with an SSO-bound Matrix account cannot be done, so you'll need to create a new account for yourself and deactivate the old one if that's what intend.

In order to maintain continuity in conversations, you will need to export your encryption keys from the old account and import them into the new account. The options to do this are under your account settings, in Security And Privacy, under Cryptography near the bottom of that window.

Connect to Matrix

Register a username

The quickest way to register a username on Mozilla Matrix is through the web interface.

  • Review the CPG and privacy notices and press the Sign In button
Welcome screen on chat.mozilla.org
  • On the sign in page, proceed to Sign in with single sign-on
Sign in page on chat.mozilla.org
  • Pick your choice of services to authenticate from
Mozilla IAM sign in page
  • Pick your username!
Pick your username on chat.mozilla.org

Clients

Matrix supports a variety of clients on web, desktop, and mobile. You can readily connect to the web client from https://chat.mozilla.org/. Matrix maintains a list of clients on their website.

The Mozilla Matrix server requires Single Sign-On. Clients which currently support Single Sign-On include:

Connection parameters

While the default parameters in most clients will work just fine, if you're already part of the Mozilla community or want to connect directly to the Mozilla Matrix instance. To do that, you'll need to change the following settings:

Homeserver https://mozilla.modular.im
Identity server https://vector.im

These details will be autofilled for you in most clients if you enter your full username (e.g. @susan:mozilla.org rather than susan) into the username field. In general it is preferable to do that rather than trying to remember what the homeserver URL is.

Joining a room

When connected to the Mozilla Matrix server you can join Mozilla rooms and also rooms on other Matrix servers.

There are several different ways to join a room:

  • You can follow an external link. (For example, see the links to commonly used rooms lower on this page.)
  • You can follow links from inside a discussion on Matrix.
  • You can receive an invitation from another Matrix member.
  • There are also platform specific methods:
    • On https://chat.mozilla.org/ you can click the compass icon "Explore rooms" in the upper left next to the search-bar and search the known rooms to see information about the rooms and then preview or join the rooms. On the left side you can select or enter another Matrix server and search for non-Mozilla rooms.
    • Other platforms: TBA

When you follow a link you you may be given a choice to preview the contents of the room or to join. If the room doesn't allow preview you may be asked if you want to join it without a preview first.

But it is also easy to leave a room. On https://chat.mozilla.org/ find the room name (or icon) in the room list on the left and click the three vertical dots to the left of the name. There are several options on how you want to read the room. plus the option to leave.

Viewing Room Members

Once you have joined a room you can view the room members by clicking on the person icon in the top right. You may notice (depending on your client) that all members appear "offline" or greyed out, this is intentional as "presence" is not enabled for the Mozilla homeserver.

See the field "enable_presence_by_hs_url" in the configuration file https://chat.mozilla.org/config.json

Commonly used rooms

General discussion

Software Development

Specific areas

Specific locations

Mozilla offices

Local communities

Rooms in other languages

French

Lithuanian

Guidelines for creating a new room

How you create a new room depends on your client (Element help). Any public room on the server should invite the moderator account with the admin role. This will help you administer the room in compliance with the CPG. Providing access to the moderator account is a two step process:

  1. Issue the invitation: /invite @moderator:mozilla.org
  2. After @moderator:mozilla.org joins the room, grant them the admin role.

A public room is one where anyone can join without an invite. I.e. the "only people who have been invited" option has not been enabled.

While the Moderator account with only "mod" privileges lets us protect channels against individual bad actors, it does not give that account the access needed to change channel-wide access control lists. You need to grant the Moderator "admin" privileges to be able to take advantage of the collective-defense options Matrix provides.

Feedback

For feedback on Element and Matrix, head to #synchronicity:mozilla.org

History

  • On March 2020, Mozilla moved from IRC to Matrix.