Wikimedia Chat (https://chat.wmcloud.org) is a text chat system that enables Wikimedians to have real-time, threaded conversations and without using commercial services running closed source software like Slack, Facebook or Microsoft Teams, that potentially track and use private (meta) data. You can read more about Wikimedia Chat in the blog post introducing it.
Compared to IRC, Wikimedia Chat provides:
- Ability to scroll back and read messages when you were offline
- Ability to search in history of discussions
- Ability to receive email upon notification
- Push notifications and email notifications
- Ability to hide one's IP address from others without needing a cloak
- Proper support for sharing media
- An interface that is translated to more than a dozen languages.
- Two-factor authentication
- A proper mobile app support
- Ability to add custom emojis (yes, it’s extremely important)
- Profile pictures
- Ability to ping everyone with @here or @channel
- much much more.
It is part of the Wikimedia Social Suite and is an installation of the Mattermost open source software system on Wikimedia CloudVPS; messages will stay there for 90 days due to WM Cloud policy, and membership is by invitation from an existing member for the initial beta testing stage.
Matterbridge is a software to transfer messages between Mattermost and other chat systems. For example it operates between Wikidata Wikimedia Chat channel and #wikidataconnect IRC channels. If you have a request between a Mattermost channel and another IRC channel, or Discord channel, or Telegram group, please create a Phabricator task.
Good practice in naming is to when joining to use the Wikimedia username/full_name so that your profile matches the account in Wikimedia spaces *(this might later be synced/connected).
Good use cases are:
- groups that need to coordinate and collaborate across different time-zones and therefore benefit from persistent chat channels, shared playbooks and kanban-boards (normally available only to Wikimedia developers)
- events that invite diverse participants around a bigger theme or set of topics
- that might normally use IRC and/or Telegram (as it can bridge to both)
- that need to refine and branch out (unlike Telegram, something like Slack)
Bad use cases are:
- communication and file/URL exchanges that need to be preserved for more than 3 months
- communication that requires high level of privacy/encryption