Gitter moves to the Matrix and merges with Element Matrix

item, a company created by key developers of the Matrix project, announced the purchase of Gitter, a chat and instant messaging service previously owned by GitLab.

Gitter plans to integrate Matrix into the ecosystem and turn it into a chat platform using decentralized communications technologies from Matrix. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

It is planned that the transfer of technologies Gitter to Matrix is carried out in several stages. The first step is to provide a high-quality gateway for Gitter to work across the Matrix network, which will allow Gitter users to communicate directly with users on the Matrix network and for members of the Matrix network to connect to the networks. Gitter chat rooms.

Gitter can be used as a full client for the Matrix network. The legacy Gitter mobile app will be replaced by the Element (formerly Riot) mobile app, modified to support specific Gitter functionality.

Long-term, so as not to dissipate efforts on two fronts, It was decided to develop a single application that combines the capabilities of Matrix and Gitter. Element plans to bring all advanced Gitter features such as instant room view, hierarchical room directory, integration with GitLab and GitHub (including creating chat rooms for projects on GitLab and GitHub), KaTeX support, threaded discussions. and available for search engine file indexing.

These features will be gradually migrated to the Element app and combined with the capabilities of the Matrix platform, such as end-to-end encryption, decentralized communications, VoIP, conferencing, bots, widgets, and an open API. Once the unified version is ready, the old Gitter app will be replaced by the new Element app, which includes Gitter-specific functionality.

Gitter is written in JavaScript using the Node.js framework and is open under the license MIT. Gitter allows you to organize communication between developers in relation to the GitHub and GitLab repositories, as well as some other services such as Jenkins, Travis, and Bitbucket. Gitter features stand out:

  • Save communication history with the ability to search the archive and browse by month.
  • Availability of versions for Web, desktop systems, Android and iOS.
  • The ability to connect to chat using an IRC client.
  • Convenient system of references to objects in Git repositories.
  • Support for using Markdown markup in message text.
  • The ability to subscribe to chat channels.
  • Viewing user status and GitHub user information.
  • Support for linking to problem messages (# number to link to the problem).
  • Means to send batch notifications with an overview of new messages to a mobile device.
  • Support for attaching files to messages.
  • The platform for organizing decentralized communications Matrix uses HTTPS + JSON as a transport with the ability to use WebSockets or a protocol based on CoAP + Noise.

The system it is formed as a community of servers that can interact with each other and are combined into a common decentralized network.

Messages are replicated across all servers to which the messaging participants are connected. Messages are propagated between servers, similar to how commits are propagated between Git repositories. In the event of a temporary server shutdown, messages are not lost, but rather transmitted to users after the server is resumed.

Multiple options are supported for user IDs, including email, phone number, Facebook account, etc.

There is no single point of failure or control over messages on the network. All servers covered by the discussion are equal to each other. Any user can run their own server and connect it to the public network.

Gateways can be created for Matrix interaction with systems based on other protocols, for example, prepared two-way messaging services to IRC, Facebook, Telegram, Skype, Hangouts, Email, WhatsApp and Slack.


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