A loosely moderated place to ask open ended questions
If your post is
- Open ended
- Not offensive
- Not regarding lemmy support (c/lemmy_support)
- not ad nauseam inducing (please make sure its a question that would be new to most members)
it’s welcome here!
- 0 users online
- 15 users / day
- 27 users / week
- 84 users / month
- 421 users / 6 months
- 8 subscribers
- 1.15K Posts
- 11.9K Comments
I find myself comparing Discord to Element/Matrix. In terms of features and in some cases usability Discord is light years ahead. However is lack of federation and it’s closed source nature make it an unappealing option.
The way it handles screen sharing and video chat is really nice. I hope that’s something that element or even Jitsi could eventually replicate.
Discord feels like a necessary evil in my life since so many communities are on it. Trying Element was worse UX in my experience, which is awful if you’re trying to get people to switch.
I feel like its WAY to invasive in my privacy. I have to use it for so many things, but I try to get folks to use Telegram instead. Telegram is much nicer UI. Discord is over bloated with crap and keeps asking me to spend money.
My main thought about discord is that the UX doesn’t work well for me. It is primarily focused on “communities” which I’ve never had the desire to organize my life into. I have a “server” that we use for chat during games because everyone knows it but then I have to do a couple clicks to switch to my friends “server” to see a new message, then a couple clicks back. Having two conversions in different communities is incredibly painful. There is also just as much awkwardness if you want to swap between DMs as well.
For me I much prefer the Element, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp… approach where I just have rooms in a big long list (or sorted in a way that works for me). I don’t like this Discord, Slack forced 2-level hierarchy. I actually think Matrix+Element is killing it here with Spaces. Spaces provide a lot of the good parts of the Discord Server or Slack Workspace while still allowing you to get a big long list of rooms so that switching between a DM, room in one community and a room in a different one. You can even just link all of the rooms you are interested in to a private space to organize them however you want. I can’t wait for them to have a bit more time to polish the UX here.
I also don’t see the draw of separated voice and text channels. You always end up needing to share links or images anyways and have to awkwardly explain what channel you dumped it in. Eventually this leads to the
#voice-spamchannel which is effectively creating a voice+text channel with an awkward UX because the software doesn’t actually know that they are linked.
I also don’t get why people like doing a lot of communication in chat over things like websites and forms. Especially for communities like speedrunning where it is actually nice to have documentation on strategies. They end up getting asked the same question every day then get mad that people didn’t read the 8th pinned entry in the 3rd FAQ room (which of course isn’t visible to Google). I guess it does create a “friendlier” atmosphere in theory since everyone is constantly helping everyone, but again, not my preference.
But these are all UX arguments that don’t work for me. They appear to resonate well with a wide group of people so I guess it is me who is “wrong” here. Of course that doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to avoid it.
UX aside I don’t like that it is centralized. I definitely try to stick to decentralized services where possible so that I am not beholden to the whim of a single operator.
Most of the other complains I see don’t bother me:
I think the main upside is that it is easy enough to use that most people can’t figure it out quickly without any help. That is an important point for any popular service. Unfortunately Element Android is still about 50% unguided success rate from my experience. I hope they keep streamlining it.
First things first, not FOSS, not federated, phone number requirement, VPN hostile, therefore bad. <insert RMS discord HTML page> Pedos, MAPs, groomers, razor sharp edgy kids.
Now we come to a more non ideological analysis.
My experience over the last few years is that Discord in particular is used for organized cyberbullying, hate speech, blackmailing, badmouthing, as support seems to be more than absent. And if support ever gets back to you, you feel like you’re in a German ‘Media Markt’: “That’s not my department!”.
As an aside, almost everyone there seems to think they can make their own laws and ignore, for example, countries’ privacy laws. Sharing screenshots from direct messages seems to be as normal as brushing teeth for many there.
I guess I’m in the minority on this but… feature wise, I think it’s fantastic. It’s got nearly everything I could ask for, and I love how easy it is to stream and watch videos with groups of people. I often steam Seinfeld and other TV shows/movies in a leftist Discord community that I’m in and it’s just so nice to be able to do it so easily, without having to walk non tech-savvy users through lengthy troubleshooting in order for things to work. Pretty much any issue I’ve encountered when it comes to streaming/watching content was resolved within a few minutes of Googling.
Privacy wise, I wish there was an open-source alternative to Discord that a) has the same features and b) is user-friendly enough to actually shift Discord users to it. Unfortunately, pitching open-source alternatives to Discord is very difficult because they just aren’t as easy for most users to use and because it’s pretty hard to shift a large amount of users from one program they’re very familiar with to one that they’re not familiar with.
I think tech-savvy people are generally more inclined to shift to open-source software, particularly in the early stages, because they’re not nearly as bothered by the tinkering/troubleshooting involved. I think it’s similar to why so few people use Linux compared to Windows. But what a lot of tech savvy people just can’t wrap their heads around is the simple fact that for the overwhelming majority of users, they don’t have the time/patience/interest to switch to new alternatives to programs/systems they’ve been using for years and are comfortable using. It’s like pitching a jacket that is superior in terms of heat retention, but most people just think the design is ugly. If you want people to wear the jacket, the simple fact is you’ve got to make it appealing to them instead of stubbornly insisting that it’s got superior heat retention and therefore it just makes logical sense to wear it over the colder but far more popular jacket that people prefer because it’s fashionable.
When I was younger, I was all about the tinkering/troubleshooting to delve into the world of open source software. As I get older, I just want my shit to work consistently and for troubleshooting to include a large user base so that the odds of there being a solution is high. I no longer have the time/patience/interest to spend hours/days troubleshooting. Communications software like Discord is especially challenging when it comes to pitching an open-source alternative, because without major advantages that most users can appreciate enough to make the leap, the open source alternative’s population will remain quite low because most users are wiling to sacrifice privacy for convenience/familiarity.
No doubt, this post will irk some people but… what can I say? Open source software has to revolve around convenience because that’s what most users value above all else. Pitching an app like Signal to friends/family was a breeze because of how relatively seamless the process of installing/using it as a primary app for texting via SMS and Signal messages. But pitching an app like an open source Discord alternative, it has unique challenges that I really think developers need to pay attention to.
Right now, I think an unfortunate amount of open source devs are of the mindset as Principal Skinner:
"Am I so out of touch??"
"No, it’s the users who are wrong."
A lot of open source software is like the fanny pack or cargo pants-- functionally useful but good luck pitching either product to most people. I think a lot of open source advocates don’t take into considerate the social aspect of pitching alternatives to proprietary software and instead just dismiss it as unimportant, but then they’re left sort of bitterly wondering why nobody’s using the fanny pack/cargo pants of software. I’ve always found this interesting, particularly when it comes to the animosity the tech community has for Apple products. It’s like an anti-social/awkward person just not at all understanding why charismatic, fashionable people tend to be attract more positive attention or they do understand and stubbornly insist on not even attempting to be more charismatic/fashionable.
Says the pig being fattened up for slaughter /s
Of course it is going to look nice if you are being pampered with loads of money to lure you in. Discord is just a bit earlier in the inevitable progression than Reddit etc… why are you here now and not any longer on Reddit?
Because unlike Discord, I have a number of issues with reddit to the point of it creating an unpleasant experience. Switch from reddit to Lemmy didn’t have to involve convincing my friends to join Lemmy, as it’s a website-- not communications software in the way Discord is.
The compromise of a small community on Lemmy is something I don’t mind, because it doesn’t really prevent conversations from happening. Whereas switching from Discord to an open source alternative that most of my friends aren’t going to use just leaves me with perhaps a better alternative to Discord in terms of functionality/privacy without anyone else using it.
Well, that is exactly my point. Sooner or later similar issues as with Reddit will crop up on Discord and it is likely to be worse as Discord has an even stronger user lock-in.
So then you pretty much answered your own question, I think. When Discord has enough fuckery for me to be annoyed with it, I’ll gladly hop to an alternative. I’m in a whopping two Discord communities and I don’t think the transition would be very difficult at that point.
How will you do it when as you say yourself all your friends are still on Discord?
Because if Discord starts having major issues that impact convenience, I’ll have an easy time pointing that out to my friends-- particularly if there’s an open source alternative that alleviates said issues.
Signal was pretty rough when it first came out but the moment they had support for Windows, OS X, iOS and Android, it was ridiculously easy to convince people to make the switch from whatever they were previously using to Signal.
I feel like you’re too concerned with playing devil’s advocate than trying to figure this out for yourself by thinking in more nuanced terms that take social dynamics into account.
Discord is bad because it’s a proprietary centralized silo platform that is hostile to third party clients. I also don’t like how they redefine terms (e.g. referring to communities/groups as “servers” and emotes as “emoji” which is an annoying thing that has spread even to the fediverse). I don’t like the culture of Discord and Discord-related memes/jokes.
The worst thing about Discord, however, is how so many communities more or less force it on users. I don’t like Discord and would be a happier person if Discord disappeared off the face of the world tomorrow but I feel I am required to use it (with a libre third-party client) to participate in some communities and stay in touch with friends.
A pretty well-written villain. Good redemption arc too. Honestly, a lot better than the newer villains like Starlight Glimmer.
It is not FLOSS, not self-hostable, not federated and it does not have real security (E2EE).
Is there something that is FLOSS, federated, E2EE, and would be user friendly like Discord is such that my friends would be willing to switch to it?
If a 8 years old child can use Matrix perfectly for their friends and is not a gifted child, your friends should be able to use it too.
However, I don’t know your friends.
Fair. I’m just unsure about how well they would take to wanting to move to Matrix. Also I have the issue of my own Discord server set up for my content creation. I’m not sure what I would do about that personally. I link to it from my other social media pages (that reminds me, I should link my Beacons page on Mastodon) and could ostensibly do something similar with a Matrix server (I don’t personally have any experience doing server management, but I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to figuring it out with my Computer Science minor).
Discord Server != real server, it is just a community or space and you have spaces in Matrix too.
In the begining, you could bridge rooms between Matrix and Discord using https://t2bot.io.
Sorry about that, my apologies. I’ve been using Discord for like 6 years so I’ve gotten used to the terminology surrounding the platform.
I could looking into using a Bridge bot…I’d wonder about self-hosting my own instance. I don’t necessarily need to host my own instance of Matrix, right? I suppose there are certain things that hosting my own instance of Matrix would allow me to do, I’m just not currently in the right mind to come up with those. Neither do I really have the experience with server hosting as I said before.
Yeah, you don’t need to selfhost your own server if you don’t what or you can’t.
About the bridge, it is not just a bot because it has puppeting for Discord.
It creates puppets which represent each user of your rooms in the other platform (either Matrix to Discord or Discord to Matrix).
It’s not that I wouldn’t want to or that I can’t; I’m sure I would be able to figure it out after reading some documentation. I have some very basic experience coding a Node.js server as well as other general-purpose coding experience, so I could probably figure it out eventually.
My main thing about hosting is that I’m not sure I would need to host my own instance because, at least in my head, the kinds of things that hosting my own instance would enable me to do I wouldn’t necessarily need since I’m just trying to create my own space for people to chat.
Although, I do enjoy the whole compartmentalizing part of Discord where I can go to one space to talk about movies, another to talk about music, and another for my D&D group to have our role-play and other session-related things. Is there a way to achieve something similar in Matrix?
That sounds really cool! I’ll definitely have to look into that tomorrow when it’s not almost midnight. Also since this is for my content creation, I set limits for myself for how much I work to try and maintain some kind of work-life balance and I’ve kind of already hit today’s limit.
I don’t really like it. But used to use it to create bot, it was fun for a while until I have no idea what to do with my bot. I used to be quite dependent with it due to my association with some people. But I managed to quit.
Because it’s somehow popular, there’s some good communities I can interact with.
But generally I don’t understand why some people are very eager to advertise their discord server, even some are just about niche topics. What is it with administering a discord server seem to be interesting for them?
I don’t like the wording that people use when discussing Discord. Things like, “I’m going to start a Discord server” when in fact they are not self-hosting the server. This makes Discord sound more decentralized than it actually is and it it give the users more of an illusion of control when in fact the creators of Discord have all the control. Stallman was right when he described people as being used and not users.
To be honest. I think these days basically no one thinks of self-hosting or hardware when they hear “server”. Discord has become popular enough that there are more people who hear “server” and think “community” without any implication how it is actually operated.
I agree. I understand why, I just don’t like it :P
I don’t like Discord, but it solves an issue for people that no one has solved as good as Discord has.
Discord is just a great all in one solution for everything a gamer would want and then just for communities in general. I don’t think Discord is gonna go anywhere until someone actually matches them in features and does it good.
Edit: and they have to make it where you can do all of those things without having to self host or pay for hosting.
Guilded matches them in features and adds more gaming niched stuff like actual forums into your “server”.
matching Discord, or even improving on it, doesn’t matter. Discord is already king. To dethrone the king, non-Discord users need to be the main target so Discord users are forced to use both, until all their contacts merge and slowly migrate to the second software over time due to more features and ease of use.
Do I like discord personally? No
Do I think discord is a necessary evil? Yes
You’re shooting yourself in the foot as a OSS project if you don’t use discord, same with not using github.
But, at least for me, I hate my feet :)
Why couldn’t an Open source project use self-hosted Matrix and Self-hosted GitLab?
GitHub has network effects that makes it easy to attract users and contributors. You basically get some free marketing by hosting there. For established projects it doesn’t matter much, but when starting every bit of marketing can be incredibly valuable.
Yeah this, also consider that gitlab is not federated and people are not likely to make an account on your gitlab instance to contribute.
The same thing goes for discord, more people use it than matrix, and therfore you reach a larger audience
re @Echedenyan@lemmy.ml not sure what part you are talking about, I’m happy to shoot myself in the foot for my projects because I don’t expect much contributors nore feel a drive for a big star count
The third line was my focus.
There is no such thing as neccesary evil.
You can use different kind of IM solutions depending on the needs for managing a FLOSS project and these must be FLOSS if there is option (by now, always are).
Not every people need voice or video channels. To be exact, I don’t know a single FLOSS project which use them, just a daily videocall if they work with SCRUM for the Daily SCRUM which can be made in several platforms.
You can just do this with a group of Matrix rooms (with space or just name prefix like use to be made on IRC) and Jitsi.
As for the code hosting… Is there a problem with just mirroring?
If you use Git you must know that is decentralized and all you need is an account at the hosting service which could be just raw username and password (plus email verification sometimes) or you can just login/register with your account from other service.
All this does is make it harder for your contributors. I’m ok with it for my projects, but many are not. I have certainly skipped out on some drive by contributions because it would require the hassle of making an account.
I was mistaken for thinking that it was federated. I wonder why gitlab isn’t federated, it seems like it would be beneficial for code contributions for open source projects if it had federation.
It is being worked in a sepparate project.
I think Evan is being ironic in the last part.
deleted by creator