We are trying to evaluate Matrix as a modern, user-friendly alternative to IRC and an open-source, privacy-friendly alternative to Slack / Google Chat. There is a public instance (matrix.org) but it has a huge userbase, which means it is often operating under abnormally high load and is quite slow; also since it's an instance used by everyone, we can't have anything Wikimedia-specific on it (such as SUL login). Thus, we want to have our own instance for evaluation. T193961: Set up Matrix.org homeserver on the Wikimedia Cloud VPS is the task to set one up locally, but as a less time-consuming alternative, we'll go for a hosted instance managed by the Matrix developers (New Vector) first.
See pricing here; it's $1.50 per user per month (that's monthly active users, not total registered accounts), with a $75 minimum.
Rough testing plan:
- set up & test basic instance + Wikimedia SUL SSO (if feasible) + LDAP integration (if feasible) + communities (Matrix.org user groups) based on Wikimedia or LDAP groups
- test bridging with IRC, Slack, Google Chat (maybe Telegram, Zulip if we feel like it)
- ask some IRC/IRCCloud/GChat/Slack users, designers, user researchers to evaluate
- convert an IRC logger bot, have it use rich text
- convert an IRC chatbot
- ask a Slack team to evaluate for some fixed period (3 months?)
- ask an IRC team to evaluate for some fixed period
Overall, length of the testing period is expected to be somewhere between 3-6 month. After that (maybe after step 3 as well if there is enough feedback) we make a go / no-go decision; if it's a no, try to turn the feedback into concrete blockers, otherwise we make a proposal to the executive team and if there is at least conditional support for Matrix as a canonical chat solution, ask ops for a self-hosted instance. Add 3 months for the setup period before the testing, and a $1000 budget should cover it (with a 70 active user / month cap, which is probably plenty - if there's an unexpected level of interest, we can reevaluate the plan).