[en] Discord Wind down
Bonan tagon/Good day!
So, I've been using Discord for a good few years now, since 2016 actually. While in the beginning, I wasn't using it as my main chat platform, that changed as the majority of my AFK[^1] friends moved over to the platform. I first joined the platform as a way to communicate with Minecraft communities.
In the July of 2021 the way that I used Discord changed, I became a member of the Young Royals Discord Guild and within a month I became a moderator and then an admin. While it isn't exactly a large guild, it is also not exactly a small one. Being the 'main' admin[^2] hasn't always been easy but it has given me a different viewpoint. In the past year or so, I created a bot (Diru) to help with translation within the guild as well as some other tools that are in development or don't class as bots (looking at you RDB).
Now, don't take this as a stepping down from the admin position. My intention is to stay on as an admin for as long as the guild is running. This blog post is primarily a notice that work on my Discord projects will be slowing down.
Well, Discord started a rebrand. Rebrands aren't necessarily a bad thing but a lot of it seemed like it was turning it's back on the original gaming communities by doing this. On top of this, Discord's PC app uses Electron, which again isn't necessarily a bad thing but until recently they were using a build of Electron that was a few years old that contained many vulnerabilities. Speaking of security, Discord doesn't have end-to-end encryption, even in direct messages. There's many more things that I could list that I don't particularly like, including the move to the new username system. Which, yes the current system is a bit of a pain but a replacement system wasn't necessary. They could have added user account sharing via links or QR codes to make things easier. They could have even had a migration that removes the case sensitivity or the “special character use”. To be honest, I'm more annoyed at the removal of the discriminator than anything else.
Despite having been a Nitro (9,99€ plan) since June 2020, it is safe to say that
once I have my
@ludoviko username, I will be cancelling like many others have.
There are a few alternatives, we could go back to IRC, granted it doesn't do the entire 'guild' thing that Discord does. But maybe one chat for everything and the simplicity will be better? With the same group chat idea, there's also telegram, although I don't exactly trust them. For a more similar interface, there is Revolt, which is open-source. Matrix is also another good option along with XMPP, and Rocket.chat.
I'd highly suggest looking into all of the options, I settled with Matrix because it looked the most promising for me due to the decentralised nature on top of the existing ecosystem of bridges. It's worth noting that Matrix is just a protocol. To join the network, you need a client (I use a mix of Element, Cinny, and iamb) and a “homeserver” to make your home. The Matrix Foundation hosts their own server for anyone to join, which is the default when using Element or Cinny.
Matrix does support encryption but in public chats (or “rooms”), it isn't enabled by default.
For simplicity, however, Revolt is probably the better option. It looks and feels very similar to Discord but more customisable and open-source. I believe that it is still early in the development process and doesn't support encryption. There is an issue to add end-to-end encryption to Revolt.
So what's next?
Well, I've already started setting up my own Matrix homeserver with bridges to other chat services. While Discord isn't bridged yet, it will be when I no longer help with the Young Royals guild. You can already chat with me there if you want to. I will, in the near future, be bringing Diru to both Matrix and Revolt. Who knows, maybe I'll look at creating a bridge between Matrix and Revolt.
If you read all that, thank you for reading my rant 🙂.
[^1]: Away From Keyboard.
[^2]: By main, I'm talking most active. The other members of the team also do a fantastic job.
Kun espero, Ludoviko