This week Thib published the second installment in our roadmap blog post series: Opening up the Foundation. This post dives into the work we’re doing this year to increase community participation and open governance, looking even beyond the Governing Board to things like office hours, working groups, and fiscal sponsorship.
We’re grateful for the level of support we’ve received as we share more about the Foundation’s financial needs and the work we are doing in service of the ecosystem. Many dozens of individuals have donated and joined as Individual Members, and we’ve more than doubled the number of organizational members! Huge thanks to Beeper, Fairkom, Famedly, Fractal Networks, Gematik, IndieHosters, and XWiki.
There's a huge number of Matrix projects active in the German public sector, and the team at Element has had a go at mapping them out and providing a guide to what's going on, how they relate to each other, and to generally try to explain why Germany is the leading country for digital sovereignty - including self-sovereign secure communication with Matrix: https://element.io/matrix-in-germany
Since the Foundation got itself a Managing Director at the end of last summer, it has been working on its independence. With lines more clearly defined between its major supporter Element and itself, the Foundation has been able to clarify its role. The Foundation's major goal, alongside stewarding the specification, is to fill in the gaps where there is no direct organisational interest, to make the Matrix ecosystem grow.
There are two levels where the Foundation can have an impact: at the governance level, in the form of the Governing Board; and at the hands-on level, with working groups and projects.
This week MTRNord and myself have launched the Matrix.org Website Office Hours. We hope to turn that into an accessible way to onboard new contributors. Come join the fun with us, and help us making the world a better place!
The Matrix.org website is the public face of the Foundation, and the first thing you stumble upon when looking up “matrix chat” on a search engine. It’s a very important step in people’s Matrix journey.
The website is only maintained by community member MTRNord in a volunteer way, and part-time by me, Thib. We could use an extra pair of hands or two, but to make the most of people’s desire to help we need to let them know where they can have the most impact depending on their skill set, and how we can accept their help!
Even if we are formally still in testing phase until the end of the Ubuntu 24.04 cycle, the Ubuntu Matrix homeserver reached a state in which we can consider it live.
Although Ubuntu used to be IRC-only, we are now adopting Matrix to cater to a wider, diverse audience, including less technical users and younger generations. Matrix allows us to do so while staying true to the values that brought us Ubuntu, Linux and FOSS. When selecting the tools we use, we are always focused on open-source, privacy and freedom respecting software. We believe that Matrix offers all the modern features we need without compromising our values. Moreover, Matrix will make it easier for us to interact with neighboring communities such as Fedora and KDE.
There is still a lot of work to do, but we want to take a moment to thank the Ubuntu and Matrix communities for their great effort and dedication to this project.
Very happy to announce that the Spec Core Team has been reviewing how to make more progress on MSCs and get more organisational diversity into the SCT, and we've decided to expand the team - unanimously voting to add both tulir and clokep to the team effective today. Huge thanks to both tulir and clokep for being up for joining and donating their time... and looking forwards to their contributions in helping get MSCs to and through their Final Comment Period and merged into the spec!
We’re excited to be forging stronger ties with other open source foundations, so that we can work together and lean on one another’s areas of expertise. Last week we announced that the Matrix.org Foundation joined OpenForum Europe as a supporter alongside Mozilla and many others.
This year again the Matrix.org Foundation was at FOSDEM, and what a huge energy boost it has been for us! Between a Fringe Event for the Matrix community to gather, a booth where the vast majority of people came by to show their support for our work, a devroom with four hours of awesome Matrix content, and last but not least a main track talk where Matthew covered what we had been doing for the past year… It has been a very intense weekend!
No Matrix Live this week, but there will be plenty of Matrix talks (live!) on
Sunday at FOSDEM in the Matrix
devroom, and at Matthew's
The talks are livestreamed, so you can follow even if you aren't at FOSDEM (or
if you are in FOSDEM but the room is full). If you are at FOSDEM, you can
also find live Matrix people at the matrix.org stand in Building K, level 2.
This week the Matrix.org Foundation launched a new fundraiser, shared some high level budget figures, and kicked off a series diving into our emerging roadmap!
We’ve made huge strides over the last year, with the Foundation more robust and independent than ever before, and there’s a lot to be excited about in the future. Critically, we still need more organizations to step up to fund our work before January 2025.
Huge thanks to Beeper, Gematik, Fractal Networks, Fairkom, Thunderbird, and the hundreds of individuals who have already stepped up! Learn more in our blog post and become a member today 🚀
Today we launch a new fundraising drive, talk about the scope of the Foundation's work, and begin to unpack our emerging roadmap for the future. There is a lot going on and we need your help to keep it going!
You can help: If you are already sold on Matrix, become a member today. To find out how the last year has gone, and how your support helps us to serve the Matrix ecosystem, read on.
Over the last year, there are lots of positive, healthy signs for Matrix. New members like Beeper and gematik — and hundreds of individuals — boosted our annual revenues from £82K to £364K. The open network has grown from 80.3M to 115M addressable users. We've invested in long-term interoperability efforts at the IETF. And we've shifted focus from experiments to polish, usability, and advocacy.
We've supported development of core libraries, and subsidize hosting for FOSS communities like GNOME and KDE. The Foundation runs the Matrix.org homeserver, with over 250K daily active users, and operates several public bots and bridges. And indeed, the Foundation hired a Managing Director 👋.
You'll find a full accounting of our 2023 activity and finances in our first Annual Report, slated to come out around April 2024.
Here's your weekly spec update! The heart of Matrix is the specification - and this is modified by Matrix Spec Change (MSC) proposals. Learn more about how the process works at https://spec.matrix.org/proposals.
This is the final step for getting an MSC integrated into a new release of the Matrix spec, and anyone can try their hand at it! It would also very much help the Spec Core Team by freeing up more bandwidth for review of the MSC backlog, as well as push forward the protocol itself. Thank you!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the relevant Matrix rooms.
This MSC proposes expanding the set of suggested, interpreted HTML tags in Matrix clients to include additional tags related to tables. With them, more control over table rendering is possible. The proposal itself includes one such (albeit fairly arbitrary) example
The proposal is well-written and straight-forward, so do feel free to have a look if the subject interests you!