Matrix protocol for chat

I know this is far beyond MVP, but it’s also something that’d be nice to think about early. Discourse currently has rudimentary Matrix integration in the discourse-chat-integration plugin, but it’d be amazing if the Discourse rooms were Matrix rooms and users associated with matrix accounts.

Then, rather than a bridge, we could just alias (our existing matrix main channel) to (theoretical Discourse chat room). This would be more seamless than a bridge, and, crucially, I wouldn’t have yet another instant message platform.

And, while I’m happy with Element, I wouldn’t mind having another vendor for Matrix services!


I can definitely see the appeal here! However, one of the main things that Discourse Chat brings to the table is integration between the ‘slow lane’ (topics) and the ‘fast lane’ (chat). If people were using non-discourse Matrix clients to access the fast-lane, would they be less inclined to switch to the slow-lane? :thinking:


Maybe not… but on the other hand… more likely than in the alternative scenario, which is: we have the slow lane at (discourse) and the fast lane at a whole different place (matrix). At least this way they’re closer.

And, at least the Element client understands things like markdown (Including hyperlinks), so cross-connecting at least in web-capable clients wouldn’t be so bad.


Given where we are today I am certainly not against this, maybe this is even a plugin we could sponsor. It has popped up quite a few times now and it is free publicity for discourse chat.


Matrix support would awesome! Because Matrix is an open standard, federated, open source solution with all the bells and whistles you need. If Chat can connect to Matrix, you would “only” need to develop a Matrix compatible solution and leave the message infrastructure to Matrix. Allowing Discourse to focus more on forums while including chat as a built-in solution.

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Would it be feasible to bridge or federate Discourse instances using Matrix? Federated forums would be amazing.

ActivityPub may be more suitable for that. But that’s another topic to discuss :slight_smile:

It is, over here in fact:


In next months we will try to move our Discord (˜1k members with ˜400 to be pruned) to Discourse Chat (˜1500 users, with 90 days of inactivity prune selected) and Matrix could be a must for us, but easy migration first.

I hope that could be possible from base, it could be really great for Discourse and free discussions around the world.

Private data always matters.


In our community we chose matrix to be the main chat platform because of its awesome Bridges for Telegram, Discord, Facebook, and many other platforms.

If discourse chat can just integrate with matrix, it would be enough, as all other bridging is then handled by Matrix.
It doesn’t need to be a whole home server(though that would great!), just a complete bridge or integration would be enough.


Note that matrix has serious security issues recently disclosed:

I do not thing Discourse chat attempts end-to-end encryption, so some of the things are moot. More coverage here: Serious vulnerabilities in Matrix’s end-to-end encryption have been patched | Ars Technica

Anyway, my basic point still stands…


We have started working on federating with Matrix via the Application Service API. No hard dates, but we are exploring making this a thing.


That’s awesome! Thank you for taking this crazy idea seriously. :slight_smile:


This sounds super exciting for us on the Matrix side too, the more folks on the federation the better!

I’d definitely recommend giving Gitter now speaks Matrix! | a read for inspiration of how Gitter did the precisely the same thing, if you need any guidance.

Other than that, I do bridges for as a full-time role, so feel free to poke me if you need any help at any point!


We have modeled our approach over the one at Gitter now speaks Matrix! | and Welcoming Rocket.Chat to Matrix! | indeed!

Our first step will be extending what the Matrix Ruby SDK can do, and then move on from that.

That’s awesome, we will reach out for sure!


OK i’m starting to see why people like Matrix :+1: :


With the 3.0 release shipping Chat integration, is there any update on the Matrix integration? Is that still on the roadmap? Was chat implemented with Matrix in mind or is that still at the design / idea stage?



We have a proof of concept up, so we know it’s doable. But since it’s not a priority, it’s progressing slowly.


@dan perhaps you can do a quick post here of where stuff is at? Maybe even just having the rough code out there would help others get a good understanding.