Alas, there were many factors that led us to pause the transition indefinitely, announced by Matt at the Q&A of State of the Word 2023. The most important factors were accessibility problems, some important feature-imparity compared with Slack, and the license changes at Element (to AGPL, with the requirement to sign a CLA when contributing).
The WordPress community has collected their issues in a Github repository. We tried hard to overcome the issues, through documentation, education (some things just work differently in a federated environment), and upstream patches (for example to address some of the accessibility problems).
In the end, I did not cancel but held my talk on February 4 at FOSDEM 2024 in Brussels, explaining all the things we did to lower the barrier of entry:
- Allow authenticating with WordPress using SSO via OpenID Connect, by creating the WP OpenID Connect Server plugin.
- Directly embed a Matrix chat in a WordPress page with a block, by creating the Chatrix plugin.
As well as bots and integration we created to fulfill the specific needs, such as these Maubot plugins:
- Post to room: post messages via webhook
- Relay: an integration can react to room messages via webhook
- Group mentions: upon command a bot mentions many people
- Watchdog: alert about community created rooms
There is a lot more in my presentation, I hope that my presentation slides can be helpful to other communities (or companies) trying to migrate from Slack to Matrix. Maybe some things that were a blocker for the WordPress community are not so important for other communities.
Finally, here is the video of the ~30 minutes presentation:
Kudos to my colleagues Paulo Pinto and Ashish Kumar who did a lot of the heavy lifting in the effort. Together we submitted around 40 upstream pull requests (on Synapse (pre-license change), Element-Web, Slack bridge, and more).