[Members] "Group Chat" vs. "Chatroom" (Was: Terminology (and about the Glossary on the wiki))

JC Brand jc at opkode.com
Fri Feb 16 10:16:52 UTC 2018

On Fri, Feb 09, 2018 at 02:10:49PM +0100, Georg Lukas wrote:
> Hi JC,
> thanks for picking up the ball! Finally there is some more discussion
> regarding our nomenclature!
> * JC Brand <jc at opkode.com> [2018-02-09 12:45]:
> > I took a look at what the Glossary on the XSF wiki says for MUC rooms, and I
> > would like to make the argument why I disagree with its recommended term of "group chat".
> I've spent some time thinking about the implications and the look of the
> different variants, and also checked the existing implementations.
> I agree with your opposition to "channel" (which is btw. a name used
> as early as 1992 on the IRC network), and I tend to agree that a
> "chatroom" is a better name for the "classic" MUC use case of
> semi-anonymous public conference rooms.
> However, thinking forward, I'd like to make impromptu chats, as
> described in <https://wiki.xmpp.org/web/Easy_Group_Chats>, a first class
> citizen of the modern XMPP experience.
> Conversations already has those, and they are modelled loosely after
> other mobile IM systems where you can invite a bunch of friends into a
> private group. The arguments you provide in your mail make the term
> "group chat" look like a better fit for them.
> At least WhatsApp and Conversations are using the term "group chat", and
> yaxim has adopted it in the current beta version as well.
> I think it would be bad for the UX if we provide both "chatroom" for
> classic public MUCs and "group chat" for the private multi-person
> conferences in our clients, so it is reasonable to decide upon one.
> Public MUCs are not widely used by normal people. Private chats
> (hopefully) are.

Thanks Georg for explaining your rationale.

"impromptu chats" is one way of using MUCs, but not the only way, so it still
seems to me like the "group chats" terminology is a bit forced.

Especially since AFAIK only two clients support something like impromptu chats,
and then not even in the same way.

And we still have permanent and public MUCs, which don't really map well to
"group chats" IMO (for reasons given in my first email).

As a counter example, Slack shows "impromptu chats" not as channels, but listed
with the "private" chats.


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