My display name on WhatsApp is “Julian via Matrix”. This is the dominant messenger in my circles and it grieves me (but doesn't surprise me) that I've yet to persuade most friends & family off it. Perhaps setting a new “about me” message can help get the word out:

“Hi! I use Matrix so that I and my contacts can talk under our own (not Zuck's) terms & conditions & control. Do you care? :–)”

I've come to realise the most important issue is not that Matrix allows me my freedom of choice, the more important issue that if I choose a restrictive (silo) messenger then my choice restricts my friends' choice and that restricts their friends' choice. I want to emphasise how one's own choice of messenger either upholds or restricts the freedom of one's friends. I want my friends to stop and think and consider how much they care and what they could do to uphold their own friends' freedom.

“I'm using Matrix because: (2) my conversations are under my control, my choice of terms & conditions, my country's law (not Zuck's laws and algorithms); and (1) it's not about me: Matrix is decentralised, meaning the service is not all controlled by the same company, and so I uphold my friends' and family's freedom to choose different T&C's by using a different service provider, because some of them may have friends who are under 16 years old, or in countries WhatsApp doesn't support, or who want to use a different software to access their data, or who don't want to be mined and targeted by profiling and advertising, or who just want to talk to each other on their own terms.”

or (in a 139-character “about” message):

“I'm using Matrix, upholding my friends' right to talk under T&Cs they (not Zuck) chose. Would you grant your friends their rights? Join us!”

I hope some of my friends and family see it and have a think about what it means.

This is my POSSE copy of the announcement posted in This Week in Matrix (TWIM) 2022-07-08.


I have created an installation role to add the UnifiedPush-compatible push-notification server “ntfy” to the popular Matrix server installer system “matrix-docker-ansible-deploy”.

This Ansible role named “matrix-ntfy” lets a Matrix server operator offer self-hosted Google-less push notifications for their users.


Bright future for interoperable messaging such as Matrix: the EU has come to its senses and demands the walled gardens like WhatsApp must interoperate. Hooray, at last.

But why should we care? Let's see.

First, the news itself, as The Verge reports:


This is an informal summary of my recent experience and explorations in the areas of Matrix and Android and self-hosting. For my employment history please see my more formal CV/resumé at https://blog.foad.me.uk/cv/.


  • Matrix, FOSS, services-as-FOSS, digital Freedom for everyone

Recent skills


for secure location sharing with Matrix

I set up my own OpenStreetMap tiles server for use with matrix location sharing.

This guide explains how I did it, including the Ansible role scripts I wrote.


This is my POSSE copy of the Matrix Scribe announcement of that I posted in This Week in Matrix (TWIM) 2022-03-04.


I'm working on my project, The Matrix Scribe.

The Matrix Scribe helps us re-post or transcribe messages into matrix that we received from somewhere else, posing as different ghost users to represent the original authors.

Scribe will post this:

Ann I'm Ann.

Bob Hello! I'm Bob.

when I write this to @scribe-bot:

@julian /scribe as Ann

@julian I'm Ann.

@julian /scribe as Bob

@julian Hello! I'm Bob.


Problem: Android users can't receive push notifications from most services except through Google.

Solution: UnifiedPush


Issue #525 is one of the earliest feature requests for Apache Subversion. The request is to make the pristine or base files optional, so that the disk space occupied by a working copy would be little more that of the working files, in contrast to the existing situation where each file is stored twice.