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I don't believe this. The flatpak people only hang out on matrix, so I figured I'd need to go there to ask questions.
Installed Fractal from Flathub. Ran it. It has no icon in the Launcher. I pressed Create Account, did so at matrix.org, signed in with Github. It sent me to "riot"? Fractal wants a username (which I have) and a password (which I don't because I signed in with github). And matrix.org, which is my "home server" (?) doesn't even have a log in page. What the heck? This is rubbish UX.

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does nobody test this stuff? I'm sure someone's going to say "oh Fractal doesn't support that sort of auth, you need to set up an App Password" or something, but (1) that's hopelessly rubbish to say to anyone, (2) the only reason I know about that sort of thing at all is because I'm super nerd, and (3) even if that is right there is zero indication how I do that!
Hashtag cross.

@sil there's an old riot-web snap that @popey did which I use for Matrix stuff.

I hear that @kenvandine has a Element one in the works. Though he's keeping it from us.

@ted @popey @kenvandine I'm using the flipping official Gnome client! to talk to gnome people! and I have no idea how to use it! I mean, I don't have a password, and it gives no indication whatsoever how to use it without one. What should I do, sack off the official gnome client and use something else? this is not a good sign.

@sil @popey @kenvandine more correctly I'd say you're not using the official GNOME client because it doesn't work 😉

But yes, I'm not defending it. I don't use Fractal as last I worked it didn't have support for all the E2E stuff Matrix provides.

Matrix is more useful than just that, you can chat with me! Which is what everyone wants, right?

@sil @ted @popey @kenvandine Fractal has been in Rewrite Limbo for years; I would recommend gritting your teeth and using the Electron Element app

@wjt @ted @popey @kenvandine really? ok. I went by matrix.org/faq/#as-a-user which says "if you're using GNOME, try Fractal" as the first item on their list. Clearly it should say "don't bother with that, do something else". I'll try another client. Which is the Electron Element app? Is that element.io/get-started? That seems to be its own thing?

@sil @wjt @popey @kenvandine Element is the name of the company that exists behind Matrix. Because apparently choosing bad names is something they excel at.

So it is the "main client" for Matrix.

@wjt @ted @popey @kenvandine I am now using the web version! this whole ecosystem is a bit confusing to anyone who's never used it before, but I'll muddle through

@sil and I see I have another satisfied Bustle customer 😃

@wjt bustle is yours? it's neat! Nice work :) I hate dbus-monitor because it's so hard to read; never occurred to me that there was a nice pictures version!

Bug report: the textbox where it shows you the parameters for a call is tiny and can't be expanded, which is dead annoying. :)

@sil Filed as gitlab.freedesktop.org/bustle/ . I'm not at my computer now but I'm pretty sure that that bottom panel can be resized by dragging the divider between it and the diagram, and the extra space will go to the text box. I could be wrong!

(Bustle is essentially unmaintained but still useful, 13 years (!!) later.)

@wjt grrrrrrrrrrrrr! I was about to say that there is no divider between metadata and diagram, but there is! There's just no mouse cursor change when you're over it! so you just have to know by magic that you can click and drag there! aaaargh. Apologies, since I assume this is some sort of theming or gtk issue and not that you deliberately turned that off or anything :)

@sil I probably non-deliberately turned it off TBH

@wjt @sil @ted @popey I've been using the element-desktop snap for quite a while. It's currently unlisted until I find a little time to polish things a bit. You're welcome to give it a try, it's in the store snapcraft.io/element-desktop

@wjt @sil @ted @popey anyone trying this should wait until 1.10.12 is published, which should be any minute :)

@wjt @sil @ted @popey @kenvandine fractal-next, which is the rewrite, has recently started to publish nightlies. It works much better, but still isn't really ready (hence the .Devel suffix).

Anything recommending Fractal at the moment is doing users a disservice.

There are a couple of good web clients - Element & Cinny spring to mind - and FluffyChat is good and available as both a Snap and Flatpak (although it's aimed at a more casual/interpersonal UI, so might not be as good a client for IRC replacement).

@popey @kenvandine @RAOF @wjt @ted my use case was: not really interested in matrix, or in understanding it, but I had to go there; and I signed in with an external service, not by creating a password. I don’t think I’d necessarily be alone in that use cases, so it’s probably one they might want to make sure works, or at least attempts to handle :)

@sil @popey @kenvandine @wjt @ted All the clients I mentioned there support that login-flow (as does Fractal-next).

Basically, wherever was recommending Fractal to you was setting you up for failure.

@RAOF @popey @kenvandine @wjt @ted That recommender is, in fact, matrix.org/faq/#as-a-user which says, as its top link, "if you're using GNOME, try Fractal" 🙂

@sil @popey @kenvandine @wjt @ted Hm, how do I file a bug against that page...

(A close reading of that page would notice "Seaglass is a recently announced (as of July 2018) client written as a native macOS app" 😬 )

@sil 'riot' is a very old name; they changed that years ago; To element (see app.element.io)

@penguin42 I've never heard of any of it. I installed Fractal, I clicked "Create Account", and it opened a signup page in my browser. That signup page, after signing up, sent me to what seemed to be a sort of full-page web client called riot; it did not take me back to desktop Fractal at all. I closed the Riot thing, and told Fractal to log in, at which point it asked for username and password, and I don't have a password.

@penguin42 I see also that wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Fractal links to riot (at urls that look like riot.im) for a channel they use.

@sil Yeh that sounds rather broken; it probably works for the user/passowrd login. If oyu login through teh account you created using element.io (which used to be riot...) then I think you should find that app password thing somewhere under your users settings page.

@sil I have also long lamented the matrix/riot/element ux via snippy tweets. They are well aware. It gets worse if you have encrypted chats with people. It's all very much designed by nerds for nerds.

@popey certainly seems that way. I was directed at element which seems to work, although is a massive heavy web client a la slack (or a massive heavy electron app, a la slack). The flatpak people were helpful with my query, anyway, even if the answer (no, I can't make utm_no or hushboard a flatpak because they're notification area icons) is one I was hoping was not true.

@popey but my opinion of matrix (I don't like it) has not improved, especially since I had to sign up for yet another account (and a confusing one, to boot, with all this "homeserver" malarkey). Que sera sera, I suppose. But I'm in no hurry to continue using it :)

@popey yeah. I now understand why that doesn't work, anyway. Basically, the original indicator API assumes you can hand around the path or name of an icon, not the pixel data of an icon, but that doesn't work in a sandboxed-app world where the icon path is inside the sandbox and the panel is outside, so they don't share a filesystem. github.com/stuartlangridge/utm explains this in exhaustive detail so when I forget the results of my research, I can read this to remind myself!

@sil inside the sandbox the app's icon is somewhere in /app. But you can read /.flatpak-info inside the sandbox and find the real absolute path on the host system that is mounted at /app. Now if AppIndicator3.Indicator.new() validates that the path you give it exists, that's no help, but if it just blindly trusts you and sends that path over D-Bus, it just might work...

@wjt oh really? blimey, it did not occur to me that that was even possible. I'll give that a try!

@wjt HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA that works fine!

Can't believe you have access to what the real path is from inside a flatpak. I'd never have thought of that in a hundred years :) OK! now to try to take advantage of that!

@sil @popey old knowledge, but there is support for handing around pixel data as well. I forget the incantation for that though.

I believe you need to convince GTK that the icon you're passing isn't a path anymore, basically render it locally. But GTK is pretty smart about it, you might have to dump the pixel data and replace it back into an image structure.

@ted @popey I don't think there is -- I had a look at the gnome-shell extension for the notification area looking for just such a possibility and no dice. But @wjt has come up with a heroic hack where a flatpak can know the real outside-the-sandbox path to its files, and I can pass *that* to AppIndicator3, which merrily passes it on unchanged to the panel and so the icon displays! Now working on a flatpak of utm_no :-)

@sil @popey @wjt you should file a bug on GNOME Shell then. 😉

freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifica

See: org.freedesktop.StatusNotifierItem.IconPixmap

@ted @popey @wjt isn't in Shell (Shell doesn't want you to do system tray icons at all, remember, despite how everyone continues to want them and make them because they're a good idea). It was git.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour I was looking at, which I think is what makes them work in Ubuntu?

@sil @popey @wjt you're quickly stepping out of my range of expertise there. 😉

@sil Which desktop are you using?

We hit some bug where Cockpit Client has an icon in GNOME in Wayland, but not in KDE in X... We haven't figured it out yet.

Perhaps it's the same issue or a related one?

FWIW: The Fractal icon is there for me with GNOME in Wayland on Fedora 36 Silverblue after installing the flatpak.

(This doesn't address the rest of your concerns. I also find Matrix a bit too problematic.)

@garrett stock Ubuntu 20.04. I haven't pushed hard on the icon thing because I haven't restarted this machine after installing flatpak a couple of weeks ago, meaning that it hasn't put the flatpak paths in $PATH by default and so on yet, and the icon issue for fractal might be due to that! (I don't think it is because Bustle gets its icon, but I don't want to say it's definitely not local.)

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