I give no care about the source for this. i do care about the actual hard dollars spent. The rest is frankly a luxury of those that have it to spare.
Ideological arguments aside, looked into the matrix thing for a couple minutes...
looks like https://www.modular.im/services/matrix-integrations at least might be spiffy. I know for the personal game project we've got a nice bot that sits in our discord tracking commits to a gitlab repo as a forinstance, so similar behavior would be pretty spiffy, That being said, https://www.modular.im/services/matrix-hosting looks to be pretty pricey having done a quick glance at the current discord list.
IRC is unlikely to be the back-end again. Not after the headache the maxgaming folks had to deal with to keep it up for us, not after having gotten used to having dedicated subchannels for actual development to happen, and definitely not after having gotten used to not having to have the thing going 24/7 to keep track of whats going on.
Hows this sound for Criteria for Alternative Suggestions:
1) Free or cheap hosting owned by the SC, or by someone that has demonstrated themselves worthy of the trust that would need to be placed in them.
2) Cross platform front end (s).
3) History logging so folks can play catch up as they have time.
4) Opensource preferred.
EDIT: 5) File transfer for fast prototyping of fixes (used that so much didn't even occur to me to remember that wasn't necessarily standard)
That sum up folks preferences?