Back when the GNU project was starting, among the first things they rewrote as Free Software were:
- text editor / IDE (Emacs)
- assembler, linker, and compiler
- make

IOW, they made tools that they needed to further develop Free Software without relying on proprietary tools.

They wanted their project to be self-hosting.

Nowadays, we have more free software than ever, but we develop it using github and Discord...

@Wolf480pl this is issue with people. People tend to stich with a single solution which everybody uses. There are lots of quailty source "forges" (i.e. Gitlab, Gitea, SourceHut), but people stick with GitHub for a reason that "everybody uses GitHub".

At the moment, when everybody will use open and free forge. Especially when the will be adopted.


But it is harder instant messagging systems. Every one of them has one issue that makes it harder to use.

IRC - lack of history *on server*. I don't see reason to chat if the history is not saved even for several minutes.

XMPP - it's high entrance point. Too much clients and servers supporting different featuresets.

Matrix - it's pretty young and suffers from it.

RocketChat - AFAIK it was buggy as hell, when last time I was using.

Gitter is very tight coupled with non-free software

@alexcleac @Wolf480pl with messaging, compromises have to be made right now. It’s unfortunate. I’m enjoying Matrix.

IRC has always been a ghost town. That’s not going to change. XMPP has always been a skeleton when you need a body.

We need to get over clinging to ancient tech like those two.

@jack @alexcleac
I'm not sure what you mean by ghost town, but from my experience, IRC was very lively 10 years ago.

Either way, it's clear that these days we need something better than that.

My problem is that instead of being like "IRC is no longer sufficient for our project, let's make something better", many FOSS projects are like "IRC is no longer sufficient for our project, let's use some proprietary chat app instead".

Which is the opposite of what GNU was doing back then.

@Wolf480pl @alexcleac I’d love it if there were a great open source chat app that was accessible, fast, and not entirely pointless.

Matrix is the closest thing to that I’ve ever used.

@Wolf480pl @jack well, nobody can stop you from developing your own server. In fact, I want to try making a matrix server in scala when I have a bit more of free time :)

@alexcleac @jack I've heard it's unscalable at protocol level...

@Wolf480pl @alexcleac I’m not as savvy as I once was with this stuff, so that is quite possibly the case.

It’s just kind of awful to need so many apps for messaging just to stay in touch with an average number of friends and family.

@jack @alexcleac
IMO, this is better than "one IM to rule them all".
Diversity and healthy competition are good things.

Where I live, there's an expectation that "everyone is on facebook", and when you're that one guy who is not on facebook, you're basically a second-class citizen.

That sucks.

Please don't teach your friends to expect that everyone uses the same communication medium.

@Wolf480pl @alexcleac

what I’d like to see is something like Federation. Where interaction isn’t server/client dependent.

@jack @alexcleac yes, a federated protocol would definitely help, but IMO that's only part of the solution.

@Wolf480pl @alexcleac

Oh, it definitely needs voice, video, channels, integration of other services.

My ideal would function is a similar method to discord, or slack, but be open source, and decentralized.

@jack @alexcleac @Wolf480pl Bingo.

What’s needed is an IRC-like network that is binary, self-forming, and provides end-to-end security. If it self-organizes in a mesh, then only endpoints with SPOFs will be unreliable.

@jack @alexcleac @Wolf480pl It can be done!

But someone will probably do it in Ruby with XML and JSON at multiple points in the system. Ideally what I’m talking about would be a ~500 KB or less dæmon.

@Tarheel @Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac

well, aside from it being hackable at every turn, email has become a Pandora’s box for average people. Everything wants it and wants to fill it full of shit and people seldom exchange theirs outside of other social media.

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl Not following the "Pandora's box" or hackability thing. Raw email bad, sure, but email lists you have to register for, digests, filters? You get archiving, threading, pretty quick turnaround (a little slow is actually good, imo). Seems like, by the time open, federated chat has finally been perfected, we'll be looking at email.

@Tarheel @Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac its not a bad point. I expect a resurgence in email, once it’s been upped a bit by a good way for threading. I’ve tried a bunch, and they just don’t provide the necessary awareness or ability yet. Another rejuvenation like the one gmail started would be wonderful.
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