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
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...
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 yeah, network effect.
And you're right about the issues with current chat systems, but IMO that's a symptom, not a cause.
If eg. Mozilla was trying to build a Free chat solution, as hard as Stallman et al. were trying to build a free compiler, we'd already have something that can compete with the proprietary chat apps.
@Wolf480pl I think even if Mozilla started doing this, there is a non zero (and pretty high) that it wont make it, a least from the first try. Do you remember the Firefox OS? I am afraid that the user base would be pretty low.
However it would be a nice first step out of a FOSS info bubble towards other people. But it is the hard way. This could also be done the way guys at purism did with librem one 😉
@alexcleac But the goal would be to make a chat _for_ the FOSS bubble. Even if only Mozilla devs use it, that's already a success, if it means they don't depend on Discord.
@Wolf480pl yeah, that's a good reasoning :)
But then, it'd be hard to make a protocol such that no implementation could ever possibly scale vertically.
And even if it was possible, I'd feel bad for designing a protocol this way.
The software is supposed to be a tool in user's hand, not a way for its author to control the users.
Ofc it may be a vefy bad idea, but I think sth like Article 13 but without upload filters could have a similar effect... something that exponentailly increases the probability of getting sued as you gain more users...
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.
@jack it seems that we are totally on the same page here. I use telegram too and look and matrix for some time
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.
Please don't teach your friends to expect that everyone uses the same communication medium.
Making a system that is decentralized, secure, and lightweight (in terms of network usage) is an extremely difficult thing to accomplish; most projects or protocols only place value on two of the three as a result.
@alexcleac @jack @Wolf480pl It’s a general principle. Reliability costs performance, and security requires trust analysis which incurs overhead. I can process half a billion transactions a second in a system written in assembler that doesn’t care about networking or security. That doesn’t make it good.
But how much you want to bet that it’d still sell well? “Half a billion txns/sec on a four year old system! Buy now! Be faster than everyone else!”
@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.
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