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 #ForgeFed 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 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 @alexcleac was this not a Mozilla goal several years ago? An integrated chat solution for FF and TB?

@jack @alexcleac
I don't know... I don't even know whether Mozilla's stated goals are still actually their goals...

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