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.

1/2

@Wolf480pl
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.
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@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 I agree, but we are just too scattered now I feel. I have messengers just because 1 person I know does. Most of the services, have 3-4 contacts. It’s just kinda ridiculous.
@Wolf480pl @alexcleac

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

@jack @alexcleac @Wolf480pl I keep toying with the idea of a lightweight general-purpose messaging network. My problem, as always, is one of time.

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.

@SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl @alexcleac it would be a lovely thing. I’ve just been alerted to a security issue with Matrix. Which was leading the ranks. Now...

@SuperFloppies @jack @Wolf480pl isn’t there a theorem telling that you cannot get fast, reliable and easy to support system whatever you do?

@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!”

@alexcleac @jack @Wolf480pl Furthermore, consistency is always eventual between multiple systems, just on a timescale small enough that we often do not really see it.

@jack @alexcleac @Wolf480pl Makes me want to try to get a bunch of people together to create the “Sane Software Alliance,” promising to make high-quality, high-performance, secure systems without bloat.

Someone pass the pipe... I’m clearly in enough discomfort that I’m spewing BS...

@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.

@Tarheel @jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies
- it has high latency
- it has spam filters, which amke it unreliable

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Tarheel Yes, but then you still have high latency, not to mention a lot of cruft accumulated in the protocol over decades.

@Wolf480pl @Tarheel @SuperFloppies @alexcleac the latency seems like the only really unfixable issue. As the current protocols work there’s no way around it. I dunno. I think I can see a protocol changes working though. .

@Wolf480pl @jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies I'm actually a fan of latency, for things worth archiving. For immediate technical help, problematic, maybe (but stack exchange is also high latency).

What cruft?

@Tarheel @jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies
Latency is good for some things, bad for other things.

For example, sometimes you need to:
- coordinate incident response (eg. as a sysadmin)
- get comments from viewers on a livestream
- remotely debug an issue using someone else as your hands and eyes
- find someone on a train station

In those cases, high latency would be a big problem

@Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac @Tarheel I’ve noticed the differences before, between professionals opinions of latency. It’s nice to have a little insight into why.

@jack @alexcleac @Tarheel @Wolf480pl A replacement for the current Internet mail system is something I’d very much like to see. One which reduces substantially or even eliminates the spam problem, though that is unlikely to happen.

@SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl @Tarheel @alexcleac id just like to see better filtering/threading. Customizable. A way to really deal with it. Highlight the important things, make them still noticeable after sorting to tags. A tighter protocol with reliable encryption.

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl Well, real federation will be open to different implementations, and implementations always differ, so consistency will always be a challenge, but, given that, certain standards should be expected (I'm thinking of encryption and proper setting In-Reply-To headers).

Gmail's filtering/tagging is really decent, if you drill down. You can put multiple tags on a msg, including your own bright red "IMPORTANTE" tag, if you want.

Seems like a filter by...

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl ...ancestor Message-ID shouldn't be that hard to implement, so you could/should be able to easily suppress one branch of a discussion that's gone bad, kind of like in Usenet (which is pretty email-ish, come to think of it).

A while back, everybody was all "SpamAssassin!" and "Bayesian filters!", but I'm not sure why that seems to have died away. Either it works and is no longer remarkable, or there's something wrong, or I haven't been paying attn or...

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl ...Slack/Discord have sucked all the oxygen out of the room. (end)

@Tarheel @jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies
It turned into "the email provider runs all those statistical filters for you, you don't even need to be aware of it". Except when sometimes it classifies as spam something you actually wanted... "oh well, guess email is unreliable".

Also, the new term for "statistics" is "Machine Learning".

@Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac @Tarheel personally. I could care less if it throws an email in the junk. I’ll find it. I don’t delete the spam without going through it. Call it paranoia. Gmail s labels on the other hand have caused me to miss important messages. I’d like to see much more personal tailoring of labels, blocks, etc. google has proven less than stable lately too.

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Tarheel
not sure about gmail, but some email providers, when they see an email that has a very high spam score, don't even put it in the spam folder.

@Tarheel @Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac I think a lot of people felt bad about cutting the voices with filters. Aside from a few, I know the server I’m on has had doubts in the wisdom of the filtering of fed. Even though we do, it’s just very tight on who. Fir collaboration, Slack is without a doubt, killing it in my mind. I work with several clients who’ll use nothing else, and I’ve become used to running my workflow through it.

@jack @alexcleac @SuperFloppies @Wolf480pl Well, I was referring to one corner of a convo that's gone bad, so you could clip just that subthread where everybody's responding to that one person who said "but what about [globally-significant-and-not-really-relevant-right-now topic]?".

We use Teams at work and it's garbage; I hate it. No (decent) filter or search. I've heard Slack can be a real attention hog and causes FOMO and so forth. (But I have no experience and so can't really speak to it.)

@Tarheel @Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac slack can definitely become an obsession like federation of FB for some. But it’s workflow, top notch. I would use it for much if it weren’t what my clients prefer, but since I have to anyway, I’ve set it up to function very well.
@Tarheel @Wolf480pl @SuperFloppies @alexcleac that’s true. It’s just that at one time, gmail was revolutionary. And it’s kinda done nothing lately. If you miss a little time and you’ve only set up a few labels etc, you can come back to a train wreck. I loved it, participated in the beta. Now it’s just my junk catcher.

No professional or family emails.
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