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 @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 @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.
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