@z428 the question nobody promoting apps seems to ask is, does it do anything users need? As I said, I've been using XMPP since it was still Jabber. I still install XMPP apps on my laptop from time to time, and I have Conversations on my mobile, it's a nice UI. But do I use them? Almost never.
vibe@stevenroose@fosstodon.org @charlag @lightone


That's a problem with you not having friends on XMPP, not with XMPP itself.

I have most of my family on XMPP (mostly due to my awesome wife getting them to switch) and then about 100 other contacts.

@jcbrand fair cop, but it's not for lack of trying. I had more interaction in my first year on the -era than I've ever managed to get on the XMPP-verse, despite more than a decade of encouraging people to use it.


Back in the GTalk days, you could talk to your entire Google contacts list via federated XMPP.

So even back then I had way more contacts on XMPP than GNUSocial or Identica.

Google played a large role in killing off XMPP usage and the day they announced sunsetting GTalk was when I realized they're just another embrace-extend-extinguish monopolist.

Society needs self-hostable, scalable and functional alternatives to surveillance capitalist systems of manipulation and censorship.


I know I'm preaching to the choir, and I know it's difficult to get people to choose freedom and sustainability over temporary comfort.

It's the same problem with environmental destruction and reducing ones own environmental footprint.

@jcbrand I agree with you in general I just don't know if I agree with you about XMPP in particular. It may still have a major role to play in a federated future, or like UseNet, it might remain a niche for ubergeeks. There's a fascinating history of all the competitors to TCP/IP. Where are they now?


The protocol is used all over the place (Telecoms, NATO, Games, chat apps, IoT, chat ops) and I expect that to continue.

We might never see mass adoption of the idealistic kind.

That said, having a healthy XMPP ecosystem is still important even without mass adoption.

It provides an escape mechanism out of oppressive surveillance and I believe if circumstances were right (i.e. things get bad enough) it could gain mass adoption and be an important tool for exercising freedom.

> having a healthy XMPP ecosystem is still important even without mass adoption.

Replace "XMPP" with "federated" and we are in total agreement. I'm just not convinced that the particular set of tech standardized by XMPP is the best tech for the job, and the growth of other federation standards seems to suggest it isn't, at least for some use cases. I've seen it described as a "heavy stack".


> Replace "XMPP" with "federated" and we are in total agreement.

Obviously I support open, federated protocols in general (of which XMPP is one that I'm personally the most involved with).

> I'm just not convinced that ... XMPP is the best tech for the job

Depends on what "the job" is.

ActivityPub is tailored to different usecases.

There is some overlap between the usecases, so to some degree they are in competition, but there's more room for cooperation and IMO space for both.

> Depends on what "the job" is.

I don't have the technical knowledge to assess the pros and cons of the specs, or the protocols, formats etc they depend on. All I've noticed is that I've been enthusiastically promoting XMPP for any IM-like feature for years, but I've found it much easier to get the devs I interact with excited about newer tech like AP and WebTorrent. Maybe there's technical reasons for that, or maybe it's just people following trends. Who knows?


XMPP has proven itself, it's been around and it's not going anywhere.

The problems that people complain about (e.g. bad UX and ugly clients) has much more to do with economics than with the protocol.

Large players (e.g. Google, FB), want user lock-in, so there's no incentive to federate and use open protocols.

ActivityPub is riding the hype train that XMPP was on in the early 2000s.

That's great and all, and I'm very hopeful for its future, but let's talk in 15 years.

@jcbrand Unfortunately, that whole client / UX thing could be seen other way 'round too: It needs clients to use the tool. #XMPP people mostly failed here, except for #Conversations and maybe #Dino, and, thus, left open that market for services technologically inferior and locked-up but actually *accessible* to users who expect more than late 1990s ICQ style clients. That playing field was totally open to #XMPP with the rise of smartphones, but no one but the big players really cared.

@z428 @strypey

> left open that market for services

Coming back to my argument that it has more to do with economics than technical reasons.

How are you going to make money by federating with your competitors and by working with standards bodies to extend an open protocol that your competitors can then also implement?

The same question applies to all players, which is why every for-profit IM company tries to build a silo (aka closed garden).

@jcbrand ... features of the #XMPP spec. Yes, in a economy-driven market, #FLOSS and open standards do have a tough time to withstand the power of large corporations pouring a lot of money into R&D. But I dare to say a lot of the issues of #XMPP could be resolved if the community just focussed on some of these. Not to mention input provided by people like the #Matrix guys who chose to come up with a different approach rather than using #XMPP. A load of their claims are ...


@z428 @strypey

> But I dare to say a lot of the issues of #XMPP could be resolved if the community just focussed on some of these

I'm not aware of anything that someone has complained about that the XMPP community doesn't know and for which there aren't people working on solutions.

Many of these people are volunteers and spend their life energy and time on this massive task, without any compensation.

And they're competing with multi-billion dollar companies.







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