Where shall we chat?

Yo peeps! Let’s discuss where to chat. :slight_smile:

Specifically, let’s go over how this group of peeps want to chat, and look into getting that working.

I’ve got talkgroup for email/discussions stuff. Mastodon for yelling into the fediverse. But sometimes I want to talk rapidly and in near-realtime with a peep or groups of peeps. That is what I am trying to figure out.

Here are some ideas.

Jabber, of course

I run a server for interi.org, and run MUC, but only for local users.

The reason I don’t open MUC to the public is because I am not happy with the certificate on that server; it differs from the Let’s Encrypt I use on the website, and will expire in five years or something. I’ve been hoping that particular problem will be solved in that time.

Running Prosody isn’t difficult, so running another server/domain is a great option (these servers run on 512MB easily). And jabber MUC has a lot of cool features, like per room usernames (great for game-playing!) and allowing read-only access.

The problem is client support… or is it?!

iOS clients have push issues, either not working or they do work and are done via silo’d service.

Security features have spotty coverage, not many clients have OMEMO support, for instance. But maybe that doesn’t matter as much for group chat (OMEMO only works if everyone is OMEMO-ing each other).

I’d love to get more folks on jabber, as habitual users. I love it for one-on-one chat as well. But it isn’t for everyone. Maybe it works for us?


RocketChat is web-based chat software, IRC/Slack/Web thing. It is a lot of fun, but is distinctly centralized. Meaning everyone needs an account in this one place. And that makes sense: it is for teams.

But the channel + search features are amazing when needed. I am not sure they are. And not just in my use case of wanting to discuss things with folks: outside of auditing or something, what use is chat logs?

While I like keeping potentially large archives of conversations in the case of talkgroup, I don’t care to do the same for chat logs. And then private chat logs, ugh!

For user experience, RC wins the cake with the general population. Visit a website, put in your email, set your username and start chatting. Web browser is your client.

They also have clients for lots of platforms, with various levels of Electron-integration. I believe the new mobile apps are written to the platforms, rather than a web-wrapper.

One thing about this and any database driven software that gets auto-updates and has enterprise in its name: one has to be pro-active against “leaks” to third-party integrations. And of course the embedded URL preview stuff.

Maybe something completely different

I thought it might be fun to run Evennia in ssh-only mode. It is a talker out of the box, and instead of chat rooms we could create literal figurative rooms!

Or maybe there is some interesting chat room thing I don’t know about. My thinking is kinda stuck between jabber and web-chat. Standards and convenience.

The reason I bring this up is that I want to set something up, but I don’t want to split my attention any more than it already is. Jabber works for me, but I don’t know if it works for others.

So what works? :slight_smile:

Im allready on Jabber/XMPP, im not adverse to RocketChat ive been meaning to give it a whirl.

Evennia might be the most appealing in some ways. As that will grab my attention and keep me engaged in a way a normal mere chat protocol wouldn’t.

That being said ive been kind of a failure at synchronous chatting lately. Im not adverse to it, but between timezone’s work and life I feel like asynchronous chats have been clicking better with me for some reason.

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Yeah, I have been, too. But I am thinking of the future, when at some point I’ll want to collect a bunch of folks into a context for real-time interaction.

Because the most likely reason is gaming, I think I am going to spin up a RocketChat instance for mage.party.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I love the idea of using RC for group chats only. That’s when a log is most useful. I want to scroll back, see what I missed, and continue the conversation!

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I know, that is kinda the weird thing I am figuring out: I really like jabber for one-on-one messaging, and searchable channels for group chat.

I suppose that makes a kind of sense. It’s funny, Matrix probably does this in a way that is long-term, but I like having a personal silo of tribal conversations, and the ability to archive and delete, without having to worry about federated data sets. I mean, I know the purpose of those features, but I don’t want those for friend group chat. Maybe for public projects…? But then Mastodon kinda hits that niche.

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