Snikket is a new XMPP/Jabber-based decentralised FOSS messenger service. You can follow at:
The official website is https://snikket.org
It aims to make XMPP into a more viable alternative to Whatsapp etc by providing consistency in design and terminology.
(It's sort of how Mastodon made ActivityPub more mainstream, by using consistency to make it clear the instances are part of one network.)
So I guess the work from Prosody that was shut down for being "unmaintainable complicated" (https://medium.com/netresearch/how-we-ended-up-with-a-matrix-based-communication-platform-baa3f6601c47) is getting spun into something cleaner and easier to self-host, and XMPP clients are being created that implement a guaranteed minimum set of XEPs (where the minimum set is guaranteed to be at least as large as the Conversations app had)?
I can tell you there are many people running Prosody very happily, from individuals to organizations. See also https://blog.prosody.im/2020-retrospective/
But yes, Snikket aims to make it easier. That's possible because it is hyper-focused on a specific use case (personal messaging). The people using Prosody for IoT wouldn't be happy with Snikket 🙂
@aaravchen @FediFollows @witti @snikket_im And you're mostly right about XEPs/Conversations. But it's not strictly true that "what Conversations supports" is our guiding star. It may be the case that we remove/disable certain things that Conversations supports, if we consider it unnecessary/confusing for our use case.
It's also not all about XEPs. UX is a big part of the project. Consistency across clients. All this stuff gets documented at https://docs.modernxmpp.org/
I don't know much about Prosody, the first references I heard were here, on the Conversation app page, and the linked post noting that Prosody was shutting down their IM XMPP server (?) after deciding on Matrix instead. I guess I misunderstood what parts were being shut down. I thought he (whoever the author is) was saying all XMPP hosting was being shut down rather than just their hosted instance of IM XMPP.
@FediFollows @witti @snikket_im
@FediFollows Thanks for helping spread the word about Snikket, and the perfect summary of the project 🙂
We have several exciting announcements planned in the coming weeks! Between the recent progress on the project and #WhatsApp's crazy announcement, it feels like the time is right for a big shift in how people think about communication.
Every new group of people self-hosting their own mini messaging service is a win for the internet and online privacy. Exciting times!
Yeah, this feels like Whatsapp's own "Cambridge Analytica" moment, there are definitely more people looking for alternatives.
The benefit isn't technical, it's userbase. If Snikket can convince more people to join XMPP, then current XMPP users will have more people to communicate with on the network.
It's like Mastodon made a cleaner and easier way to use the Fediverse, which drew millions of users to it, which benefitted people on non-Mastodon Fediverse instances too.
@MrClon Currently we're prioritizing mobile, yes. After that we'll probably add a web client, and later maybe a native desktop client.
Each of these takes time because we test each feature and make sure there is full compatibility with the other Snikket software. Often this means development work.
Obviously you are free to use any XMPP client with a Snikket server that you want. We just can't guarantee the same level of quality. Any actively developed modern client should work 🙂
Yes, we're basing the Snikket iOS client on Siskin and have been implementing Tigase's extensions for Siskin into Prosody modules to ensure reliability.
Discussions are in progress about what needs to happen to get these extensions standardized so we can see them universally supported: https://github.com/tigase/tigase-xeps/issues/4
@snikket_im @tagomago @FediFollows looks encouraging. so what do you think about MIX on the android side? Having asked around, aside from devs of kaidan im (and of course stork im), none of the android developers seem all that interested. not surprising, given android doesn't need it, but without it the work tigase have done won't amount to much.
They're the same architecture, but XMPP uses an extensible XML communication while Matrix uses an extensible JSON.
As far as I can tell, they're intended to do the same thing but are just implemented with different technologies.
I should also point out that there's a pretty well known Matrix-to-XMPP bridge called Bifrost (though I can't speak to it's quality or compatibility between surface-similar features)
@aaravchen Thanks, makes more sense now. Is there any inherent benefit to XML that would justify this development?
By using namespaces it's possible to extend and evolve the protocol over time, while maintaining backwards compatibility (as long as you want to). XMPP is 20 years old (!) and would be totally irrelevant now if it didn't have the ability to adapt to new technology and communication styles.
The core XMPP protocol was standardized at the IETF (the organization that develops and maintains many internet protocols such as HTTP and email) in 2004 and updated in 2011. But most of the protocol changes happen through documented extensions known as "XEPs".
New extensions are developed by the community and published at https://xmpp.org/extensions/
Due to XML namespaces, these extensions don't break existing software when they start getting used on the XMPP network.
To avoid chaos and confusion, each year updated guidance is published about which XEPs should be implemented by e.g. IM clients: https://xmpp.org/about/compliance-suites.html
The whole process is managed by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF), which is governed by community members: https://xmpp.org/about/xmpp-standards-foundation.html
This was so much more helpful than my 2 hours of trying to detangle the contentious arguments from biased enthusiasts' posts.
@vazub @mattj @aaravchen The Matrix experience is a lot more polished, since Matrix was designed for connection-less from the start, which works better for mobile, especially iOS. XMPP has extensions to work around XMPP being connection oriented, but that still has many problems in practice and the Matrix experience is a lot more polished. Configuring push notifications is done Server side in Matrix and works well and a huge pain point in XMPP, so MUCs + Mobile aren’t fun.
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