[jdev] How to make open communication with Jabber more popular

Mickaël Rémond mremond at process-one.net
Wed Apr 13 17:12:04 UTC 2016


In a sense, PGP / GPG key sharing server are a form of registry. It could
be interesting to think that registry in that context as well.
For example, maybe we could even leverage GPG (or GPG like) keyserver to
associate your Jabber ID to your key.
It may also help for end-to-end encryption in some way.

Mickaël Rémond

On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 6:58 PM Arno Welzel <privat at arnowelzel.de> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I suggested the following proposal as a feature in Conversations and
> Xabber (see <https://github.com/redsolution/xabber-android/issues/634>,
> <https://github.com/siacs/Conversations/issues/1802>) - but some people
> suggested it would be better to think about this as a part of XMPP
> itself and not to add features to the client which are beyond the standard.
> So I do now (with some refinements) ;-).
> I run my own Jabber server (based on ejabberd) and I've been using
> Jabber for many years now (with Xabber on my Android devices and Pidgin
> and Adium on desktops). Also see <http://arnowelzel.de/wp/en/about-me>
> if you want to know more about me.
> When I noticed that WhatsApp now also has end-to-end-encryption and even
> the EFF says that WhatsApp is "secure" (see
> <https://www.eff.org/de/node/82654>) I thought that Facebook will
> eventually rule the world and either you have use e-mail or WhatsApp
> when you want to reach other people... really?
> My dream is to have an alternative to WhatsApp which is *not* depending
> on a single provider (like WhatsApp, Threema or Signal) but which is
> also as easy to install and use as WhatsApp, Threema etc..
> What makes WhatsApp so popular?
> Well - you don't need to create any account using a username/password
> and you don't need to know the account names of your friends - their
> phone numbers are enough to check, if they use WhatsApp as well and to
> reach them. And as you already have the numbers in your phonebook you
> literally can start to chat with your friends instantly after installing
> WhatsApp.
> How to achieve the same goal with XMPP/Jabber?
> My idea:
> 1) Offer to enter an existing account OR to create an account using one
> of several well known Jabber providers (maybe the ones listed on
> <https://xmpp.net/directory.php>) with a password which is automatically
> created locally and which can be displayed or saved for later reference
> OR can manually be set.
> 2) Detect the local phone number AND/OR allow the user a way to enter
> and confirm it manually.
> 3) Provide a way to send the hash of the telephone number together with
> the Jabber-ID to a central registry OR the selected server which takes
> care to handle this data to be synchronized with some kind of central
> registry.
> 4) Offer a function which allows to find other users by the hashes for
> the existing phone numbers in the addressbook at the central registry OR
> by asking the selected server which will then return the Jabber-IDs for
> the given hashes if there are any known.
> I'm aware, that the central registry may be seen as "evil" - but this
> should be implemented as open source and should be run by a non profit
> organisation. But technically it is not possible to know if and where
> other people have an account with some kind of registry.
> To make this clear: the communication itself is still possible without
> any central registry. The registry is only needed to find others more
> easily, not for the communication itself. Of course you still can
> contact Jabber-IDs directly without using a registry server. But in fact
> people expect that they can use a messenger without first asking all
> their friends for some kind of ID - they already have an ID: the phone
> number. So it's just a logic decision to use that for messaging as well.
> It's only a very rough proposal and there may still be things I forgot.
> Did anyone try this yet?
> Kind regards,
> Arno Welzel
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