[OTR-dev] Going forward

Ian Goldberg ian at cypherpunks.ca
Wed Dec 22 10:32:36 EST 2004

On Wed, Dec 22, 2004 at 04:12:43PM +0100, Ralf-Philipp Weinmann wrote:
> >One of the really big things is that we need to get OTR working on 
> >other
> >platforms.  Paul's working on a Windows gaim port, but getting it to
> >work on Trillian and iChat is crucial.  Unfortunately, neither of those
> >platforms seem to support plugins that can _modify_ (e.g.
> >encrypt/decrypt) messages.
> Partially true. iChat indeed does not support plugins. This quite is 
> unfortunate since most Mac users I know don't bother with alternative 
> multi-protocol MacOS X clients such as Fire or Adium X since they then 
> lose the voice/video conferencing ability of iChat or need to run 
> multiple clients at once.
> Trillian however does support plugins, albeit only in the commercial 
> pro version. I'd rather concentrate my efforts on the Mirinda IM [1] 
> client on the Windows platform (multi-protocol as well, very rich 
> feature support, and open-source).

Did I just hear you volunteer to get Mirinda to support OTR natively?  :-)

If so, that'd be great!

> >So what to do?
> >
> >I think the easiest thing would be to use a little (hopefully mostly
> >portable across *nix, Windows, OSX) AIM proxy that does the OTR.
> >
> >Upsides: portable; quickly get something working on Windows, OSX, and
> >non-gaim *nix clients
> >
> >Downsides: it'd only work for the AIM protocol (we'd need separate
> >proxies for different protocols); the "You are Private" UI wouldn't be
> >able to be as nicely integrated into the conversation window as it is
> >with gaim; configuring your existing client to use the proxy is
> >user-unfriendly (install wizards for popular clients?)
> Good idea, but the user-unfriendliness of having to manually configure 
> a proxy might curb acceptance. I'm not sure whether this can be done 
> automatically. A manual giving click-by-click procedures for popular 
> clients might help tremendously though.

Indeed, automated "install wizards" would be good for popular clients.

Len had another idea: use a localhost transparent proxy.  That's easy to
do on Linux (as long as you've got the appropriate magic compiled into
your kernel), but it's not supported (only due to a *bug* in the kernel,
ugh) on OSX, and I seem to remember that to do it on Windows, you need
a Windows-version-specific network shim, which is a Huge Pain In The Ass.

> >For a start, we might look at the code at
> >http://sourceforge.net/projects/exclaim/.  I don't know how complete it
> >is, but it claims to be an AIM proxy, written with the goal of letting
> >plugins play with the data stream.
> I sent a quick note to Kevin Cheng the other day. Unfortunately exclaim 
> is not actively developed at the moment. The code looks promising but I 
> haven't yet tested it.

Turns out a simple (non-encrypting) AIM proxy can be written from scratch
in a weekend, so we don't really need exclaim any more.  :-p

> >For the UI, we should probably use some cross-platform GUI toolkit.
> Such as wxWidgets [2].

Yes, I had just that in mind.

> >[PS: what do people think about putting OTR up on sourceforge?  Is 
> >there
> >another site that's better?]
> Unfortunately the muntions archive [3] seems to be down ATM. 
> Sourceforge is ideally suited for active development, although you 
> might want to have your source tree hosted somewhere outside of the 
> U.S.

I think just making sure there's a *copy* somewhere outside the US is
probably enough.  [And be sure to send the requisite "there's crypto at
this URL" email to the USG.]

The crypto wars are *so* passe.  ;-)

   - Ian

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