[OTR-dev] OTR version 4 Draft #2

Carsten Mattner carstenmattner at gmail.com
Fri May 11 20:27:13 EDT 2018

On 5/11/18, Alex <alex323 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 11 May 2018 14:49:37 +0000
> Carsten Mattner <carstenmattner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> and then there's Signal's voice chat, but Signal is Signal and I
>> cannot use it for multiple reasons anyway.
> Other than Signal being centralized, what problems do you see? Why
> are you unable to use it?

1. no proper native desktop client
2. disagreement over how Moxie handles criticism and follows the rule
   of "dissuading" alternative implementation to keep control and
   compatibility in check.
3. the inability to use without a phone number and the loss of the
   profile when phone number becomes unoperational
4. no federation with anything, caused mainly by (2)
5. its SPoF Signal servers for circumventing local regimes or store
   and forward of messages when receiver is offline
6. their clients are slow and bulky and isolated, not integrating
   with anything else
7. another closed system trying to grab users, leading to users
   signing up at another system to connect with friends. And now
   we have Discord getting popular. This has to stop before it
   becomes normality and everyone forgets why P2P was pursued, but
   building a closed messenger is a business rather than a service
   to users. They know that building a P2P system that can have
   100's of different servers and clients makes no money, so nobody
   invest in the idea. Yes, I've tried Matrix, and right now it's
   a hot mess. Tox and Ring equally or even worse. Yet, convenience
   trumps and people use Kik and Snapchat for sexting with strangers.

Even if 2-7 wouldn't be issues, I can't use a tool day to day which
doesn't have native desktop clients to choose from. The way OTR works,
XMPP doesn't care and I can use any server or set up my own without
running into problems when connecting chatting with other users. Those
users don't have to sign up or use a different tool. Heck, even
IRC+OTR is better in that regard than the popular messaging services.

Bittorrent is still going strong, yet we still have no DHT based true
P2P messaging solution in wide use. At least with XMPP, we're not
bound to a single server but can interoperate and move around like in
real life. When I move around with XMPP, my contacts just need to add
my new id to their roster, they don't have to install a new client or
sign up somewhere.

The cynic in me thinks that there's powers that prefer centralized
solutions that can be controlled while doing so for true P2P would
require bad mouthing the service like they did Bittorrent and Tor. You
know, "only .... use P2P". It's high time P2P is adopted in commercial
mainstream tools for it to lose its stigma it acquired in the last

XMPP+OTR is the practical middle ground we can get for the moment.

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