Migration to free platforms for communication


The FSMK EC took the decision to migrate away from non-free communication platforms for all internal use. In order to do this we need to identify tools that allow the following specifications:
end-to-end encryption
mobile/desktop support
message sync’ing
low bandwidth requirement
offline communication

Other specifications may be added to the above list. These basic ones were chosen as the platform will be used for multiple purposes for the organisation.

Please submit your options as a reply along with reasons.
On behalf of the FSMK EC

Why you wanna censor me?


That’s a very good decision for a quick one.

XMPP does support encryption, groups, mobile, desktop sync, low bandwidth. If we’re setting up a server on FSMK’s server, I have personally installed prosody which works and is easy. But ejabberd might be superior.

Also, we should explore freedombox.

Speaking of XMPP, Conversations is a good Android client (gratis build available on f-droid).


Stream Management is important for XMPP to work reliably on mobile connections.

You can find a simple explanation of why we need stream management at https://op-co.de/blog/posts/XEP-0198/

Conversations supports stream management. We need an XMPP server that supports stream management as well.

While the idea of stream management makes sense to me, I have not tried it out practically and seen if it works well. Someone should probably do that before believing me.


Kontalk has never failed to deliver a message. Kontalk is built on XMPP. What XEPs does Kontalk implement to achieve this? Is it just stream management or something else?

Another very useful XEP is Message Carbons. This enables multiple clients logged into the same account to all receive copies of the messages. Conversations supports Message Carbons.


Kontalk does not support groups, right? Looking for options which support the specifications @arunisaac


The final version after incorporating the feedback is here FSMK's stand on usage of proprietary social networks


I didn’t mean to say we should adopt Kontalk. I don’t even like Kontalk all that much. But, Kontalk has been very reliable. And, it’s built on XMPP. So, if we can find out what XEPs Kontalk has implemented to achieve this, we can just use plain old XMPP with those particular XEPs enabled.



I think XMPP with the right extensions (XEPs) enabled can satisfy all our requirements.


Conversations (the Android XMPP client) has a list of XMPP features and good explanations of them here at https://github.com/siacs/Conversations#xmpp-features


Has there been any concrete development on the alternatives we’re going to use?


Looking at the suggestions, there seems to be a consensus on XMPP based protocols with Conversations as the mobile client. We will have to create a small system-admin team to implement not only this but also the diaspora pod and office network administration.


@sarath_ms @shijil, @arunisaac has been coming over to office more than once to try to install XMPP on a laptop using our ACT connection but there have been hiccups. Is it possible to host XMPP on our VPS? How fast can it be done?

I have already exited all FSMK telegram groups in anticipation :slight_smile:

Migrating XMPP (Jabber) host from discuss.fsmk.org to fsmk.org

If you quit thinking this alternative will be ready soon, I’d say ‘too soon’.

Anyway, I have setup a server on the VPS with basic configuration, we need to start trying it out. For now, let it be tested by a few before we can let more people try. We need to see if we can manage it with existing resources, or will we need to procure more.

If we want to use it as frequently and as much as we have been using Telegram, I’m guessing we will need to spend more time and money on it. That’s how decentralization works! :smirk:


We, FOSS Community of India, have been using XMPP for group chats successfully for quite some time (visit us at fci@conference.diasp.in). It has almost all features of Telegram (forget those crappy stickers) and Whatsapp. We’ve setup it as part of the diaspora instances we manage (Poddery and Diasp.in) so that one with an account in either can use it. From our experience, it isn’t that much difficult.

FSMK also can set it up in a VPS and use it as a viable alternative to Telegram and Whatsapp, for sure.


You can use the diaspora-installer package on jessie to setup a diaspora pod with no manual configuration. Also with a little bit of work, you can get prosody working and link diaspora account with prosody. We do it for both diasp.in and poddery.com


Also now the discourse and mailing list is separate, you can connect them together and allow posting to discourse from email, and having nice archives for your mailing lists.


I think load testing is important :wink: Can we do the testing on FSMK namespace itself? From what I have been reading, XMPP with a good frontend should be sufficient.


A test platform using xmpp has been created and Conversations can be used to access it. Stay tuned for more details.