E2E in chat (was: Re: S/Mime usage)

Wiktor Kwapisiewicz wiktor at metacode.biz
Mon Oct 14 09:07:49 UTC 2019

Hi Patrick,

On 11.10.2019 14:12, Patrick Cloke wrote:
> I hadn't seen this exact compliance test site before. Thanks! I think it 
> is only half the picture though. If a server implements an XEP, but no 
> clients do, then it is not necessarily worth implementing. (There's also 
> the aspect of trying to understand what clients are popular, I haven't 
> looked into this for XMPP in a very long time though.)

Agreed. Additionally XMPP has a lot of unmaintained clients that are 
still in use so it's not really possible to cover all cases. On the 
other hand there is a high convergence of XEPs supported if one 
considers modern clients (such as https://conversations.im/ or 
https://dino.im/ ).

> I should probably join the XSF mailing list... the thing missing from 
> that site is some understanding of how popular each of those clients 
> are. (What percentage of the user population supports it, not what 
> percentage of clients do.) 

I'm not sure if it's possible to get "percentage of user population" in 
a federated protocol such as XMPP.

> Anyway, I'm not against supporting OMEMO, but 
> supporting OTR was a good baseline since it helps all the protocols 
> implemented in Thunderbird, and a bunch of the work had already been 
> done a few years ago. Kai and Alex finished integrating it.

Sure, there is no harm doing that I guess and if it works with all 
protocols that's a big plus. I just wanted to mention OMEMO as observing 
a small circle of federated protocols is my hobby :)

> Last thing I'll say is that if there are specific XMPP features that are 
> missing from Thunderbird please start by filing a bug 
> <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=Chat+Core&component=XMPP> 
> (probably a bug per XEP / feature). Unfortunately most of my use of XMPP 
> is via GTalk [1] which has a pretty terrible feature set.

Oh yes. I know XMPP from early ages and also used GTalk heavily when it 
was popular but the protocols and feature sets varied so drastically 
that it seems like two different protocols.

If you have time and would like to see XMPP I'd suggest installing 
https://conversations.im and trying it out. It does have end-to-end 
encryption enabled by default and looks and feels like any kind of 
modern chat application.

Kind regards,


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