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    Sadly this has been a recurring theme with Google for the last few years. I don’t expect it to get any better from here on.

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      You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the bad guy. And if you live long enough after you’ve become the bad guy, you might see yourself become the good guy again. But no one can remain pure forever.

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      Suggestions on video conferencing that isn’t Skype or Hangouts? Most OSS video software is doubleplusungood

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        We use Zoom.us and love it. I think they have a free plan which is capped at 20 or so participants. We routinely run full-team meetings with 100+ people and it works great. I recently moved to the backend of nowhere and the best my ISP can offer is 1mbit DSL. Zoom still performs wonderfully, which is remarkable to be honest.

        When we used hangouts with 10 participants, it felt like my macbook air was going to melt. Zoom hardly breaks a sweat.

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          If you’re a single-digit number of people, and don’t need fancier things like screensharing, you could try one of the sites that’s just a thin wrapper around WebRTC, which should work as well/badly as browsers' WebRTC implementations (hopefully on an upward trend). https://talky.io/ supports up to 5 people, and https://appear.in/ supports up to 8.

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            Thanks for the talky.io recommendation. I tested it out the other day. The quality of video and screensharing is killer. I dig that you can full screen the screen sharing, something that always bugged me about hangouts. The other perk is that my fan doesn’t kick on the moment a conversation is started. The 5 person limit is reasonable, WebRTC scalability limitations, and should be able to accommodate most uses for me.

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              Might work, since screen-sharing can be handled by the (admittedly not totally satisfactory) Chrome Remote Desktop app

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              Tox is in early development, but some of the clients, like uTox and qTox, are already usable. I have had video calls using both.

              Tox has some limitations that they are working on. The biggest one being the ability to use your profile on several devices at the same time.

              Give it a try! You can add me if you like: 86B1DC08F49D53D18B5A9D36D2491C499413D7FFA8E2E39787536C0149863F183B975502DE59

              (Add me, anybody)

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              If you have suggestions for alternative tags, please propose them - I’d be happy to change the current tags. There wasn’t an ‘internet’ tag, which is what I’d have preferred to use. Perhaps there should be?

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                I think “culture” and “practices” would be better fits, personally. There may be others as well.

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                  a yro tag (“your rights online”, from slashdot) would be perfect, though (internet, culture) woukd work too

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                  My experience running my own xmpp server when Google allowed federation is that it sometimes worked. A big issue was that Google Apps for Domains customers would frequently not set up the proper DNS records for federation, and Google allowed this setup to work with other Gchat users.

                  Inevitably people would always think my setup was broken when they couldn’t chat with me but they could chat with everyone else.

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                    A big issue was that Google Apps for Domains customers would frequently not set up the proper DNS records for federation, and Google allowed this setup to work with other Gchat users.

                    Inevitably people would always think my setup was broken when they couldn’t chat with me but they could chat with everyone else.

                    I run into this all the damn time. ಠ_ಠ

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                    One weakness with XMPP is, if you ask me, that messages are mostly sent to one of your devices. And it’s not always easy for the server to figure out if I’m in front of my computer or out travelling with the mobile.

                    Also OTR can cause trouble when switching devices. My messages have ended up on the wrong devices or unreadable so many times.

                    Despite that, XMPP is one of the best options we have when it comes to federation and liberty.

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                      I agree that active device selection was not ideal.

                      I’ve always wondered if it wouldn’t have been better to send an event/message to the guessed active device, which could respond to the users XMPP server “yup, we have activity, this message got read”. If such an event doesn’t happen in X amount of time, it could dispatch it to the next guess, then after X/2 to the next, …

                      Of course, a confirmation of activity shouldn’t happen for every message.

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                      I’ve updated the getting started link to https://xmpp.net/directory.php after feedback from Lloyd Watkin ( https://github.com/lloydwatkin ) and intosi ( https://github.com/intosi ).

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                        Anyone know what tool xmpp.net is using to determine the “grade” for your xmpp server? I would like to run it against my systems, but I don’t want to wait an hour to check if my fixes worked.

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                          I just ran it against mine and it finished in a few minutes giving me an A-.

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                            Same, but I had an F at first because of missing intermediate.

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                          Between Hangouts and iMessages I have access to all my friends. Unfortunately, few of them use anything else, and as a result I don’t either. =(

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                            I live in Thailand for now and here everyone is on LINE. Friend in Malaysia is on WhatsApp, U.S. friends are on Facebook and Google Hangouts, work is on Hangouts, open source projects are on 3 different IRC networks (Freenode, Mozilla and OFTC), one open source project on Slack, another in Gitter. It is terrible. Oh, and some family on Skype.

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                              I’m in a similar boat. I have maybe 10 people I want to talk to. 1 only uses Viber, 3 are only on Hangouts, 3 are only on Skype, 1 is on LINE, 3 are on IRC. I’m not blaming these people for this, but it really annoys me. Most of these protocols are proprietary, so I can’t even use a single client to collect the different services.

                              I feel like were back in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, where you had to have 3 proprietary programs running on your PC just to be reachable by your friends. I thought we were done with this, but now I have 4 pieces of software on my phone, waking the phone and radio up individually at different times, draining my battery and available memory. All to do what amounts to basic text messaging. Is this progress?

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                                The fragmentation itself isn’t that new, but the interoperability (via reverse-engineering or otherwise) seems to be worse than it used to be. I used to have friends scattered across five networks (AIM, ICQ, Jabber / Google Talk, MSN, IRC), but Pidgin speaks all of those, so it’s not a huge hassle. In practice I used it only for the first four, and irssi for IRC, but still better than five clients. But the third party libraries like libpurple don’t seem to have found a way to connect to Skype, WhatsApp, LINE, etc. Slack does have XMPP and IRC gateways, so is the friendliest of the new chat networks.

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                              There is a reverse implementation of Hangouts: https://github.com/tdryer/hangups

                              It’s pretty usable, I did a write up about it if anyone would care to read it: https://nickhu.co.uk/posts/2015-02-13-hanging-up-on-hangouts.html