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    It bears repeating that the EU is working on legislation to force services to inter-operate. I am quite eager to see what will be the result of these efforts.

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      An often forgotten fact is that when Time-Warner bought AOL back in 2000, one condition was they would have to open up AIM if they ever expanded into video chat. Of course, the Bush administration decided to drop that requirement and so we still have a fragmented chat market to this day. Thanks Bush administration!

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      Email is the best ♥

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        Agreed!

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        Indeed. Yes, there’s problems with Spam and things were clearly made in a different time, but email is the best bet we have.

        I think XMPP comes close in terms of many compatible implementations, federated, cross platform. I wished Facebook and Gmail’s implementation were (still) reachable from the outside, but sadly that’s not the case. Also I think usage dropped, because mobile used to be a pain.

        Maybe at some point Matrix or something comes along, but general adoption would likely be a decades long process, especially with commercial competitors who have monetary incentive to counteract this.

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          Matrix is apparently already at 43M users and growing

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            As impressive as 43 million users is, that’s nothing compared to the billions of email users. And, as far as I understand, Matrix is exclusively for real-time communication. Email is asynchronous and persistent—I can dig up an old email from months or years ago with relative ease if needed. I believe this is an essential feature of a lowest common denominator medium of communication.

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              While you are correct that the main use-case for matrix is chat, matrix is really a distributed database and can be used to communicate asynchronously. And the chats are persistent.

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                I suppose that’s true. Nevertheless I don’t have nearly as much success looking up old chats as I do with old emails. Maybe that’s a UX problem with chat clients, or maybe something about the document format of email is more searchable, I’m not quite sure. Or maybe chats have never developed ergonomics for that use case because email already exists and serves that purpose.

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              Wow! Where are these 43M users coming from?

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              TBF, Facebook never did federated XMPP and while having Google in the game was good, it also made the network lazy and held it back trying to stay compatible with Google’s goofiness.

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                it also made the network lazy and held it back trying to stay compatible with Google’s goofiness.

                real email vibes

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                  That’s why I put that “still” in braces. Would be nice to have big providers where many people have accounts to be reachable.

                  The point is that I don’t think something similar to email is going to happen if you can’t send an XMPP message the way are able to send an email to ap gmail account.

                  For me the fact that Google stopped supporting federated XMPP meant that I had to switch the protocol to continue communication. But having to switch protocol is making it but even close to email, where you expect pretty much every person on the internet to be reachable and even use it to register accounts and such.

                  Given that it’s centralized it’s more than scary to see services that require social media or GitHub accounts without alternatives, not even email coming up.

                  Of course every now and then I’m happy to see people still make services not even requiring email.

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                    For me the fact that Google stopped supporting federated XMPP meant that I had to switch the protocol to continue communication.

                    Could you explain this?

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                      I’m sorry, I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “this”.

                      Basically Google had an instant messenger that was compatible with XMPP. If you had a Gmail account you could use it and talk to all people using xmppy. At some point they stopped supporting that.

                      This means I had to switch protocols away from XMPP to other instant messaging protocols that these people were using (as in Signed, Matrix, SMS, Telegram, …).

                      Hope that answers the question.