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Jiri Eischmann's Blog

I’ve moved from Google back to Jabber

Yesterday I finally did what I had been planning for some time – moved from Google (Talk) back to Jabber. I started using Gtalk many years ago because at that time it was the most reliable XMPP service around and it had online history.

But Google has moved to closed Hangouts and recently announced that they would discontinue the XMPP compatibility. It hasn’t taken place yet, but the compatibility is getting worse and worse. I can’t add contacts from other Jabber servers, don’t receive their requests. If they send me a message, it’s not delivered to the mobile app etc. I have had enough.

Because I’m running Google services on my own domain, the move was pretty simple. I just changed DNS records and moved my contact list. I sometimes really regret that Jabber has not been widely adopted. I really love the idea of just moving your account to a different provider if you’re not satisfied with the current one. Almost zero vendor lockin. If I disappeared from your contact list, you may need to add me again. My account is jiri [] eischmann [] cz. It’s hosted by my friend who runs and offers Jabber as an additional service as well as e.g. OwnCloud.

Although I use Jabber, I really like Telegram and I now consider it as my primary instant messaging. It’s the only service from the new wave of IM networks which has a fully open protocol and it’s pretty secure. And I do think it’s also in other aspects better than other IMs such as Messenger, Hangouts, or Whatsapp.

I have also been planning to move my email from Gmail. It won’t be so simple there because I’ve got two more accounts there. I will have to move tens of thousands of emails, and I also will have to disable the accounts somehow internally because otherwise Gmail would keep delivering emails to my old account, I suppose.

14 responses to “I’ve moved from Google back to Jabber”

  1. Jamie Nguyen Avatar

    Cryptographic experts have widely criticized Telegram. I would not advise trusting Telegram. On the other hand, Signal (previously known as TextSecure and RedPhone) comes from the reputable Open Whisper Systems, is free, open and has withstood significant peer review.

    1. eischmann Avatar

      I dunno. Secret chats got 7/7 points (the same score as Signal) in the security benchmark of EFF. Telegram organized a contest and offered $200,000 to break into it and no one made it.

        1. eischmann Avatar

          I think the conclusion of one of the articles sums it up pretty well:
          “As a general messenger, Telegram seems just fine. If secrecy and privacy are at all important however, I recommend to users that they look elsewhere at this time because of the usability problems. Some viable alternatives I can recommend are Threema or TextSecure.”

          I know there are more secure messengers than Telegram, but for me it’s quite a good compromise between security and comfort.

        2. matejcepltest Avatar

          I would say that a Jabber conversation over OTR on the server you control is not that shabby either.

        3. Ruben Avatar

          I’d recommend you use the new (-ish because its not fully adopted everywhere yet) OMemo encryption approach provided currently by the android app Conversations.

          OMemo is basically a sibling of the Signal Protocol but it also allows for multi-device to multi-device encryption. (i.e. same account across different devices).

          Works on any jabber server that supports XEP-0163: Personal Eventing Protocol.

          Read into it, I have a feeling you’ll like it 😉

          1. matejcepltest Avatar

            I know about OMEMO, I use Conversations, but I would need it to be supported on pidgin as well (half of my life is in front of the desktop computer with twenty or so IRC/Jabber channels/MUCs opened). So for now, I stay with the good ol’ OTR.

          2. Ruben Avatar

            Yes, Conversations is a very good XMPP client.

            If you are looking for a desktop equivalent i would recommend Gajim. I use it on my PC all the time. It too supports OMemo though it is still a bit unfinished. It supports one to one Omemo only at the moment ( or at least my version does. I just saw that a new version was realised earlier this month though i doubt it will affect omemo since its a separate plugin. As i understand it, MUC Omemo is still being developed ). However the one to one omemo works very well. I’m hoping the group chat omemo will be completed soon.

      1. matejcepltest Avatar

        Telegram is not federated, right? So, all this beautiful gymnastics you did with Jabber would not be possible with it.

        And welcome back to the free world, we are glad you are here with us!

        1. eischmann Avatar

          Telegram is not federated, that’s true. And it’s a big advantage of Jabber, I’m aware of it. On the other hand it also has disadvantages compared to Telegram: online history, syncing messages to all clients, sending files, mobile clients. The latest is probably the biggest disadvantage of Jabber, it doesn’t have a reasonably good mobile client. Xabber is terrible, I can’t install this to my mom to chat with me, I’ve got hard times to use it myself.

          1. Dan Avatar

            >online history, syncing messages to all clients, sending files,

            there are XEPs for these

            >it doesn’t have a reasonably good mobile client

            have you tried Conversations?

          2. matejcepltest Avatar

            * online history – (implemented to various degree in plugins for various servers, and in various degree implemented in some clients)
            * syncing messages – XMPP has more advanced system based on various priorities (configurable)
            * sending files – should work, problem is piercing NAT, but STUN is supported (and particular module for ejabberd is in their core, and Prosody has it as 3rd party thing)
            * mobile clients – … I liked yaxim when I used Android, now I like Loqui on Firefox OS (except for … I have to make some workaround it), it is very similar client to Telegram for FxOS.

          3. matejcepltest Avatar

            Yes, and in meantime I switched to Conversations as well.

  2. Ruben Avatar

    I would just like to notify you guys that Gajim’s Multi-User Chat with OMemo has been completed now! =)

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