I don't think it is sustainable to have the entire world use a single organization's service. It is a big single point of failure. I recommend federated systems like or where we have a choice of providers and no single point of failure. And for those who say it is not convenient, I suggest which is just a convenient on boarding hack built and interoperable with xmpp network. On boarding and usability of Quicksy is the same as or , but no lock-in.

@praveen the problem is with these services, is that even though they're federated, they have even fewer users than Telegram or Signal. So, even though they are federated, you're back to the original point of trying to get your friends and family to use this new service. Which most won't.


The problem is with us not understanding the root cause. It was centralization that forced and still forcing so many people to stick to . Both and is centralized. It takes away our choices to move to better apps and services by locking us to a single provider. Times like these are an opening for us to teach people about this fundamental issue. But we are losing that opportunity if we settle with Telegram, Signal or other centralized services.

@praveen something being ‘better’ is completely subjective. Many, many people outsider of tech would find decentralised serviced way too complicated and simply wouldn’t bother.

That is why I was focusing on . Those who don't want to think federation can see it as just like a centralized service and not bother about federation. But still others get benefitted by federation as they are not forced to use and can use any service. There is absolutely no difference between Quicksy and Signal on boarding experience. Install app, enter you phone number, start talking to your contacts. How hard that it?

I was talking about user experience. For lack of client, we can just create it. Sustainability requires us to think long term and build things, not just choose from what is available today.

@praveen sure, but ios users are still users. the boarding experience for ios users is non-existent, so the point you raised about inconvenience stands. recommendations naturally go towards signal and telegram and will continue to be the case until a client is built.

Indeed there are two types of people, who want to create solutions based on principles and those who just want to choose from what is available. We need to convince people to choose the first option. And only when people care enough strongly, such solution get created. I don't mind asking people to choose less convenient solutions right now if it leads to better solutions long term.


That's utter bollocks. The web is decentralised. Email is decentralised. The phone system is decentralised. I can see how incredibly unpopular those are.

Please, engage your brain first, your mouth (or fingers) later if at all.


@0 wow. You might try taking your own advice and thinking about your messaging first, before coming across like a passive aggressive tool.

The difference between service like Matrix et al and email/phones is that the latter has no barrier to entry. Even services like Mastodon, which are far less confusing to get started with, are too complicated for most non-techies.

The fact is, my mum or friends could easily use Signal. Not true for decentralised services like Matrix.


@0 the very fact that they’re decentralised makes them much more complicated to grasp and use.


@kev @0 @praveen Deltachat - it's a customised email client not a network or service, so runs across the OG federated network (email).

Almost identical to Whatsapp etc so anyone's gran can use it.

Clients for pretty much everything. And e2e by default. You don't "sign up" to anything, you sign into your client.

If you want "true" independence, you can use your own email server. I've used it for a while. It's pretty neat.

@david @praveen @0 that’s cool. I’m gonna check it out.

So if someone wants to “chat” with you, they just use your email address? Would those “chats” then appear in your standard inbox too?

@kev @praveen @0 That's right - although if both parties are using deltachat, what arrives in your normal inbox (in a special deltachat folder will be encrypted).

If it's deltachat to email, it won't be.

I *think* that's right

I wrote about it for cyberpunks.com a while back, but their publishing schedule is always a few months in arrears, so no idea when it'll actually appear
@kev @0 @praveen This is what lands in the deltachat folder in my usual email client.

In the deltachat client, I think it was hearts and kisses or something similarly sickening ❤️
@kev @david @praveen @0 delta chat? I believe they save in a separate folder. Been a while since I used, so I could be wrong.
@kev @0 @praveen Quicksy is decentralized, explain how it's harder to use?

People complain lack of client on iOS a deal breaker for them. iOS users have to use regular xmpp, so the on boarding experience is not as smooth as Quicksy. I asked siskin im developers if they can add support for Quicksy.

@moparisthebest @0

So support is already planned.

"We already had a conference with the Quicksy developer about this and are
aiming for a rebranded version, but this will be something based on Monal 5.1
or even 5.2 (e.g. 2 or 3 releases in the future)."

As I said earlier, it is only a matter of time someone feeling strongly about iOS support creates an app for Quicksy and sustainable solutions requires us to think beyond what is available today.


Thanks for creating the issue and poking Monal developers Praveen!

Alternative solution would be to just have “use your phone number” on the welcome screen of XMPP clients. This would enable contact book sharing and registration on the @quicksy.im domain. Then the client could mention in the app store description that it is “Compatible with Quicksy.im” if people searched for Quicksy.

Because having one official Quicksy.im client on iOS would raise a question: which client should it be based on: Siskin or Monal? As far as I understand (and I don’t have an iOS device to test) each one of them has their strengths and weaknesses but it seems Siskin will get funding to fix the last long-standing issue (OMEMO in MUCs): https://snikket.org/blog/sponsoring-group-omemo-in-siskin/

I think they decided to go with Monal from what I understand. Siskin is free to add it as an option.

@wiktor @praveen @moparisthebest all these are great ideas! I'm looking forward to when a Quicksy-like solution is implemented for iOS; then getting onto XMPP will feel as simple as getting onto any centralised platform! :xmpp:

With the advantage that, once on, you can easily switch around 😉


> my mum or friends could easily use Signal.

I have not met your mum or your friends. 🙄

Anyone who doesn't know how #computers work is effectively #illiterate and cannot possibly have a productive role in today's #society, the place of such people being reduced to that of passive #consumption.

Trying to justify that or worse, promote it, evidences deep moral and intellectual flaws.

Which is I welcome you and your twaddle to my #killfile. 👍


@0 @praveen I suppose what @kev meant to say was that *current* decentralized solutions are harder to use and therefore unpopular. Not that all decentralized solutions are by definition too complicated and unpopular.

@praveen @kev tbh most Fediverse tools are far from user-friendly. Today a tech savvy friend tried to join us on Matrix via element.io and he struggled to get it working as the mobile app was buggy. He sent me screen recording of the bugs.

I myself was repelled by Diaspora (poor 90’s vibe design). Imho the only viable Fediverse tools are mastodon & peertube. The rest (as much as I like them to take off and gain momentum) still are far from what common man is comfortable to use.

Afaik Matrix isnt part of the fediverse.

On the other hand saying non-technical people won't/can't/will not understand or know how to use is might become a self fulfilling prophecy.
@praveen @kev

Quicksy is the solution for non technical people. So those who don't want to know any of these can use it like WhatsApp or Signal. They don't have to learn or remember anything, just install Quicksy and start using. But at the same time for people who want greater freedom and privacy can choose any xmpp provider and still talk to all quicksy users. So there is convenience without lock-in or single point of failure.
@Mehrad @kev

@Unairedspecifics @Mehrad @kev
Also later if Quicksy turns bad or people learn about xmpp and other service providers, they are not locked to Quicksy. They can move to another provider without having to tell all their contacts to move and still talk to all of them staying on Quicksy. Just export your contacts and import it to your new account. Just like how you get a new email or phone number.

@Unairedspecifics @praveen @kev you are right, matrix is not part of Fediverse despite of being federated.

I also never said that non-technical people can’t understand, but what is evident that non-technical people typically tend to care much less about privacy and security and more lean towards convenience. Plus, people in general avoid change and they resist to change if the don’t know why the should (and if they know, they are technical enough, so despise the definition)

Did you try ? Also when you want both freedom and convenience and you start with convenience, you will never get freedom, but when you start with freedom someone can always make it convenient. New apps with better designs always pop up when people see some apps are not good.

Quicksy is the best example of what can happen. People complained xmpp is complicated as people have to remember username, password, service provider hostname and can't find contacts easily. So was created with exact same user experience as centralized services, where you don't have to remember any of these and you can find contacts automatically from your phone book. That is the power of freedom, we can make it convenient eventually.

@praveen @kev I didn’t know Quicksy exists 👍🏼, but after reading their website I’m convinced that it is a terrible idea esp. because (similar to whatsapp, signal and alike, it uses phone number as username and identification. In the age of OTP sent via SMS, I’m not a big fan of being “jacked” (cloned simcard of Jack Dorsey)

I have to investigate more though, as I’m not confident I’ve got all Quicksy has to offer.

The point is, no one is forced to use if they don't like it. If people want the same level of user experience as WhatsApp or Signal we offer that as an option, but those who can manage the 'confusions' can still talk to Quicksy users. The point is everyone gets to choose how much privacy, freedom and security they want and still being able to talk to each other.

@praveen @Mehrad doesn’t seem to be available on iOS, so it’s failed anyway. 😔

If it’s not available everywhere, it isn’t as convenient as the competition.

Yes, for now. But anyone feeling strongly about iOS support can adapt any xmpp apps on iOS to support Quicksy sign up. There is also a less convenient option of linking a regular xmpp account to a phone number to allow Quicksy users to discover them. So iOS users can use Siskin IM, and add their xmpp id to Quicksy directory so Quicksy users will discover them. They lose the auto discovery and easy sign up, not interoperability.

@praveen @Mehrad this all brings me back to the original point - it is not as convenient as Signal, WhatsApp et al in any way.

Many people have a phone/tablet as a primary/only device. If they can’t install an app, enter some signup details and click “go” it’s too complicated.

You can keep looking for excuses, like it is not yet in iOS. But building sustainable solution require some people to go first and build things out. This is true for as well. Many people chose to use and build Free Software when there were no ready replacements for every app. It was inconvenient at first, but the values it promoted made sure it got improved all the time. Same would be true for Quicksy.

@praveen @Mehrad it’s not an excuse, I t’s a reason. The difference here is, I’m not trying to push my rhetoric on you, whereas you are on me.

I’m happy with signal and don’t see the advantage of using the services you describe over it. Why can’t we just leave it at that? Agree to disagree and move on.

My opinion might change in the future, but for now I’m happy with Signal.

@kev just so that your end of this important discussion is clear, you say that you don't see the advantages of decentralization and hence Signal's centralization of servers and of client apps is not a disadvantage. Yes?

BTW, not arguing for quicksy; I don't see the point of abetting a central database capturing and linking consumer phone numbers & digitally-aware people's XMPP ID's (I hope such people register throw-away XMPP IDs).

@praveen @Mehrad

No one is forced to use Quicksy. It is only for those who want the exact same user experience as Signal or WhatsApp. Linking phone number is also optional. No one is forced to use Quicksy or link their phone number if they don't want to. That is the whole point, everyone has the option to choose how much privacy, security and freedom they want without being locked into the choices of others around them.

@praveen Exactly 1 way in which Quicksy improves discoverability for Quicksy users ... involves "both" parties to play along. Both install Quicksy, or one doesn't and instead registers phone number+XMPP ID (!) with the Quicksy server (for a fee too + exposing metadata).

Anything other than the above, and both parties can simply use Conversations et al.

I think @0 is right; people should instead use their e-mail-level digital literacy.


Not sure if I follow, but a common pattern is that A installs #Quicksy and B, who already has an #XMPP account, shares his #JID as an XMPP URI over some suitable channel, e.g., #SMS, #email, #QRCode, #Bluetooth, etc. Quicksy then handles that URI by subscribing to the resource + sharing presence.

User B does not need to register his JID in directory, public or otherwise (neither needs user A for that matter, given that their phone number is known to you).

@Mehrad @praveen

@wyatwerp @Mehrad @praveen
(apologies for the typos and missing words)

@wyatwerp @Mehrad @praveen

In fact, another common pattern consists of an existing contact, for whom you already have a mobile phone number, letting you know that they have #Quicksy. Then you just initiate the exchange from your end as their #JID is predictable.

@wyatwerp @Mehrad @praveen

Though honestly, I haven't had a problem telling people “my address is X”. The UI is a common one so those already using some form of mobile messaging will take just a second or two to figure out what the big “+” button on the home screen does.

Bottom line is: distrust anyone arguing for centralisation. Those are the ones that will be shopping you in an authoritarian regime. This being something I've first hand experience in, sadly.

@0 I thought seamless discovery involves both parties being in Quicksy's directory (user A is automatically in that directory on installing Quicksy). User B has to register phone+XMPP ID for A to discover B.

Any other way is hit-or-miss, isn't it? B might not know A got on Quicksy and not send the XMPP ID, A wouldn't find B in the directory and assume A can't be reached via Quicksy.

Sharing chosen ID's to peers worked before Quicksy.

@Mehrad @praveen


I'm not sure what's meant by “seamless discovery” and I don't use #Quicksy myself so don't know how the directory thing works or if it's any use to anyone. I'm just describing the workflows I've seen in the wild.

@Mehrad @praveen

Seamless discovery means, your phone book is used to find contacts from the Quicksy directory so you don't need to add contacts manually. So if you know someone's phone number, and if they are in Quicksy directory, then you don't need to add them manually. Some people want this so we offer it, but it is optional.
@wyatwerp @Mehrad


> Any other way is hit-or-miss, isn't it?

Yes, by design. The idea that one should share one's presence and contact details with the world arose in the mid 00s in silicon valley. I think #LinkedIn might have been the first. When people signed up they would ask them for their email username and password (!!!!!!) and spam anyone they've ever corresponded with with “join” invitations.

They should have been sued right there and then. Now the damage is done.

@Mehrad @praveen

@wyatwerp @Mehrad @praveen

Just imagine that they would have done that (#LinkedIn, or #Facebook or whatever) while the #Provos were still active.

@0 I think the hit-or-miss connection "feature" was the "problem" that big tech "solved", and Quicksy is for people who lapped that up.

For others, yes, I have no idea why XMPP didn't become pervasive and there was scope for Matrix et al. Personally, I think maybe it is because IRC suffices for the others, or even e-mail (e.g. there is git-send-email, but no git-send-xmpp - a wholesome dev workflow in XMPP not discovered yet).
@Mehrad @praveen


> Quicksy is for people who lapped that up.

Yes. That's the world we live in and that's one way to deal with it. It's risky, dangerous, not perfect, but at least it shows that there is an approach to doing things that does not involve data hoarding.

And to boot, it's run by an individual (who's exposed, unwisely IMO, to unlimited liability) in a rule of law country with a culture of respect for #privacy backed by strong legal guarantees.

@Mehrad @praveen

@wyatwerp @Mehrad @praveen

Also what's important to me, at least my data is protected, unlike when someone forwards your stuff to say a #gmail address or uploads their contact book with your data in it to some ungodly “service”.

Yes, adding to the directory is optional. You can just add contacts manually both ways. From xmpp network, Quicksy is just another xmpp server, that uses SMS for signing up and uses phone number as username. +91xxxxxxxxx@quicksy.im is the xmpp id pattern.
@wyatwerp @Mehrad

Yes, people can just use conversions now or later. Quicksy is only to give them that initial comfort. If they learn about xmpp later, they can just migrate without losing the ability to talk to their existing contacts. This is the crucial factor and hence no lock-in.
@Mehrad @0


> users can join conversations now or later.

I am with others on this one, who say We™ should nudge people to skip centralization right away. I doubt Quicksy users will move to Conversations et al later for no reason.

@Mehrad @0

@wyatwerp @Mehrad @0 I think you are still missing the point here. No one is forced to use Quicksy. And Quicksy users are not forcing others to be on Quicksy. You don't need to be on Quicksy to talk to Quicksy users. So there is a big difference there already compared to Signal or WhatsApp, those who are on these services, we cannot talk without signing up for those services. We are not asking people who are comfortable with xmpp or matrix to join Quicksy.

@praveen pardon me, but those are all general statements of intent.

B who is already on XMPP or Matrix needs to (pay and) register in the Quicksy directory, just to enable A who has installed Quicksy to discover B like they would on Whatsapp or Signal (or Threema or Wire).

If B doesn't register phone+XMPP ID with Quicksy servers, A wouldn't have a Whatsapp-class experience. Any other way, like sending IDs over SMS or Whatsapp, would work using Conversations itself.

@wyatwerp I give up if you cannot understand nuances or multiple layers. You are free to promote just xmpp and matrix.

@praveen we can be reasonable and stick with the question on hand (or I too can say "if you can't refute that matching the Whatsapp experience for A needs B to pay and register, there is no point in hearing about intent").

A sees that Quicksy is not on iOS. Further, if A can't "discover" B using B's phone number, A and his ilk won't bother with Quicksy.

It is also strange that you advocate for adoption without an iOS client, but not for adoption without a phone number.
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