Jami vs Wire vs other programs like that

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GrevenGull
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Iscritto: 12/18/2017

Can someone explain to me what makes Jami a "better" choice than Wire and other alternatives like that?

I remember seeing someone mention it has something to do with transparency in regards to donors/investors, is that it?

lutes
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Iscritto: 09/04/2020

I have a feeling that you might be referring to that 2019 post: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/jami-or-wire#comment-145198.

To put it short, Jami is built with a fully decentralized structure in mind, Wire is a centralized service.

About the legal implications of partly moving away from Switzerland, as mentioned in the PrivacyTools blog article quoted in the above post: https://wire.com/en/legal/#terms-15.

You might also want to read this, from the same ToU: https://wire.com/en/legal/#terms-4 and https://wire.com/en/legal/#terms-5.

koszkonutek
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Iscritto: 03/19/2020

Jami utilizes a fully peer-to-peer network.
It seems Wire is centralized - servers ran by a single entity, which means it has power over all users.

P2p approach makes users independent from any single company, but may cause worse reliability. A third alternative is to use services that can be self-hosted, like Jitsi Meet or SIP (btw, Jami can also serve as a SIP client). This is some sort of compromise between the two.

lutes
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Iscritto: 09/04/2020

> Jami utilizes a fully peer-to-peer network.

Not exactly. You might find this blog post useful: https://jami.net/why-is-jami-truly-distributed.

It clearly explains why Jami is not, in fact, fully distributed.

In short: "while servers are not required, they are still used in five specific cases: push notifications, the OpenDHT proxy, bootstrap, name server, and TURN."

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

Thanks for the good reference.

I tried Jami with two mobile phones each with its account connected to wifi at my home, a mobile phone with the Jami app not opened on top does not get any notification in case of message and calls from the other mobile phone and I failed to transfer any file between the two. So I guess I need more configuration with servers to overcome a number of limitations and I will try to look further into that.

An alternative is XMPP services, I have a basic ejabberd that runs on a freedombox, it works well but it does not have file transfer. I plan to install ejabberd on Trisquel (there is a package) and see what I can configure.

With respect to SIP, my outgoing calls are dropped after 32s on Trisquel 9 with the latest Jami version, I submitted a bug report yesterday and was asked to try further options.

amtrakuk
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Iscritto: 11/25/2019

I have been using Jami for about a year. Jami is different, apart from connection handling servers the user generated data is sent P2P encrypted direct. Messages seem to be ok, sometimes instant, but always "get there in the end". Calls work if its a good connection, "unjoinable peer" seems to be a popular reply when sending files, but try and try again - it will go in the end. I understang the comms work along similar lines as torrents - they sometimes take multipule attempts and time to initiate and speed can vary.

The Jami forum and the development is very active and the dev team seems to be quite reactive.

lutes
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Iscritto: 09/04/2020

It is my experience that Jami works quite fine as long as you do not want to connect with people using one of the mobile clients. The little devils that mobile devices are make porting Jami's underlying concepts to mobile networking quite a challenge. Syncing between multiple devices was not working last time I tried it, which is already some months ago.

I am sure this will improve in time, and it is also my experience that the devs are quite reactive. Maybe a fork will appear, but this is always difficult to predict.

Depending on what the OP meant by "better choice" and "other programs like that", these glitches might be more or less relevant to their enquiry, though.

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

Jami is proposing instant messages, file transfers, voice and video calls, either with a Jami account or a SIP account, conference and perhaps other features I have not noticed. Which of these features are you using?

Are you using videoconference? If yes, how does it compare with Jitsi?

About mobile clients, I find it wrong that the Jami website is proposing to download them next to the fixed clients without even a warning.

lutes
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Iscritto: 09/04/2020

At the moment, Jitsi Meet seems to be ahead of competition for all-purpose video calls. There is now quite a long list of stable and reliable instances to choose from, and it obviously has the power that comes with distributed tools: no single point of failure but a robust support for connection handling. So it would usually be my first suggestion to communicate with someone who has only vague ideas about what is going wrong in our electronic communications, but is open to alternatives. Running your own server does not look overwhelming either, but might still be an overshoot for a few calls per week.

I have been using Jami accounts for text messaging and audio/video calls with the few people who had some interest and enough good will and patience to try it. Desktop clients provide these features with relatively good quality. When communicating with a mobile user, though, my own experience is very similar to amtrakuk's, except for that bit: "but try and try again - it will go in the end". In my case it never goes, even in the end, so I have taken to using one of these instead: https://alt.framasoft.org/en/framadrop (mostly, chapril or infini).

I never used Jami as a SIP client. In fact, I never had a great experience with SIP, so I stuck to XMPP/Jabber, Jami or now Jitsi Meet. I also used Jitsi at some point as an XMPP client. We need to keep trying stuff, though, because things can change fast.

muhammed
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Iscritto: 04/13/2013

How does Jami compare to the instant messenger that Freedom Box offers (in terms of freedom and also performance)?

https://www.freedombox.org/buy/

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

I have not used ejabberd on the freedombox a lot but all messages I sent were received within 1s with whatever client on desktop or mobile. However, it seems to only provide basic instant messages (no file transfer or whatever else). Perhaps it is feasible to add extensions, I will look more into it.

I just installed the ejabberd package on my desktop running Trisquel, I am reading the doc to see what it can do. The Trisquel package is older than the Freedombox version (18.12 versus 18.01) but both are much older than latest ejabberd (21.something). I can report my findings later.

Jami has also file transfer, voice and video call. Jami has no server, for a message to be received, you need the sender and the receiver to be almost simultaneously online (the sender Jami app will retry for a week if needed).

With an iphone (terrible freedomwise but some people have that), unless the Jami app is on the screen, incoming message, files or calls won't be received. Jami on Android (tested with LineageOS) can wake up the phone in case there was very recent activity but otherwise no. Call to my desktop connected via Ethernet work well.

Jami is a GNU project so I expect it to be good freedomwise. Freedombox seems good too. I installed Parabola on another box with the same hardware, as it is officially supported by Parabola, which is an FSDG distro.

amenex
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Iscritto: 01/03/2015

Jami appeared on my desktop unannounced.
Then it appeared on my panel.
When I removed Jami from the panel, all the other setting vanished with it.
Then I found Jami among the installed applications ... I removed it.
Nice to know it's not intentionally malevolent.

I can restore all the applications to my panel except one: The WiFi button.
I tried unplugging ThinkPenguin's USB WiFi plugin dongle, but that freezes
the 'puter.

Where is the menu entry for the WifFi connection ?
How can I restore that button to the panel?

EDIT: This is not a philosophical discussion about open-source software on
my part, so I cross-posted on the main Trisquel forum out of frustration.

strypey
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Iscritto: 05/14/2015

Having tried out a lot of instant messenger apps over the last few years, I would say that Jami is not yet ready for production use. Messages don't sync between devices, there is no group text chat, and message delivery is so often delayed or even ineffective that I find it unusable for even a casual conversation. Having said that, voice and video conferencing is pretty effective, especially for a P2P apps. Here's the report from a group voice call test we did a couple of years ago:
https://write.as/c7fda5x13qzve

I tried Wire for a while. The app is very easy to use and when it's working it's really good. But as well as being concerned about the centralization already mentioned, and lack of interest in federating with other free code messaging apps, I ran into a lot of issues with it on GNU/Linux and my mobiles are too old to use with it; most of their dev effort seems to be focused on Windows, MacOS and recent versions of mobile OS (eg Android 7.0 or above), where most of their paying users are.

I would recommend trying:

* Delta Chat ( https://delta.chat/ ): an E2EE messaging app that uses email, so you can log in with your existing email address and password without setting up an account and messages etc are stored in a folder in your email server. Unencrypted messages can be delivered to any email address. I use this as my everyday email client on my mobiles and it supports older versions of Android pretty well (one of mine is 4.4.x), and I've had the most success getting non-geeks to use it of any free code messenger I've proposed. It has apps for all major OS.

* Element ( https://element.io/ ): the flagship client app for matrix. Direct chats are E2EE by default, it's optional in group chats. I've found it both easy to use and fairly reliable on mobile, desktop, and web. Also has apps for all major OS and a web app (the desktop apps are the web client inside an Electron container). It seems to work fine on my Android 6.0.1 but no longer works on the 4.4.4.

* Snikket ( https://snikket.org/ ): this is a fairly new project to build a better user experience on top of existing jabber (XMPP) software, such as full E2EE support using OMEMO. It's run by a UK-registered social enterprise that funds software development and feeds improvements upstream wherever possible. So far there is a server (built on Prosody), an app for Android (built on Conversations), and a beta app for iOS (built on Siskin). Conversations no longer supports the Android 4.4.4 so Snikket won't either, but it works fine on the Android 6.

Full disclosure: I've done some paid community management work for Snikket and I intend to do more.

All three of these support both direct chats and group rooms, but only Element puts the two types of chats in separate tabs in its interface.

lanun
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Iscritto: 04/01/2021

> So far there is a server (built on Prosody), an app for Android (built on Conversations), and a beta app for iOS (built on Siskin).

I wonder, do you know if there is any GNU/Linux client in the making?

Also, if I am not mistaken, Prosody is under the X11 permissive non-copyleft license. The snikket server is under Apache 2.0, though, so that should be OK.

NB: nothing wrong with doing paid community management work, especially when fully disclosed.

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

Delta chat sounds really interesting. It is marked as "submission in progress" in the Free Software Directory. Does anyone have information on the progress?

I noticed Snikket before but the self-hosting page only says "fully open source", it is not listed in the Free Software Directory and it is provided as a docker image, which I understand packages many things together, so I am waiting to get more information before trying. Are you aware of details on these aspects?

Less critical but still a problem, it is not in the fruit company app store in my country (France) and I have very close family members using devices made by that company.

lanun
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Iscritto: 04/01/2021

It says here that snikket-selfhosted is GPLed.

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

I am not sure what "here" refers to. There is a link to https://github.com/snikket-im/snikket-server/ that says the license is Apache-2.0, so it seems to be free software but not GPLed.

However, I'd like to understand what other components than snikket-server are going to be installed, how the updates are controlled and how this is going to co-exist with other services already running on my machine. I haven't found the documentation yet.

For other reasons, I was told I should install a reverse http proxy, I guess I'll look again at this after I am done.

koszkonutek
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Iscritto: 03/19/2020

> I am not sure what "here" refers to. There is a link to https://github.com/snikket-im/snikket-server/ that says the license is Apache-2.0, so it seems to be free software but not GPLed.

"here" was a hyperlink to:
https://github.com/snikket-im/snikket-selfhosted/blob/main/LICENSE

You can create hyperlinks in forum posts by using "a" tag with "href" attribute, just as in HTML (realized this not so long ago)

As to your other questions - I have no idea

lanun
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Iscritto: 04/01/2021

I just realized that mailing list users might not get the hyperlinks. Sorry @Avron if this is your case.

We should remember that when posting directly on the forums.