Deal with xmpp.riseup.net going away
Riseup plans to stop their XMPP service in August 2021. Our use of this service is the only reason why they have not done this earlier.
What should we do with our public XMPP chatrooms?
- Current use aka. baseline
- Out of scope
- Our options
Current use aka. baseline
As a project, we use Riseup's XMPP service for:
tails-dev public XMPP chatroom
- Less and less used by regular contributors since we have private work chatrooms
- Very rarely useful for new contributors to get started.
- Perhaps useful for folks who want to follow what we're doing, maintain a low-intensity relationship with the project via our day-to-day operations?
tails public XMPP chatroom
- How useful is it for users to help each other?
- How useful is it for us to learn about problems we would not discover elsewhere?
XMPP accounts used by our test suite
We have dozens of such XMPP accounts at
xmpp.riseup.net. If we keep these automated tests, it should be easy (though not exactly exciting) to migrate to a different XMPP server.
Out of scope
- Many Tails folks have their personal XMPP account hosted by Riseup. Handling the migration of these accounts to other XMPP servers — if we stick to XMPP — is not the responsibility of Tails as a project. There are several options to get a XMPP account elsewhere.
- Private chatrooms, e.g. for meetings and such: most of this has already migrated, or could migrate, to video meeting services that have their own chat, or to our internal XMPP server.
A. Give up: stop having public chatrooms
B. Another XMPP server
B.1 Third-party XMPP server
- support chatrooms (aka. multi-user chat, "MUC")
B.2 Self-hosted XMPP server
C. Non-XMPP chatrooms
- GNOME and Mozilla have migrated from IRC to Matrix
- Can be integrated with GitLab: authentication, notifications, summaries, etc.
- Keeps messages and files forever except for enterprise edition (https://docs.mattermost.com/administration/data-retention.html)
Is it simple enough to connect via Tor? It used to be a pain, e.g. Tor was blocked, or connecting via Tor required either nerdy client certificates or first registering an account without Tor.
The current policy on OFTC is described in https://www.oftc.net/Tor/ . Registering through Tor can be painful because of reCaptchas, but registering is not mandatory, as long as there are no temporary network-wide blocks in place. These blocks do happen, but they are pretty rare nowadays. According to the friendly folks at #oftc they happened twice in the last 3 years and the last one lasted a day.
Spam and abuse handling: the other main reason why we migrated away from IRC, iirc, is that it was difficult to deal with abuse. But that may have been because back then, we did not want to require a registered account to connect (we had a randomly generated user at every Tails boot). Many IRC chans that face such problems, such as
#tor-dev, now require using an account registered & authenticated via nickserv.