yet another XMPP instant messenger

Congratulations, Xabber! (Musings on the Future of Mobile XMPP)

We, the yaxim developers, would like to congratulate Redsolution for finally making Xabber Open-Source! Together with Beem and Gibberbot we now have four Open-Source XMPP clients for Android, all based on asmack, the Android “port” of the SMACK XMPP library. But we still have a long way to go to be attractive to the masses!

Competition is known to vitalize development, and it is great to see another very competitive project showing its source code. From a very brief glance, it can be said that the code has been written by professionals! Really great work!

However, open-sourcing is still not sufficient to trump the easy-to-use services that capture your data in their feudal data silos. We as application developers need to make mobile XMPP as easy to use as WhatsApp, as reliable as Google Talk, and as common as Facebook chat, to prevent these services from holding your private data hostage.

Therefore, we need more people getting active in XMPP development. There are still many interesting challenges that we can tackle by working together. By putting effort into SMACK, it is possible to improve the situation for all Android projects, and recent efforts show that we can actually get code upstream.

First, reliable message delivery over mobile connections is still an open problem. There is some work by devrandom in Gibberbot, and this work needs to be polished, put into SMACK and taken over by other projects (including yaxim). Server-side support is required as well (Prosŏdy, you are doing a great job!)

Second, we need to push forward secure client-to-client communication. You can already have encrypted WebRTC video chat between Chrome and Firefox, but there is still not even a standard for XMPP-based encrypted client-to-client data exchange, be it voice, video or file transfer.

Finally, we need to make XMPP as user friendly as possible. Inline display of transmitted photos is one aspect, easy creation of group chats another. Nice themes like Bruno can extend the audience, but it is our task to remove the hurdles, spread the word, and run XMPP servers for our friends, families, and for the general public.

If you want to help with SMACK, just join ##smack on the FreeNode IRC network. yaxim development is discussed on #yaxim.