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Riot.im - Secure Chat/Call client

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Riot.im - Secure Chat/Call client Empty Riot.im - Secure Chat/Call client

Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2017-10-02, 16:54

Riot.im is a web app* that serves as a feature rich instant messaging, group chat, and video & voice call client similar to Discord or Slack. What distinguishes Riot is that it's free, open source and secure. For the few of us who are using Tox, we might switch over to this once it officially launches, but for now it's got too many bugs and such to merit a confident endorsement from me. I wrote up the standard rundown anyway, hopefully updated as development progresses. You're free to try it out with me in the meantime - my username is kitchenSPANK.

    ProZ:
  • End to end encryption - this is what @Zhu Yang looks for first in these matters. It's optional and can be turned on or off for individual channels.
  • Cancel sending messages when encountering issues like encryption verification.
  • Voice and video calling that actually works - qtox had chronic issues that we couldn't resolve
  • All the fancy text formatting you've come to know and love: quoting, code blocks, bullet/number lists, etc.
  • It's on all platforms, including mobile - one of the perks of being a pleb web app.

    Neutral:
  • Centralized server system - All messages and files are stored (in encrypted form) on a "home server" of your choice. While this eliminates the inconvenience of requiring all involved users to be online to send anything it's also an additional vulnerability.
  • System footprint - memory usage is roughly on par with contemporaries like Discord and Skype (digression: since Curse merged into Twitch it's been horrifically bloated now because muh streams)

    ConZ:
  • It's still in beta, so there are some issues. Most notably the channel member list is unreliable, so you can't tell who's online. This is the deciding factor on postponing a migration as it's such a basic feature.
  • The verification process for adding another user or an existing user signing on a new device to an encrypted channel can be confusing to those not familiar with encryption. It also has to be done every single time, you even have to verify your own device on all your other devices. I'll make a short guide in the event we start using this.
  • Newcomers to an encrypted channel can't view chat history from before they joined, even after verification.
  • You also can't use the search function on encrypted channels.
  • File transfer size limits - Since files are uploaded to the central server, they have to impose a maximum size so no sending big stuff. Rough estimates put the limit at around 100mb per file. We're already using external file sharing so this doesn't matter very much, but qtox's P2P transfers allowed files of any size and they weren't persistent.

*that can also be downloaded as a desktop app, but it's basically just the web app in an electron wrapper - absolutely disgusting.
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Riot.im - Secure Chat/Call client Empty Re: Riot.im - Secure Chat/Call client

Post by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-02, 20:21

A few more proz/conz that we had discussed earlier:

ProZ:
- Autologin on startup (compared to qTox, where you have to enter password to login)
- Higher paste limits than qTox

ConZ:
- No formatted copy-pasting of chat logs.
qTox chatlogs paste quite nicely:
[13:06:29] Vroop: are u GRAGPGPMUU
[13:06:54] Coriasis: yeah
[20:08:19] Vroop: hey

riot.im logs do not:

kitchenSPANK
19:49Encrypted by a verified device
nothing if i can help it

Vroop
20:08Encrypted by a verified device
or rather
20:08Encrypted by a verified device
hey
20:08Encrypted by a verified device
i just checked via my laptop and smartphone
20:08Encrypted by a verified device
https://ring.cx/en/download/android

Cannot open downloaded files directly from Riot. qTox was able to open the downloaded file, and the folder in which it was saved, directly from the qTox window.


Also a note on the servers: they're Federated instead of purely Centralized. Meaning that if multiple users that belong to different home servers are all in a groupchat, the chat history will be saved across multiple servers (which adds to resilience). Click "Learn more" for interactive explanation - https://matrix.org/



RING is a possible alternative: https://ring.cx/en/download/android
It has offline messaging via OpenDHT (every device operating RING is a node. However, the desktop client feels like it's in alpha, and there's no timestamps, and various other areas which lack polish.
^^^ video from devs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOHeSxKCiN4
^^^ git - https://gitlab.savoirfairelinux.com/groups/ring


Last edited by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-29, 20:15; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-19, 18:45

Interesting alternative, but lacks polish and e2e crypto - https://kune.cc

It's less of a Slack/Discord alternative, and more of a group collaboration tool like gDocs/gCal. It tries to do everything. Interface is generally responsive.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-25, 18:35

Zulip: alternative FOSS groupchat software with free hosting - https://zulipchat.com/hello/

Lacks e2e crypto. Also owned by Dropbox.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-25, 18:56

Regarding the online/offline indicators:

VeriNaughti
23:45
Hi Rioters! I'm after some help. In our chat room all the avatars and names (on the right) are faded - any ideas?
23:51
If it helps, I opened up this room on the browser first and all your avatars were lit up, closed the browser window and checked the app where all your avatars were faded. Reopened this browser window and all avatars are now faded in here (like the app version)!

Michael (t3chguy)
03:24
VeriNaughti: the homeserver you are using (matrix.org) has presence disabled due to performance issues, the avatars are faced when the users seem to be offline
With presence disabled, the data is unreliable
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-25, 19:25

Confirmed: presence works on the https://matrix.allmende.io server

(found from this unofficial list of servers: https://www.hello-matrix.net/public_servers.php
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2017-10-25, 21:10

Alright now that that's working, migration is official!!
For the 2 people who will actually read this that aren't me and my compatriot, Sign up at matrix.allmende.io and log in with that account on webapp or the desktop wrapper.
the Church of ProZ room is unencrypted at the moment so you won't need to do verification and get those ugly decryption error messages.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2017-10-25, 21:12

Sign-up guide:

1. Go to https://riot.im/app/#/register

Enter the following details:
Riot.im - Secure Chat/Call client 2GwzWXN



Post your username below, and we'll invite you to the Church of Proz groupchat!
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2018-01-14, 02:41

Sad news folks; the default Nave room is now encrypted, so any newcomers will no longer be able to see our lovely discussion history.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2018-01-31, 01:22

Privacy policy - https://riot.im/privacy
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2018-02-13, 23:26

Rocket.chat is another Slack clone, which offers E2E for enterprise. Otherwise, you have to self-host - https://rocket.chat/

Matrix client written in Rust (not functional as of now) - https://github.com/fest-im/fest
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