Phasing out XMPP

Earlier this week we started phasing out XMPP as our preferred means of internal instant communication. Today, we shut down our existing openfire installation. We moved to a different means of communication which, as each other piece of software, has its flaws and drawbacks but in total seems to meet more needs of our users.

Personally, I feel a bit sad doing this, but from a rational point of view, everything else unfortunately wouldn’t have made much sense. I’ve been writing a couple of rants on that topic recently, definitely spent in total several months evaluating various different solutions and approaches, eventually at some point watched colleagues adopting “shadow communication” means (by ignoring or not using the XMPP service and instead running WhatsApp web or similar things on their browsers). I’ve been interested in XMPP ever since it appeared (back then when we hated using ICQ), and I have been “using” it ever since – or at least I have had working accounts all the time and went online regularly. That said, however: Communication always happened elsewhere; for most of the time I had an XMPP account just because it felt good to have one. I never managed to get even a single person to move to XMPP and actually stay there as primary means of communication.

I will continue to deal with the technology, I’ll also keep a private XMPP account (z428@movim.eu). If you’re on there, feel free to drop me a line. Then and now, I still firmly believe open, standardized, decentralized means of communication such as XMPP or maybe Matrix provide a load of benefits from many points of view. All we needed to do is making “accessibility for mere users” one of them. Like it or not: Telegram, Threema, WhatsApp and friends show how it’s done, and they show what users will be expecting in late 2010s. Maybe “we” (== the crowd somehow trying to support and promote open standards and technology) should listen to that…

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