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          WhatsApp and most alternatives share the same problem
          Von [8]Jürg StukerIn [9]Business, [10]Technologie24. February 20213
          Min. LesezeitW
          Shall I migrate to Signal, Threema or Telegram? No, because they all
          have — WhatsApp included — the same problem: They are walled gardens.
          Imagine a world where for each mail recipient using a separate domain,
          I would need separate mail client? Or in other words: Gmail users can
          only communicate with Gmail users.
          Let’s start with mail first.
          The origin of mail were a couple of geeks who wanted to exchange
          messages on ARPANET (the internets great grandmother). At the time
          they solved two challenges. Invent a packet-switching network with
          distributed control that was intended to survive a nuclear attack. And
          hook up different types of computers types that were not interoperable
          at the time: A DEC PDP-10, a SDS Sigma 7, an IBM 360/75 and SDS 940.
          The second topic is our primary issue here.
          To achieve this they agreed on a common terminology and on common
          standards to exchange messages in a collaborative way. Layering on
          existing definitions (such as TCP/IP) they created:
            * RFC 524: [11]A Proposed Mail Protocol
            * RFC 561: [12]Standardizing Network Mail Headers
            * RFC 680: [13]Message Transmission Protocol
            * RFC 724: [14]Proposed Official Standard for the Format of ARPA
              Network Messages
          That summed up later in the document RFC 733: [15]STANDARD FOR THE
          FORMAT OF ARPA NETWORK TEXT MESSAGES . And many of the aspects solved
          back then still live in today’s mail infrastructure. Including an
          address scheme using “@”.
          Raymond Tomlinson who implemented the first email program on the
          Later the transport of the messages (originally they used multiple
          protocols such as CPYNET, UUCP or FTP) transitioned in 1981 to SMTP
          which is still todays way to transport mail. All of this allows that
          any mail client (MUA = Mail User Agent) can talk via any mail server
          (MTU = mail transfer agent). An open, collaborative process defining
          an interoperable system.
          And now come the instant messengers.
          As I already said Signal, Threema, Telegram AND WhatsApp are broken.
          Why does everybody wanting to exchange messages need the same client?
          Before digging into more technical detail or rant about companies
          earning money with closed gardens let come to a possible solution:
          [16]The Matrix-Protocol. In short it’s about the same deal as mail
          (building on HTTP and WebRTC) but for chat-messaging (including
          IP-telephony and video-telephony) initiated by a non-profit foundation
          based in the UK. After XMPP or IRC it’s not the only approach to solve
          the issue, but so far the most successful.
          Their reference implementation of the client is called [17]Element
          (former Riot) and a server called [18]Synapse. So in theory there
          could be any chat client communicating over any chat server to any
          chat client. Sadly it’s not really used yet. Although the [19]French
          Government is supporting it with a client implementation named Tchap
          and [20]German Bundeswehr plans to do alike.
          So what?
          Well no real cheering news and in case don’t want to be alone on
          Matrix you can write to @juerg:matrix.org.
          And will it work? No, because there is already too much money in the
          game (and telcos try to [21]reanimate the SMS Eldorado too, without
          But it would be the right thing. And me? I don’t’ switch, I use them
          PS: The post was inspired by the very nice article [22]“Kill the
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          29. November 2018&
          [29]Zuerst dachte ich, es könnte Phishing sein
          6. September 2018Z [8]Von Jürg Stuker 24. February 2021 [25]kommentieren[30]
          Nach oben [26] Jeff Bezos in der SRF Tagesschau [1]Jürg Stuker Digital
          sozialisiert, Denker, Macher und Angel Investor.
            * [1]Über mich
            * [2]Blog
                * [3]Datums- und Themenarchiv
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                * [5]Einblick in die Vernissage
                * [6]Die Fotos von “Caught” zum Verkauf
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          1. https://stuker.com/
          2. https://stuker.com/blog/
          3. https://stuker.com/datums-und-themenarchiv/
          4. https://stuker.com/street-photography/
          5. https://stuker.com/street-photography/vernissage/
          6. https://stuker.com/street-photography/die-fotos-zum-verkauf/
          7. https://stuker.com/category/caught-in-the-act/
          8. https://stuker.com/author/jstuker/
          9. https://stuker.com/category/business/
          10. https://stuker.com/category/technologie/
          11. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc524
          12. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc561
          13. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc680
          14. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc724
          15. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc733
          16. https://matrix.org/
          17. https://matrix.org/docs/projects/client/element
          18. https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/
          19. https://www.heise.de/security/meldung/Tchap-Frankreichs-nicht-so-exklusiver-Regierungschat-4403961.html
          20. https://www.golem.de/news/messenger-bundeswehr-will-komplett-auf-matrix-chat-wechseln-2005-148407.html
          21. https://stuker.com/2018/die-sms-nachfolge-heisst-rcs-rich-communication-services/
          22. https://www.republik.ch/2021/02/24/kill-the-messenger
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          25. https://stuker.com/2021/whatsapp-and-most-alternatives-share-the-same-problem/#respond
          26. https://stuker.com/2021/jeff-bezos-in-der-srf-tagesschau/
          27. https://stuker.com/2021/wie-gelingen-web-projekte/
          28. https://stuker.com/2018/smart-retail-versus-new-retail-oder-jd-com-versus-alibaba/
          29. https://stuker.com/2018/zuerst-dachte-ich-es-koennte-phishing-sein/
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