It's funny to see so many people complain about how Signal is developed or maintained meanwhile they're accomplishing what nobody else ever has: making end-to-end encryption accessible to non-experts for real. They have invented and continue to invent novel techniques overcoming complex technical challenges to do so, all while not complicating the UX. So before you criticize, consider that your criticism might be irrelevant to anyone outside the narrow scope of computing enthusiasts.

@be its relevant because right now it is completely unusable.

@mithrandir @be You missed the other part of that. It's "completely unusable" because _so many people are switching_. Think about how gigantic an influx this has to be to run into this problem.

Decentralized services don't have this issue because nobody uses them 😜 But also, if 40+ million new people signed up for _any_ service in the span of a week, there's no goddamn way it's going to cope gracefully. And to think otherwise is to be completely naive.

@chiraag @mithrandir 40 MILLION?! 🤯 That's 10 times the size of the entire fediverse -- in only a week!

@be @mithrandir Exactly. People don't understand the scale of growth Signal has seen over the last week, which is why we see stuff like "A federated system wouldn't have this issue". Yes. Yes, it would. You _cannot_ suddenly add tens of millions of users to a system and expect everything to go smoothly.

@chiraag @be I think if 40 million peopled "signed up" for Tox (which uses a DHT not unlike BitTorrent's) it would be fine. Because its designed to work with that huge number of users.

@mithrandir @chiraag That's a moot point because 40 million users are not signing up for Tox.

@be @chiraag the point is that because Tox is fully peer-to-peer, it could handle that amount of traffic. It is not at all moot; time and time again, decentralized services beat centralized ones in terms of availability. Look at how every tech giant has massively distributed their server architecture over the past few years. Hell look at the internet itself.
@be @chiraag anyway, the 40 million number is impressive, but in another universe this could just as easily have been a DDOS attack.

@mithrandir @chiraag No, you're missing the point. The point is that 40 million people don't care about Tox.

@be @chiraag I am aware. But I don't think it matters how many people are excited to use Signal if they can't actually use it.
@newt @be @chiraag no, you have to both be online at the same time to send a message. But you could run a very barebones server that just stays online forever, kind of like an IRC bouncer.

@mithrandir @chiraag @newt Any system requiring users to run their own server is dead on arrival.

@be @chiraag @newt I disagree, mumble was mainstream for a long time. In any case, Tox does not require you to have a bouncer, it is only required for offline messaging.

@mithrandir @chiraag @newt I've literally never heard of mumble so I disagree that it was mainstream. And you're still missing the point. "Offline messaging" is not some optional feature, it's a basic requirement.

@be @chiraag @newt oh, and thousands of children set up their own Minecraft servers. Possibly millions.

If they can do that, running a small XMPP or Tox relay server is not much harder.
@be @chiraag @newt
I looked it up: apparently in 2014 someone estimated about 300,000 public Minecraft servers, and that's not including ones that aren't on any public lists.

If you had 40 million users, that's no more than 133 per server. Very easily within operational limits of a simple chat program like Tox or XMPP.

More importantly, I could spin one up myself so my friends could use it.
@be @chiraag @newt and it appears they're still working on offline messaging in Tox without any server at all. Very cool IMO.

@newt @chiraag @mithrandir Building a community on IRC is a nonstarter in the modern world. When we switched Mixxx from IRC to Zulip, all developers started using it regularly and the community started growing.

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