[kde-community] Telegram Relay Service

Myriam Schweingruber myriam at kde.org
Sat May 7 17:23:10 BST 2016

Hi Thomas,

On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 2:04 PM, Thomas Pfeiffer <thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org> wrote:
> On Samstag, 7. Mai 2016 12:26:25 CEST Myriam Schweingruber wrote:
> Hi Myriam,
>> I agree with Luca here, it would be nice if the KDE projects who use
>> only Telegram and thus make it mandatory to be able to work with them,
>> to consider an IRC relay bot, because they are excluding all those who
>> don't want to (or can't) use Telegram.
> The VDG, being one of the projects who mainly use Telegram, will sync our IRC
> channel with our main Telegram group.

Good :-) That is actually one of the most important points I wanted to
get across: please do NOT try to replace mailing lists and IRC with
new services, because it will not improve collaboration, but scare
people away. Reaching out to people who don't know better is OK, but
not to the detriment of using old farts like me :-)

> I fully repsect that you don't want to use Telegram, but the reasons you
> describe below are based pretty much completely on assumptions which are
> simply untrue. Let me comment:
>> Also, Telegram is intrusive, as the web client only works if you have it
> running on your phone as well,
> Wrong. I've just stopped any Telegram process on my phone, and the web client
> on my PC still works 100% fine. It even works when my phone is off.

OK, that does work, but: you can not log into the web client without
your phone number, nor can you remove it from your settings. I don't
know how those settings are stored, but I am not really convinced this
is very secure. Also: my nick is taken, not a very pleasant situation
either, as I can't use the same nick on the web client than I use on

> I can't comment on your phone, of course, but the battery on my Nexus 5 lasts
> about two days with Telegram running. According to the power info, Telegram
> only uses 1% of my battery (even K-9 Mail used 2%, even though I hardly ever
> actively use it).
I didn't check specifically how much it uses, but my phone (Moto G 1st
gen.) already has a bad battery life, each running application makes
it worse. Good to know one can disable it
> Wrong. Go to the settings, you can mute it there for all messages as well as
> for all groups, with just one switch for each type.
>> only per channel and only on the phone, not via the
>> web client
> Both clients have separate settings, which totally makes sense to me.

Yes, makes sense indeed. Thanks for correcting me.

>> Not even starting to talk about the crappy usability ... and the breach of
>> privacy because you have to share your private phone number with
>> people you don't know in RL, that for me is the point where it hits
>> the wall.
> You don't have to share your private phone number with anybody. Telegram has
> two different kinds of contact: Either by phone number or by username. The
> only person whose phone number I have in Telegram is Jens', because when we
> tried it out, we did not yet know about usernames.
> As soon as I learned about usernames, I only used them instead of phone
> numbers. Yes, the system with the two types of identities is confusing.
> The reason why they have both is that they wanted to cater both to the
> WhatsApp kinds of users who use it to communicate with their friends and
> family, and to IRC kinds of users who use it for communicating in public
> channels.

Still: there seems no way to remove the phone number or to log in with
a username and a password, maybe I am too dumb to find how to do that.
Mind you, not really important since I do not really plan on
continuing to use the web client, I don't see the point of using it if
it has an IRC gateway.
> Also notice that the web client is not the only means to use Telegram on a PC:
> There are several Telegram desktop client applications, e.g. the official
> Telegram desktop client, Cutegram, a CLI client, an ncurses client, and
> several multi-protocol clients supporting telegram, including Telepathy
> (although admittedly KDE Telepathy's user interface does not work too well for
> Telegram).
> Since Telegram's API is open, anybody can write a Free Telegram client.
> I personally prefer to use the web client because I'd rather have another tab
> in my browser (which I have open permanently anyway) than another application
> just for Telegram, but some of use use the official Telegram client, others use
> Cutegram, and all are happy with their choices.

Understandable, but since we already use IRC for most KDE projects I
am not going to use Telegram, unless I can convince my family members
to stop using WhatsApp (yeah, horrible, I know, don't get me started
on that one, my Free Software advocating never worked on my siblings,
they use iPhones and think I am crazy volunteering without getting
paid for :-) )

> It's not the same: Telegram has the advantage of having good support for FOSS
> desktop clients, which cannot be said for many other protocols.

There is Mattermost I have tried, which has a very good web client
(actually web based, the phone client is just an addition) and it
seems quite well conceived usability-wise. It also seems to have great
documentation, something Telegram seems to lack a bit.
> I hope I could give you (and others who may not have known) some useful
> information about Telegram. I don't mean to convince you to use Telegram, I
> just want you to base your opinion on actual, correct, facts.

Yes, you did, thank you again. It will not make me change my workflow
much, since getting my username appears possible, but seems a bit
tedious, as I have to prove I use the same on Twitter (which I very
rarely use nowadays), Instagram (which I don't use actively) and

That is another thing I am not warming up to much: we have our own
services, using services provided by people we have no close ties to
(IIUC Telegram is in private hands, no idea what servers it runs on)
seems not exactly the best move. Yes, we use IRC on Freenode, but at
least we know that long enough to trust them. I wonder why nobody
examined this POV before starting to shift to Telegram. In this regard
Mattermost appears to make much more sense as we could run it on our
own servers, if we really need a phone client.


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