Collecting requirements for a KDE-wide instant messaging solution (was: Re: radical proposal: move IRC to Rocket.Chat)

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at
Tue Aug 8 23:19:32 BST 2017

Hi everyone,
now that hopefully most of the emotional arguments in fiery support of one 
protocol or another have been exchanged, I'd suggest we move things towards a 
practical approach and ask ourselves:

What are the requirements that KDE has for an instant messaging / chat system 
for it to be viable as our main channel for real-time communication for the 
foreseeable future?

Here is what I could come up with, feel free to add new requirements or 
challenge the ones I'm listing.


- FOSS clients or at least API available for desktop as well as mobile
These clients must 
 - have a UI that someone who is < 20 years old and cares about the looks of a 
UI would use (or if those don't exist, we need to have people willing and able 
to write them before switching) 
 - run smoothly on computers that can run most other KDE software, without 
eating all of their memory

- FOSS server implementation
(this might look like a nice-to-have for some, but if we'd require everyone in 
KDE to use it, it's not optional)

- Ability to use without having to create a new account just for that.
We could force contributors to sign up for something, but we'd increase the 
barrier of entry if we'd make it mandatory for everyone who's just curious 
about what's happening in KDE.
Identity would suffice, as everyone who does anything with KDE has an Identity 
account anyway.

- Permanent logs across mobile and desktop clients without the need for users 
to set up anything.
That means ZNC does not count unless we implement it in a desktop as well as 
mobile client in a way that is completely friction-free for users

- Easy way to share files
A solution that puts files automatically on and embeds them from 
there works only if we have people willing and able to implement that feature 
into a desktop- as well as mobile client

- Support for a decent set of Emoji (not just the ones you can create using 
ASCII chars).
Using Unicode to display them is probably okay, as long as users can choose 
them from a menu in the client instead of having to paste them from 
This, too, might sound like nice-to-have for many, but not having them would 
cut us off from the younger generation. Yes, they use them even in a 
"professional context". Believe me, I'm seeing it in action every day at work.

- User avatars
Again, must-have if we want to reach the younger generation

- Uses a port that is open even on educational networks

- Channel listing
So that every public channel can be easily found


- Bridge to IRC
For the transitional period or for people who just refuse to change their 

- Full name display
Makes things feel more trustworthy

- Integration with our development tools such as Phabricator

- Web client
Very handy if you are at a device which isn't yours and quickly want to check 
up on things

- Stickers
People love them when they have them, but they survive without them.

I'm sure I've forgot many things, but this (already quite long) list should 
give us a good start.

Looking forward to a productive discussion,

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