Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
A free XMPP server powered by green energy and hosted in Germany (trashserver.net)
97 points by stoerfall 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments

>Efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning technology contributes to environmental protection in the data center.

Speaking of environmentally friendly AC methods, I always found it fascinating and simple yet genius when I read the news that facebook has some data centers in very cold parts of the world.

Edit: Here's a little gallery of their data center in northern Sweden: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10103136694875121

That's neat. Only economically possible when things get to the scale of facebook or google, but really neat.

Still waiting on a decent Android client (preferably open source) which does text, voice, and video. Without that, XMPP is effectively dead for me nowadays. Otherwise I'll never be able to get my friends off of Facebook Messenger.

How often do you use voice+video with Facebook? Is it always voice+video or sometimes just voice?

I use Jitsi Meet links for now, for the rare time I need voice+video, because it works no matter what my contact has installed (more or less)

I do voice and video regularly, it's effectively replaced regular phone calls between my friends and I. Jitsi meet is cumbersome for this type of use, we can't send messages or call each other without first coordinating to use it.

I wish Conversations would support the voice and video stuff, but somehow they decided against it. Otherwise Conversation is a very decent XMPP client for Android.

Try just getting one of them to sign up. You don't need to have all your friends chatting via XMPP, sometimes it's good to just have one friend that you can talk about this stuff with.

Also you don't have to use XMPP, Signal is an open source worthy alternative to WhatsApp and FB messenger.

It's not worth the effort for just one person. I need a service a majority of my friends can use. And they're not interested in something that to them is essentially the same as AIM from 20 years ago.

I really want to like Signal, but the phone number requirement just won't work for me. In the last five years, I've had a phone number for only about one year, and it's changed three times. I'm just not good with holding on to phone numbers. It's a large part of why I rarely communicate via phone calls or SMS.

I've tried Wire, but there were issues getting notifications on Android. If this has changed, maybe it can work for me now. I would prefer XMPP but I do like Wire.

I wouldn't say XMPP did not change for 20 years, have you seen https://conversations.im/ ? Except voice / video (that I personally use rarely either way) I don't see any important modern feature missing.

Not saying it didn't change, that remark came from a non tech friend of mine, and it's hard for me to disagree without getting into boring technical stuff they're not interested in.

I'm not talking about boring technical info but user visible changes like easy image / file sharing, "X has read until this point..." etc. They are small changes and already present in proprietary solutions but for users this is a visible change.

I put my entire family on a self hosted server and for them it looks like any other modern messenger. (no voice video calls yep).

Signal isn’t really open source the way Firefox or Linux is... you can audit the source code, but you can’t connect to the network with a modified version.

It’s nice that we can audit the source code. But it’s kind of pointless if you can’t modify it.

Matrix[1] has an encryption scheme based on the Signal double-ratchet (which was based on the OTR scheme) called Olm, and is completely federated with an open standard. So you can run your modified version, and be the only person who keep a history of your conversations (only the homeservers that participate in a conversation store the chat history).

Matrix also has features like bridges to other chat systems, as well as a plethora of clients thanks to being an open standard (the most popular is Riot).

[1]: https://matrix.org/

Signal is also effectively limited to smartphones due to the phone number requirement, making it even less free.

You can use Signal desktop - all you need is a phone to receive a confirmation text message, but that needn't be a smartphone.

Even that is too much to give to a chat application. In most cases a phone number is tied to a person, requiring that is pretty much requiring a full name.

I guess one could sign up with a Google Voice number or something, but the whole idea of requiring a phone number for anything not related to a phone is just ridiculous to me.

Even more ridiculous when Walmart almost wouldn't sell me tires because I didn't have a phone number. It took three different managers to figure out how to put in 000-000-0000.

I hope I'm incorrect, but as I understand it would be impossible to make a decent XMPP client on Android.

Any app wanting to get push messages _must_ go via Google Firebase Cloud Messaging, other processes with long running services or network connections will be killed off in favor of longer battery life.

The battery consumption of Conversations with or without FCM is about the same. (Battery consumption in both cases depends on a lot of factors like frequency of messages, quality of network or even how often your operating system kills Conversations due to a lack of memory. But eliminating all those factors battery consumption is in the same ballpark. The only difference from an end user perspective is that Conversations doesn’t have to ask for a Doze exemption if you use a server that has the push extension.

Conversations.im does just that, uses FCM to get the messages in the background. They recently open sourced push server that interacts with FCM: https://github.com/iNPUTmice/p2

Like Conversations?

I use Conversations for text and Jitsi Meet for voice/video (or jmp.chat for voice and SMS, but that's not XMPP on the voice side, only for SMS). Jitsi doesn't require an account to use which is especially nice.

Does it do voice calls and video chat?

This is something that annoys me as well... Especially since with webrtc the browser can do this native, so why is there nothi avaiable?

Woah. Friends on FB messenger sounds like lost friends. :( Sorry to hear.

Lost friends? I don't understand what you're referring to.

I think he is implying that he would personally never use FB messenger, so he would not be able to maintain contact with those friends.

My goal is to leave Facebook Messenger completely, but I'm not going to do that until I can get something setup to replace it that my friends will use.

I have set up a Spectrum transport and now I use Messenger with XMPP client, gradually migrating some contacts from the transport to native XMPP :)

Interesting idea, but it doesn't seem to solve the problem of a missing Android XMPP app that does video and voice.

Same. I'm currently using FB Messenger, Hangouts, Signal, Telegram, IRC, Matrix, Keybase and it's really depressing how only FB Messenger from all of those is in my opinion competitive for just group and private messaging. Everything else just lacks some really useful feature, not to say some of those don't offer a few new features, but they're not usually useful enough.

The problem with Jabber is, that you are locked in to one server, switching means that you have to re-add all your contacts and so far there is no automatic way to do it. I think the developer of IMCom (console Jabber client) thought about that and how it could work but I don't think his idea got a lot of attention.

As opposed to what that doesn't lock you in? I'd be curious to see how they do it. With an XMPP compatible account you could at least host with your own domain (by running your own server or using a hosted service like https://account.conversations.im/domain/), and then moving isn't too bad. If you fall under GDPR regulations you can presumably ask for a copy of your data now too, and then hand that to whatever your new provider is if you move. That being said, people don't move servers that often, so it doesn't seem like a huge deal either way to me. It could certainly be easier though. Maybe someone should write a spec for that or update one of the older ones?

Weirdly enough, services like WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram are more portable. Because the identifier is not owned by the service but is provided by s.o. else. It is essentially a decentralised social graph in the address book of your phone. I'm aware of the caveats though.

The "right" way to handle this is as with email: get a domain name, and then use that for your JID. This means you can only use servers that support hosting a custom domain, but at least you can switch servers without changing your address.

Re-adding contacts is easy. Back in 2006 I used to manually prepare XML for injection into XML console in Psi in order to add all my Gadu-Gadu contacts to XMPP roster using transport. Now things like that can be easily automated thanks to XEP-0144. You could probably use XEP-0321 for it as well.

Is it a joke? Well, I'll bite. You do understand how cryptic and unbelievably this sounds to common folks? And even if, as a tech person, I could do such kind of magic I simply don't want to. I believe software must be dead simple to use. If it isn't, it means the designers screwed up their job.

This comment wasn't targeted to "common folks", it was targeted to HN readers interested in XMPP. Common folks can use Google/DuckDuckGo and find one of the readily available scripts that already do that. Others can implement their own in 15 minutes. GP claimed that there's no automated way to do that, I just said that it's wrong.

Anyway, you won't be able to migrate your account to another provider at all when using most of other networks, and generally you shouldn't need to do that with XMPP as well (only in rare, special situations), so I really don't think that every user-friendly XMPP client out there needs to provide big fat "MIGRATE MY ROSTER" button.

> Common folks can use Google/DuckDuckGo and find one of the readily available scripts that already do that

This pattern of thought is why it still isn't the year of Linux on the desktop. Black squares containing only text scare people.

It's only easy if servers and clients support those specs; I'm not aware of any that do, but at least they exist. Maybe it's worth updating them and pushing for adoption.

At least Psi and Spectrum do, and I think every major server does. I haven't chosen my clients by support of those XEPs and all of them happen to support at least one, so I suspect that at least one of them will be pretty commonly implemented these days.

In fact, to just one-time migrate your roster you don't even need any of them - you just download the roster from one account and push it to another. There are plenty of tools to do that on the Web. XEPs make it easy to keep them synchronized, or to "push" roster from one account to another without having to log in into new account with the tool you want to use.

Conversations definitely doesn't, and I don't see it in Psi. Can you provide a link? Maybe I'm just missing something.

I don't see the dependency on you provider as much as a problem as how you should know which provider will be there in five years.

Furthermore, running your own server isn't as easy as it should be. I run my own ejabberd with about 20 users (mostly family) since a few years now, but the configuration still gives me headaches. It is not as complicated as mail server, but still not as easy as providing the domain name and a certificate. Maybe ejabberd is just too powerful for small/simple installations.

Have you looked at Prosody? They try to make it easy to setup and configure.


This isn't a problem I have. Especially if I'm running my own server.

As far as I've seen there were some problems with hanging Prosody at trashserver.net [0], was this resolved?

[0]: https://social.tchncs.de/@trashserver in German

Yes, this is resolved since yesterday. I'm still waiting to make sure it really is fixed ... but no more downtime since 2 days.


You may be getting downvoted for snark and hyperbole, and that wouldn't be unfair, but it might be Germany's exemplary use of renewable energy that makes the host country relevant.

Share of energy from renewable sources 2004-2016:


edit: explanation.

I think I raise a very good point. What good is a chat server if it's censored?

And you’re almost raising it properly, to boot. All you need now is to drop the rhetorical question and add a link to help those unfamiliar with the event you’re referring to, and you’re all set for upvotes. Don’t forget to frame it like a question and emphasise your neutrality:

“This does seem impressive from a technological standpoint, and I fully support the initiative. However, is anyone else reminded of The Event on Day X?[0][1] I would wager this does put a damper on the credibility of this entire project. Or am I wrong?”

[0] putin.ru/i-am-right

[1] google

Seriously, though. Rhetorical questions and vague references may work well in person but they carry over very poorly on an Internet forum. Please, just get to the point.

(P.s. I’d be lying if I said this isn’t basically how I actually post here)

I think you mean, in this case, what good is a chat server "if I can't post my third reich gifs?".

*I was mainly answering your parent which is now flagged, with the contempt it deserves... :)

why is this trending? is xmpp relevant again? did they solve federation issues or is everyone in their own bubble still?

What federation issues?

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact