I'm aware of https://github.com/tulir/mautrix-whatsapp which I'm personally interested in, which uses a reverse engineered implementation of the WhatsApp web protocol.
People already have done that. The most famous example is the yowsup  python library. The problem with these client implementations is that WhatsApp is banning any numbers that use them . So most recent attempts to use WhatsApp outside of the official clients revolve around using WhatsApp Web somehow. That appears to work better, but even here if you are using it on a long term basis, WhatsApp might ban you.
Ultimately, WhatsApp is a bad host when it comes to using their service outside of the official app. This is really sad for people like me who don't want to install WhatsApp on their phones because it sends too much of my data to Facebook... probably that's precisely why they are so strict, to get all the data because that's all they get (the service is gratis after all). That and spam.
1) They're using outdated versions of the protocols, which they won't be motiviated to fix until those old versions are cut off server-side and their implementation suddenly stops working.
2) They never quite figured out how to correctly handle all the nuances and corner cases of the E2E encryption, so that part of their design is extremely fragile (just look at the issue trackers for all the evidence of this that you need).
On top of all that, the maintainers have basically given up and abandoned the projects... So they're not even being actively maintained.
I've never used one of these products, so I might be wrong, but as far as I understood it, the way WhatsApp bans your phone number if you use a third party client is done in a way that is permanent? So instead of saying "sorry your version is too old please use a newer one" they say "sorry your version is too old we don't want to see you ever again even if you fix it". It's totally okay to do something like "sorry the version is too old" if it's not your number that's banned but the outdated protocol implementation.
> the maintainers have basically given up and abandoned the projects
Because WhatsApp is sending DMCA requests like crazy  and the constant protocol changes make it hard for third party developers. See the opinion by one dev here .
If WhatsApp came out with a public statement about supporting third party clients, listing their conditions, it would be really great progress. Matrix, IRC, etc all thrive with different client implementations, even Threema officially tolerates the OpenMittsu third party client. The official communication I've seen by WhatsApp is the opposite.
> This is really sad for people like me who don't want to install WhatsApp on their phones because it sends too much of my data to Facebook... probably that's precisely why they are so strict, to get all the data because that's all they get (the service is gratis after all).
When you send a message through WhatsApp, WhatsApp knows you sent the message and who you are.
Since they know who you are, they also know, independently of the request you just sent, whether you're using their official client, and what data they've managed to extract from your phone.
If I get a seemingly-valid message from you despite the fact that I know perfectly well you've never installed my official client, I'm going to conclude you're not using my official client.
I feel that I love this topic. It seems that it is an exciting challenge trying to protect an API to only be used (or at least, detected if not) by the official app. I don't even know if there is even a 'solution' to this problem. Would like to read more about it.
Offering low-volume non-customer-facing free access to a product like this would likely make everyone here quite happy.
> For single-instance production server setup, we recommend at least 250 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, and 4 core CPU.
> In order to ensure a high quality experience for businesses and users, we're in a limited public preview. If you'd like to work with us, submit more information about your business for consideration as we continue to expand our availability.
The truth is that the product does not actually need much RAM, and storage is a direct function of the number of conversations and messages you're handling with the product. The main bottleneck is really just I/O for the databases. For the use cases of everyone here, it absolutely could run on an RPi. Easily.
I suspect that one reason they're not doing that is to prevent spambots. This is probably a valid concern, as experience as shown that preventing spam is a hard problem.
Taking full advantage of UWP features and functionality.
There are jabber and slack gateways.
In practicality,I would like to see a gitter to IRC gateway,because of foss projects usage of both platforms.
And this obviously does exist. So that’s not the reason.
That makes a huge difference: in Europe it's very unlikely that everyone out of any group of friends has an iPhone, making Whatsapp, Telegram etc the goto solutions for group messages.
Apple is also huge in Japan, but I don't know what kind of chat apps are used there.
Whatsapp has been notorious for taking down third party APIs and any tools that allow message automation.
I would like to move away from WhatsApp for privacy reasons and out of principle.
Could I use this to set an auto-reply message to users contacting me, redirecting them to my new messenger e.g. Signal?
On that point though, what do people think when they see WhatsApp the name? I get the whole whats up thing, but whenever I see the name I think "What's App???" as in What is App???