ChinWag

Swift IM Beta

A great little chat client, Swift, has a new beta of its upcoming 4.0 release available and I’d encourage all ChinWag users to check it out if you’re looking for a reliable and uncomplicated desktop chat client. Version 4 adds support for message carbons, making it easy to switch between multiple desktop or mobile chats and just picking up where you left off. Swift does not, unfortunately, have support for OTR or OMEMO encryption at this time, which I’d really love to see in the future.

Service Outage

Hi everyone, there was a service outage last night of approximately five hours, from 3am to 8am (AEST). This was due to an configuration file error that prevented a restart of Prosody after a scheduled config reload. Human idiocy, basically – the config was not tested after an edit. Apologies to all affected, services have been returned to normal.

IRC Gateway

On a testing basis, to see if it’s useful to anyone, I’ve enabled an IRC gateway. This allows you to use your XMPP client to connect to an IRC channel as if it were a native multi-user conference. You should be able to join IRC channels on any network by joining a group chat or MUC, in the format of the following example: #chinwag%irc.freenode.org@irc.chinwag.im Substitute any IRC server name or channel in there as appropriate to your needs.

Moving to Movim

The Movim Chats view Since I started this little project, one of the main things I’ve been looking for is a decent web interface for chatting. I’ve tested and rejected a lot of things. Some options came really close to being what I wanted but just didn’t seem to have any momentum behind them and stagnated. I wanted to achieve two things when I set up ChinWag. I wanted to publish a basic guide on how to get your own public XMPP server off the ground, and I wanted to provide a good end-user experience for non-technical users to have access to that service.

Happy Birthday!

It’s now one whole year since I opened ChinWag to the public. As a result I’ve met some great people, chatted with a bunch of you from all over the world in the Lobby channel, and learned a lot about many topics. I did kind of want to write a more substantial post this week, about future plans and cool projects I’ve been looking at, how to have a properly secure conversation with someone … oh so many topics and so little time.

ChinWag, Privacy and Metadata

It’s now a handful of days until Australia’s new metadata retention laws come into effect, and I just wanted to publish a quick note about how this does and does not affect your usage of ChinWag for messaging, as ChinWag is Australian-hosted and pitched primarily as a provider of services primarily to Australians. Firstly, the focus at ChinWag is reliable communication above all. This is not a heavily privacy-focussed server, although use of XMPP comes with some inherent advantages from requiring mandatory encryption and other privacy options for all end-users to take advantage of.

Simple Chat Room Access

We’re still quite a long way from the slick, integrated experience I’ve got in mind as a long-term goal, but as of now there’s a really simple page you can go to for quick access to the Lobby and any other chat rooms you might want to create or use. Simply head over to https://chinwag.im/webchat/ and sign in. You’ll find yourself dropped right into the Lobby and can carry on from there.

Web Chat

Log in with your full JID, username@chinwag.im and password. You’ll need to register here first if you haven’t already.

Setup

With a huge list of possible client software, it’s hard to give complete setup instructions for everything. We’ll go into detail on some of the more popular options but if you’re somewhat familiar with XMPP in general or know your way around your software, here are the basic answers to some questions you’ll see often. Account Type: some software supports many types of messaging services. If asked for the type, choose “XMPP” or “Jabber”.

Welcome to ChinWag

Well, it’s been a fairly long process due to this being not much more than a side project, but ChinWag is a fully functional XMPP service right now. There’s more to come, especially on the web site front-end, but for now I’m considering the site launched, and bless all those who sail in her.