[tor-project] Future of Tor Messenger

George Kadianakis desnacked at riseup.net
Wed Oct 25 12:34:13 UTC 2017

isabela <isabela at torproject.org> writes:

> On 10/24/17 17:11, Sukhbir Singh wrote:
>> Hi,
>> <snip>
>> The idea behind this email is to brainstorm this switch and solicit feedback
>> from the community, so please share your thoughts!
> Ok! here is a complete different idea :)
> We don't use Thunderbird at all.
> We build on the Browser (Tor Browser). We can start by creating a chat
> client, maybe a chat .onion service one like ricochet.

I hate to diverge the original discussion but I'd like to echo this
idea. I think it's a great one for multiple reasons.

One of the main reasons I like it is because it binds various Tor
concepts together in a way that shows consistency in Tor's plans and
strategy. I feel that this thematic consistency is something important
that we've been missing, and it's one of the reasons that the messenger
efforts have been more neglected than the browser work.

Specifically, I feel that providing different products for different use
cases ("browse with Tor browser, chat with Tor messenger") confuses
people a lot, because it requires them to understand two different UXs,
and download two different softwares. It also makes them wonder whether
"Tor messenger is still supported" (a question I've been asked a lot of
times in the past), and also it requires us supporting two tor binaries,
two update mechanisms, etc.

On the other hand, I feel that, if we use the Tor Browser as our
_central product_ and then build features aorund it we can have a much
better UX for our users.

It also provides more hype and anticipation to our releases in the sense
that "Tor browser release X will have anon chat support!", "Tor browser
release Y will have anon file browsing support!", instead of splitting
the hype into 2 different products. Hype is good and healthy!

Furthermore, by doing an onion service chat on the browser, we are
binding various Tor visions (Tor browser + onion + anon chat) together
to create a new experience on the one product that everyone should have
(the browser).

> By doing it on the browser, now that TB will be working on mobile as
> well, it would be easier to have this chat thing working on mobile.

That's true. However depending on how this chat software gets
implemented, it might be much harder to port it to mobile, in a way that
delays the whole project.  We should be careful here.

Unfortunately, I don't really know how Tor Browser plugins work and how
hard such a project would be, so I can only hype it for now...

> Latter on it could even grow with more features like a .onion service
> file sharing thing (like onionshare)..

Yes! Yes! More features for Tor users!

More information about the tor-project mailing list