[tor-project] Future of Tor Messenger

Sukhbir Singh sukhbir at torproject.org
Wed Oct 25 14:55:14 UTC 2017

* George Kadianakis:

> 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.

No that's perfectly fine -- that was the idea behind the email! New ideas like
the one Isabela suggested are welcome and encouraged. Like I said, that is why
we are looking for feedback.

> 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.

That's true, it solves a lot of the problems with the adaptability of "Tor

> 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...

All great points, and yes, we still have to figure out how to implement this
and in what way if we go ahead with this idea. I will wait for others to
comment and see if this is the direction we want to take and then I guess we
go into the technical discussions.


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