I’m really hoping the SAFE Network will offer a solution to the instant messaging problem. Right now, I need so many different messenger clients to keep in touch with people. Most of them are proprietary and walled gardens. When you leave one, you lose all your contacts.
There are “decentralized” solutions like XMPP and Matrix, but these are reliant on “home servers”. I prefer to think of them as polycentric rather than decentralized. When your home server goes down, you lose your account, and unlike with email, there aren’t many large reliable institutions offering service on these networks.
What we need is an open source protocol that’s truly decentralized, encrypted, extensible. I feel like the SAFE Network will make that a possibility.
One way to do it would be simply by PUTing the messages that are intended for a given recipient at an agreed-upon key. However, I don’t think this is ideal. It sounds like there’s going to be a lot of overhead involved with PUTs, so a long series of short, fast messages isn’t the ideal use case.
So maybe a hybrid approach is possible. We would store our identifying information and credentials on the safe network. When we log on, we would connect to a server, but it wouldn’t have to be the same one every time. When we get a message, the client would display it to us, and if it’s configured to save logs it would put several in one batch before making a PUT.
I’m not sure how this would work for offline messages, though. I suppose that might have to use the PUT method. Maybe someone could think of a way to batch them so it wouldn’t be as expensive.
Anyways, what are your thoughts on instant messaging through SAFE?