Help/Advice requested.

Some people I am working with want to set up a "chat app". Currently I don't use one, but others with whom I would like to "chat" are already using Signal, so that seems to be the obvious choice.

So far so good.

But one person who I would like to be in the new group says that he hasn't been able to get Signal to work.

Apparently Signal claims it wants/needs to send an SMS, but can't.

As yet I have no other information, but does that sound familiar to anyone?


Is this something people have seen before? Is this something people have fixed?

I have options:

(a) Abandon having this person in the group;

(b) Help this person fix the problem;

(c) Abandon Signal and use something else.

I would appreciate any feedback people might have.


Calling @rysiek ... I think you might have some advice or input into this.


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@rysiek In particular, people have told me that the Signal desktop is not as friendly or usable as Telegram's.

Do you have any comment on that?

@ColinTheMathmo @rysiek I can confirm the Signal desktop client is not as reliable as I would like; I don't have experience with the Telegram desktop client. I have to restart the Signal desktop client about once a day because it mostly-silently stops sending messages (there is an indicator the message was not sent, but you have to look for it). I'm running the client from flatpak on Debian.

@bremner I might just have to go ahead and start using it and see what happens. Without more experience I'm reluctant to recommend it to people as "the thing to use" without both personal experience and multiple recommendations.

CC: @rysiek

@bremner FWIW, I've read about electron, but still don't really understand the important implications of "it's an electron app". People seem to take it for granted that that makes everything clear and communicates everything the listen needs to know, but for me it really doesn't.

I live in a weird technology hinterland of knowledge and experience. When people interact with me they end up assuming I know vastly more than I do, and ...



@bremner ... then they are confounded when I don't understand something that they assume is obvious, based on what they think I know.

Then everyone is confused.

(2/n, n=2)


@ColinTheMathmo @rysiek it's customised version of chrome basically. So it using the same underlying tech (JavaScript) as most webapps, but there is no latency of sending things back and forth to a server. In practice it feels just like a heavy-ish GUI app. People who are fussier about GUI (e.g. Mac users) probably notice more rough edges, but I don't have much basis for comparison. My other GUI app is a browser.

@ColinTheMathmo My suggestion is for you to give a try at XMPP. It works on the browser, on the PC (Gajim) and on the smartphone (Conversations installed freely through F-Droid). Try the server for your account

@dani I'd love to do that, but in this case it's not really an option. My 91 year old mother already uses Signal, as do others in my family. There's no way I'd get them to convert to XMPP, even though I think it's potentially a good option.

I'm having enough trouble getting close colleagues to switch away from FFB and WhatsApp.

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