Update: New group chats, multi-device, and more!

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since our last update, so we’d like to get everyone up to speed on what’s been going on in terms of Toxcore development and community happenings.

One of the most discussed topics in the Tox community over the past few months has been the release of the new group chats. Unfortunately, there is still no ETA. I finished writing the code base about 6 months ago and they’ve been available for testing for some time via my new groupchats branch. However, it’s still missing one crucial thing: TCP support.  The new group chats cannot be merged without TCP-DHT support in the core, which is currently being worked on in a private branch by the lead core developer, irungentoo. The latest word is that DHT is currently working over TCP, but he’s still having issues with bugs and failing tests. We know how eager everyone is to finally be able to try out the new group chats, and we want the community to know that work is being done and progress is being made.

In other news, Grayhatter, along with the support of Tux3, is working on another widely requested feature for Toxcore—Multi-device support. It’s still in a very early, hardly-working stage of development, but if you like the idea of testing extremely buggy code that may or may not delete your profile, you can try the Multi-device version of µTox. (Note: backup your save.tox profile first.)

Finally, we would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to LittleVulpix for stepping up to the plate and taking over toxme.io after its original owner no longer had the ability to maintain the service. Additionally, we want to thank Encrypt, who created a packaging script, and with the help of Tux3 has adjusted the script to work on our build infrastructure.

That’s it for now, but hopefully we’ll have some more announcements for you in the near future. Happy Toxing!

Jfreegman
Tox developer, maintainer of Toxic, bringer of the future (new groupchats) | Github: https://github.com/JFreegman | Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jfreegman | Personal donations (BTC): 17WWydJEvGqTTCVYPVsUM2WLkMgUHVHCL5

12 Comments

  1. I wish the toxing was happy but it wasn’t. https://github.com/tux3/qTox/issues/2726 , https://github.com/tux3/qTox/issues/2820 and https://github.com/tux3/qTox/pull/2771 have all been reported half a year ago and nobody does anything about them. Nobody. Instead, we get more new features such as multi-device support, which, judging by the 3 bugs above (the third one is solved and just needs rebasing, for Christ’s sake) is going to be just as (un)usable.

    1. The people who develop qTox are generally not the same people who develop toxcore. I understand that it can be frustrating to see bugs go unfixed for so long, but you gotta remember that every one of us is an unpaid volunteer, and we all have lives outside of Tox that take priority.

  2. Gotta love Multidevice support!
    It was long missing from Tox, and probably the one reason keeping me from using Tox more often, as I have a crazy lot of computers (I’m an administrator).
    Keep up the good work! I hope to see Tox adopted by more people! All of the people!11one

  3. Hey, guys. Don’t you think it’s time for another heads-up, now that it’s been more than two months?
    When is multidevice gonna drop? How’s it going with groupchats?

    1. The development is not dead, (you can see my GitHub activity tab, I have been doing quite a bit of code review lately), it’s just generally slow. One of the reasons of why it’s slow is that we have only a couple of people who write and review code. You have to keep in mind that all of us do this in our free of work time, which is very limited and which we could spend being with family and friends, playing video games or doing something else instead. Also, sometimes life happens and it takes priority, leaving no time for Tox, which doesn’t benefit the development in any way. People often don’t understand that it’s all volunteer work (it’s not like we get paid for it, nor we have much time for it), they demand things from us as if they are entitled to have them, then they complain as to why their so-much-wanted feature isn’t implemented yet, some even go as far as to harass/annoy developers because of this or create troll/drama posts, some just proclaim the project to be dead, as in your example. You learn quickly to just ignore such negative things, don’t let them get to you, and continue doing what you are doing, because if your hobby makes you upset, why are you spending your free time on it? There are a lot of other things you could be doing instead in your free time, after all. Having more contributors would help with making the project more “un-dead”, i.e. speeding up the development, especially if the contributors stick around for a while and become regular developers, but that doesn’t happen very often. For example, a person who was with us for almost a year and a half, who was maintaining the website, had to leave Tox because they had no time for it anymore, so we currently don’t have any website person in Tox who would maintain https://tox.chat/. While we can do simple fixes, like replacing one download link with another one, updating DigitalOcean badge, or even a little more complex ones like porting the html-only website to use a template engine (which is just mindless copy-paste, really), we don’t have anyone familiar enough with html and css to revamp our Download page, which is something that I believe needs to be done. You wouldn’t think that a person who is familiar with html and css and who is able to spend a few hours per month to edit the website would be of much help, but they actually would be of great help. Same with toxcore and pretty much any other open source project out there — any small help counts.

      If the project was really dead, you wouldn’t see any project-related activity from the developers on GitHub, you wouldn’t see any development discussions on IRC, and no one would be replying to your comments to the blog, in fact, the https://blog.tox.chat wouldn’t even be up, as well as https://tox.chat, https://wiki.tox.chat, https://build.tox.chat, https://pkg.tox.chat and https://lists.tox.chat — just running them takes effort and no one would have time for that if the project was dead :P Frankly, I’m a bit guilty of not replying to a few things I could reply, sometimes you don’t have that much free time to write long replies like this one or even short ones, and you hope someone else would reply in your stead (like really, there are about 50 people subscribed to the Support mailing list, stop making me feel bad for not replying to that person and please reply already, it’s a trivial question after all!), so even if you haven’t gotten a reply on your blog comment, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the project is dead.

      1. nurupo, thank you very much for your detailed reply, I really appreciate that! :)

        I’m quite green on all of this stuff, and I have been following Tox from the sideline because I want an open source and secure alternative to the abomination that is Skype. I remember some time past when I checked Tox where it said that the download has some potential security risks (or something in the likes of that, it was a long time ago.)

        However, I’m going to get my hands on it, and try it with some friends. :)

        As for development, do you know Tek Syndicate? You should join their forums over at teksyndicate.com and see if there is anyone willing to help out. It’s all pro-open source, Linux and you name it. I think it could be a good idea perhaps? I hope you’ll consider it, I can’t really do much to help out myself, sadly, but spread the word.

        Have a great day! :)

      2. Whoa, whoa, man, chill.
        I know it’s not polite in free software to ask for ETA, and I know this feeling, when you and what you do is taken for granted (we work in IT, so…), but that’s not it. At least on my side.
        People ask because the thing you make is so cool. They ask because they care. Well at least I do.

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