On the 1st and 2nd of June varia will host 'The Ecosystem Is Moving', a presentation by and worksession with Daniel Gultsch about federated instant messaging, open source software and the sustainability of open systems.
- June 1st, 19.00 - 22.00 - presentation: introduction to XMPP and lecture by Daniel Gultsch
- June 2nd, 10.00 - 18.00 - hands on worksession on design and federated chat systems. Please register for the worksession via
info * varia.zone
Daniel Gultsch is the developer behind Conversations, an open source instant messaging application for Android. In 2014, he decided to work full time on Conversations and try to make a living from it. Rather than starting from scratch with Conversations, he built it as a client for the existing federated messaging protocol XMPP.
Since an XMPP messenger can, in a way, only be as good as the entire ecosystem, Daniels work on Conversations also meant work on expanding and improving that larger XMPP ecosystem. This work includes helping to draft and implement protocol standards, such as OMEMO, a modern and user-friendly end-to-end encryption based on Signal's protocol. He also contributed code to other XMPP servers and clients in the ecosystem to bring them up to speed with modern uses. Additionally, through his critical essays he is a vocal defender of XMPP and open standards in general.
Conversations is notable because, through its continuous focus on user experience, design and security it has garnered a lot of interest for both itself and the XMPP ecosystem as a whole. This makes it an interesting example to talk about what the design field could potentially contribute to critical software practices.
Depending on the amount of participants during the worksession we plan to look at the following concrete tasks:
- Redesigning the group chat details to show contextual information about the specific chat, such as groupchat images and descriptions.
- Revisit the language (and possibly translations) used in the application to increase usabillity.
- Improve the documentation on how to install and use Conversations
While Wtt�F encourages people with a background in arts and design to join, the worksessions are welcoming to anyone with an interest in learning more about XMPP and contributing to the ecosystem. Programming skills are not necessary to participate, although an affinity with the usage of computers and smartphones is helpful. The primary language of the worksession will be English.
The worksession takes place from 10:00 to 18:00 in Varia, Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam. Lunch is provided. Please register in advance by sending a mail to