It's my pleasure to announce the release of the first alpha version of Salut à Toi 0.7.

This is the occasion on one hand to show the state, advancement and direction of the project, and on the other hand to launch a call for contributions.

In this article I will show you a part of Salut à Toi capabilities, and explain briefly how to use them.

You'll find a link to an .apk file to test Cagou on Android in the "Test it!" section.

As a reminder, Salut à Toi is a collaborattive ecosystem, which is multi-frontends (web, desktop, mobile devices, terminal, command line), multi-platforms, and multipurpose. It let you handle your communications, organise yourself, share your files, etc. It is also, and above all, a militant project which think about the impact of new technologies on our lives, and which tries to stimulate public debate.

We'll concentrate on the web and desktop/mobile frontends, because those are the ones which will most probably be of interest to the mass.

Web frontend (named "Libervia")

Libervia has seen major changes, with a new web framework.

The idea, which has been explained in a blog post is to offer base components (account authentification, permissions, comments, etc.) ready-to-use and decentralised thanks to XMPP. This way we easily build website which are automatically decentralised and federated.

Please note that everything is prepared for translation, but for now only English is available. Help would be much appreciated to improve on that!

Let's check the available features:


screenshot of a "chat" discussion in Libervia

Let's start with the most obvious, there is an instant messaging page. To use it, you just have to click on "chat", et to log in if it's not already done.

You'll land on a panel with the rooms in your bookmarks, you just have to click on one of them, or to specify an identifier (jid) of a new room/contact.
It is for now quite basic, but still you can enter "/help" to check textual commands.


my own blog, powered by Libervia

One of the flagship features of SàT, really rare in XMPP world (the only actively developed other client implenting it being Movim), is the blog (which is then decentralised).

A click on the menu will bring you to a "discover" page where you'll find your contacts with a blog. Click on one of them to read, or specify an identifier to read a blog which is not in your contacts.


XMPP powered decentralised forums

Unique feature in XMPP world, SàT propose forums, allowing to organise discussions in categories. Because forums are under the hood the same thing as blogs, it is possible to use a blog as forum and vice versa.

The addition of new forums is done by an administrator using command line tool "jp" (see below).


personal list of events

Other feature not seen elsewhere in XMPP (and in decentralised software?), SàT allows you to create events, and of course to invite people.

As with other features, the page is thought to be easy to use: you have a button "create an event" which bring you to a form. A name, location and date later (and optionally a picture to associate), and your event is created. You'll then land to an admin page where you'll have the possibility to invite people.

Events are private for now, only your guests and you have access to it, but public events are also planned.

a guest is answering to an event RSVP

Please note that it's possible (but not yet from the web interface) to add arbitrary fields to your events, for instance to let your guest specify what they'll bring to a picnic.

File sharing

sharing file from browser

Here we are talking about a feature useful daily, and in many circonstances. Salut à Toi has long been able to send files, or to upload them on your server, but we are talking here about sharing one or many directories, or to upload in an advanced way on a serveur component.

All of this is explained in a recent blog post, but let me add 2 use cases to understand well:

  • you are home, you've just taken a video and some photos on your phone that you want to get on your computer. You have installed Cagou, the desktop/Android frontend of SàT on your device and already shared your photo directory. From your desktop computer, in the "file sharing" mode you see your device and you can directly download the video and the photos from there. The connection will be done directly on your local network, from device to device, and your files will not go throught a external server located whoever knows where.

  • you have files that you want to access at any time from anywhere (pictures or working documents for instance). You put them in a virtual directory on your file sharing component (a SàT instance too) and you can access it as simply as for the previous example.

Note that while with Cagou the connection is done directly when possible, it's not the case for Libervia which will first download the file on the server, before taking it throught HTTPS. WebRTC will be needed for the direct connection, and that's planned for 0.8 release.

Permission are handled easily: you specify who can access your files in a couple of clicks.

Files are transfered in clear for now (unencrypted), but this should not be the case anymore once finale release is here.

Photos albums

a photos album with a comment

Based on previous feature, a photos album mode display a directory containing only photos with adapted view, an with comments.

Permissions are really useful here, allowing to let, for instance, only your family see an album.

It's not yet possible to access an album from the interface of Libervia, to test it you'll have to change the URL by hand from the file handling page (by replacing files/list by photos/album).


SàT tickets, first ones have been imported from Bugzilla

Developed from our own needs, SàT now handles tickets in pretty much the same way as a code forge. This is classical issue tracking, bugs report, tasks to do, etc.

Fields are free, it's really easy to use this feature for any kind of list: TO-DO tasks, but also, for instance, shopping lists.

Merge requests

a major patch is being reviewed

In the same spirit as tickets, SàT also handle "merge requests". Developed and used primarly for SàT itself, this system has the benefit or not being tied to a specific tool (like Git or Mercurial). Il is currently used with Mercurial, but it is possible to use it with whatever we want, and I'm not only talking about software code here.

Those 2 features means that SàT is a decentralised code forge. Even if it's still relatively basic, it has the benefit of being easy to use, flexible and adaptable. Furthermore there are only a few decentralised code forge at the moment (we can probably count Fossil, maybe some others).

Once again, contributions would accelerate things and would permit to have a very powerful tool.


the dynamic part, which in under minimal maintenance and will be re-written for 0.8

To conclude this small tour of Libervia, we have to mention the application which is an entirely dynamic page, more elaborated but also more complicated to use (one of the main base version goal is to be easy to use).

Libervia web application allows to use widgets that you can drop next to each other, to do end to end encryption (OTR), or to publish blog post in simple or WYSIWYG mode, with the syntax you like (Markdown for instance).

It's the historic application which, for technical reasons, is now under minimal maintainance and have a few issues (like the contacts which can appear 2 times as seen in the screenshot above). It will be re-written for SàT 0.8, but it's let in place in this release for people who want to use it.

Cagou (desktop/Android)

Promised after the success of our crowfunding campaign, which allowed us to get a bit more than 3000 €, Cagou is our new frontend for desktop and Android devices. Its goals are to be modern, easy to use, and powerful.

Its original UI is inspired from Blender, and let split the screen to show several widgets at once. This UI has been thought in a way that it can be used even without knowing this split capacity, while being straightforward to use once the feature has been discovered.

To change mode, you just have to click on the top left icon.

For now, 5 modes are available: chat, contacts, file sharing, widget selector, and settings.

On the very top, you have a menu (only on desktop), and a notification zone, where messages appear for a few seconds and are visible entirely when clicking on the head of the left Cagou. On the other side, an other Cagou head can appear when you get notifications needing a user interaction (new contact for instance, or authentification request – see below –). This way, no popup will steal your focus while you are writing a message or doing something else.


It is possible de split the screen as much as you want by clicking on the 3 dots area (on top and left borders), and then moving your mouse/finger. If the bar is red, this means that you'll close the area.

Here is a small animation to make things more clear:

demo of Cagou

You can organise the way you want, and monitor several things at the same time. In the future, it should be possible to keep handy widgets organisations so you can re-use them easily.


Cagou "chat" mode screenshot

The chat should be relatively intuitive. The top area show the current room or the identifier (JID) of the person you're talking to. It is possible to enter an other identifier manually to change room. For instance you can enter to come on Salut à Toi room.

Still on the top area, the "padlock" icon on the right (only visible in 1/1 discussions) allows you to encrypt the conversation end to end, with OTR only for now (see below).

If you have several discussions at the same time, you can switch from one to the other by swiping your finger horizontally. Only discussions not already visible somewhere on the screen will be available, and for now they are in alphanumeric order (most certainly recent discussions will be available first when stable release will be out).

Finally, in the bottom area, in addition to the text input, you can see a + button with a circle which allows you to open a media transfer panel. On the desktop for now you can only select a file from your file-system, but on Android you can select/take a picture/video, a file or record an audio message. In every cases you can choose if you want to upload the file on your server, or send it directly to your contact, without transiting by the server.

file sharing

The principle has already been explained for Libervia, here is an animation showing how to share a directory with Cagou:

sharing a directory from Cagou

As you can see, you just have to do a long click/touch on the directory or file to share, and to select people which will have access to it.

You can click on "share local files" button, in the header zone, to change mode and see the device which are sharing. You'll then see – as with Libervia – 3 areas: the first one with sharing component, if any, the second one with your own devices (your phone or desk computer for instance), and finally the devices of your contacts. Once again, the input area let your filter devices to show.

see devices which can share files

Third party website authentification

SàT is a project which push the use of XMPP in every directions, and this include authentifying on third party websites. The idea is to be able to authenticate yourself without having to create an account on any website just by giving your JID.

Here is a video demo, thanks to the demo website made by jnanar, the screen on the right is a phone (displayed thanks to scrcpy):

super easy authentication with XMPP

You can implement this in your own website either by using Chteufleur component (Chteufleur is actually the original implementer of the feature in SàT, many thanks), either by using a server where it's already available (it's for instance the case on jabberfr, thanks to the admins of this server).

Please note that once it's in place, in your website you just have to do a single HTTPS request to validate authentication.


No need to take much time on this mode, but it's good to know that you can add a new contact there (with the top button), or delete an existing one with a long click/touch.

A simple click will launch the chat mode with the selected contact.

Command line (JP)

There are far too many new things in jp to describe everything here.

Some useful informations anyway:

  • in jp we always put commands first, then arguments (jp [command] [subcommand] --arg_1 --arg_2 --etc)
  • jp [command] --help tells you how to use a command
  • jp shell let you use a REPL shell
  • it is possible to have high level and low level commands. For instance with the blog, you can have blog posts in a nice way by using jp blog get -s bloger@somewhere.tld -O fancy, or the raw XML with jp pubsub get -s bloger@somewhere.tld -n urn:xmpp:microblog:0
  • many commands have an output mechanism with --output (or -O). For instance jp blog get -s bloger@somewhere.tld -O json let you find metadata of a blog feed in JSON
  • jp can generate static websites thanks to --output template
  • when the website generator handle it, you can directly use the blog URL to edit it. For instance, I can edit one of my last posts by using jp blog edit -u where is the URL of the HTML generated page. I then have my text editor showing the code of my page on one side (in my favorite syntax) and the metadata on the other. Note the this works with webpage generated by Libervia, but also by Movim.

A small demo of the shell to read a blog:

checking a blog from shell (jp)

Test it!

You can test all this, the installation instructions are available (in English only, we are lacking resources to translate) on the wiki by clicking here.

SàT (backend + jp (CLI) + Primitivus (TUI)) is available in Debian experimental (thanks to Robotux, Naha, Debacle and other packagers).

SàT and its frontends (jp, Primitivus, Cagou, Libervia) are available on Arch Linux (thanks to jnanar and Link Mauve)

We got confirmation that SàT and Cagou are working on Mac OS X (thanks to xma), we would like help of people to also test it on Windows, BSD*, or anything else.

You can test on Android by clicking on this link from your device (installation from external resources must be activated from settings).

Note that this is an alpha version, that means:

  • it crashes, the code is not stable
  • all features are not finished, or even here
  • it's not optimised yet
  • it's not polished

Oh, and while we are talking about features not yet implemented, there are strong possibilities that end to end encryption with OMEMO will be implemented before final release, thanks notably to the new Python module available (thanks to Syndace, the author). End to end encryption is already available for years in SàT, but only with OTR so far.


A last animation to show you the automatic language detection, an experimental feature:

language detection, then messages filtering

Let's stop here for the features, but we have not seen all of them.

As you can see, there's a lot to play with, and there is enough for every taste in this project.

And that's good, with summer holidays you'll have more time, a perfect occasion to contribute to a unique project, ethics and militant.

Do not hesitate to come on SàT XMPP room (, also available without account, from the web).

If you are lacking time (picnic on the beach is nice too), support on Liberapayand/or adhering to the association is also helping.

Try to spread the word around you, our project lack visibility and needs you. If you are willing to host an instance, you can start to test (in a "experimental/not stable" part of your website), and give us feedbacks. We are also looking for people helping to package in every place where it's possible.

Thanks in advance, and see you soon!

With the recent announcement concerning the biggest known centralized code forge owner change, we have seen back here and there discussions about the creation of a similar tool, but decentralized.

I've used this occasion to recall the work done to implement tickets and merge requests in Salut à Toi (SàT), work which was relatively unoticed at the time of writing, about 6 months ago.

Now, I would like to bring some details on why building those tools.

First of all, why not the big forge? After all, a good part of current libre software is already using it! Well first it's not libre, and we commited ourself in our social contract to use libre software as much as possible, infrastructure included. Then because it's centralized, and there too our social contract is pretty clear, even if it's not as important for infrastructure as it is for SàT itself. Finally, because we are currently using Mercurial, and the most famous forge is build around Git.
We do not hide the fact that we already ask ourselves wether to use this platform or not in general assemblee (cf. minutes – in French –), we were mainly interested in the great visibility it can offer.

« It's centralized? But "Git" is decentralized! » is a point we are ofter hearing and it's a true fact, Git (and Mercurial, and some others) is decentralized. But a code forge is not the version control system, it's all the tools arount it: hosting, tickets, merge/pull requests, comments, wikis, etc. And those tools are not decentralized at the moment, and even if they are often usable throught a proprietary API, they are still under centralization rules, i.e. rules of the hosting service (and its technical hazards). This also means that if the service doesn't want a project, it can refuse, delete, or block it.

Centralization is also a technical facility to catalog and search project… which are on the service. Any external attempt will then have more difficulties to be visible and to attract contributors/users/help. This is a situation we know very well with Salut à Toi (we are not present on proprietary and centralized "social networks" for the same reasons), and we find it unacceptable. It goes without saying that concentrating projects on a single platform is the best way to contribute and exacerbate this state of affairs.
Please note, however, that we are not judging or attacking people and projects who made different choices. These positions are linked to our political commitment.

Why, then, not using existing Libre projects, already advanced and working, like Gitlab? Well, first because we are working with Mercurial and not Git, and secondly because we would put ourselves here too in a centralized solution. And there is an other point: there are nearly no decentralized forges (Fossil maybe?), and we already have nearly everything we need with SàT and XMPP. And let's add that there is some pleasure to build the tools we are lacking.

SàT is on the way to be a complete ecosystem, offering most, if not all, the tools needed to organise and communicate. But it is also generic and re-usable. That's why the "merge requests" system is not linked to a specific SCM (Git or Mercurial), it can be used with other software, and it is actually not only usable for code development. It's a component which will be used where it is useful.

To conclude this post, I would like to remind that if we want to see a decentralized, ethical and politically commited alternative to build our code, organise ourself, and communicate, we can make this real by cooperating and contributing, being with code, design, translations, documentation, testing, etc.
We got recently some help for packaging on Arch (thanks jnanar and previous contributors), and there are continuous efforts for packaging in Debian (thanks Robotux, Naha, Debacle, and other Debian XMPP packagers), if you can participate, please contact us (see our official website), together we can make the difference.
If you are lacking time, you can support us as well on Liberapay: Thanks in advance!

  • favorite

    1 Like

    Timothée Jaussoin

Avec la récente annonce concernant le changement de propriétaire de la plus grosse forge centralisée connue, on a vu resurgir ici et là des questionnements sur la création d'un outil similaire mais décentralisé.

J'ai profité de l'occasion pour rappeler le travail effectué pour implémenter tickets et requêtes de fusion (« merge requests ») dans Salut à Toi (SàT), travail qui était passé relativement inaperçu quand j'ai écrit à ce sujet, il y a 6 mois.

Désormais je souhaite apporter quelques précisions sur le pourquoi de ces outils.

Tout d'abord pourquoi pas la grosse forge ? Après tout une importante partie des logiciels libres actuels l'utilise déjà !
D'une part parce que ce n'est pas libre, et nous nous sommes engagés dans notre contrat social à utiliser tant que possible des logiciels libres, y compris pour l'infrastructure. D'autre part parce que c'est centralisé, et là encore notre contrat social est clair à ce sujet, même si c'est moins essentiel pour l'infrastructure que pour SàT lui-même. Enfin parce que nous utilisons à l'heure actuelle Mercurial, et que la forge la plus connue est construite autour de Git.
Ne cachons pas toutefois que nous nous sommes déjà posés la question notamment en assemblée générale (cf. les comptes rendus), nous étions intéressés en particulier par la visibilité.

« C'est centralisé ? Mais « Git » est décentralisé ! » est une réflexion que l'on entend souvent et elle est vraie, Git (et Mercurial, et d'autres) est décentralisé. Mais une forge n'est pas le gestionnaire de version, c'est tous les outils autour : hébergement, tickets, gestion des modifications (merge/pull requests), commentaires, wikis, etc. Et ces outils là ne sont pas décentralisés à l'heure actuelle, et même s'ils sont souvent accessibles par des API spécifiques aux services, ils restent soumis aux lois de la centralisation, c'est-à-dire du service qui héberge (et des aléas techniques de ce service). Cela veut également dire que si le service ne veut pas d'un projet, il peut le refuser, l'effacer, le bloquer.

La centralisation, c'est aussi la facilité pour cataloguer et rechercher… pour les projets qui sont sur ce service. Rendant de facto toute tentative extérieure moins visible et donc augmentant ses difficultés. C'est une situation que nous connaissons bien avec Salut à Toi (nous sommes également absents des « réseaux sociaux » propriétaires et centralisés pour les mêmes raisons), et que nous jugeons inacceptable. Il va sans dire que se concentrer sur une plateforme ne fait qu'encourager et prolonger cet état de fait. Notons tout de même qu'il n'est pas question ici de dénigrer ceux qui ont fait des choix différents, ces réflexions étant liées à notre implication politique forte et les contraintes changent d'un cas à l'autre.

Pourquoi, alors, ne pas utiliser des projets libres existants, avancés et fonctionnels comme Gitlab ? D'une part parce que nous travaillons avec Mercurial et non Git, et d'autre part parce que nous serions là aussi dans la centralisation. Il y a une autre raison : c'est qu'il n'existe pas ou peu (Fossil peut être ?) de forges décentralisées, et nous avons déjà tout ce qu'il nous faut avec SàT et XMPP. Et puis il y a un certain plaisir à créer les outils qui nous manquent.

SàT se veut un écosystème complet, offrant la majeure partie si ce n'est tous les outils nécessaires pour s'organiser et communiquer. Mais il est aussi générique et réutilisable. C'est pourquoi le système de « merge requests » n'est pas lié à un outil particulier (Git ou Mercurial), il peut être utilisé avec d'autre logiciels, et n'est d'ailleurs par réservé au développement de code. C'est une autre brique qui sera utilisée là où ça sera utile.

Pour conclure, je rappelle que si vous voulez voir une alternative décentralisée, éthique et engagée pour construire nos logiciels, nous organiser et communiquer, on peut la rendre possible en coopérant et contribuant, que ce soit avec du code, de la conception graphique (design), des traductions de la documentation des tests, etc.
Nous avons récemment eu de l'aide pour l'empaquetage sur Arch (merci à jnanar et aux mainteneurs précédents), et il y a des efforts continus pour l'empaquetage sur Debian (merci à Robotux, Naha, Debacle et les autre empaqueteur XMPP sur Debian). Si vous pouvez participer, merci de regarder comment nous contacter sur le site officiel), ensemble on peut faire la différence.
Si vous manquez de temps, vous pouvez aussi nous soutenir sur Liberapay: Merci d'avance !

  • favorite

    1 Like

    Timothée Jaussoin

La dernière grosse fonctionnalité avant la préparation de la version alpha, le partage de fichiers, et désormais disponible pour Salut à Toi.

SàT est capable d'envoyer ou recevoir des fichiers depuis des années, soit directement quand 2 personnes sont connectées en même temps, ou via un téléversement sur le serveur (via « HTTP upload »).

Il est maintenant possible de partager une hiérarchie de fichiers, ou en d'autres termes un ou plusieurs répertoires. Il y a 2 cas d'utilisation principaux : avec un composant, ou un autre client.

partager un répertoire avec Cagou

Partager un répertoire avec un client

La première façon d'utiliser le partage de fichiers est directement entre 2 appareils. Ceci peut être utilisé, par exemple, pour partager des photos prises sur votre téléphone avec votre ordinateur de bureau, ou pour rapidement donner accès à des documents de travail à vos collègues.
Pour gérer les permissions, vous n'avez qu'à donner les JIDs (identifiants XMPP) des personnes autorisées (ou à cliquer sur les contacts dans Cagou, l'interface graphique).

Le transfert utilise la technologie Jingle, qui va permettre de choisir la meilleure façon d'envoyer le fichier. Cela signifie que si vous êtes sur le même réseau local que l'autre appareil (ce qui est le cas dans le précédant exemple de partager des photos prises sur le téléphone avec votre ordinateur de bureau, quand vous êtes à la maison), la connexion reste en local, et le serveur ne verra que le « signal », c'est à dire les données nécessaires à l'établissement de la connexion.

Mais si vos appareils ne sont pas sur le même réseau local, la connexion est toujours faisable, et SàT essaiera d'utiliser une connexion directe quand c'est possible.

partage de fichiers avec un client

Ci-dessus vous pouvez voir avec quelle simplicité on peut partager un répertoire avec Cagou, l'interface bureau/Android de Salut à Toi.

Le partage de fichiers avec un composant

SàT peut maintenant gérer des composants (qui sont plus ou moins des greffons génériques pour les serveurs XMPP), et un premier permet à un utilisateur de téléverser, lister, ou retrouver des fichiers.

Ceci est vraiment pratique quand vous voulez garder des fichiers privés pour une utilisation ultérieure (et y accéder depuis n'importe quel appareil), ou pour partager un album photo, par exemple, avec votre famille. Cette fonctionnalité est sur la voie d'un service similaire à ce qu'on appelle de nos jours « stockage sur le cloud », sauf que vous pouvez garder le contrôle sur vos données.

partage de fichiers avec un composant

Comme vous pouvez le voir, c'est très similaire à ce qu'il se passe entre 2 clients.

De plus avec le nouveau système d'invitation de SàT, vous pouvez partager des fichiers même avec des personnes qui n'ont pas de compte.

Quelques notes

Le transfert de fichier n'est pas encore chiffré, mais c'est prévu rapidement avec OX (OpenPGP) ou OMEMO.
La fonctionnalité de base est là et fonctionne, mais il y a encore des améliorations prévues à plus ou moins long terme : des quotas pour les utilisateurs, la synchronisation de fichiers, le chiffrement de bout en bout, ou encore la recherche avancée.


Vous trouverez sur le wiki les instructions sur comment utiliser cette fonctionnalité (en anglais).

Bien sûr vous aurez besoin de la version de développement pour tester. N'hésitez pas à demander de l'aide sur le salon SàT : (ou avec un butineur).

Un paquet est désormais disponible pour Cagou sur AUR pour les utilisateurs d'Arch Linux, un grand merci à jnanar pour ceci.

Besoin d'aide !

SàT est un très gros projet, avec de fortes racines éthiques. Il est unique sur plus d'un point, et nécessite beaucoup de travail. Vous pouvez aider à sa réussite soit en nous soutenant sur Liberapay soit en contribuant (jetez un œil au site officiel ou venez sur le salon pour plus d'infos).

Le prochain billet sera à propos de la sortie de la version alpha, restez en ligne ;)

Last big feature before the preparation of alpha release, file sharing is now available for Salut à Toi.

SàT has been able to send or receive files for years, either directly when 2 people are connecting at the same time, or via an HTTP upload on the server. It is now possible to share a file hierarchy, or in other words one or several directories. There are 2 main uses cases: using a component, or a client.

sharing a directory with Cagou

Sharing directory with client

The first way to use file sharing is from device to device. It can be used, for instance, to share pictures taken from your phone with your desktop computer, or to quickly give access to discussion papers to your coworkers. To handle permissions, you just have to give the JIDs (XMPP identifiers) of allowed people.

The transfer is using Jingle technology, which will choose the best way to send the file. That means that if you are on the same local network (e.g. the previous case of sharing your phone picture with desktop computer, when you're at home), the connection will stay local, and the server will only see the signal (the data needed to establish the connection).

But if your devices are not on the same local area network, connection is still doable, and it will try to be direct when possible.

file sharing with a client

Above you can see how easy it is to share a directory with Cagou, the desktop/Android frontend of Salut à Toi.

File sharing component

SàT can now act as a component (which is more or less a generic server plugin), and a first one allows a user to upload, list and retrieve files.

This is really handy when you want to keep some files private for later use (and access it from any device), or to share a photo album, for instance, with your family.

This is on the way to a service similar to "cloud storage", except that you may keep control on your data.

file sharing with a component

As you can see, it's pretty similar to the workflow with client.

With the invitation system now available in SàT, you can even share with people without account.

Some notes

File transfer is currently unencrypted, but encryption is planed soon, either with OX (OpenPGP) or OMEMO.
The base feature is there and working, but some improvements are planed at more or less short term: quotas, files synchronization, e2e encryption, advanced search.


You'll find instruction on how to use this feature on the wiki.

Of course you'll need to use development version, don't hesitate to ask for help on SàT room : (or via browser).

A package is now available for Cagou on AUR for Arch Linux, thanks to jnanar.

Help needed!

SàT is a huge project, with a strong ethical root. It's unique in many ways, and needs a lot of work. You may help its success either by supporting us on Liberapay or by contributing (check official website or join our room for details).

Next post will be about alpha release, stay connected ;)

Parmi les nombreuses nouveautés et évolutions de Salut à Toi pour la version 0.7 à venir, une a un particulièrement grand potentiel : Libervia (l'interface web) est devenu un cadriciel web (ou « framework web »).

« Mais il y en a déjà plein ! » vous entends-je dire… C'est vrai, mais celui-ci est décentralisé.

Construire sur du standard, avoir des outils pour créer décentralisé

Utiliser les comptes existants

Libervia s'appuie donc sur SàT et XMPP pour aider à construire voire reconstruire le web. Quel est l'intérêt ? Et bien déjà l'authentification, chose nécessaire sur la plupart des sites de nos jours, utilise le compte que vous avez déjà. Non je ne parle pas du compte sur le gros truc bleu ou l'oisillon piailleur, mais bien de votre compte XMPP, celui que vous utilisez avec SàT, Movim, Gajim, Conversations ou encore Pidgin, celui dont les données peuvent être chez vous dans votre salon, et avec lequel vous pouvez utiliser n’importe quel nom, celui avec lequel vos faits et gestes ne sont pas épiés.

Le ou la développeur/euse n'a donc pas besoin de gérer cela, et les utilisateurs n'ont pas à recréer un compte à chaque site ou à utiliser un compte centralisé (et ainsi dire aux aspirateurs à données du net où, quand et à quoi ils se connectent).

Autre avantage : on profite de l'existant ; si vous voulez intégrer d'autre moyens de vous authentifier (par exemple utiliser vos comptes GNU/Linux), vous n'avez qu'à activer ce qui va bien sur votre serveur (voir cette liste pour prosody, vous trouverez certainement une liste équivalente pour les autres serveurs.).

pubsub, la base de données décentralisée

XMPP n'est pas une technologie, mais un ensemble de technologies cohérentes, et pubsub est l'une d'elles. Pour mémoire, il s'agit d'enregistrer des données (ou « items ») dans des « nœuds » (qu'on peut voir comme des tables ou collections dans les bases de données), qui sont sur des services.

Un service pouvant être n'importe où sur le réseau, au même endroit que votre serveur web, à l'autre bout de la planète, sur l'intranet ou sur un .onion dans le réseau Tor. Bien sûr il est possible de garder des données localement si nécessaire, notamment pour le cache.

le cache parlons en justement, pubsub a une propriété très intéressante : on peut s'abonner à un nœud pour être prévenu des modifications sur celui ci (ajout/modification ou suppression de données). Ceci permet à Libervia d'avoir un système de cache automatique : une page peut être mise automatiquement en cache et celui-ci peut-être invalidé dès qu'une modification a lieu. Voilà encore de quoi simplifier la vie du développeur, et améliorer les performances côté utilisateur.

faciliter la vie

Libervia a été pensé pour faciliter la vie des développeurs.

changer l'apparence

Le système est entièrement basé sur un moteur de modèles (jinja2), qu'il est très facile d'étendre pour faire de nouveaux thèmes (du simple changement de CSS à la transformation de toute la structure des pages). Il suffit de créer un répertoire avec le nom du thème et de modifier ce que l'on souhaite, et uniquement ce que l'ont souhaite : les pages du thème par défaut vont être utilisées si nécessaire.

Intégration entre serveur et client

Un certain nombre d'outils sont présents pour faciliter l'intégration entre la partie cliente (dans le butineur) et la partie serveur (HTTP). Ainsi par exemple, il suffit de déclarer "dynamic = True" dans votre page Libervia (côté serveur), pour activer automatiquement un système de communication dynamique avec le navigateur (basé sur les websockets). Une méthode permet d'envoyer des données n'importe quand à la page, et une autre est appelée quand des données sont émises depuis le navigateur.

Ceci sera encore plus poussé dans la version 0.8, avec l'intégration prévue de transpileurs Python vers Javascript. Libervia utilise jusqu'ici Pyjamas, un projet qui n'est plus maintenu et qui se base sur un Python 2 obsolète. Pour éviter d'être bloqué sur une seule option, le choix sera laissé au développeur d'utiliser un transpileur Python vers Javascript (Brython et Transcrypt sont prévus), du Javascript simple (dit « vanilla »), ou s'il ou elle aime se faire du mal, un cadriciel Javascript à la mode.

Gérer les tâches communes

Un système de traduction est intégré nativement (utilisant Babel), ainsi que des filtres pour les dates, le rendu d'interfaces venant du backend, ou encore la création de formulaires.

Les modèles sont prévus pour êtres réutilisables, ainsi il est simple d'intégrer, par exemple, des commentaires dans une page.

Un écosystème en symbiose

Je m'arrête là pour les fonctionnalités, même si la liste n'est pas finie (il est par exemple possible de générer des sites statiques à la manière d'un Pelican ou d'un Hugo).

Ce nouvel outil a déjà été mis en pratique dans certaines des nouveautés de la version à venir, notamment avec le gestionnaire de tickets et de demande d'intégration de patch (« merge requests ») mentionnés précédemment.

La prochaine version de Salut à Toi est un aboutissement, c'est la première version prévue pour être utilisée en production, et constitue désormais tout un écosystème de communication, de création et de travail collaboratif, compatible avec le reste de la famille XMPP.

Si vous voulez vous tenir à jour vous pouvez consulter mon blog (qui est fait avec Libervia) ou nous rejoindre sur le salon

Si vous voulez nous soutenir, vous pouvez soit adhérer à l'association, soit nous aider sur Liberapay.

Among many novelties of Salut à Toi in the next release (0.7), one has specially big potential: Libervia (the web frontend) is now a web framework.
"Yeah but there already so many of them!" I 've heard you saying… That is true, but this one is decentralized.

Building on standards, having tools for decentralization

Using existing accounts

So, Libervia is based on SàT and XMPP in order to help you to build or rebuild the web. But why? Well, first the authentication, which is used on most websites nowadays, use the account you alread have. No, I'm not talking about the account on the big blue stuff or the noisy bird, but about your XMPP account, the one you are using with SàT, Movim, Gajim, Conversations or Pidgin, the one, in which your data can be located in your living room, and the one in which you can use any name you choose; the one that does not tract your activity.

The developer doesn't have to worry about this, and the users don't have to create yet another account on each website, or to use an account from a big central website (and then tell to web data hoovers where, when and to what you did connect).

Other advantage: we take profit for existing software. If you want to integrate other authentication ways (for instance if you want to use your GNU/Linux accounts), you just have to activate the suitable thing on your server (check this prosody list for instance, you'll surely find similar lists for other servers).

Pubsub, the decentralized database

XMPP is not a single technology, but rather a basis for a variety of coherent technologies, and pubsub is one of them. As a reminder, with it you can store data (or "items") in "nodes" (which can been seen as tables or collections in other databases), on "services".

A service can be anywhere on the network : in the same location as your web server, on the other side of the Earth, on the intranet or on a .onion in Tor network. Of course it's possible to keep data locally if needed, in particular for caching.

Let’s talk about cache, pubsub has a really nice property: we can subscribe to a node to be notified when there are changes on it (new data, data update or deletion). Taking benefit from this gives Libervia an automatic cache system: a page can be automatically put in cache, and later can be invalidated as soon as a modification happen. That is an other thing to simplify developer's life, and to improve the speed for the user.

Simplify life

Libervia has been thought to make things easy :

Appearance change

The framework is entirely based on template engine (jinja2). It is really straightforward to create new themes (from doing simple CSS change to major changes in pages structure). You just have to create a new directory with theme name, and to modify what you want, and only what you want: pages from default theme will be used if needed.

Integration between server and client

A bunch of tools are there to facilitate integration between client (in the browser) and the HTTP server. For instance, you just have to set "dynamic = True" in your Libervia page on server side to automatically activate a bidirectionnal dynamic communication system with the browser (based on websockets). A method can be used to send data at any time to the page, and an other one is called when data are emited from the browser.

This will go deeper in the 0.8 release, with the planed integration of Python to Javascript transpileur/interpreters. Libervia is using so far Pyjamas, a project which is not maintained anymore and which is transpiling an obsolete Python 2. To avoid future blocking on a single option, developers will have the choice to use a Python transpiler/interpreter (Brython and Transcript are planed), Simple Javascript ("vanilla"), or if they really like pain, any currenly popular Javascript framework.

Handling common tasks

A translation system is natively integrated (using Babel), and also filters for dates, backend UI templates rendering, or forms creation.

Templates are built to be reusables, so it's easy to include, for instance, comments in page.

A symbiotic ecosystem

I'll stop here for features, though the list is not finished (it's for instance possible to generate static website à la Pelican or Hugo).

This new tool has already been used in severals features in the incoming release, notably with the tickets or merge requests handlers that I have announced recently.

Next release of Salut à Toi will be an achievement, the first version ready for production, and is now a whole ecosystem to communicate, create, or do collaborative work, compatible with the rest of XMPP family.

If you want to stay up to date, follow my blog (which is using Libervia), or join us on our room

If you want to support us, you can either join the association, or help us on Liberapay.

Other news to come soon…