Any interest in including a rebrand of Signal?


#1

Copperhead OS rebranded and distributed Signal as “Noise”, but it seems like their repo’s all went down about half a year ago due to what I’m assume is mismanagement. Is there any interest (or should I make a request) for including a rebrand of Signal in F-Droid similar to Copperhead?

From what I understand, the blockers for including Signal before were:
A) Dependencies on google play services
B) Builds needed to be reproducible
C) The upstream developer did not like F-Droid distributing the app with their branding

The first issue isn’t a problem now, and the last issue can be resolved by rebranding. I’m assuming the second isn’t a problem as Copperhead was rebuilding it, and from what I understand, they avoided any use of google play for privacy reasons, but that’s just a guess.


#2

The Signal devs are against Signals inclusion in FDroid and FDroid respects that, so won’t happen.
You can take a look at the history of LibreSignal to read more about OWS’ take on third party (rebranded) clients.


#3

TL;DR of issue #37 linked above: Even if you rebrand, you’d better not use their servers.


#4

Hmm I always thought it was about support. After all, the code is GPL. I figured it would be as simple as rebranding it to something not called Signal or XSignal, or SignalX, and maybe add a disclaimer that it’s unsupported.


#5

OpenWhisperSystems really made clear in various places that they do not want any other Signal binaries than the ones signed by them to access their servers. So far, F-Droid respected this request.

If you want to publish a branded version of Signal, one point is the one you already mentioned, giving it another name. The other point is that you must change the server the app is accessing, thus making it unusable to chat with Signal users. Imho, the already existing users are the only advantage over other solutions like Matrix or XMPP/Jabber, therefore this branded version would not make much sense.

See also:


#6

Extensive quoted details @


#7

Well since signal is GPL code, I don’t believe that either technically needs to be done. I would think it’s reasonable to rebrand and add a disclaimer of no support, out of respect for the upstream developer, but forbidding rebuilding or patching is a violation of the GPLv3.

Even if you consider that the server is a service separate from the app, I don’t recall seeing a EULA of any kind forbidding this.


#8

Yeah I read most of it. I was mostly curious if F-Droid was interested in loosening their position in the case of rebranding, or in hindsight, maybe also a disclaimer of no upstream support.


#9

F-Droid is not the problem…

Right, so they’ll drop your client from their network


#10

Fair enough. I might just make a private fdroid repo for myself then.


#11

The developers of Signal have made it clear from what I can see that they don’t want any forks using their servers, so it’d have to be a server hosted by someone else.

Considering how little people would probably use said fork when we have options for different chat apps which don’t restrict interaction with people who use different apps, this seems unlikely to happen.


#12

What is it re:

https://f-droid.org/app/org.smssecure.smssecure

that you’re trying to solve by using Signal itself? Wouldn’t it be better to contribute back to the F-Droid approved project? :confused:


#13

A messaging app is only as good as it’s users… Silence is great as an SMS app, but unfortunately, I have no one who is willing to use it, making the end to end encryption functionality unapplicable. On the other hand, I have contacts who are willing to use Signal. Considering the app is open source, end to end encrypted, and generally vetted, it seems like a better option right now that meets my privacy and freedom needs.

Unfortunately, I think most people value convenience over freedom, and it seems like people have more push back when replacing their SMS app, than installing a new messaging app that’s on Google Play (i.e. Signal).


#14

Quicksy is in F-Droid and Google Play, uses phone numbers… you can guide your “convenience seeking friends to it”


#15

Neat, thanks for the suggestion. Zom seems like a good option too. Since it’s just ONEMO XMPP, I can give them my jabber id.

On that note, I assume Zom hasn’t been added out of lack of interest. Seems like the blocker for it was cleared a while ago.


#16

@Mystro256 Zom - Secure messenger based on ChatSecure is available iff 1 adds @Izzy’s IzzyOnDroid Repo (& Archive, if wanted).


#17

See that Zom has other design choices, not trying to be a XMPP client per se, eg. calling OMEMO keys as “Zom codes” and such. My experience with it was rather poor, eg. not even connecting. Also, it’s the sister aff of ChatSecure (at least on iOS), and that is rather stalled for months already, plenty of issues, no one to fix them.

Again, I’d recommend the Conversations/Quicksy combo. The unofficial tag line is: Conversations for you, Quicksy for your friends :wink:


#18

JFYI Riot/Matrix is also a very good IM with support of phone numbers…


#19

There’s also Kontalk in F-droid https://kontalk.org/
Kontalk is chat within a community network where you sign up with your phone number.
It is more or less XMPP but with auth keys, from what I understood.


#20

Ok, that’s -just- much, too much. Not only are they “based on ChatSecure” (what does that even mean, forked?), but they’ve seriously gone way (!) overboard with all that, omg.

What’s it, really, based on: an assumption that noone will notice?.. Bah! :wink:

Anyway, that link from one post above is:

404 Page Not Found

… Maybe it’s for the best! :f

EDIT: Sorry, didn’t mean to spam, forgot what I had wanted to say. Probably what’s been noted in this topic: that we, perhaps, need more collaboration on improving existing projects and a lil’ less looking out only for oneself, meh.