Request for help: creating an integrated chat system

Hi peeps,

I’m working on a Catalyst programme with @Kayleigh and @gemmacopeland and two of the charities in our cohort have pretty much exactly the same need for a platofrm that will enable them to post text messages to groups of people and individuals on different social networks - the key ones are SMS, WhatsApp and Messenger.

We have come across a number of systems that purport to do this, most of which do loads of other stuff as well which makes them very expensive, or they aren’t ready e.g. https://www.beeper.com/. Beeper is basically the answer from what we can tell but their comms to date don’t give us much confidence so we wondering it might be possible to fork their repo and create something custom that is specifically tailored to their needs.

There is the possibility of getting funding for this if we can demonstrate a reusable use case and it is realistic within the limitations of the funding pot.

This is all built on the Matrix protocol, and I get the impression some people on here have skills / experience in this area.

If so, would you be up for a call in the next week?

Thanks!

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Hi Aaron,

This project could fit your needs — probably the go-to for Matrix bridging:

You can see the bridges they have available, which are mostly the same as with Beeper. (SMS on Beeper might be better for the time being.)

Beeper’s ‘bridges’ are open-source (e.g. the function that connects matrix to SMS, or matrix to whatsapp, or matrix to messenger), but the rest of their application/client is proprietary

Are you looking for technical assistance?

-Sam

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Hey @sambutler

thanks for your reply and link to that repo, that looks great. I have found some recent comms from Beeper which is more promising, and it looks like they are growing their team to cope with the demand.

We may still decide to put in a funding application and at that point some technical input would be really valuable.

With the repo above, what would you use for the UI? Something like Element? Could you use the Beeper bridges plus another system for the UI? What else would you need to get a system up and running?

No need to answer those questions, that is just a braindump! But a funding application will need some detail on the technical approach and its feasibility within a fixed budget.

Cheers,

Aaron

Hi Aaron, completely understand!

With the repo above, what would you use for the UI? Something like Element? Could you use the Beeper bridges plus another system for the UI? What else would you need to get a system up and running?

Essentially, you:

  1. Create a new Matrix server and federate it
  2. Then, Element is a default UI that you can use for your server out of the box

All of Beeper’s bridges are open-source, so you can simply integrate them into the codebase (e.g. add the API token/key for bridged services in a setup file)

I’ve done this for myself, spinning up a Matrix server that bridged my WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, and Twitter.

I’m also part of an online community that built a robust Matrix <> Discord bridged system — so you can use Matrix and Discord as interchangeable clients/UIs, and the messages reach everyone regardless of which platform their on.

So just to illustrate, the details of implementation are fairly fleshed out and well-charted ground

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@aaron has there been any follow-up on this?

Creating an open-source comms tool like Beeper, as a consumer-owned coop, remains an interest of mine

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@sambutler apologies for the radio silence, been on hols…

they decided to wait for Beeper to launch and trial it when it’s ready. We are also doing some more support with them over the summer so I expect we may be working with them when this happens so will let you know how it goes.

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Hey Aaron,

As I said, I’ve been thinking about making a user-owned version of Beeper as a coop.

That would probably start with a Kickstarter, where people’s pledges act both as Letters of Intent and as member dues, and proceeds are used to build the thing.

Just wanted to let you know, in case this organization could be interested in that later on.

-Sam

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A cooperative Beeper would be rad. Autonomic could be interested in collaborating, possibly host on our infra/work into Co-op Cloud :slight_smile:

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