Kosmos Chat (ex Codename 67P) is a team communication application based exclusively on open protocols, standards, APIs, and data formats. All of its components are free software, published under open-source licenses. User-facing programs are built upon the Web Platform, communicating with server components via HTTP and WebSockets.
Kosmos Chat consists of several components, all of which can be configured separately, and thus be either hosted by a provider or self-hosted by the user/organization. These are:
- Sockethub server for facilitating client/server communication between the Web client and the multiple protocols/backends/APIs it needs to talk to (e.g. IRC, SMTP, OStatus, Twitter, GitHub, SMS gateways, TURN etc.)
- RemoteStorage server for storing all user data in a user-defined/controlled storage backend
- IRC or XMPP server for private communication servers (not needed for personal usage on public servers)
- Web client, written in Ember.js, using sockethub-client.js and remoteStorage.js
- Daemon for logging channels, handling incoming notifications (e.g. Webhooks), sending push notifications (e.g. for offline mentions). Functionality is currently being prototyped with Hubot scripts (running on botka and hal8000).
- Provide users/organizations/businesses with a modern, full-featured team communication solution, which is easy to set up and use
- Eventually provide a fully hosted, one-click-setup solution for private team communication (keeping the possibility to exchange any component at will, e.g. storing all data on user-controlled remoteStorage servers
- Use common, open, documented data formats for storing all data, thus making it possible to use/manage/input stored data from other apps (no matter if new or existing). This is where the remoteStorage protocol really shines compared to all other personal data storage protocols made for the Web.
- Make it possible for users to be part of and use both public and private channels/spaces/servers at the same time and in the same window (no more Campfire/HipChat/Slack for work and clients, and IRC only for open-source and hobby, all in different apps)
- Always keep the whole application in a state that can be deployed by anyone (with the necessary skills) who wishes to self-host the whole system. That explicitly includes documentation for doing so.
- Enable *anyone* to join the conversation on public servers by offering a great Web client, making it easy to connect, register nicks, auto-log and replay messages while away — all the nitty-gritty details that even software developers struggle with these days
- Be backwards-compatible to plain text chat/clients
- Have an excellent mobile client (or multiple)
- Make use of the latest Web Platform standards, not caring about backwards-compatibility in Web runtimes (much). Kosmos is a modern Web application, and people not running modern Web runtimes can use plain IRC/XMPP clients.
We also summarized our goals for a grant application with the Prototype Fund in German language on 31/03/2017: see Prototype Fund