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Cagou: XMPP based social network on its way to reach your desktop and Android

Hi to you,

It's time for a blog post on Cagou development.
Cagou is the new desktop/Android frontend for "Salut à Toi" (SàT), the full-featured social network based on standards (XMPP) and with a strong emphasis on ethics.

This frontend is using the very nice Kivy framework, and is already usable on desktop.

Let's see a video on the current state:

As you can see, the interface can be divided easily. This idea is inspired by the excellent Blender interface, and make it easy to adapt to a small or big screen by choosing the number of widgets accordingly.
Instead of being a discreet software that you'll use only when you want to answer to somebody, Cagou is an application which should be used full-screen, with a layout suiting the current needs.

Other important point: the contact list is not the central element (as it is usually in instant messaging software). You can access it by selecting the widget, or put it on the side to simulate traditional layout, but it is not visible by default and you can spend a whole session without using it.

widget selection

About notifications, it will be slighly different on desktop and on platforms with their own notification system (like Android). In the later case, the native way will be used.
On desktop, a specific header is used. 2 cagou icons (thanks to Muchoslava for its contributions) can appear: one on the left for notes (i.e. short messages which will automatically disappear), and one of the right for more important notifications, needing attention from the user.
A click on the left icon will show the last 10 notes, and one the right one show the next important notification.

This was made to avoid popups: they are displayed only after an interaction of user, and will not appear all of a sudden while you are writting a message.

notification example

Thanks to the architecture of SàT, menus are already available with a couple of useful actions.

There are several ways to start a chat: you can click on an item in the contact list, or enter a jid (XMPP identifier) in a chat widget.
Discussions are not closed when you switch widget, and they can be later accessed by swiping the current one (see video below).

There have been a lot of work done and the interface starts to be really usable. Concerning the desktop the greatest part is already finished, the most important remaining thing is to adapt interface to features (e.g. displaying of delivery reciept) and to make new widgets.

The other big thing to cope with would be displaying of HTML content and of course the Android port. An Ubuntu touch port is an eventuality.

And for those who wonder: Cagou will as well benefit from end-to-end encryption (for now OTR, but OpenPGP is planned for next release, OMEMO is considerated), and other SàT features

The project is still in active progress, but it is really demanding. If you can contribue in any way – code, distributions packages, tests, graphics, translations, etc. – please contact us by any mean shown on our website.

Last but not least, we reminds all of the Aziruka contributors of the crowdfunding campaign, that they can claim their counterpart if not done yet (or request it later).

See you soon :-)

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