Are there any plans to add notifications from signal chats?
I have a number of smaller communities who currently work with signal chats for internal collaboration (which doesn’t scale at all, thats obvious …). I want to migrate them to discourse, son some kind of conenction between both platform whould be very helpfu - at least until the migration is done …
Looking at Discourse Chat Integration it doesn’t look like signal is supported. Now that Discourse has chat built in, my guess is that it’s not likely to be added, but I don’t make decisions like that.
Signal chats are pretty popular in Germany among communities that do not want to use Facebook groups, Whatsapp or commercial tools like Slack or Threema (Threema – The Secure Messenger For Individuals and Companies). One reason (at least for the META Tools and Slack) are privacy concerns.
These communities often use Signal chats for group communication instead. But they also understand that such unstructured “short time” communication is not the right solution for “serious” group collaboration when you have a group of more than 20 people …
If notifications from signal could be duplicated into a discourse thread somehow, this would support either a soft migration from signal to discourse or some kind of parallel operation. All in all, it would make the migration to Discourse easier and create more user acceptance.
@Thomas_Rother Have reached out to the non-profit group that manages Signal about integration? I’m interested in the concept for the same reasons, and don’t want to duplicate effort if you’ve already contacted them. Having said that, I still need deeper research into the Discourse Encryption plugin, as well as the current state of the Discourse phone app, which always seemed like a complicated way of launching a link shortcut.
Concerning a technical solution, I even don’t know if there are any APIs which could be used to “mirror” a signal grouo chat into a discourse topic, for example. Signal is primarily build for private communication, the group chat is not the main use case, although it is often “mis-used” for group comms here in Germany …
Given Signal is in great part a client side app, there is definitely an API, and you will almost certainly be able to reverse engineer it from the source code.
But as they say, use outside of Signal is “unsupported”, so whilst you might get help from their community, there would be no guarantee of stability of this interface or the libraries you might need to rely upon in the RoR universe.
There will undoubtedly be other attempts in various ecosystems sitting on several GitHub repos that may no longer be maintained and no longer work but provide some insights.
You would have to be able to link each Discourse user account with each corresponding Signal accounts in a similar fashion as the current scheme and maintain local private keys for each User, decrypt the messages and then process them.
It’s definitely feasible, but an unpredictably large amount of ongoing work, not least because you are without a document for the API that was never meant to be consumed by Ruby on Rails (but you never know).
I suspect you are going to need to want this very badly to get it done. , unless you can inspire someone to pick this up as a passion project.
I discussed this a bit earlier from a non-technical perspective with discourse staff people. In Germany, many non-profit communities use chat systems as their only place for group communication. It is not easy to convince them that discourse is a much better solution for “high-quality” digital interaction.
With a bit more insights into the technical details I now would agree that it is really a very hard (>> costly) task to create a link between a signal group chat as the source and a discourse platform as the target for some kind of “automatic group communication mirror”. The better way is to directly convince people that a switch to discourse is the best alternative to signal/whatsapp etc etc. But for this we would need a bit more improvements on the “discourse mobile/android” front, as already discussed at
Thank you both for chiming in on this question. The more I think about it, the more I think improving, or perhaps re-inventing Discourse Mobile into a more secure, robust app may be the better use of time, talent, and treasure than to attempt integration of Signal.