We are thrilled to announce the first release of Dino: Version 0.1. This marks an important milestone of the development process that started three years ago and already combined work of 30 contributors, including 4 summer of code students and multiple development sprints.
Dino is a secure and open-source application for decentralized messaging. It uses the XMPP (“Jabber”) protocol and is interoperable with other XMPP clients and servers. We aim to provide an intuitive, clean and modern user interface.
Motivation: Why Dino?
Chat applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are easy to use and thus were adopted by billions of people. However, they are closed-source and the companies behind them are frequently criticized for misuse of private data. Multiple messaging apps grew around the idea of providing a privacy-friendly alternative, for example Signal and Wire. While they provide encryption and release source-code, their users still have to rely on a centralized service and trust a single company.
XMPP is an open protocol for federated communication. There are lots of public servers that communicate with each other and anyone can host their own server. This makes it a great basis to write a privacy-friendly and decentralized messenger on. A number of clients already exist for the XMPP protocol, however Dino sets a different focus. Existing clients target tech-savvy power users. The XMPP ecosystem lacks a client that is enjoyable to use while providing the features people expect from a modern chat application. Dino fills that gap by aiming to be secure and privacy-friendly while at the same time providing a great user experience.
At first glance, Dino’s user interface is similar to what you might be used to from other popular messengers. On the left side your opened conversations are listed, ordered such that the latest messages are always on top. You can open new conversations or join channels with the ‘+’ menu.
Messaging and more
You can send messages to individuals as well as to private group chats and public channels. Dino can be used together with other clients simultaneously, allowing you continue the same conversation on your mobile phone as well as on your desktop. Messages you sent and received while Dino was offline are synchronized on start up.
Dino supports sharing images and other files. It can transfer files via your server or directly to your contact, peer-to-peer and without size limitations.
An advanced message search allows you to search and filter your message history - globally or within one conversation. After looking through the results, you can jump to a message to read more of the context.
You can use multiple accounts in the same interface, allowing you for example to conveniently separate your work and private identities.
Security and Privacy
Security has been a focus for Dino development since the beginning. That’s why we support two end-to-end-encryption methods out of the box: The well-known encryption standard OpenPGP allows you to extend your Web-of-Trust from e-Mail to XMPP. The OMEMO double-ratchet encryption provides you with a modern encryption scheme with individual device trust that is widely used in the XMPP network.
We take your privacy seriously in every detail. For example you can keep Dino from informing the sender when you read a message, so they won’t see a double-tick on their messages. Dino allows you to configure all of its privacy features per contact: You can keep your best friends up-to-date while not sharing anything with strangers.
Fast and well integrated
Dino does not include a full browser stack with its large resource usage and potential of security issues. Instead it is a native desktop application meaning it is small and has a light footprint. Dino integrates nicely with the rest of your desktop applications and services.
Once you created an XMPP account, you can contact people across the globally connected XMPP network. XMPP addresses are of the form
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign in with an existing account or create a new one!