So. One and a half years have passed since the last woes entry. What has changed? Why did I not continue writing them? What is my thinking now?
Basically, I have given up.
Or rather: it turns out that anyone of my acquaintances that I can still reach via xmpp, I can reach via IRC just as easily. All the others have retreated to the silos (there is actually an interesting article behind that link, not just a definition). Now of course, some silos are less bad than others. But they're still silos. In the case of Signal, federation is apparently possible but the Open Whispersystems team currently doesn't allow it. I'm sure, they have a blog post somewhere where they explain that it's better for their users not to have it enabled. And to tell the truth, if we look at the history of Whisperpush (i.e. the effor to integrate the Textsecure (i.e. Signal) protocol directly into Cyanogenmod), which was in essence a second Signal server, it looks as they've been proven right since that was a bit of a clusterfuck, which, in the end, left its users stranded AFAIK.
So, where do we go from here? Nowhere, I think. For those friends who I can easily talk to via IRC, I do that. Others, I talk to via Signal or Threema because it's really not my thing to evangelize at them at length about how they're not being ideologically pure. So far, I've managed to avoid being a member of any team or group that uses Slack. I'm told it's more or less "IRC with like buttons and pictures". Hooray, I guess. Also luckily, I don't seem to know anyone who wants to talk to me via Facebook Messenger. Which I would flat out refuse.
This future sucks. I want a different one, please.
Addendum: What I kind of wanted to say but actually forgot to write down is: I can't really fault people for preferring one of the silo-driven apps mentioned above given the state of client software and protocol. I mean maybe we're slowly getting there with conversations, but IMO it's too little, too late.