Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

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smaragdus
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Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#1 Post by smaragdus » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:07 am

[Moderator note: this is the primary Isotoxin program thread. View database entry]

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About Tox protocol:
Tox is a free and open-source, peer-to-peer, encrypted instant messaging and video calling protocol. The stated goal of the project is to provide secure yet easily accessible communication for everyone.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tox_%28protocol%29

Tox web-site - https://tox.chat/

There are several Tox clients- here is the list of all available Tox clients - https://wiki.tox.chat/clients

I have tested two of them- qTox and Toxy. For a while I was using qTox but some months ago portability was broken (which seems to be fixed now but I haven't tested it and cannot confirm) and I sought for alternatives. So I discovered Isotoxin:

http://isotoxin.im/ - Isotoxin web-site
http://isotoxin.i2p.xyz/ - Isotoxin web-site
https://github.com/Rotkaermota/Isotoxin - Isotoxin project page at GitHub

What is Isotoxin:
Isotoxin is multiprotocol secure messenger for MS Windows. Base protocol is Tox.
- Multiple profile
- Multilangual
- Metacontacts
- Audio calls
- File transfer
- Autoupdates
- Unique skinnable UI
- Absolutely free
Isotoxin can be downloaded from here:
http://isotoxin.im/files/
http://isotoxin.i2p.xyz/files/
https://github.com/Rotkaermota/Isotoxin/releases

Screen-shots:
Isotoxin - 001 - 2015-09-27.png
Isotoxin - 003 - 2015-09-27.png
Isotoxin - 004 - 2015-09-27.png
More screen-shots:
http://isotoxin.im/screens/
http://isotoxin.i2p.xyz/screens/

In contrast with qTox Isotoxin doesn't yet support video calling but the developer said that this feature is planned (together with support for other protocols like ICQ).

Isotoxin seems to be fully portable in case the user selects 'Manual setup' on first run. Isotoxin can also import Tox profiles created by other Tox clients (I have tested importing profile from qTox and it worked fine).

How to import Tox profiles:
You have to open Settings dialog (cogwheel button near minimize button)
Networks -> Choose network (select isotoxin tox wrapper) -> Add network connection.
Now you seed new connection dialog: Import configuration profile -> select qTox profile (tox_save)

So, new connection will be created with ToxID from imported profile. Old tox connection (that was created on first Isotoxin start) can be deleted, or you can use it simultaneously with new one (Isotoxin allows you to create and use any number of tox connections simultaneously)
Isotoxin is a promising, open-source, portable Tox client with a nice GUI which seems to be very stable (I haven't experienced a single crash yet) and when video messaging is implemented it will become a viable alternative to Skype for those who care for privacy.

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#2 Post by I am Baas » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:23 am

Nice find.

A couple of things though to make it portable:

- Need to select manual set-up on first run
- Uncheck "Start with System"
- Select application folder for place of settings
- Disable check for updates
Bəəs 2.0

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#3 Post by smaragdus » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:32 am

@I am Baas
Thanks for your addition about how to make Isotoxin portable.

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Re: Tox Android Client

#4 Post by Midas » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:09 am

Incidentally, there is work on an Android Tox client called Antox (http://github.com/Astonex/Antox), but there are no downloads availalble, ATM...

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#5 Post by smaragdus » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:34 am

@Midas
Incidentally, there is work on an Android Tox client called Antox (http://github.com/Astonex/Antox), but there are no downloads availalble, ATM...
You can install the latest version of Antox by joining the Google Play Beta.
https://play.google.com/apps/testing/chat.tox.antox - Google account is required

Antox Wiki Page:
https://wiki.tox.chat/clients/antox

All Tox clients:
https://wiki.tox.chat/clients

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#6 Post by Midas » Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:34 am

I see. Thanks, but I'll pass for now. :)

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#7 Post by smaragdus » Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:43 pm

Isotoxin version 0.2.368 has been released, changes:
- Deep refactoring of some internal systems:
- Blinking notifications
- Recalculate gui element positions of group controls
- Message text rendering (decrease memory and GDI usage)
- Picture render system (decrease GDI usage)
- Export history to txt or html file
- Save/restore selected status (away/busy) across restarts
- Contact blinking notification on file transfer
- Change protocols order
- Load whole history (optional)
- Elevate rights when config+profile lacated in protected folder
- Read-only mode (if profile write protected)
- Colored notification area icon (depend on status)
- Support unauthorized chat (if protocol support it)
- Tox reconnect bug
- Many other bugs fixed
Planned features:
In progress:
- Full message search

Not yet starter, but planed:
- first run portable option
- Do not create default tox/lan connections on first run, but let user to activate them manually with importing profile

Other todo:
- push-to-talk
- paste image to conversation
- contacts hashtags
- spellchecker
- video calls and desktop sharing
- new message notification panel
- incoming call accept panel (like skype)
- ui colors customization
- installer
In my opinion Isotoxin is the fastest evolving Tox client. I am willing to use it on a daily basis (I have dumped Skype for good, or at least I hope so) but for now I have managed to convince only a single person to use it. Isotoxin has a major feature which is not available in Telegram- 'Export chat history'- the chat log can be exported to HTML or to TXT file.

Isotoxin version history and download page:
https://github.com/Rotkaermota/Isotoxin/releases

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#8 Post by webfork » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:45 pm

Miranda NG is doing some work on the Tox protocol:
http://forum.miranda-ng.org/index.php?P ... ic=2502.03
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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#9 Post by smaragdus » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:19 pm

webfork wrote:Miranda NG is doing some work on the Tox protocol:
http://forum.miranda-ng.org/index.php?P ... ic=2502.03
This is interesting, so it seems that Miranda NG would be the first multi-protocol messenger to add support for Tox. By the way the Isotoxin developer has planned to add support for other protocols too.

So far I have had a single issue with Isotoxin- one or two times a message was received 2 times. I submitted the problem to the developer and he answered that this had been a known bug and that it would be fixed soon. The only problem is that I still can't persuade many people to give Tox/Isotoxin a try. Besides the privacy part Tox has another big advantage- the serverless messaging.

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#10 Post by smaragdus » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:57 pm

Isotoxin version 0.2.371 released, changes:
- Search in history
- Shif+Enter combination added to send message or new line, Double Enter is now addition option
- Select last unread contact when expand
- Don't crash on tox initialization error
I also spotted a undocumented change- new 'Exit' button in cog-wheel (settings) button.

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#11 Post by webfork » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:38 pm

smaragdus wrote:... only problem is that I still can't persuade many people to give Tox/Isotoxin a try
This has been my issue with most security software.  It goes something like this:
  1.  
  2. People want problems solved
     
  3. More features (usually) solves more problems
     
  4. The more features you have, the more complex/difficult the security
Unless you start with an understanding that security is the most important feature, it's hard to sell people on tools like this.  Maybe the serverless element is the real selling point: web services come and go but lack of centralization means (hopefully) it can't go offline.
Last edited by webfork on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: [added "difficult"]
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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#12 Post by smaragdus » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:12 pm

Maybe the serverless element is the real selling point: web services come and go but lack of centralization means (hopefully) it can't go offline.
The serverless part is of great importance to me. It is not only that a service may disappear for good (I wonder whether there are still people who remember the Odigo messenger service, which was perhaps the best one years ago, but a corporation bought it and simply wiped it out), a service can be temporarily unavailable too. For example yesterday I was trying to download KiTTY from Google Drive but the server was down at least for an hour. The same happens with Facebook, even with Jabber servers. In such cases people can't do anything but wait the service to start running again. This may happen not very often but it happens and for me it is very awkward. In the past I have used IP-to-IP messaging programs and for text messaging they are fine (with the exception that not everyone has a constant IP address), but Tox protocol offers much more- file transfer, voice chat, video chat, conferences and since it requires no server if there is internet access it will always work. The security- people simply don't care about it and I don't think this will change in the foreseeable future. I used Skype not because I liked it (in fact the old versions before M$ bought it were decent) but just because my friends refused to use anything else for communication (lately they started to dump it in favour of Facebook, which for me is as unacceptable as Skype). Now I refuse to use Skype- the last time I re-installed Windows I simply decided that I am done with Skype.

I suppose that other people might like other Tox clients better than Isotoxin since some of them (qTox) are multi-platform, but for me Isotoxin is improving at a fast pace even though it is maintained by a single developer, at least he knows what he is doing and is open to suggestions. A day or two ago another of my friends joined me at Tox and the only feature he lacked in Isotoxin was an option to change the font size in the chat window but I hope that the developer will add such an option soon- for me the font size is OK but for my friend it was too small.

I still use Jabber and Telegram too, but both depend on servers and Telegram is connected to phone numbers, which I do not like at all. Several days ago I wanted to test a new Telegram client- Cutegram, but I simply couldn't because I didn't get the needed code from Telegram and this is very awkward.

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#13 Post by Midas » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:53 am

Excellent write-up, Smaragdus. Altough I'm not a *tox user (yet?), you have summed nicely my main gripes with most popular IM clients... 8)

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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#14 Post by webfork » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:52 am

smaragdus wrote:The serverless part is of great importance to me.
There is something under development by the BitTorrent Inc. to create a serverless messaging system that's (supposedly) secure. It's evidently still in it's early stages and it's unclear if they're going to release a protocol (like they did with BitTorrent) rather than just a client.

http://blog.bittorrent.com/2014/07/30/b ... pre-alpha/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2685597/ ... alpha.html

... I've seen other moves but obviously something open and not connected to a given company would best achieve survive-ability through independence.
smaragdus wrote:I wonder whether there are still people who remember the Odigo messenger service
Odigio was great, I agree. I was surprised when more IM services didn't follow their lead.
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Re: Isotoxin - a portable Tox client for Windows

#15 Post by smaragdus » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:44 am

@Midas
More about server-based messenger services:
- It is well-known what happened to MSN Messenger.
- Some time ago I was testing Brosix and Jitsi and after I failed to connect to Yahoo Messenger I got e-mails from Yahoo telling me that Yahoo blocked unknown applications to connect to their messaging service.
- Google and Facebook also try to block third-party programs from accessing their services- it seems they want only browser-based messaging because that way they can push more and more ads to users.
- WebRTC (browser-to-browser messaging) seems to be insecure by default.
- Subrosa (https://subrosa.io/) seems to be cute and feature-rich, but often the service is down (at least for me).
- Tweets like these (https://twitter.com/telegram/status/650273378092339200 & https://twitter.com/telegram/status/650277399314198528) perfectly illustrate the general problem with server-based messengers.

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