close
  • chevron_right

    How to use Jabber from SMS

    Stephen Paul Weber · Monday, 10 January - 08:30 · 1 minute

The Soprani.ca project, and Cheogram in particular, is pretty big on bidirectional gateways.  The most popular Cheogram-hosted instance, so popular that it gets to own Jabber IDs on cheogram.com, is a bidirectional gateway to the telephone network.  How is it bidirectional?  Don’t you need a Jabber ID to use it?  Of course not!

Sending a Message

From any SMS-enabled device, add +12266669977, which is the gateway’s phone number.  Send the following SMS:

/msg someone@server.tld Hello!

The user with Jabber ID someone@server.tld should shortly receive your message.  If they reply, what you see will depend on their relationship to the gateway.  If they have a backend route set (such as JMP, Vonage, or Twilio) then you will get an SMS from their associated phone number.  If not, you will get a message from the gateway’s number like this:

<someone@server.tld says> Oh, fun!

Joining a Chatroom

An SMS user can also join exactly one chatroom at a time.  Send this to the gateway’s number:

/join someroom@conference.server.tld

You should receive a message with the current list of participants, after which you will start seeing messages sent to the room.  After this point, any SMS send to the gateway’s number that is not a valid command (such as /msg) will be sent to your joined room as a message.  You can send /help at any time to get a list of other commands for leaving, setting your nickname, etc.

Making a Voice Call

To call a Jabber ID, first enter it into this form then dial one of the access numbers and follow it up with the extension generated by the form.

The extensions are often very long, so the easiest way to dial them on Android is to create a contact with a phone number of the form:

+access_number,*10816etc

If you have trouble with one access number, try another one.  If the Jabber ID you wish to call is very long some access numbers may time-out waiting for you to dial all the digits.

  • chevron_right

    Newsletter: New website, new forums, new app feature

    Stephen Paul Weber · Tuesday, 30 November - 01:00 · 2 minutes

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the latest edition of your pseudo-monthly JMP update!

In case it’s been a while since you checked out JMP, here’s a refresher: JMP lets you send and receive text and picture messages (and calls) through a real phone number right from your computer, tablet, phone, or anything else that has a Jabber client.  Among other things, JMP has these features: Your phone number on every device; Multiple phone numbers, one app; Free as in Freedom; Share one number with multiple people.

This month we launched a full rewrite of our website.  While this rewrite was mostly precipitated by changes at our primary carrier partner, we managed to get a few improvements in there as well.  First of all, the search box on the homepage now accepts more than just area codes: a city then comma then two-letter state or province code is accepted, as well as zip codes or vanity patterns (like ~woof or ~1234).  This search is also now powered by XMPP commands in the backend, so you can now get a JMP number entirely without ever visiting the website, just talk to cheogram.com and send register jmp.chat to get started.

Next, our community has been testing more features in the pre-release Cheogram app.  This app is available to anyone who wants to test it by coming by the chatroom and asking for access.  When the app is a bit more ready, it will be released on F-Droid, hopefully in Q1 2022.  The big new feature right now is dialer integration.  This allows anyone using the app with cheogram.com added to their contacts to head to their native Android dialer and visit Settings > Calls > Calling accounts in the menu.  From there it should be possible to enable the calling account associated with your Jabber ID and then dial out directly from your native Android dialer app over JMP!  Any questions about this feature or the Cheogram app in general should be directed to the chatroom.

As our community grows it makes sense to reach more people where they are at, and not just hang out where we are most comfortable.  This month the freedomware project we sponsor and rely on, Sopranica, is opening two more venues where you will be able to get news from JMP or discuss the project generally: Lemmy and Reddit.  Here is the new complete list of official ways to communicate with our community:

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of your week!

  • chevron_right

    How to Subscribe to This Blog Using Movim

    Stephen Paul Weber · Friday, 5 November - 00:00

This blog is powered by XMPP. That means it is federated over the Jabber network, it has a Jabber ID, and you can subscribe to it using a supporting Jabber client. One such client with support for subscribing, liking, and commenting is Movim. There are several public Movim instances including one hosted by upstream and one by chatterboxtown. Once you are logged in with a Movim instance, you can follow these steps to discover this blog and subscribe.

  1. Click Explore

    in the left navigation menu
  2. Click

    Communitites Servers
  3. If blog.jmp.chat is not yet known to this instance, you can use the search box to add it

    Search for a new server
  4. After entering blog.jmp.chat in the search box and hitting enter, you may need to click away to any other Movim page and then come back to the Communities Servers area as before.
  5. Click

    blog.jmp.chat
  6. Click

    JMP Blog
  7. Click

    subscribe
  8. New posts from the blog will now show up under News

    in the left navigation menu 

  • chevron_right

    Newsletter: Action required for SIP accounts, new inbound call features, and more!

    Stephen Paul Weber · Wednesday, 20 October - 02:00 · 2 minutes

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the latest edition of your pseudo-monthly https://jmp.chat update!

In case it’s been a while since you checked out JMP, here’s a refresher: JMP lets you send and receive text and picture messages (and calls) through a real phone number right from your computer, tablet, phone, or anything else that has a Jabber client. Among other things, JMP has these features: Your phone number on every device; Multiple phone numbers, one app; Free as in Freedom; Share one number with multiple people.

The biggest announcement this month is the launch of our new inbound voice and SIP account system! Due to changes at our major carrier partner, all inbound call handling had to be rewritten and the SIP accounts some people use are moving to a new server with a new server name. As part of this rewrite you can now use the configure calls command to set call forwarding to any XMPP, SIP, or tel URI without involving support. If you haven’t used the JMP bot before, you do so by sending a message to your cheogram.com contact with the text of the command you want to run. You can send help for a list.

If you have not tried it yet, now would be a great time to try our features allowing calling from your Jabber account. All your regular SMS contacts can be called as well with no changes on your part, from any client that supports voice calls. Inbound calls can be routed to your Jabber ID using the configure calls command.

If you still need a SIP account for some reason (such as to use with a device that does not support Jabber calls) you will need to use the reset sip account command to get a username and password on the new server, as the old server will be going away soon. Be sure to use UDP as the transport!

In other news, our founder Denver Gingerich (ossguy) has returned from his leave and is rejoining us in day-to-day operations. You will see him more often in the chatroom and sometimes answering support.

There has also been a bit of movement on the mobile app front. We have been partially sponsoring development work on the now-released Snikket iOS which is now our recommended client for all iOS users. When paired with a Snikket server this client should receive calls and messages reliably, and also supports DTMF (entering digits for phone menus) during calls.

We’ve also had a volunteer working with us to clean up some of the features in our prototype app for Android. Not many visible changes yet (except for a much better icon to open the DTMF pad) but watch this space for updates.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or find us in the group chat per below. We’re happy to chat whenever we’re available!

To learn what’s happening with JMP between emails like this, here are some ways you can find out:

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of your week!

  • chevron_right

    Newsletter: Blog, New Registration, New Billing, New App!

    Stephen Paul Weber · Thursday, 19 August - 00:30 · 2 minutes

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the latest edition of your pseudo-monthly JMP update!

In case it's been a while since you checked out JMP, here's a refresher: JMP lets you send and receive text and picture messages (and calls) through a real phone number right from your computer, tablet, phone, or anything else that has a Jabber client. Among other things, JMP has these features: Your phone number on every device; Multiple phone numbers, one app; Free as in Freedom; Share one number with multiple people.

In case you haven't seen it yet, we now have an XMPP-powered blog! All newsletter updates, as well as other content like technical deep-dives will be published there. If you just want these updates, don't worry, the mailing list isn't going away. You can check out the blog at https://blog.jmp.chat and follow in your RSS reader or compatible Jabber client such as Movim or Libervia.

JMP also has a new registration flow. This flow properly integrates with our new billing system and represents a lot of behind-the-scenes work to our architecture. The most important part of the new billing system is the referral system. That's right, JMP users can now get single-use invite codes to refer users. The new user gets one free month, and if they decide to upgrade to a paid account the original user will get a free month of credit too! XMPP server operators for closed or vetted groups can also contact support to ask that their server be added to an approved list where all Jabber IDs coming from that server will be given a free month, with the resulting credit if they upgrade going to the server operator.

Speaking of our new billing system, many users have been fully migrated to the new architecture which says goodbye to PayPal and hello to automated credit card and Bitcoin deposits, as well as official support for payment by mail or (in Canada) Interac e-Transfer. Payments can also be made in Bitcoin Cash by contacting support. Users on the new system now have a prepaid balance they can top up any time they like, with the option to automatically top-up a low balance with any amount $15 or more from credit card. Deposits over $30 get a 3% bonus added, and deposits over $140 get a 5% bonus. This paves the way for calling minutes over 120 / month (which will soon be available at the rate of $0.0087 / minute) and also international calling at per-minute rates to be announced later this year. Those who prefer to pay the same amount every month or year, as is done with our legacy PayPal system, will need to wait a bit until we integrate that option into the new system.

We've also had a volunteer working with us to prepare some new features for Android users, most notably DTMF (punching in numbers during a call) so that all phone calls can be done from inside Conversations. The code isn't quite ready for upstream yet, but drop by the chatroom if you want to try out a prototype.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or find us in the group chat per below. We're happy to chat whenever we're available!

To learn what's happening with JMP between emails like this, here are some ways you can find out:

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of your week!

  • person chevron_right

    Newsletter: One app for calls/SMS, automated Bitcoin support, and more!

    Wednesday, 24 March, 2021 - 17:00 · 3 minutes

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the latest edition of your pseudo-monthly JMP update!

In case it’s been a while since you checked out JMP, here’s a refresher: JMP lets you send and receive text and picture messages (and calls) through a real phone number right from your computer, tablet, phone, or anything else that has an XMPP client. JMP’s tagline, “Freedom For Your Phone Number”, captures the freedom that JMP gives you from traditional cell phone carriers, as well as the fully-free nature of all the software that powers JMP (licensed entirely under AGPLv3+).

The past few months have been busy and exciting for us! We’ve been implementing several new features, doing a ton of work on our payment system to make future additions like adding balance and checking expiry much easier, and also adding new payment methods, all with the help of two new employees! More on that below, but first, let’s talk about those new features:

First of all, thanks to our new full-time employee, Christopher, we now have fully bi-directional calling over XMPP! Previously we supported incoming calls over XMPP (per the XMPP/Jingle calling options in Q17 at https://jmp.chat/#bot), but outgoing calls is new! Using XMPP clients that support calling, such as Conversations, Movim, and Gajim, you can initiate a call by adding the contact you want to call just as you’d add a texting contact, then tapping the call icon to initiate the call. This feature is still in alpha, but many users have reported it works well, so we encourage you to give it a try! Note that most XMPP clients do not support punching in numbers mid-call (“DTMF”) - we’re actively exploring the best ways to get that added to popular clients. Now that we have both incoming and outgoing calls available through XMPP, many users will find they only need one app for JMP: the XMPP client they already have!

Secondly, also thanks to Christopher, we have a new command bot, which will eventually replace the JMP account bot. This bot lets us keep the ad-hoc commands that we continue to support for various account settings, while also letting people use the commands in XMPP clients that don’t support ad-hoc commands (such as Conversations). To get started with the new command bot send a message to xmpp:cheogram.com (that’s the Jabber ID “cheogram.com”) - “help” will list the commands, and you can type any unique command name or name prefix to run that command. Let us know what you think!

Another new feature we’ve added in the past few months is automated Bitcoin payments, so you can now add funds to your account using Bitcoin right from our website, without needing to ask support. If you prefer other cryptocurrencies, for now we recommend SimpleSwap, MorphToken, ChangeNOW, or Godex to do the conversion - we plan to add native support for Monero as our next cryptocurrency.

As mentioned earlier we have two new employees: Christopher (aka psycotica0), who has been working on the calling and bot features, and Stephen (aka singpolyma), who is making most of the new core payment system and other infrastructure updates. Christopher started at the beginning of January full-time, and Stephen started last month working part-time for JMP (after volunteering with us for several years). It’s awesome to have new people on board and we’re very excited for how quickly we’ll be able to make JMP even better! With our new employees fully onboarded now, Denver (ossguy) will be on sabbatical starting in the next few weeks, until approximately November this year. So if you are accustomed to asking your JMP questions directly to Denver, now is the time to switch to our usual support channels, per https://jmp.chat/#support - the others on the team will be happy to help! Also, note that our support reply window is now “within 8 business hours” - we may reply on the weekend, but it is not guaranteed.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or find us in the group chat per below. We’re happy to chat whenever we’re available!

To learn what’s happening with JMP between emails like this, here are some ways you can find out:

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of your week!

  • person chevron_right

    Newsletter: Calls to your XMPP client! And 46 more countries with new SGX!

    Wednesday, 2 September, 2020 - 17:09 · 2 minutes

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the latest edition of your pseudo-monthly JMP update!

In case it’s been a while since you checked out JMP, here’s a refresher: JMP lets you send and receive text and picture messages (and calls) through a real phone number right from your computer, tablet, phone, or anything else that has an XMPP client. JMP’s tagline, “Freedom For Your Phone Number”, captures the freedom that JMP gives you from traditional cell phone carriers, as well as the fully-free nature of all the software that powers JMP (licensed entirely under AGPLv3+).

We have a couple big items to announce this month, so we’ll dive right in!

First of all, you can now receive phone calls directly in your XMPP client! We have tested this extensively with Conversations and Movim, and we believe other clients to work well too, including Gajim and Siskin. Any client that supports Jingle calling should work. To switch from using the JMP SIP account (the default) to using Jingle voice (XMPP calling) for incoming calls, use the ‘j’ command of the JMP account bot:

  1. send ‘j’ to account@jmp.chat (if the link doesn’t open, add account@jmp.chat to your XMPP contact list)
  2. if it shows you’re using the JMP SIP account, then send the text ‘j enable’ to turn on Jingle calls
  3. all calls to your JMP number will now ring your XMPP client!

We are working on outgoing Jingle call support as well, but it’s not quite ready yet. Stay tuned here (or in the group chat below) to learn when you can try it out! For more on how Jingle calling works and the other Jingle/SIP bridging features, check out https://sip.cheogram.com/

Secondly, there is now a way to use Cheogram (to do SMS over XMPP) with phone numbers from 46 more countries! This is provided by a new Soprani.ca project called the Vonage SGX, which we sponsor. You can find out more at https://wiki.soprani.ca/VonageSetup

While not part of JMP, we wanted to mention it here since many have asked about support for more countries. With the Vonage SGX you maintain your own account with Vonage, and Vonage answers any phone network questions you have. The Soprani.ca community can help with any questions related to the Vonage SGX itself, in the Soprani.ca group chat mentioned below.

There have been a bunch of new features added to JMP as well since our last email (mostly in the JMP account bot at xmpp:account@jmp.chat), including several related to group texting. If you’d like to try out our group texting support so far, please reply to this email or contact support via https://jmp.chat/#support

Stay tuned for our next update email to learn about even more new features and our plans to officially remove the “beta” flag!

To learn what’s happening with JMP between emails like this, here are some ways you can find out:

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

  • person chevron_right

    Newsletter: Celebrating 3 years of JMP! And some LibrePlanet Canada news!

    Saturday, 15 February, 2020 - 18:00 · 3 minutes

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the latest edition of your pseudo-monthly JMP update!

In case it’s been a while since you checked out JMP, here’s a refresher: JMP lets you send and receive text and picture messages (and calls) through a real phone number right from your computer, tablet, phone, or anything else that has an XMPP client. JMP’s tagline, “Freedom For Your Phone Number”, captures the freedom that JMP gives you from traditional cell phone carriers, as well as the fully-free nature of all the software that powers JMP (licensed entirely under AGPLv3+).

Today is JMP’s 3 year anniversary! That’s right, we launched JMP exactly 3 years ago, and have been chipping away at Big Telecom ever since. 😉 We’ve got a fair bit planned for the next 3 years, and are excited to bring it all to you as it’s ready.

Before we go into those details, we wanted to let you know about a couple of excellent events coming up next month that JMP is involved in. Here they are:

  • LibrePlanet Canada Satellite Edition! This is a new conference in 2020, which will be happening concurrently with the US LibrePlanet conference in Boston, May 14-15. From the website: “For the first time ever, all the great presentations of LibrePlanet are coming to Canada! Bringing in the main talks via live stream, with space for local hallway track and more, LibrePlanet Canada Satellite Edition is your chance to meet with like-minded participants and take in the event from Canada.” It’s happening at the Delta Hotel in Waterloo, Ontario. JMP is an official sponsor of LibrePlanet Canada Satellite Edition - more on that in a bit. Also, you’ll be able to chat with some JMP people in person, including core contributor Stephen Paul Weber!
  • LibrePlanet in Boston! The original LibrePlanet continues for its 12th year, this time at the Back Bay Events Center. Check out some wonderful speakers and booths at this excellent conference devoted to software freedom. JMP is very likely to be included in LibrePlanet’s raffle and/or door prizes so be sure to keep an eye out for those!

As for development work, we’ve got a number of projects on the go. Behind the scenes we’ve been updating our code to use a completely new API from our carrier, which will be mostly invisible to users, but does have some cool new features we hope to be alpha testing with some of you soon. In particular, we’re excited to be rolling out group texting (both sending and receiving) in the coming months! If you’d like to alpha test, please just reply to this email and let us know - we’ll set you up in the next month or so.

And along the lines of new features, we’ve also been improving our payment system at the same time. As part of our sponsorship agreement with them, we’re currently running payments for LibrePlanet Canada Satellite Edition through our new payment provider, which will let us do credit card subscriptions directly without needing PayPal (still some development work to do there, but let us know if you’d like to alpha test the new provider for your next payment). And we’re also automating the currently-manual process we have for accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Stay tuned!

If you’d like to know what’s happening with JMP between emails like this, here are some ways you can find out:

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! We’re looking forward to many more years of JMP and hope that you are too!