Hey all, I’ve seen some recent posts online around “Github Graveyard”. The premise of “Github Graveyard” is to reflect on old projects that end up abandoned. I know I have a few of these projects and wanted to start a new series for my projects. I’d also like to extend “Github Graveyard” to be “Git Graveyard” or “Project Graveyard”. I know GitHub is a big deal but we should not be narrowing the scope of these stories.
Alpaca - Fully Encrypted Chat Messaging System - 2014
Alpaca was intended to be a fully ecrypted(end-to-end) messaging application with a focus on security and ease of use. My original thought was to start as a web service to make everything work, then port over the neccessary pieces to mobile.
One of the key pieces I wanted, was to be completely unable to decrypt the communications and stay as an independent entity. As of late, it appears that no matter what social networks and media do, they always seemed to get sucked into some sort of mess.
I came up with the idea for Alpaca as a way to better utilize chat apps and provide a more secure method for communication. At school, I was using a lot of Skype(gross) and Google Hangouts(Not much better). There wasn’t a huge demand for secured communication but I was trying to be proactive to better protect everyone. It wasn’t super easy to invite someone into a group chat and have real discussions about our project or homework.
Reason for Abandoning
I started Alpaca in college and ended up abandoning due to lack of time and apps like Telegram coming to the forefront. Telegram gets quite a bit of flak for it’s use in shadier activites. Maybe it was best that I never finished this project.
I fell short before doing the encryption.
The tech stack was pretty simple back then,
Socket.io - Real time updating for the chat.
Mongodb - Easy storage for history, if desired.
Expressjs - Web Server
Polymer or Angular - Never got around to integrating these into the site. I was experiencing a lot of Angluar 0.x - 1.x back in the day but Polymer offered something interesting with web components.
I feel pretty good about not finishing this project. With all the trouble that Telegram gets into from the shadier parts of the world, it is more trouble that it is worth. But I enjoyed looking back and my motivations and what I was thinking about back then.