Murmeli is a forthcoming messaging system currently under development. This section of the site aims to introduce this new tool and to outline what makes it different.

What is it?

Murmeli is a way for you to send messages to your friends in a secure way, from your computer directly to their computer. It is a way for people to communicate with each other in ways similar to email, blogging, microblogging, tweeting, photo-sharing and social networking.

The way Murmeli wins is that it has no central server, so as well as all the messages being safely encrypted, there is also no metadata on any server about who contacted whom or when. And there's no corporation reading your messages over your shoulder to scan and profile everything about you. It also wins over some other peer-to-peer networks in that your IP address isn't published at all, not even to your trusted friends.

Why 'Murmeli'?

The working title for this was for a while "Murmur", conveying the idea that I can "murmur" something to you so that only you can understand it, and nobody else can. But it turns out there are already not one but two communication tools under that name, so the current working title is "Murmeli". This is the Swiss German name, and the Finnish name, for an alpine marmot, known in German as a "Murmeltier".

Where can I find it?

The source code is at Github but as explained it is still under development and hasn't reached the mythical "1.0" status yet. It would probably be good to submit it to the pypi repositories too, to make it easier to install.

What does it look like?

Murmeli is usually a desktop application running on a normal desktop or laptop PC. But there is also the concept of a "robot relay". This relay shares the same Murmeli core but it only blindly forwards the messages it receives and so doesn't need any kind of frontend. Therefore it can be screenless and run on something small and low-power like a raspberry pi kept out of sight.

Normal GUIRelayRelay with LEDs
screenshot of normal guiconsole uiscrollbot from pimoroni
What the user seesFor relays without screenFor robot relays with LEDs

This funny-looking orange robot head with the LEDs is a so-called "Scrollbot" from Pimoroni, based on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. All it needs is power via USB and it will be able to receive your messages for you when you're not online, and blindly relay them to you when you return. The LEDs will be able to show its current status somehow, maybe confirming that it's online or show when it's sending and receiving messages.

For more information follow the links in the menu, starting with the basics and moving on to the current development status including prototype screenshots.

Für einen Überblick auf deutsch, siehe die separate Beschreibung.

Can I help with the translations?

Yes, of course! Currently only English and German are supported, but the texts are available for editing using the all-new Translatinator. Everyone is welcome to help with the translations, no login or password required.

Can I contact the ActivityWorkshop using Murmeli?

The answer to this should be "yes", using a parrot whose address should be published here. But the plain fact is that I don't keep a parrot running all the time, so I haven't published its address to avoid disappointment.

The best solution right now, if you're interested in getting in touch using Murmeli and don't want to email about it, just use the Translatinator (via tor if you wish) and request a new language called something like "ParrotPlease".

Murmeli // Introduction // Development // Beschreibung // Threats // Questions & answers // Message types // Message sequences // Robot setup