Is there a software where people can chat individually and in a group, but without a center server, and all communication transferred via users' email?

For example, when a user talks with another user, what actually happens is that an email was sent. When a user joins a chatroom, the mechanism is that everyone else in this chatroom receives an email notifying that a new user is in.

I guess someone should have built such a software, since it requires no special servers, but makes use of the existing ones for email.

(Maybe plugins for digsby & pidgin?)

I wish it open-source and HTML & JS based (c.f. Electron), so that it is easier to be ported into various platforms.

  • 1
    Not sure how well it fits your bill, but did you take a look at Der E-Mail-Messenger - Delta Chat? You didn't specify what OS it must run on (DeltaChat supports Android, iOS/macOS, Linux & Windows, so you should be covered concerning that) or how much it may cost (DC is free/libre & open source).
    – Izzy
    Apr 26 at 17:13
  • @Izzy That's exactly what I am looking for, thank you!! Will you turn it into an answer? Apr 27 at 4:15
  • 1
    Glad to read! And done: answer below with a few additional details. Enjoy! \o/
    – Izzy
    Apr 27 at 7:16

Delta Chat seems to be what you are after. It uses plain IMAP as back-end (so all that's needed is an EMail account you already have, and Delta will have its own mail folder in there).

  • but without a center server: no central server, it works via each user's mailbox
  • all communication transferred via users' email: exactly ;)
  • what actually happens is that an email was sent: that's what's happening in the background – though at the front-end it looks like a chat client
  • open-source: sources can be found at Github

Delta Chat is available cross-platform, with clients for Android, iOS/macOS, Linux & Windows.

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