One core. Many platforms.

Escargot is a custom chat server that implements as many chat platforms, or frontends, as possible and connects them to one running backend, allowing you to use your account and settings on many of these frontends and talk to people on other frontends almost seamlessly. All it takes is one account.

"Exactly what in the world is this thing?"

Originally starting life as a replacement MSN Messenger server, Escargot is now an open-source chat server aiming to support as many chat protocols and systems as possible and implement them as frontends. As frontends, these chat protocols and systems will then be able to globally integrate accounts in our system and allow messages to be sent and received from other frontends. A list of supported and planned frontends are available here.

While a work-in-progress and experimental, Escargot is perfectly usable in most cases and is even preferred to from mainstream messaging services by some of our users. Creating an account is easy and only takes a couple minutes, and then you have access to our federated chat-o-sphere! The server, this site, and the components used to patch clients to connect to our services are also available under their own GitLab repositories. Like we said before, Escargot is open source. ;)

"But why?"

Why not? Escargot's global account integration allow you to use your favourite clients on our frontends with just one account, and since the core ties the frontends together and standardizes the way they can talk to each other, you can finally talk to your friends on a messaging platform different from your preferred ones without having to accommodate. Not only that, but your account's settings will integrate seamlessly, so remotely stored personal settings like display pictures, persistent status messages, and contact list settings will be retained on most frontends.

"But how?"

Escargot is written in Python, and by design, it's an extensible chat framework that utilizes any frontends that you add to it. In the case of emulating existing chat protocols, we can't restore everything back to the way their original implementations were. And regardless, there can be bugs in usability or messaging on any of the frontends. We might also not support a frontend you really want, be it a protocol/the client(s) supporting said protocol or a feature you're really looking forward to, but eventually we might support it.

You can either keep an eye out on the site for when a new frontend goes live or go to the server's repository on GitLab and read our contribution guide to get started on supporting protocols and frontends not currently available. We have a wiki where we put any information about Escargot and its frontends on, and we also have a detailed wishlist with things we're actively searching for to complement or improve Escargot with.

We've had several people on our GitLab team and elsewhere help us with the project when things got rough, regardless of whether they touched the code or not. Without them, Escargot wouldn't be as powerful as it is today.