Could OTR be made more fault-tolerant?

Jacek Wielemborek d33tah at
Sun Jun 21 10:24:48 EDT 2015


(I'm sorry if this was already brought up - I had no idea which keywords
to pick when searching for such thread. Also, I cross-posted this
message to otr-dev at

One of my friends constantly complains about OTR giving him no feedback
when he sends messages to me while I'm offline over XMPP (Pidgin). Then,
when I turn on the computer, I have no OTR session currently active and
all I'm getting is an error message that I got a message that I cannot
decrypt. This makes me ask him "what have you sent two days ago when I
was offline" at best and at worst, messages get lost. I'm getting the
impression that there should be support either from the library or the
UI to make this easier.

Another problem that we are constantly getting is that when we try to
communicate after a few hours of inactivity, it often happens that one
of us switched between the machines (e.g. by suspending the laptop and
turning on the PC that also uses the same XMPP address) and the session
key is no longer valid. To avoid this, I usually manually refresh the
OTR session whenever significant amount of time passed, but I'm getting
the impression that I'm walking around a problem inherent to OTR.

Perhaps there should be some "pinging" mechanism in place or when a
undecipherable message gets received, an error message should be sent?
The client could then discard such an error if he keeps a trusted
session on another channel, basically doing what I'm doing when the
problem happens. What do you guys think about this?


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