Open Collective
Open Collective
Cabal's Year in Review: 2021
Published on January 10, 2022 by Alexander Cobleigh

Hello friends! 

2021 passed in the blink of an eye, as they say, so here's a quick year-in-review from the perspective of Cabal.


  • Implemented channel archiving—which makes use of our subjective moderation system for enabling transitive archiving. Archiving makes it possible for folx to hide unused or unwanted channels for themselves and the people that trust them.
  • cabal-client and cabal-core now have up to date changelogs (and instructions on how to keep them so!) thanks to a couple of fantastic contributions by ralphtheninja
  • A web prototype using cabal-core was created, informing the web-support that later landed in cabal-client. This means Cabal is now ready to be used from regular browsers.
  • A next generation Cabal frontend for desktop/web/mobile was started by nick in collaboration with khubo 
  • The cable specification was written by substack—based on ideas initially prompted by kira—describing a from-the-ground up experimental protocol we are exploring. The cable spec is based on conversations we have had in the project and experiences (and a few travails) implementing the current stack
  • Cable implementations were started in Rust, Golang, and nodejs
  • Funding: 
    • We had a mind-boggling donation of $10,000 USD from the generous Teemu on behalf of his company, Equilibrium
    • The wider community also managed to crowdfund an absolutely massive $6,615 USD for the project as part of OSC/Open Collective's quadratic funding experiment, FundOSS
    • Project members withdrew $1000 USD each from the collective, as thanks for the past 3 years of efforts
  • cblgh held a talk about Cabal at the Secure Scuttlebutt meetup, Svendsolar, at the sweet spot of summer, when the pandemic seemed to be on the way out—ahhh that naive flower that is optimism :')
  • We saw many new and generous donors join the project on Open Collective. Thank you—and that's to both new and existing donors!
  • The end-to-end encrypted Private Messages functionality landed in cabal-client, and was implemented in both the terminal and desktop clients
  • Saw Cabal used in at least 3 formal work settings for project coordination and discussion
  • We had a lot of strangers join the public cabal, sharing their joy of discovering Cabal and their positive impressions
  • and many, many smaller patches, throughout the year

Going forward

Going forward in 2022 we are looking towards:
  • Finishing the next generation frontend and deploying at least a cabal web client using it, and a new desktop client. Having this in place will make future contributions much easier, as the codebase is written using many of React's best practices and patterns in mind
  • Continuing work on the cable implementations, with hopes of deploying experimental versions later in the year
  • Looking into deploying a mobile client again (a huge thanks to Andre Staltz for the first mobile client—all the way back in 2018!—which we were regrettably unable to keep up to date). Contributors with experience deploying nodejs to mobile are most welcome!
  • Drawing on the collective's coffers once again on behalf of active project members, to help bring the above into reality

If you find these developments exciting, you can help us by joining the open collective.

Thanks for reading, donating and being so enthusiastic about the project in general!

~the cabal club

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