Imagine smartly multicasted chat and conferencing, non-proprietary instant messaging, distributed social networking and data sharing. And now imagine all of this rolled into one. PSYC is an open source protocol and technology, bringing the useful and amazing aspects of several technologies, some of which have been proprietary too long, together.
  • multicasting to multiple recipients *** A platform that scales without limit, in case all the world chooses to use it. Not just textual chat, any kinds of multi-user conversation and interchange, that's why we started using it for newscast subscriptions, to name one possible application. We have learned the lesson of distributing information to all recipients smartly, avoiding unnecessary replication. This is called multicast - not to be confused with "IP Multicast", which is a different implementation of the multicast principle, that unfortunately doesn't work for us.
  • social networking *** Our social networks are growing every day. We meet new people all the time, and it's such a shame that we sometimes don't know which of our friends are friends between each other too. And it's a greater shame, that all the tools given us to learn more about our social networks are commercial websites. We think, social networks belong onto your own server or a server of your choice, just like e-mail. You shouldn't be forced to use a certain company's system. PSYC lets everyone run his own socially aware webserver and send messages to friends and their friends, too.
  • data sharing *** It also gives you the power of social applications: Keep your blog or wiki limited to your friends. Share the music you made with friends and friends of friends, but not with anyone who just fired up some file sharing software. Make your own programs aware of their users' social networks.
  • presence awareness, instant messaging and friendcasting *** The amount of people you know on the internet is massive. The idea of letting them know your presence and availability is nice, but can become a tough and slow task for your client or server if it has to get in touch with each of people's servers one by one. We have understood that sending out messages to friends and social networks is best achieved using our multicast strategy. In simple terms, if we have a dozen friends in Australia and we're located in Austria, we ask one of our friends' servers in Australia to redistribute our information to the other eleven buddies. that's why it is important to have our messaging technology based on a good multicast conferencing platform, and not the other way around. This distinguishes PSYC from any alternatives.
  • encryption *** PSYC has all necessary hooks to plug in your encryption technologies. We let you choose or combine link-level encryption and end-to-end encryption. This is so obvious today, it hardly deserves mentioning. We are particularely intrigued by the OTR approach versus old PGP and considering native binding of OTR into PSYC.
  • and more *** In fact this list may be missing other aspects which seem obvious, too.

So this all sounds pretty interesting and like the next killer application. and luckily we're almost there. it's not always easy to use, yet, and some things aren't done yet. but we have achieved quite a lot. We have also retrofitted our technology with access protocols of similar technologies. You can use telnet, Jabber™ and webchat clients to log in, and our IRC server emulation is so good, many of us still use IRC clients while our client technology is evolving. We also provide all sorts of gateways, so if you are looking for something, that can serve as "IRC network", "Jabber™ MUC" and public webchat all at once, here you are. Those are some of our by-products. Put your hands on it now, here's the SOFTWARE!

If you just want to try out a running PSYC server, have a look at the manual which not only explains the user commands in a psyced, but also how to use the various access methods into PSYC.

Towards the end of the 80s there was one chat system on the internet where everyone would meet everybody. There was no need to look anywhere else, everyone who wanted to be found could be reached on the Internet Relay Chat. In the year 1990 the amount of people overgrew the capacities of the technology. IRC was no longer able to keep everyone in a single network. We have never had a uniform messaging infrastructure ever since, as elementary as it may seem. PSYC is no particular software, but a new approach, a new principle of how to build a new messaging and conferencing system.

A New Philosophy Of Chatting.

PSYC has no central databases. It doesn't make a difference if a dozen or a billion people are using it at once. PSYC was designed to overcome the problems of existing technologies and does so with a radically new approach. We started our first prototype of PSYC in 1994, three years later we got commercially successful with the technology, even though that wasn't our intention.

2005: we are completing what we actually intended for PSYC 1.0 and releasing it in open source. Surprisingly all this time the technology has not lost in relevance. If you want to put your hands on it immediately, here's the SOFTWARE! Please be so kind to inspect further information in the MENU in the lower right hand corner.


  • a protocol for synchronous conferencing, commonly termed chatting, but it also does instant messaging (which is just a subset of what a real synchronous conferencing should deliver), and you can apply it to any application that needs messaging to one or many persons.
  • a conference control layer to place on top of your favorite unicast or multicast message delivery subprotocols.
  • distributed - it actually scales for global usability.
  • minimalistic - putting all control over multi-user sessions into freely programmable conference "room" manager objects.
  • if implemented to the fullest, PSYC provides a more generic more elaborate more flexible solution to the problems that are currently being approached by technologies like IRC, Jabber™, SIP, ICQ/AIM/MSN/Yahoo etc, Intermud, H.323 (not just T.120), even RSS/Atom and FOAF/Friendster.
  • it could be the backbone of your next peer-to-peer application, or any kind of multi-server multi-client hybrid.

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