Home > Other projects, Rant > Which messenger program do you use?

Which messenger program do you use?

Am I the only one who feels that the recently retired messenger program from the company-thou-shall-not-name was a surprisingly nice piece of software compared to other software from that same company? While I’m not saying that it was perfect, its replacement, Skynet (or something similar), is “very bad” compared to it. I don’t want to use a stronger expression because I know that many zkanji users love that program.

Because I didn’t want to put up with Skynet, I decided to look for an alternative. The only alternative I found that was at least slightly acceptable is called Penguin. Well, it is not, but its name looks similar to this, even if it is pronounced differently. (I picked that alias because the authors of that program are friendlier with Linux than with Windows, and I didn’t want to be partial with Skynet either.) Now, I don’t dislike Pidgin (ok, I said it after all), unlike Skynet, so I started using it instead. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a real open-source messenger program for Windows that even looks like a program written for Windows?

If you check out its website you will see, that the authors of Pidgin created an open-source library, called libpurple, which is used by Pidgin, and which could be the base for other programs. So after thinking a bit more I thought that it would be even nicer if I could have a hand in that future open-source messenger program that runs natively in Windows (and not with some terrible multi-OS interface). Unfortunately (or not), my hands are currently full with zkanji, but at least it won’t hurt to think.

Categories: Other projects, Rant
  1. himselfv
    April 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    There’s also Miranda which is open-source and supports all kinds of networks and plugins. It’s written for Windows. (Whatever that means 🙂

    But this discontinuing of service puts things into perspective. What IM networks are safe exactly? Some day ICQ will shut down and all my ICQ-only contacts will be lost. If push comes to shove, only Jabber can be assumed more or less reliable as it’s decentralized. Even if the server which hosts my account goes down, the contacts will still be valid. Still, even Jabber can be dealt serious blows if Google discontinues Google Talk (internally a Jabber server) for example.

    • April 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      I always go to the site of Miranda, see that ugly screenshot and close the page. 😦 Could it be that they can’t create an appealing interface without a visual editor? Ok, this is not a nice thing to say and it might be a great program otherwise. I don’t know what it can do, but it’s clear from the source code that they make their own window handling. I tried to find the program’s build dependencies and couldn’t, but it can also be considered as a starting point if I decide that I want to make a better one (with help from others).

      Since that Live mssngr thing is not living any more, I registered on Jabber as well. I’m not afraid that Google Talk would influence Jabber (or XMPP in general), because they use a mutant version of the protocol anyway. (Unless they have control over XMPP.) But if the service goes down, I go to a different one (staying with pidgin of course because I can’t stand the smileys of most of the official programs).

      • himselfv
        April 29, 2013 at 2:59 am

        It’s just the default skin. Miranda is like Linux of the IM world: anything down to DB layer can be replaced in a plugin. Check out this skin or this one.

    • April 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Jabber was down for me for an hour and so took the time to install Miranda. It could be a good program with some changes. I’m still on the opinion that the only way to have a messaging program that does what you want the way you want it is to write your own. Whether this means using libpurple, forking Miranda or doing it some other way, it doesn’t matter at this point.

      My experiences with Linux is mixed. Every time I try it, it laughs in my face… 😦 Being able to replaces parts is good in an object oriented way, but then you have just as many things that can go wrong. I prefer all-in-one solutions. Though having plug-ins that are guaranteed to work is an acceptable compromise.

  2. Funbit
    April 27, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I’ve been using Pidgin for quite a long time (3+ years) without any major bugs or problems. Highly recommend.

    • April 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      It crashed twice since I’m using it. (2+ weeks) 🙂 Otherwise I agree that it’s not bad.

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