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Posted

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think Pidgin is quite nice to look at. Nice and standardised. Flashy graphics are nice, but they don't help me chat. I hear what you're saying about missing features, it's definitely frustrating, but you have to consider that most of these clients are designed for multiple message formats, and there's often discrepancies between them. The majority of the IM protocols owned by companies (think, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft) don't release their protocols either, so much of the work is done by reverse engineering, meaning that the unofficial clients can have a hard time working with these proprietary formats.

 

Did you try the YIM web messenger? Not ideal, but I'd imagine that it would be feature complete. Probably the closest you're going to get at the moment. You can try running the client through WINE too, although the Wine website doesn't look promising with regard to running the YIM desktop client (WINE isn't really related to Windows at all, other than the fact that it can read Windows binaries and implements some of the core Windows libraries required for applications to run. There's nothing to say you can't create an application that runs in Wine that doesn't run in Windows).

Yeah, web messengers are not a solution for me. There's ebuddy, that one I liked, but I hate that it works...well, in a browser window :)

 

I hear what you're saying about the need to reverse engineer those apps, but I wonder how hard can this be, compared to building alternatives for other Windows apps, like Photoshop/GIMP, Sound Forge/Audacity, etc. So if someone can reproduce all these things that Sound Forge, for example, does, like vst plugins, effects, etc., how hard is to create an app that does what a IM client does? I don't know much about how these clients work, so I'm literally asking. And it seems weird that on Windows we have quite a few nice IM clients that support multi-protocol...didn't they have to reverse engineer too, or something like that?  :huh:

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Posted

we wrote an MSN Messenger client in mIRC before it was easy enough once you got the hang of how it worked :)

 

I dont think it would be that hard i mean we already have Pidgin, trillian etc

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Posted

Yeah, web messengers are not a solution for me. There's ebuddy, that one I liked, but I hate that it works...well, in a browser window :)

 

I hear what you're saying about the need to reverse engineer those apps, but I wonder how hard can this be, compared to building alternatives for other Windows apps, like Photoshop/GIMP, Sound Forge/Audacity, etc. So if someone can reproduce all these things that Sound Forge, for example, does, like vst plugins, effects, etc., how hard is to create an app that does what a IM client does? I don't know much about how these clients work, so I'm literally asking. And it seems weird that on Windows we have quite a few nice IM clients that support multi-protocol...didn't they have to reverse engineer too, or something like that?  :huh:

It's not hard to create an IM client per-say, but reverse engineering a protocol? That's a huge task. None of those other things you mentioned require reverse engineering anything -- they are just creating apps with similar functionality. I'm not strictly talking about simple IM features, the majority of regular features in those protocols have been well known for the last decade. I'm talking about exotics like voice/video and file transfers.

 

What does Windows offer different from Linux in terms of well-known multi-im clients? Trillian, Digsby, Miranda? Do those offer the voice/video features you are talking about? What multi-IM client are you talking about that's so much better on other platforms?

 

we wrote an MSN Messenger client in mIRC before it was easy enough once you got the hang of how it worked  :)

 

I dont think it would be that hard i mean we already have Pidgin, trillian etc

It's simple with well documented parts of the protocol (parts that have been reverse engineered for more than a decade), the problem is that exotic features are not necessarily well-documented or perhaps reverse engineered at all so 3rd party clients lag in support or simply never get it. The OP is talking mostly about exotic functionality from what I can tell.

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Posted

It's not hard to create an IM client per-say, but reverse engineering a protocol? That's a huge task. None of those other things you mentioned require reverse engineering anything -- they are just creating apps with similar functionality. I'm not strictly talking about simple IM features, the majority of regular features in those protocols have been well known for the last decade. I'm talking about exotics like voice/video and file transfers.

 

What does Windows offer different from Linux in terms of well-known multi-im clients? Trillian, Digsby, Miranda? Do those offer the voice/video features you are talking about? What multi-IM client are you talking about that's so much better on other platforms?

 

It's simple with well documented parts of the protocol (parts that have been reverse engineered for more than a decade), the problem is that exotic features are not necessarily well-documented or perhaps reverse engineered at all so 3rd party clients lag in support or simply never get it. The OP is talking mostly about exotic functionality from what I can tell.

 

True. But what you call "exotic" I see as common features. Hence my problem. Also, there's the GUI part. I remember that I had Pidgin installed once in Linux Mint and boy was it a pain in the ass to customize! I tried using some script to make it work with Adium themes, but that worked only partially. Also, I had to find the icons & sounds (from YM) that I liked (yeah, I know, I'm a freak) and so on. And even after all this, things were not working as I needed. 

 

I understand what you're saying about the protocols, but how come Digsby, for example, works on Windows, even with these "exotic" features? Or Trillian. I never had file transfer issues, or video call problems with Windows IM clients, so it CAN be done, right? Obviously, Linux is a different platform, so maybe there's that too. I don't know...

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Posted

True. But what you call "exotic" I see as common features. Hence my problem. Also, there's the GUI part. I remember that I had Pidgin installed once in Linux Mint and boy was it a pain in the ass to customize! I tried using some script to make it work with Adium themes, but that worked only partially. Also, I had to find the icons & sounds (from YM) that I liked (yeah, I know, I'm a freak) and so on. And even after all this, things were not working as I needed. 

 

I understand what you're saying about the protocols, but how come Digsby, for example, works on Windows, even with these "exotic" features? Or Trillian. I never had file transfer issues, or video call problems with Windows IM clients, so it CAN be done, right? Obviously, Linux is a different platform, so maybe there's that too. I don't know...

Interface wise: matter of opinion.

File-transfer wise: Should be supported, it's something that has been in multi-im clients for years and years. The hardest part is initiating the connection. If both parties are NAT'd then its a requirement to piggy-back through a server instead of a direct connection. More than likely the issues you are having are the fault of the client not falling back to a 3rd party server. It wouldn't exactly be something that I wouldn't have seen before. And this is an issue I had during my own stint as an Miranda-IM dev years ago.

 

It's actually pretty abnormal that Digsby/Trillian have video call support for YIM (and they actually lack in in most of the other protocols they do support). I would chalk it up to the fact that both were made by companies and not only supported by free-time development. Pidgin has video chat, but only in XMPP and that feature was also a pay-for thing when the head developer got monetary compensation to implement it.

 

EDIT: Actually, does Digsby even support it for YIM? I can't find any reference and haven't used Digsby in about 4 years.

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Posted

I see. Obviously you know much more than I do regarding this subject :) So I'm asking another question, maybe you have an answer for this too: what's the status of this Empathy project? Does it still get updated or is the project dead? For some reason, I prefer it to Pidgin, the Adium themes work just fine with it and if those bugs that I was talking about are removed, it could be the best I've seen for Linux.

 

EDIT: Yes, Digsby has video call and it does work, I tried it on Windows with my Yahoo account. :)

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I see. Obviously you know much more than I do regarding this subject :) So I'm asking another question, maybe you have an answer for this too: what's the status of this Empathy project? Does it still get updated or is the project dead? For some reason, I prefer it to Pidgin, the Adium themes work just fine with it and if those bugs that I was talking about are removed, it could be the best I've seen for Linux.

Empathy was created a few years after I stopped being involved IM-development (I got an education instead ;-)). Seems to me it is still actively developed (it is distributed with gnome after all), but I would doubt new features, etc. are focus for the YIM portion. It does have XMPP video call support. That's what all the clients evidently have, I suppose since it is an open protocol.

 

To be perfectly fair, iirc, yahoo created multiple versions of the yim protocol, and it is more than likely that the majority of 3rd party clients are using an older version of the protocol which doesn't support video. Speaking of Adium, last I recall it uses libpurple from Pidgin so I imagine it also has the same limitations that Pidgin has (but for OSX). Though, I'm sure many people consider it to be prettier.

 

EDIT: looks like the file-transfer thing in empathy has been a known issue with yim for years.

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