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A First Look At Gaim 2.0 243

Posted by kdawson
from the talk-talk dept.
surgicaltubing writes to spotlight the progress towards vesion 2.0 for Gaim, the open source, multi-protocol IM client. "The Gaim 2.0 release is nearing its home stretch. The Gaim team released beta 4 last week, with a number of new features and UI improvements." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.
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A First Look At Gaim 2.0

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  • 2 Things... (Score:5, Funny)

    by HoosierPeschke (887362) <hoosierpeschke@comcast.net> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:28AM (#16573422) Homepage
    1. I can't wait to try it out a year after it's release when it hits portage (stable)

    2. Maybe by then I'll have someone to talk to and actually get to use it...
  • no gg (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    oh noes :/ no gadu-gadu support?
    • by msh104 (620136)
      register an account on a jabber server that has a gadugadu backend ;)
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        WTF is gadugadu? Seriously, is it yet another instant messaging protocol?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by kc1man (1016974)
          GaduGadu is an extremely popular IM system in Poland.
          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            Why does Poland need their own protocol? does MSN/Yahoo/Jabber/ICQ-AIM/whatever not support the character set used for their language? I can understand needing a different client that works in their own language, but a completely different protocol seems a little unnecessary.
        • Gadu-Gadu (from Polish [slashdot.org]: chatting; commonly known as GG or gg) is an instant messaging [slashdot.org] client [slashdot.org] popular in Poland [slashdot.org].

          Gadu-Gadu is financed by the display of advertisements. As with ICQ [slashdot.org], users are identified by their serial numbers. There are numerous add-ons available to provide extra features. The official version provides over 150 smiley [slashdot.org] icons, and allows off-line messages, data dispatch, and VoIP [slashdot.org]. From version 6.0, an experimental SSL [slashdot.org] secure connection mode can be used. The manufacturer is based in Warsaw [slashdot.org].

          Ga

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by grev (974855)
      Gadu-Gadu is supported in 2.0
  • Google Talk Support (Score:5, Informative)

    by kraada (300650) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:35AM (#16573502)
    The article claims that Gaim 2.0 doesn't have Google Talk support . . . however, in this case TFA is quite wrong.

    Google Talk is done on the Jabber protocol.

    To set up Google Talk, set up a Jabber account, your S/N is your gmail username, and the server is talk.google.com. I have it set up right now myself, and it works fine.

    The gaim people could, of course, make it easier to set up GT, but the support is in fact there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I think in TFA it is meant that there is no VOIP Google Talk support, that should be implemented later on in the development. You may want to take a look at gaim-vv for voice/video support, but I am not sure it is still actively developed: AFAIK it was meant to be merged back in Gaim 2.0. Note that one of GAIM main developers (Sean Egan) has been hired by Google earlier this year. About Gaim 2.0, I have been using all betas on Linux and Windows for months now, and I find it absolutely great. Best IM ever.
      • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:06AM (#16574248)
        think in TFA it is meant that there is no VOIP Google Talk support


        Once again, that isn't support for google talk. Google talk is simply a Jabber client written by google. When someone talks about google talk's VoIP functionality then that person is talking about Jingle [xmpp.org], which is a Jabber standard element.

        So please don't get confused about this one. Google talk is simply the client (like Psi, Gaim, Kopete, etc) while the protocol itself is Jabber.

    • by nonsequitor (893813) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:48AM (#16573614)
      The article claimed it didn't have Voice Support for Google Talk. Lack of Voice Support for any protocol (Yahoo, MSN, etc...) is a real drawback to using GAIM for me. The only voice chat that anyone I know uses that's supported on Linux is Skype.
      • Kopete (Score:3, Informative)

        by brunes69 (86786)
        Kopete supports MSN Webcam audio and video, and Google Talk Jingle upport works as well (experimental only)
        • by Khuffie (818093)
          I have both a Windows box and an OS X box, and I'd love to see Kopete on them. At least for OS X, since you can't get a decent MSN alternative that supports webcams (amsn is not an option, neither is mercury, they both...blow).
      • by Britz (170620) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:18AM (#16575674) Homepage
        There is more for Linux. Ever heard of Gizmo?

        http://www.gizmoproject.com/download.php [gizmoproject.com]
      • by oohshiny (998054)
        There are plenty of voice chat options, starting with Gnome Meeting/Ekiga. There are also plenty of VoIP-POTS gateway options and services you can get.

        It's just that there are few/no options when you want to connect through proprietary chat services like Yahoo!, MSN, Google, etc. But that should perhaps not come as much of a surprise: not opening up their protocols is a policy decision. But it's not one that needs to affect you, since there are these other choices.
      • by drew (2081)
        When I want to "Voice Chat" with someone, I tend to use CPP (Cell Phone Protocol), or possibly FFP (Face2Face Protocol), if the other party is only a few hops away and the latency is low enough. Both work perfectly no matter what OS I am using.

        Of course, if they want to work on better voice support, I'm certainly in no position to complain- I just hope it's an option that can be disabled.
  • Too Generic. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by L4m3rthanyou (1015323)

    Gaim is indeed a nifty app, but my main beef with it is that, while it can do a lot of protocols, it can't seem to do any of them particularly well. From what I've played with in 2.0, that hasn't changed much. In particular, Gaim's IRC capabilities are lacking, a lot.

    Find me a versatile chat client that does a well-specialized job with each protocol, and then I'll take notice. Gaim is moving forward, but they've still got a long way to go.

    Not to mention, I try to stay away from GTK-based apps, especial

    • You don't like it, improve the source.

      Now that I got that out of my system... it would help though if msn/ym/aim stopped changing their protocols every week. For the last little while it's been stable but I remember a year or two ago that msn would work one day, not the next, and then a week later a patch would come out to change the protocol.

      Tom
      • You don't like it, improve the source.

        As long as we're getting things out of our system, I'd like to point out how completely unproductive this sentiment is.

        First, most people aren't programmers, and even of people who know something about programming, fewer still have the skills required to make any meaningful modification to an open-source program.

        Second, even if a person does know how to program, and is familiar with the project's language / graphical environment / architectural style, except in particul
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MacJedi (173)
          First, most people aren't programmers, and even of people who know something about programming, fewer still have the skills required to make any meaningful modification to an open-source program.
          Ok well then he should donate money to the gaim developers or sponsor them in some other way. There are other ways to help out.
          • Ok well then he should donate money to the gaim developers or sponsor them in some other way. There are other ways to help out.

            Definitely! This is one reason that I dislike the "code it yourself" response, because I think it turns people off and makes them believe that if you don't read and write and breathe C, you'll never have any impact or value in OSS development. There are lots of ways to help out, including straightforward financial donations, which are open to many more people than actual coding is.
  • Does anyone else have a problem where Gaim 1 and Beta 2 crash while trying to connect to MSN?

    I've not been able to find anyone who can replicate this.
    • Re:Weird crash? (Score:5, Informative)

      by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:16AM (#16573838)
      Does anyone else have a problem where Gaim 1 and Beta 2 crash while trying to connect to MSN?

      I've not been able to find anyone who can replicate this.

      Nope, they definitely didn't have a news article about this problem on the GAIM site.

      Oh wait, yes they did [sourceforge.net].

    • by DrSkwid (118965)
      Not crash, but MSN does require SSL support does prevent it from connecting, perhaps that is something to investigate.

      • by bcmm (768152)
        Tried compiling with and without SSL and/or gnutls support. Still broken. I'm in the process of testing some of the version 2 betas.
  • by pugdk (697845) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:43AM (#16574078) Homepage
    I have just tested the new gaim (2.0 beta4) and there is one annoying thing they have yet to fix: If you send messages using MSN fast they will get refused at the server level by micro$oft. MSN messenger stores your messages and only sends like one per second I seem to recall. Gaim does not have this feature, thus if you are a fast writer or write small messages and send them quickly after one another they will NOT go through.

    This bug has been present for ages. I had hoped this would be fixed in 2.0beta4, but no. I hope this is fixed in the final version! Other than that gaim 2.0 seems very cool!

    -pug
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Twisted64 (837490)
      ...write small messages and send them quickly after one another...
      God I hate you. [iinet.net.au] Each of those messages was delivered in just over the amount of time it took me to read the previous one and alt-tab away.
      • Yes! It's one of the reasons I simply ignore 90% of th IMs I get... which makes it fairly worthless. Why oh why is it so hard to read what you wrote and decide if the thought is complete before the text moves from the bottom box to the top?

    • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:48AM (#16574576) Homepage Journal
      Well, clearly part of the problem is either:

      A. The MSN protocol.

      or

      B. The way the MSN protocol is implemented by the MSN servers.

      because if it's:

      C. They don't want people on windows or not using the official MSN client, then:

      D. They're retarded.

      I'd guess it's a little bit of A, B, C, and D.

      rhY
      • It could be that Microsoft intentionally limits the message rate to help decrease flooding. Therefore the problem is with GAIM because it doesn't follow the flooding policy designed into the (undocumented) MSN messenger protocol. Regardless of why it doesn't work, it would be nice if GAIM fixed it.
  • Direct IMs and such (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've been using Gaim simply because I hate the ads on aim and I like many of its features. However, I have trouble sending files and getting direct IMs. Is this a configuration problem, or is it fixed in 2.0 or what?
    • TFA says it was fixed, but the first test was the user sending files to himself on his own computer using two instances of GAIM. Can you say redundant? "Yes, GAIM connects perfectly well to this 127.0.0.1 IP address...".
  • by BinaryCodedDecimal (646968) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:51AM (#16574132)
    I've been using 2.0.0 beta 3.1 for a while now. I like it.

    My only gripe is that it stores account passwords in plain text, on Windows at least, inside the accounts.xml file. (On Windows, this is located in %HOMEPATH%\Application Data\.gaim)

    Surely it's not too much of a hassle to encrypt the passwords? Are passwords encrypted in the later versions of the beta?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:58AM (#16574192)
      Are passwords encrypted in the later versions of the beta?
      No they're not, and no they're not likely to be.

      The GAIM team explain the reasons behind this on the website [sourceforge.net] and they seem like good reasons to me.
      • by crhylove (205956)
        Damn, I don't have any mod points, but that link is a really good link to give just about anybody who has problems understanding the ideas behind "Computer Security".

        rhY
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I heard this argumentation several times and i still don't like it.
        Yeah, stupid encryption might give a false sense of security, but on the other hand it will stop most people who actually will try to get your password. And it will even stop most people who know how to get around such encryption most of the times. Simply because it will raise the bar of criminal energy needed to access the file. Example: Someone is not logged off when he goes to the toilet. Chances are high that this will give you already e
      • by drew (2081)
        Huh, that looks familiar...

        This debate is far older than gaim. I remember seeing the exact same discussions regarding fetchmail years ago, and the points raised back then were almost identical.

        Really, I think that whole page could pretty much be boiled down to this: if someone you don't trust has sufficient access to read the password file, you have much bigger things to worry about than whether they can read your email/im/whatever passwords.
    • by BerkeleyDude (827776) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:21AM (#16574366)
      > Surely it's not too much of a hassle to encrypt the passwords? Are passwords encrypted in the later versions of the beta?

      Encrypting passwords would be (almost) pointless. In order to use them, Gaim would have to decrypt them first. Which means either:
      1) You would have to give Gaim the decryption key in order to login - which defeats the point of storing passwords in the first place, or
      2) Gaim would use its own key - in which case, anyone else could use that key to decrypt your passwords.

      The only solution would be to use some kind of a wallet (like KDE's) - but it's still a hassle.

      That said, it would be nice to encode the passwords in some way - in hex, whatever. Just imagine that you use some word in your password, and then search for that word in Google Desktop / Beagle / whatever...
    • by cortana (588495)
      If you really care that much, mart the accounts.xml file as encrypted (assuming you use NTFS). Better, get someone to contribute a patch to make Gaim use the Windows Protected Storage Service for passwords.
    • by ajs318 (655362)
      There's no point encrypting the passwords. Think about it for a minute ..... Gaim has to be able to decrypt them in order to send them to the messaging server. So anybody who wanted to decrypt the stored passwords would just need to download Gaim, extract and compile the portion of the code which decrypted the passwords, and save that as their "Gaim password cracking utility". Meanwhile, anyone who didn't know just how easy it is to do this might make the mistake of thinking their passwords were secure
      • by EvanED (569694)
        On the other hand, if you're just exploring around looking at files, or maybe editing the XML file itself for some reason, they won't be just sitting there for someone looking over your shoulder to see.

        The argument is only partially convincing. I still think passwords should be encrypted, for the same reason that in Firefox you can view your stored passwords but have to click a button and then a confirmation dialog to do so, in why in PasswordSafe you have to click a button to view the password (and can usu
        • by ajs318 (655362)
          If you have people looking over your shoulder as you're editing files then you probably shouldn't be storing passwords, encrypted or not. What makes you sure that the person looking over your shoulder won't be able to mentally decrypt the passwords they are seeing -- especially if it's done with a weak scheme such as ROT-13? You know which file they're kept in, so just don't edit it while anybody is watching, and flick to a different screen if someone comes by once you've started! After all, you have to
        • I could do it. It's a tiny, tiny patch.
          But it's not worth the trouble. It creates more potential problems then it solves. Which is why they refuse to do it.
          Consider this situation: you are having the client save/enter your password for you, and then you forget it, and try to get it back from accounts.xml, only to find out it's XOR-encrypted with some stupid string. So you have to go download the source code and find it to crack your own stupid password, because you want to change it and stop having it get e
    • If someone cares about security, why store passwords in Gaim to begin with?

      Does Gaim automatically save passwords to a file, even when you tell it to prompt you for a password at the beginning of each session?

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      There's no shortage of good academic reasons on why they dont but I dont believe it holds much water in the real world. Even a simple cipher would stop 'casual hackers' with physical access to your machine like bosses, coworkers, roommates, etc. Right now all you have to do is search for accounts.xml and off you go. If you know the path then you can get it in seconds.

      Gaim also refuses to encrypt communications (like trillian and skype do) because without some kind of trusted key exchange to verify the ot
      • by ajs318 (655362)
        But in order to access your files, a malicious interloper needs one of four things: (1) the file to have group or world read permission set; (2) your user password; (3) the machine's root password; or (4) for you to leave a login active. You can control (1), (2) and (4), and if it's your own machine then you can control (3). Well-written software will chmod files for you and/or warn you of dangerous permissions. Treat your user password with the same reverence reserved for your root password. If
    • That's a great idea! They could encrypt the passwords with a password, then store that password in plain text on the hard drive. Wait, no. They could encrypt the passwords with a password, then encrypt that password with another password, and store that password in plain text on the hard drive. Wait, no. They could encrypt the passwords with a password, then encrypt that password with another password, then encrypt that password with yet another password, and store that password in plain text on the hard dr
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:18AM (#16574356)
    GAIM 2.0 is not actually out yet. This is only a beta, and as someone who has been waiting for over a year for the software to be released, I don't expect it to show up anytime soon. In fact, it's reminding me of Vista's development. Very little information, and feature scale backs. The merging of the Gaim-vv code into 2.0 was canceled, the results of the Google Summer of Code 2005 were released right around the time the Summer of Code 2006 was ending.

    The longest thread on the project's forum page is still a thread asking about the delays [sourceforge.net] even though it was closed at the end of August. And it has it's share of jerks, but it really illustrates what a Debian-like release cycle this has been.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by trip11 (160832) *

      ...been waiting for over a year for the software to be released

      It is not like this is anything unusual though. Remember the switch from version .59 to .60? That took ages and ages as well, but the result was SO SO worth it. That was when gaim, in my opinion, went from being an ok IM client to being one I actually would use by choice on any platform. Now you could argue that instead of very slow released with tons of changes, that they should try to make more, less substantial changes to the code.

      In f

  • Meebo? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Evan Meakyl (762695) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:30AM (#16574454)
    I used to use GAIM, but now I greetly prefer meebo ( http://www.meebo.com/ [meebo.com] ), an IM embedded in your browser (with AJAX).
    But no files transfer, nor video or audio! But freakly useful!
  • Does this new build support the Offline Messages you can send in the main MSN client?

    I find this incredibly useful, and is the one reason I keep the official client installed.

    • by Valthan (977851)
      I have just checked that and no, it does not... which is the main reason I am not switching to GAIM. I love GAIM, but I also find this extremely useful. And even though there is a drastic difference in footprint (MSN has 40,000K v GAIM's 8,000K), I think I use that feature too often to be without it.
  • File Transfers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Epistax (544591) <epistax AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:03AM (#16575114) Journal
    Do they support file transfers yet, or still just pretend to?

    It's rather sad when two computers with the same version of gaim and absolutely no firewalls can't use a file transfer. I think I've had it work when sending from Gaim to Aim, but never Aim to Gaim. Anyway their lack of a functioning file transfer system is the only thing keeping me off of Gaim.
    • File Transfer is there but slow as hell because a direct file transfer is not implemented. It's about 2kbit/s between gaim and a regular MSN client. No idea about AIM.
      • AIM works. It's the only way I can get files from windows users without resorting to IRC or some other protocol.
    • Re:File Transfers (Score:5, Informative)

      by selfdiscipline (317559) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:36AM (#16575342) Homepage
      From TFA:

      "File transfer seems to be improved in this version as well. I've tried file transfer before with Gaim, between Gaim and other folks on the AIM network, and it never has seemed to work. This time around, the file transfer seems to work fine. I logged two accounts into AIM at the same time and sent a few files back and forth, and then tried it with a user on the AIM network using the Windows AIM client. The files went through just fine each time."

      So yes, I guess. This is also the feature I'm most looking forward to. I'm not going to hope for folder transfers, because as I understand, that's part of aim's more proprietary featureset.

      Oh... I once wrote a plugin (for 1.5) that would allow you to send people files from the commandline. I found it handy to send a list of files, like *.mp3 or `grep -i -l "that thing we talked about" *`

      If anyone is interested in this, maybe I'll work on this for the 2.0 release.
    • by Octorian (14086)
      I sure hope they put more serious attention on file transfers. While I can't say its keeping me off of Gaim (since I really don't have any other serious choices for my *nix-based chat desktop session), it is really the only thing lacking in Gaim that I actually care about.

      I don't even want to remember just how many times Windows users try to send me files, before I get the chance to type "stop, it won't work, just post on the web or e-mail it to me". (meanwhile, Adium (MacOSX only, also F/OSS) seems to wo
  • Still ugly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mungtor (306258) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:47AM (#16575416)
    The biggest problem for me is that it's still a pretty unattractive interface. It's getting better, and I know a lot of people will shout about the skin-ability of GTK apps, but that is way too much effort.

    How hard would it be to just tell it that in a chat window I want to _display_ green text on a black background? I don't want to change what I'm sending (since I don't care past using caps to shout at people), just give me a menu option for "background color" and "text color".

    (All the GTK stuff, whether it's GAIM or Gnome or whatever, seems to be spiralling into some ridiculous complexities. It's hard for us non-programmers to get a handle on all the time)
  • Is it possible to turn off the blinking/warning in windows when a message is received and if that person is already open in a window, to not have it blink in the tray.
    The previous version was much better in that regard.

    If those two things could be fixed (because they are really annoying in windows) I will be really happy with the new version.
    • by code65536 (302481)
      That's one of the things that will be addressed in beta5, which has been announced on the Gaim website and which Sean promises will be released very soon.
      • by Tweekster (949766)
        Excellent, thanks for the update! I had poked around the website after beta4 came about but didnt find those details.
  • I wonder what the recent developments will mean for adiumx [adiumx.com]. The adiumx betas have been pretty nice but the builds are so huge because of debug stuff that I had to switch back to stable. I know adium uses libgaim so I hope that as gaim improves adium continues to as well

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