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America Online

AOL-TW Merger: FCC May Require AIM Compatibility 86

nicadic writes: "The FCC may add a requirement to the AOL-Time Warner merger agreement that would force AOL to make its IM system interoperable with at least one other provider of instant messaging services. Have a look at the full story here (www.washingtonpost.com)" With that small concession, it looks like the merger is likely to go through.
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AOL-TW Merger: FCC May Require AIM Compatibility

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Intelligence and America?

    Now that's a novel concept!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How open do you want it? You ignorant fool, seems that only Windows lacks an ICQ clone. There are many for Linux and the MacOS has had several clones for a while now.. (aside from the Mirabilis ICQ client itself)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm posting this because I don't know much about the FCC and what their position is on Instant Messaging, and I hope that someone will be able to reply to this and help me out. What are they doing, worry about instant messaging services? I though that the Federal Communications Commission dealt with the actual communication media, the means to communicate, not applications and protocols used for.... teenage chatting? What is their problem.
  • Since Gaim is GPL'd, MSN incorporating Gaim simply isn't an option. But that's just a nitpick.

    MSN Messenger -was- compatible with AIM, but AOL tweaked the protocol to break that compatibility (Learning from the masters, as it were) If they had left MSN and AIM compatible, this wouldn't even be an issue and we'd be one happy United States of Corporate America.
  • Dr. Livingston, what's that?

    I believe it's a very rare species of post.

    I don't think I've ever seen it before.

    I used to see it every so often, in the past.

    It's a first post! Therefore, it should be modded down.

    No, no my dear, it's an intelligent first post.

    An intelligent first post?

    I told you it was rare. I haven't seen actual posting content in a long time, let alone an intelligent first post.

    I say!

    Indeed.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • Have you tried The GIMP (under Win32) lately? GTK for Windows seems pretty decent.

    Of course, a lot of the Windows port stuff is pretty beta-ish. As in, all the basic command-line stuff seems to work, and maybe you could compile X applications under Windows with cygwin, but the port of XFree86 itself is definitely alpha.

    I'd love to see more skins for Whistler, since there are only two at the moment: one looks just like Win95/98, and the other one sucks. Hard.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    "perhaps I am some christian missionary in your fantasies"?

    Never hack AOLiza to post to slashdot; you'd get too many biters.

    "First Post!"

    "Does it please you to get First Post?"

    "I 0wn j00!!!"

    "Interesting, please continue."
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • Hey, thanks! If I had found that earlier, it would have saved me some time. :)

    So basically, we still need to standardize the 'IMX' protocol; that's the one thing that document explicitly doesn't cover. And it looks like the only perspective on what to support comes from RFCs 2778 and 2779...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • I suppose you don't use winamp, then?

    The "Standard GUI" argument doesn't mean much to me, and it means even less when you don't have to compile it yourself, and you don't know what gets installed on your system--like your average Windows user. :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • I agree; I want that too.

    Until then, I'm using EveryBuddy [everybuddy.com]. In fact, it looks like they have a new release out...

    It isn't perfect; it's more like sox. It's the swiss-army knife of IM clients.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • Well, I'm not quite sure why the FCC thinks they'd know about this area, but I'm pretty sure they're just overseeing the merger, and not drafting the standard. It's a little creepy, but not as creepy as letting The Secret Service handle Computer Crime.

    I wish E-mail programs were interoperable; as it is, I see a lot of MIME headers that break elm. But usually that's just spam; only occasionally is it from real people (users of OutLook) that don't know how to send *text*...

    These guys [imppwg.org] wrote RFC2778 [ohio-state.edu] and RFC2779 [ohio-state.edu]; it seems to be designed from an "agent" perspective. I suppose that's the new, hot trend nowadays, but it seems a little heavyweight for just a chat client. However, they're working on it [ietf.org] and I'm not, so I suppose I can't complain. :)

    Does anyone know about any other RFCs related to this?
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • No, winamp is a proprietary API, and they're both reinventing the wheel. All you have to do is statically link GTK, and there's no difference from the perspective of an outside user.

    What you'd need to do is create a GTK wrapper for Win32; then you could thunk through all the calls you need, and port all the GTK stuff to (mostly) native Windows.

    In fact, I'd want wrappers for everything to a target API, personally, so I could port everything, and make it all themeable. But it'd be a lot of work...

    Also, you don't need efficiency in an IM client; otherwise, people would never write them in Java and Tcl/Tk. :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @12:35AM (#553908)
    Actually, unlike the misleading /. blurb, this would involve the creation of an "industry standard" that AOL-TW would have to adopt.

    Sounds good to me. I mean, really, how many stupid datagram headers can you have anyhow? I implemented tftp recently, and that wasn't hard at all.

    I say we do this the old-fashioned way. Draft a standard, and write an RFC. We shouldn't need more than 5-7 actual commands anyhow.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • What does this say about America today if a major merger such as this could hinge on a stupid little chat program. It isn't the only option for chatting... it is just exclusive to its self. What other stipulations could they try to set that would be better?

    I don't know... maybe more people to code a better Netscape 6... force them to challenge IE. That would be an idea. Or... gnutella...

    What a missed oppertunity...
  • i have everything else on yahoo. i love yahoo messenger but the only other person i know that uses it is my girlfriend! please god make it so!

    --
    And Justice for None [geocities.com]
  • by bis ( 4748 )
    .... except that interoperability with ICQ wouldn't count, because they OWN ICQ [icq.com], and already plan to unify the two.... in addition, AOL is working on an Open IM [aol.com] standard, so opening the AIM protocol to competitors is really sort of pointless.

    all in all, this idea seems to have been cooked up by people who really have no idea what's going on in the world of instant messaging...



    --------------------
    this space left intentionally blank



  • That's not even the problem! The problem, in case you hadn't caught on, is that AOLTW will have unprecedented control over news and other media, and with huge holdings online and in real life (TV, movies, radio, etc.) it will be another huge step backward in the conglomerization of media.
  • Let me get this straight, AOL allows 3rd party compatibility with ICQ, and in return they get to merge with Time Warner?

    "Good news, Simpson. The court has agreed to turn back the guilty verdict if you just say you just apologize to the Brown and Goldman families"
  • I think that the first concession I would have them make is opening up the cable lines at a resonable price.

    I mean, opening up the AIM protocol is not something that I would hinge a deal this big on.
  • It sure would be a nice jesture to the oper source community if they chose to make it compatible with jabber. (I know they already have an AIM transport, but it sucks)
  • This message was brought to you by Professor DUH!!!
  • gaim now connects to icq yahoo aim msn and irc.
    Actually it looks like most of tthe unix variants
    are taking the "everybuddy" route.
  • actually, you're absolutely right. Time figured out a while ago that they were going to give Person of the Year to whoever won the election. I heard it on MSNBC or CNN or one of those stations.
  • Maybe they will let Microsoft have capability (again). Scary bedfellows non the less.
  • Personally, I do not agree with this philosophy, and feel that a man with a gun saying "get off my land" is an initiator of physical force, and not a defender against it.

    Wouldn't that depend on the situation the man was in? (e.g. A robber is on his property trying to steal something, or someone mistakenly wanders onto his property?)
  • It seems that a lack of IM interoperability is really more of pain that a real FCC/FTC issue. All this IM talk makes me run back to the safe world of irc. They talk about creating a standard for internet chat when there has been one for years.
    Since all of these programs are free and only bring in revenue through advertising, I really don't see what the problem is. There are always lots of incompatibilities between programs. There always will be. AOL is not using its market dominance in the IM arena to take over another area. This is not the same as when MS told OEMs to build IE and not Netscape or lose Windows. Nor is it like when MS gave IE away for free to kill Netscape while MS made its money elsewhere.
    To put it another way, what if Real format became the very popular and Real refused to license the player code to anyone else. Should the government force them to open up the Real format? It would be nice from a user standpoint but it would not be needed from a governmental standpoint.
    I am much more worried about regulation of cable lines. I believe that cable will become the next standard in home internet connectivity. It has higher throughput and less of a distance limitation than DSL and home wireless internet is still some time away. Internet connectivity and the services that bring it (standard voice line, DSL, cable, wireless) really should be thought of as a neccessity that people need goverment protection for rather than a luxury that the government doesn't need to involve themselves with. In my area I am stuck between various monopolies and trusts. You want DSL? I don't care what ISP you use it will be Verizon's lines in the end. They also own nearly all the fibre in this area, with PECO (our local power company) coming in second. Ok, I'll take cable access. I must go with Adelphia cable due to where I live and that means @Home. Even if I move...the entrire tri-state is almost completely @Home. They are the provider for Comcast, Suburban, and Adelphia. To top it off, all of these cable companies have AT&T connections. Often the name on the bill is not your actual provider as your account is bumped around from provider for a fee. Each time you are bumped, your line upgrades fall to the back of the list.

    It is the cable lines that need opening, not the IMs!
  • Actually, unlike the misleading /. blurb, this would involve the creation of an "industry standard" that AOL-TW would have to adopt.

    Am I the only person who is uneasy with the idea of the FTC/FCC dictating the creation or adoption of Internet protocol standards? Is there some problem with the voluntary IETF standards process that warrants U.S. federal intervention? To date we've done well by letting companies adopt the IETF standards as they please, but not forcing anyone to use them.

    Email programs are intrinsicly susceptible to the same network effects as IM clients, yet the natural trend with email has been toward interoperability. Why should we treat IM any differently?

    Sounds good to me. I mean, really, how many stupid datagram headers can you have anyhow? I implemented tftp recently, and that wasn't hard at all.

    tftp rocks.

    I say we do this the old-fashioned way. Draft a standard, and write an RFC. We shouldn't need more than 5-7 actual commands anyhow.

    I agree. Let's create a standard through the IETF, not the FCC. AOL can hop on board or not.

    With only about 5% of the world's population online there's still plenty of room for a new vendor-agnostic IM standard.

    --
  • It's probably likely that they'll make it interoperable with yahoo chat or something no one uses.
  • What about Jabber IM and GAIM? Those are AIM clients too, you know. Anyway, what I'm wondering is, why the heck does AOL need to be forced to allow this. If, say, M$ took the code from GAIM and put it in MS Messenger, it'd be an AIM client, right? So why do we need the gov. forcing AOL to open up when it's kinda been done already?


    Grades, Social Life, Sleep... pick two.
  • Actually, that's just an option. It looks like they could just license their protocol to a few competitors.

    From Article:

    After AOL strikes its first deal to connect its instant-messaging system with a rival, the online giant would be required to offer other instant-messaging firms terms that are no worse than those offered in its first contract, sources said.

    The FCC recommendation gives AOL and Time Warner another option on instant-messaging: to adopt an industry standard to make their system interoperable with others, sources said.

  • I got sick of having two clients open when using win32, so i decided to try odigo [odigo.com]. As of its latest release it is not too shabby, as it combines a ton of clients. some features are kinda iffy tho. like file transfer, and reading other people's away messages... i know open source has this problem mostly licked..... shame more open source win32 apps are not out there....


  • Thanks, actually, I have a mac. :)

    It's a Powerbook 233.. a bit on the slow side to run Mac OSX.

    Rami
    --
  • by Lonesmurf ( 88531 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @12:31AM (#553928) Homepage
    So what? Let me build a tiny scenario here for you: I have buddies from all over the world using all sorts of different programs to chat on all sorts of platforms. In order for me to see who's online and whatnot, I have to have 3 or 4 applications open and build 3-4 databases to keep up with everyone.

    Does this strike anyone a fucking stupid?

    I want a universal IM client that can connect to ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, MSN, etc. and let me chat with whomever I want. Now, not to limit progress, I wouldn't mind if I could only use some special features with those other users using the same service as me (ICQ, etc.) .. but passing text messages between clients using a standardized protocol can't be *that* bloody hard.

    Can you imagine if phone companies were like that? You'd need a different, special phone and phone line for anyone that wasn't the same service as you. No way that would happen or would be tolerated (although I'm sure that the phone companies would love it, captive audience and all that).

    Rami
    --
  • I say we do this the old-fashioned way. Draft a standard, and write an RFC. We shouldn't need more than 5-7 actual commands anyhow.

    Err... didn't AOL already do just that?

    ------

  • The first option in the Post article was to connect to at least one other IM system. Sounds like an idea thought up by a commission that's used to dealing with physical networks. I wouldn't put it past AOL to find a way to offer a limited connection to some particular service and refuse to make their system open in general. Standards are the way to go.
  • Ooo! Big deal. They're about to allow the creation of the most powerfull corporate entity in the entire world. An unprecedented concentration of media influence.

    Of all the bad things that will come out of this merger, IM incompatibility would have been the most insignificant.

  • by Trinition ( 114758 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @03:08AM (#553932) Homepage
    OK, so AOL teams up with another tiny IM company to get interoperability. The small company's IM client now works with AIM and vice-versa.

    Now, AOL buys said company and once again wholly owns every AIM-compatible IM client.

  • by Aya ( 115435 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @09:05AM (#553933) Homepage
    I don't understand a whole lot about mergers and such. So it seems odd to me that all the fuss is being made over AIM and not over ICQ. Their stats, however fudged, claim that ICQ has at least 20 million more users than AIM. Does anyone really *want* to talk to AOL users, that isn't already an AOL luser themself? That's the only benefit of using AIM over ICQ (unless of course you LIKE advertisements... but they've added those to ICQ now, too). So it seems to me that this is less about instant messaging, and more about opening up AOL's ISP lusers to the rest of the internet.
  • heh... Kev you rule. I was reading through all these posts and wondering if anyone was going to mention AOLiza and viola there you go :) I figure the bot is going to have plenty more sheeple to chat with in the very near future.

  • unfortunately, I do not have any points left

    Come to Everything [everything2.com], where (once you get 50 xp) you get modpoints every day.


    Tetris on drugs, NES music, and GNOME vs. KDE Bingo [pineight.com].
  • I read somewhere that Microsoft is committed to interoperability with IETF standards. Jabber's protocol is based on an IETF draft. If AOL opens AIM to MSN, this may produce a more reliable AIM/Jabber gateway.
    Tetris on drugs, NES music, and GNOME vs. KDE Bingo [pineight.com].
  • "With that small concession, it looks like the merger is likely to go through."

    I wouldn't exactly consider it a small concession. Yes, I realize that this is a HUGE merger and that it shouldn't really go through at all, or at least the concession should be larger, but this is much better then nothing.

    I for one view this as very good news. Don't get me wrong, I despise IM, I used ICQ back in, what was it, 96 or 97 but stopped pretty soon after AOL bought it....... so this won't really effect me directly, but all in all this is a good thing. A small blow to the beast is better then no blow at all...

  • I agree with a lot of other replies to this topic, so I will simply ask a question...

    Isn't AIM already completely compatible with CompuServe's IM service? I realize that the CompuServe service is nearly (if not exactly) the same, except it uses @cs.com email addresses. :-) Still, if CS is compatible, no matter by what means, shouldn't that alone settle this argument?

  • Let's just hope that they don't take the icq 'standard' and formalize it for everything. Most people don't even consider icq as having a 'real' protocal.
  • I just found out on yahoo that Time magazine named George W Bush "Person of the Year" You don't think that had to do with the merger? brownie points anyone? Maybe I've just watched too many conspiracy episoes of The X-Files. I bet they would have given it to Gore had he won.

    Adler

  • don't you just hate it that... all these nifty tools (chat & IM) were around in *nixWorld for a long time, but when ppl say chat/IM to anybody else, they think you're referring to AOL's AIM/chat. And now *nix has to come up/catch up with GAIM, NAIM, etc. Gee, what'll AOL think of next?
    Or is it just me, being new to *nix
  • Actually, Ayn Rand believed that property rights were an inalienable right. Personally, I do not agree with this philosophy, and feel that a man with a gun saying "get off my land" is an initiator of physical force, and not a defender against it. I therefore reject her laissez-faire capitalism argument on the basis of her assumptions.
  • This is a classic case of the government stepping in where it has no knowledge of what it's doing. It is absolutely unacceptable for the government to force a company to give their resources freely to competitors without compensation. The only way AOL could ever open up instant messaging is if it charged third party companies a fee for using their backend. This is the way the phone companies work. Would you rather instant messaging be expensive and regulated like telephone service, or free and unregulated like it is now? I will continue to try to convince my friends to switch to MSN Messenger, as not only an open protocol but a much better designed one. But that's their choice, not the government's.

    The only reason Microsoft failed against AOL was because they tried to capitalize on it. A truly decentralized effort to create compatibilty with AIM would never fail, without government intervention. AOL has a right to try to protect their protocol, just like I have a right to reverse engineer it. A blow to AOL's right would only make it easier for the government to try to take away mine.
  • force AOL to make its IM system interoperable with at least one other provider of instant messaging services

    ya right, watch them pick ICQ.


    ________

  • from http://www.compuserve.com/corporate/cs_info.html: Since February 1998, CompuServe has been a wholly owned subsidiary of America Online, Inc. As an important brand in AOL, Inc.'s multi-brand strategy, CompuServe provides services for a unique audience of adults seeking a reliable tool for business and personal reference.
  • I followed this URL and crashed my computer. This URL is a MOUSETRAPPER that throws up random Javascript error boxen and about 20 browser windows, which on Netscape (dunno about IE) are SEPARATE INSTANCES OF THE BROWSER, not merely WINDOWS. I had to force Netscape to quit but SOME OTHER MEMORY PROCESS was dragging my Mac G3 down and making my mouse pointer jump around as if a lot of CPU power was being used by this UNKNOWN PROCESS. I suspect this might be far more dangerous on a PC running Windoze...there might be a virus dropper running there too.

    Damn right, post as a fsckn Anonymous Coward. I'm going to track your ass down and get your site shut down, lousy fscker! Goatse.cx is gross but this is MALICIOUS.

    Note to self: do not click on URLs at Slashdot unless I know where the fsck they are going to.


    ---- Hey Grrl Geeks! Your very own geek news site has arrived!

  • I agree. I use Odigo 3 as well. I like it, if only to get rid of all ICQ and AIM.. It doesn't do MSN, i think (at least not yet) but it does a decent job of doing Yahoo, AIM and ICQ. File transfer only seems to work with people running Odigo, but I have yet to have problems with normal messaging with ICQ/AIM/Yahoo users.

    Wish list: first and foremost, I want to be able to tune the settings of the ICQ/AIM/Yahoo plugins to handle my firewall better. Running ICQ client works fine, but running Odigo + plugin seems to make my firewall warn, even though it eventually works.

    Open source in this case would just help AOL change their protocol enough to break Odigo. :) They've done it before.

  • In Europe there are several baby AOLs (forget exactly how many), each charging different rates (so much for the Common Market), and each serving up its own local content, but with the ability to access to all the other AOLs around the globe (now there's a scary thought, eh?)

    There once was a EuropeOnline, a proprietary online service launch just after Europeans discovered the Internet en masse - suffice to say, it is now a very distant memory.

    In answer to your statement, yes America is the centre of the Universe, but only because most Americans have trouble with the map of the world, and have settled on a much simpler version.
  • After they provide compatibility, AOL-Time-Warner will just buy out whoever they are compatible with. Problem solved.
  • Call me crazy, but maybe the fact that the news media is getting so big that all of the news and opinions are coming from one place disturbs me a little bit more than a chat client protocol. I find it hard to understand why this small issue is such a big deal in this case. Shouldn't people be more worried about the monopoly on information distribution methods that is occuring?
  • I know alot of people that use AIM that aren't AOL users. It's kinda the defacto standard for students at my school. I know a few people on ICQ, but the majority are on AIM, and I hate using two clients, so AIM gets it. Plus, my parents and family are also on it, and have never, and will never been AOL users. It's ashame that people don't seperate the product from the company.
  • Two paragraphs from washingtonpost.com.

    The FCC recommendation, about an inch-thick document that was distributed late Wednesday evening to the five commissioners, includes a clause to ensure that AOL does not discriminate in its contracts with other instant-messaging firms, sources said. After AOL strikes its first deal to connect its instant-messaging system with a rival, the online giant would be required to offer other instant-messaging firms terms that are no worse than those offered in its first contract, sources said.

    The FCC recommendation gives AOL and Time Warner another option on instant-messaging: to adopt an industry standard to make their system interoperable with others, sources said.

    So, If the reccomendations are accepted, AOL-TW must extend offers that are no worse than the initial one to other IM providers, or adopt an industry standard IM protocol.

    -nicadic

  • Has anyone ever tried to use AIM while logged in to AOL? AOL takes all the messages, even though it has an inferior Buddy List and messaging window. I prefer to use AIM, as it contains many features that AOL doesn't contain, such as Talk, Image transmission, and File Sending. In addition, I don't have to have the junk-filled AOL window occupying my entire screen to send messages.

    The only successful way for me to use AIM on my computer while logged in to AOL is to use AOL version 5.0, and an older version of AIM, with my AOL Privacy Preferences set to block all messages. This is absolutely ridiculous! I also think that it is ridiculous that AIM has ads for AOL, even when you are logged in as a paying AOL customer - why try to market your customer for something that he or she already has?

    While using AOL 6, and the latest version of AIM - the only one AOL 6 allows to run - the only way to use AIM is to log in to AIM under another screen name - that's my only alternative.

    So before we begin to worry about AOL opening its messaging networks to other companies and networks, I think that AOL needs to bring unity to their own software.
  • by Cmdr. Marille ( 189584 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @12:38AM (#553954)
    Well Jabber [jabber.org] can at least help you for now. There are several transports you can import into the native jabber system so that you can communicate with various IM's. While Jabber is far away from perfect for now i see a lot of promise and it works(at least when sending text messages to other IM's)
    you can get the latest Jabber news and a roundup of clients at JabberCentral [jabbercentral.org]. Various Plattforms are supported right now.
  • Well gaim [marko.net] handles AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC, and MSN.

    I've only tried AIM and ICQ myself, but those work fine.



  • In early January I emailed Washington Post, amongst many others, about big businesses control of Internet:

    "if you believe in free speech why don't you try having the domain name AOLtimewarner.com to complain about the monopoly they are holding and then see what happens."

    Time Warner own all these [cjr.org].

    The European Commission originally opposed the merger of AOL and Time-Warner, on grounds they would be too powerful. On November 10, 2000 the U.S. anti-trust regulators voted unanimously to delay their decision on the $127 billion union.

    It looks like they caved in to Big Businesses Big Money. They obviously have no concept of what a monoploy is - they are imbeciles.

    WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] - nothing to do with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO.ORG)

  • The idea was / is to let as many people as possible know what they are doing. And to let the authorities realise, that we know.

    It is up to the people and those in power (with a conscience), if they want to do something about it. It does not matter to those that do not care or are too stupid to understand.

    Unfortunately, many in power also fall into that catagory, (to whom do not care or are too stupid to understand!). Either that or are too busy with deviously dealings themselves.
  • People should be more worried.

    See my posting - "MonopoLIES" below.

  • Who cares about AIM interoperability? Nobody I know uses it. They should open ICQ, so I don't have to use the bloated piece of shit client anymore.
  • It's called odigo [odigo.com]. Sadly it's only for windows.
  • Is someone working on porting Everybuddy [everybuddy.com] to Win32? Did anyone check out Odigo 3.0 [odigo.com]?

    Personally I would like to see Everybuddy ported to Win32, it seems like a great program. Hopefully, using the standard Win32 GUI API calls instead of custom or GTK ones, especially since Whistler will feature its own skinning method, and afaik, GTK for Windows is not that stable (or popular, and who needs more libraries?).

  • On another note, anyone recall what happened to MyCQ [mickem.nu]? It seems to be dead. Even though they claim it isn't, I haven't seen an update for many many many months.
  • I have tried it, crashes on exit, plus it looks as ugly as the lovechild of Gilbert Godfrey and Julia Childs.

    Personally about the Whislter skins, I'm just impressed that they've succeeded in a stable and very usable skinning technique for the Win32 interface. I haven't run into any problems, and that's the best part.

    As for GTK for Windows, it's not the standard GUI, so what's the point? I don't want to have to install these libraries just for one application, plus then if Everybuddy for Win32 uses it, it will end up looking different than all of my other Win32 applications which use the standard GUI calls.

    GTK has its purpose in X, but in Win32 there is already a standard GUI, there's no need for it.

  • Great :) I really hope it works out. Good luck to you
  • Well sure I use Winamp, but it doesn't require external libraries such as the GTK. GTK is basically a partial API, whereas Winamp just contains its own proprietary skinning technique. This is definitely not obtrusive, since it doesn't re-invent the wheel.

    GTK, however, is basically reinventing the wheel. Some would argue that it brings greater ease to porting apps to Win32. That's great, but that doesn't mean it's the best way of doing it. For an instant messaging client such as Everybuddy, it would be best to use the Windows API since it is somewhat of a productivity app and skinability isn't one of its main features, that is just a by-product of GTK. This is why using the standard Windows API calls would allow for a better translation to Win32, it would be the *nix version's equivilant (plus be more efficient and optimized for the platform than if it were to use GTK).

  • I hope they will choose someone who can make an excellent quality AIM-compatible messaging client.

    I need AIM to keep contact with others who refuse to use other instant messaging services or those who are confused by the idea, but AIM is a big security flaw so I am definitely looking for another way to communicate with them.

    The problem is that AIM constantly pops up windows when users message me, and there is a possibility of me typing in important and private information at the time. With the AIM message window popping up without discretion, I could be halfway through what I'm typing and hit enter, and realize that I just sent that message out for someone else to see!

    Another problem is that AIM is just aggravating, when I am talking to five different people privately, I see blue blinking task bars littered around causing stress. For some reason many blue blinking boxes blinking at different (and fast) intervals start to piss me off! MSN Messenger even does so, especially when I'm trying to enjoy an article on slashdot while chatting with a friend at the same time. I'm reading a paragraph, and I plan to check back on my friend every 30 seconds to see if they've written, but I can't enjoy the article because the blinking is constantly nagging at me.

    Personally the best option I've found is ICQ's system tray icon simply taking on the appearance of a message. It's unobtrusive, not annoying, and I can check it whenever I want without it nagging at me. Plus, I don't have to be "away" all the time preventing chatting with my friends simply because I try to keep information private or my nerves calm!

  • Why not just program it to make the proper Win32 API calls? It would be more efficient and require less libraries loaded into RAM.

    > No, winamp is a proprietary API, and they're both reinventing the wheel.

    Winamp is not an API, it is simply an application with its own built-in skinning technique. GTK is reinventing the wheel in Win32's case, (in X's it IS the wheel).

    I would prefer if Winamp didn't use skins at all and followed suit of my personal preferences applied to the entire operating system to keep everything unobtrusive and commonplace. If they had the option to turn this off, great. Luckily I can customize it to look like everything else, but it is a hassle changing it accordingly every time I make any changes.

    This argument, however, isn't about Winamp, it's about Everybuddy which doesn't feature skinning as a main "selling" point. Skinning is not one of Everybuddy's main features.

    To properly emulate Everybuddy in a Win32 environment, you would have to use the common API as it is done in X. X's common API for drawing windows is GTK, Win32 has its own. To make the Win32 equivilant, you should use the Win32 API.

    Using GTK will only make it less efficient by loading up libraries where a similar function already exists without it. GTK routines are less efficient since it goes through the Win32 API anyhow, and the rest of its functions would simply be overhead. Writing a wrapper to make GTK behave like the Win32 API is just redundant and even MORE overhead. Why not just code it with straight Win32 API calls in the first place?

  • by Johnny Starrock ( 227040 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @12:14AM (#553968)
    THIS JUST IN: AOL announces compatability with ICQ. =)
  • Yah, I'd like to say "who cares about IM compatibility." I didn't think instant messaging programs were a big deal. I quit using them.

    But several weeks ago I followed a banner on Yahoo to a survey that solicited people's opinions on various IM topics to help Yahoo improve Messenger. It had questions asking me to rate the importance of features like streaming telivision and MP3 playback in my instant messaging tool. MPFUCKING3 playback? Are people mentally retarded and unable to install any program on their computer other an IM?

    Well, it sounded at least like Yahoo's betting on it... IMs have that whole contagion thing going for them: your coworkers and girlfriends and grandparents and grandchildren all want to send you their ten word thoughts-of-the-minute, so you have to install the appropriate program. You never get grandparents emailing you, prodding you to install Windows Media Player on your computer...

    Sorry about the rant. I live in an igloo and am out of touch with the trends of the Internet. But at least I'll be safe from future IM mind control plots.
  • Nobody I know uses it.

    Maybe you've just never met any of the 64 million users AOL claims [aol.com].

  • It's your signature, change it in your slashdot preferences.
  • i use aim simply because most people i know use it. it is too much of a pain in the ass to try to get them to switch.

  • Absolutely nothing stopped any other company from making their servers accessible to AIM. The only "interoperability" problem was other chat providers demanding to be able to use the AOL IM servers and userbase without giving even ad revenue back to AOL. They wanted a larger network of users than AIM had that would be mostly paid for by AOL; a double win for the non-AOL side and a double loss for AOL.

    So, now MS and Yahoo are going to be rewarded for their attempts to hijack AOL servers with an FCC mandate for AOL to open up its userbase, giving them far greater benefits than AOL will recieve by having access to either the MS or Yahoo chat userbases. Aren't Yahoo and Microsoft big enough to stand on their own two feet?
  • Absolutely. There is a newly expired draft of an RFC for the OpenIM standard here [aol.com]
  • Can you imagine if phone companies were like that? You'd need a different, special phone and phone line for anyone that wasn't the same service as you. No way that would happen or would be tolerated (although I'm sure that the phone companies would love it, captive audience and all that).

    Actually, in the early days of telecommunications, that used to be the case. If you owned a business, you had to have a phone for each telephone network in your town so that all customers could call you.

    Fistgrrl
  • Yeah because everyone knows if its not old it SUXCK!!!%%%%%%%@
  • test
  • A list of working documents here [imppwg.org] .

    There is also a framework draft at the ietf impp wg page.

    If the FCC were to solicit comment from the Internet community they might realize that AIM is nothing special, and is merely a security bug-ridden piece of crapware. But since the Internet community mostly [1] consists of noise making morons they will not bother asking.

    [1] mostly

    --

  • Pointless, unprompted Microsoft-bashing is a symptom of sexual impotency. Stop talking about "the windows code". You've never programming anything in your life. Normally, I would say FONS, but there's hope for you yet. Visit my homepage for the l337 h4X0r FAQ.


    See you in hell,
    Bill Fuckin' Gates®.
  • by Bill Fuckin' Gates ( 262364 ) on Sunday December 17, 2000 @01:23AM (#553981) Homepage
    Anyway, getting back on topic, I hope that America Online chooses Microsoft's MSN Messenger [msn.com] as the target of their compatability effort. This service is certainly the second most-popular after AOL's Instant Messenger, and such interoperability would be a boon to both Microsoft Corporation and the newly forged "America OnTime". In fact, Microsoft is fully prepared to support AOT in this effort, and has already developed an implementation path:
    1. AOT sends Microsoft a .gif image file of their logo.
    2. Microsoft adds the logo to the current MSN Messenger client.
    3. Microsoft makes the new "MAIM" (Microsoft/AOT Internet Messenger) available for download.
    4. AOT turns over their userbase to Microsoft.
    5. Hello, my name is Brak.
    This is necessary so that Microsoft can continue to embrace and extend the instant messaging paradigm with innovative new features without breaking compatability with AOT. No, really.


    See you in hell,
    Bill Fuckin' Gates®.

We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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