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AOL Opens ICQ? Well, Kinda. 97

daveuserland writes "Dan Gillmor got an email from Yossi Vardi of AOL pointing to a site where they document the API for ICQ. This is quite interesting. They have a long license agreement, so it's not exactly an open spec. I posted the agreement here so it's easy to read (on their page it appears in a tiny scrolling text box). I'm curious to know if their API is XML-based and if it is implemented in SOAP and/or XML-RPC." Wow - I just finished reading the restrictions - my favorite is the "10,000 copies" limit, as well as the continued prohibition against people under 13 years old. With "open" like this, who needs closed?
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AOL Opens ICQ? Well, Kinda.

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The ICQ API has been available for a while, I downloaded an in Oct 98. Not much of an API at the time though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In recent news, AOL-Time Warner and Microsoft announced plans to merge with the United States government.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well that can also leave a client that can: Use timed delays so NOT to be really INSTANT No chat, use semaphore, wave flags. Buddy-hate system
  • Ummmm... is there a lawyer in the house ? =) What a phenomenal idea... the most obvious legal snag here is that if the click-thru is a legally binding agreement between two parties, then the first party (AOL, in this case) must have signed off on the wording of the document somehow... how is this being treated in court... that is, how is AOL's signature on this document considered legally binding? While this certainly wouldn't allow us to force AOL to do anything silly, it might completely invalidate the agreement under which we fetch the files in question, no ? I mean, the original poster did NOT agree to the document as written, and he got the file anyway...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:06AM (#355601)
    <delete, delete, delete, type, type>

    why yes, i do agree that Steve Case will do all my laundry for the next decade!

  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Didn't we already reverse-engineer the darn thing?

    Oh well, I guess we'll just do it again...

    Someone needs to teach AOL what "Free" means, too; *my* IM client doesn't have BANNER ADS on it...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • After much hunting (with the same export aims in mind) I finally tripped over this: []

    ICQ2XML is just the kind of thing I'd love too, but I don't fancy coding it on my own. :)
  • This might be a troll, but actually I thought the same. If you have is a hammer etc. And I can't help but think SOAP as a pro-Microsoft thing. Remember Microsoft's whitepaper on using SOAP for getting through those pesky firewalls? Check what Bruce Schneier [] thinks of that.

    And here's Zico [] plugging alternative Microsoft technology.

    Jacco (to e-mail me, please remove all yourclothes)
    # cd /var/log

  • since the announcment tomorrow is the reason why AOL's doing this all of a sudden.

    Fair enough. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Jacco (to e-mail me, please remove all yourclothes)
    # cd /var/log

  • From the Usage Notices: (

    "Use of expat - XML Parser Toolkit in the ICQ End-User software is covered by the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 1.1. The source code of expat - XML Parser Toolkit can be obtained at"

    Would seem to suggest that they're using XML for something...
  • ICQ was developed and initially marketed by an Israeli company and subsequently bought by AOL. That accounts for the initial protocol differences. Why they remain non-interoperable, I have no idea.
  • It's the API for a Windows DLL. Useless for linux people, I'd say, especially given the fact that various people have *already* reverse-engineered the ICQ protocol. Saying this is "opening the spec" is like giving someone the 30+ MB Win32 API reference help file and saying "look, windows is open!".

    I would like a linux ICQ client that supported their new SMS thingy though....

  • by don.g ( 6394 )
    SMS is the "short message service" supported by most GSM cellular networks. It is possible to SMS an ICQ user, apparently, except that it only seems to work with the real windows ICQ client provided by mirabilas. Having a clone ICQ client, running on linux, which could be SMSed would be, um, useful. Prehaps it's time to break out the old packet sniffer and take a look at that protocol...

  • You have to understand that this wasn't AOL's idea.

    Some idiot lawmakers in the US passed a law making it illegal to store information about anybody under 13. Including, ironically, the fact that they're under 13.

    The only way online services can protect themselves is to forbid anybody under 13 from using the service.

    The only thing Americans can do to fix this is vote for better lawmakers [].

  • What'd be really useful to me is to have the format of the contact list and history open. I've asked several times and they'd send a nice little letter saying that in the next version the format would be open. Thus far I haven't noticed it having been documented anywhere. I have frickin 2000+ contacts and years of history I can't import into GnomeICU and it annoys the hell out of me. I could write a program to force it out of ICQ but that'd be a pain in the ass so I end up waiting for someone else to offer a handy lil ICQ->XML conversion tool I can use. :)
  • Interesting. Any idea if the format actually works (ie have you written any programs to work with the data?) as the docs and programs I've found before would manage to import some of the data but not most of it. If I find some spare time maybe I'll get around to making my tool to convert it to XML. :)
  • by UnkyHerb ( 12862 )
    Is the "sms thingy" the secure message option or something? If that's what I'm thinking of, than the newiest version of Licq for linux supports that feature, check it out at here [].
  • SOAP is only a pro-Microsoft thing insofar as they have done a lot of work on it while a lot of people have sat on the sidelines missing the big picture and yapping about inconsequential things. As for Bruce Schneier, his thoughts sound pretty outdated — I wonder if he's corrected them since then. See, people already can do funky stuff over HTTP that firewall users that aren't very clueful don't know about. SOAP's nothing new in that aspect. And a good firewall can filter that anyway.


  • Oh yeah, and if I were trying to plug something, I'd point to some more informative links than that InfoWorld article. It doesn't really seem like they get it. I only linked to it in case people had never heard of Hailstorm. Couldn't help but mention Hailstorm since the announcment tomorrow is the reason why AOL's doing this all of a sudden.


  • (1) They said users, not usernames. (2) You're free to go ask Media Metrix what their methodologies are. Reuters states that "The Media Matrix data measured only the number of people who used an instant messaging program." Doesn't sound like usernames to me. (3) I have no beef with you, but in the future, don't start off a post with "Uh, you *do* realize ..." and then later on try to come off as someone who's above flaming.


  • Hailstorm and the panic mode that hit them when they realized MSN Messenger now has more users than AIM. They want to get ahead of the game and make sure that the same thing doesn't happen to ICQ.


  • by Zico ( 14255 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:06AM (#355618)

    This gets announced the day before Microsoft's Hailstorm [] announcment, where Microsoft starts letting out some details to show why AOL better get their act together. Combine that with the fact that MSN Messenger now has more users than AIM [], and it sounds like AOL's begging for free help from the open source community to save them from Microsoft and Hailstorm.


  • I wonder how the license agreement affects those ICQ clones that reverse-engineered the protocol already; will AOL start suing non-conformers?

    Fighting the War on the War on Drugs.
  • About bloody time... Maybe they'll open up AIM next.


    Robert Dumas (

  • Does anyone know the difference between ICQ and AIM's protocol? I'm confused that AOL has both.


  • could be an attempt to counter the recent news [] that M$ has more people using thier service
  • by Krilomir ( 29904 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @12:38PM (#355623)
    Dan Gillmor got an email from Yossi Vardi of AOL pointing to a site where they document the API for ICQ.

    Are you talking about ? Unless Mirabilis has changed something in the downloadable zip-file since my last visit, it doesn't look like something new has happened.

    The ICQ API has been for download for quite a long time, really. I remember trying it out a 3-4 months, but the documentation was nearly non-existant. This link just points to their API, not any documentation, unless it's hidden in the

    As for their license... yeah, I actually read it back then (I clearly remember the part about 10,000 copies), at that one hasn't changed either.

    With "open" like this, who needs closed?

    Who said it was open? :)

  • See impp and simple, both happening this week at IETF in Minneapolis. If you happen to be in the area, please drop by... 1001 Marquette
  • I'm not sure if you got modded up for the ICQ protocol link, or for ESR's sex tips! ;-)
  • And why is this usefull? Well, try to get hold on some WORKING code examples from the libicq, I've been trying for half a year.

    The problem with OSS is noboddy documents anything(Read: In general, some projects actually DO document their code, atleast up to 5 versions before the current), because there are no customer to satisfy when you don't sell your software. In the real world, if you don't have satisfied customers, they don't buy your product, and you go broke.

  • My words exactly!

    Contact me on my email, and lets get started anytime :)

  • Actually there is allready a RFC Draft pending in the RFC Queue. []

    So I guess we just have to sit down and wait, unless you want to make an EEE on an old protocol, like Unix Talk? :)

  • First off, It's already been reverse engineered! I've been using licq for quitesome time and i like it much! This API spec is USELESS! Many open libraries out there are free to use et cetera.

    Second, the prohibition on 13 years olds is due to a rather silly law passed a couple of years ago, that the liar in chief managed to sign int he name of "protection" (in other words government trying to parent and butting into our lives further!)

    It's rather dumb and pointless, I was using icq at the age of 12, and no harm came to me! I was using IRC, so on so forth at the age of 9! No harm came to me! I'm 17 and it hasn't damaged me, i was never molested...because i used commonsense and had parents who taught me such things, not because the government "protected" (sheltered) me!


    Derek Greene
  • Invisibility is handled at the server, not the client. Authorization to add to a contact list is done via the client tho. The ICQ protocol as a whole isn't too bad tho; it's definately easier to work with than AIM.

    (I've written an ICQ clone, and looked into AIM, so I know what I'm talking about)
  • Sleek and efficient since all the uglyness is on the server.

    Just what we need.
  • I noticed that if you "agree" to the license, you agree to be bound by the relevant VA law. UCITA anyone?

    Of course, AOL is based in VA, so I guess it makes some sort of sense...
  • It's been available for over 2 years.
  • Uh i've never had MSN messanger in anything MS i've installed, and i have win2k here. I do get lookout distress, but that goes away quickly.
  • The main problem with this is having an SMS gateway to send the messages through. It costs around 3p a message (bulk) to send SMS messages in the UK so there would need to be a decent free gateway to use. kinda unlikely (ever notice how slow some of the free Web->SMS websites are)
  • check out They have an open XML based IM protocol that they are pushing.
  • That's such crap though. MSN's messenger is the worst program ever put to code!

    I admit, I've never used AIM, but compared with ICQ, Messenger is a sleek and efficient program. If you can't stand Microsoft, admit it, don't slander Messenger for no reason.

  • by ugen ( 93902 )
    Thats a great restriction.. The less under-teenage children are on the internet - the better. In fact if it were up to me - the wide internet would be open only if you are old enough to drink (and drive:) For all others - just have some sort of a "children area"... Things would have been so different..And my pr0n bandwith wouldn't be abused with downloads of Eminem and Britney Spears mp3's...
  • I have used ICQ for quite some time (first time I signed on personally I had a 7 digit uin, first time I used it at a friend's house was in the time of 6 digit UINs and quake ctf!) and love it to DEATH. I can not get by with out it! However, with recent additions of advertisments and the hacking them out, and the ever growing memory usage of ICQ - I am keeping my nose out for a replacement. However, I have a few requirements:
    1: Programable Shortcut Keys (Including the "Double click on icon" Shortcut key which I use to my death - Ctrl-Shift-I)
    2: Tab - Space sending! Would drive me crazy if it were any different!
    3: Be able to get full user info INCLUDING THEIR IP! Starting servers and getting's people's FTPs is a pain without that!
    4: Send through server and direct option as well as no character limit
    5: Multiple away, online, na, dnd, occupied, and invisable modes with multiple message slots available
    5: File and URL send and receive, plus menu integration where available
    6: Not available in ICQ but saveable,backup-able and exportable History - I have ICQ messages that are very important that go back 18+mos right now and Ive lost much more then that!
    7: Something similar to the "Message Archive" / Address book
    8: Plug-in architecture for things like the post-it notes, and SMS messages, etc.
    8: ICQ server mode (act as an ICQ server or even better - an ICQ gateway
    9: I can live without the AIM like Message Mode but the option there would be nice
    10: Ability to use colors and block out incoming colors
    11: Better HTML integration then ICQ has (ie be able to paste HTML code in and have it render as a web page - ICQ kind of does that, its really really sloppy - copying and pasting from a web page brings up strange results)
    12: Different sounds for different user incoming events as well as being able to turn off all sounds except say for the wife or something!
    13: Email checking

    Maybe its just me but those are the feautres I can not live without if they are already in ICQ or really would love to see if they are not!
    Integration with other messaging systems would be nice - although I would see it as possibly being messy - but I bet it could be handled right. (I know people in aim that send like 3-4 word lines and scroll a lot - if that was coming in as its own message each time, I would get pissed).

    If anyone knows of such a program for Linux and/or Windows please lemme know! I would try to write something like this except - I am not much of a programer at all!
  • What version of AIM Do you have? That did not work for me
  • Icq 2000a and b has a banner type thing at the top either for SMS or something else - anyhoo - that is done in XML and can be hacked out quite easily!
  • Huh? What?!? The ICQ API has been available for quite a while on Windows, I am sure of this because a friend of mine [] who writes encryption based ICQ plugins [] told me about using it almost a year ago.

    As for the protocol being XML based. It isn't if not we'd already know about it because all the ICQ clones would be using an XML based protocol instead of the ICQ protocol [] (yes, it's available on the web).

  • What is really meant by this is that you can't use the API given by AOL to create something that'll interopperate with some other service. In other words, you can't use their API and have a client that'll also work with MSN messenger or even AIM.
  • There is no such clone. The best functionality, except from the original, you will AFAIK find in Licq (, for Linux.

    There are some windows clones:

    Miranda ICQ - (

    MyCQ - (

    AnotherICQ - (

    I guess they are not really what you are looking for. But hey, they are really small and starts up in no time.

    Anyone know of any other clones for Win32, except Jabber and such?


    "I'm surfin the dead zone
  • According to the agreement, you can't use the API to write any program that has " ability, presence indication, 'buddy-system-like' functionaliity or instant messaging capabilities," which ICQ considers a "competing product." Just out of idle curiosity, what does this leave?
  • Wouldn't this enable spammers to better automate their evil occupation? I get a spam message on ICQ here and there, but I can imagine those turning into a message every minute if this could help spammers.
  • Well, firstly I have to say that this "API" for ICQ is hardly new. I remember doing some research about ICQ specs around a year ago, and it was already available.

    Second, it isn't an API at all. It doesn't let you do anything, except some kind of remote-controlling of ICQ. What I wanted to do at the time was a PGP plug-in for sending messages, but with this "API", it's impossible. An example of what you can do with this API is sending a message from another program (using the dll), using ICQ. Note that ICQ must be installed for this to work, and even worse, the UIN of the person you're sending the message to must also be on the user's list (you can add it first of course, but you get the idea). It isn't an API at all, just a set of functions to remote-control ICQ. The specs are still completely closed, and this API is all but useless for doing anything with the ICQ protocol.
  • Lets me summarise some of the great advantages and slight disadvantages of Jabber. For
    • The client communicates with a server through XML, so client writing should be easy
    • Servers can rout your messages to ICQ, MSN and AIM so you will not lose your friends by swapping to Jabber.
    • Peer to peer is a Buzz-word: Impress your fellow nerd
    • Everything is still under development, so my Gabber (gtk jabber) client is a bit unstable at the moment, even though it shows progress.
    • There is no emacs client (Goodbye sweet eicq)
    • It seems that all your informations (including icq passwords) are stored in the server, so you have to trust the server (or install your own)
  • In Denmark there seem to be a mail sms gateway (, so icq -> danish sms should be easy, and perhaps we could use procmail to include sms->iqc in the client too.

    BTW I just swapped to jabber. I like the idea of a serverbased system. It is easier to include icq/msn/aim (and perhaps sms) in the server once and for all, and let all the different clients benefit from it. This makes it easier to make a lot of different clients, so that everybvdy can have the functionality they want. Personally I looking forward for an emacs jabber to arrive.

  • Neither does my official client! []
  • Uh, you *do* realize that the number of users that MSN says AIM has is very, very low when compared to reality, right? You have to keep in mind that EVERY SINGLE AOL screenname is also an AIM username, and is interoperable with the stand-alone AIM client. I believe AOL had 29 million paying subscriptions at their last quarterly earnings report (I might be off, but not by more than a couple million), with and average of 3 or so screennames per account. Add in the standalone client users and you're significantly higher than what MSN messenger claims.
  • (1) How do you know that? They say "user" which is a somewhat nebulous term in and of itself.

    (2) How did Media Metrix come by their numbers? The fact that 29 million is the number of paid accounts that AOL currently claims jumps out as either being (a) a coincidence, or (b) a misunderstanding on what exactly AIM is on the part of Media Metrix. Or perhaps the articles that have been written are taking the report out of context. The article that I read the other day was vague at best, and yes, I did read it.

    As far as (3) is concerned, I passed the point of engaging in flamewars with people online a number of years ago.

    Thanks for your comments.
  • I think this one has been around for a while. I downloaded it a couple years ago. (It just wasn't well-advertised on their web page.) I was disappointed when I found out they weren't actually documenting the ICQ protocol -- they're just telling you how to write an application that will communicate with the ICQ client, which still has to be installed and running on the end-user's computer.

    Also look at statements like this, from their licence agreement:
    You may not use the ICQ API for or in conjunction with any products having chat ability, presence indication "buddy system-like" functionality or instant messaging capabilities ("Competing Products")
    And this:
    TERM AND TERMINATION. This license shall continue for a year or until terminated, whichever is first.
    Really, it's not a big deal at all.
  • by Kevinb ( 138146 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:41AM (#355655) Homepage
    You may not use the ICQ API for or in conjunction with any products having chat ability, presence indication "buddy system-like" functionality or instant messaging capabilities ("Competing Products").

    So I can't use the API for a chat protocol to write a chat program. So what good is it?

  • Dan Gillmor got an email from Yossi Vardi of AOL

    Don't you mean AOL-Time Warner? Sad, but true. Soon, it'll be AOL-Time Warner-Creative-CBS-ABC-Microsoft-IBM-Compaq-Dell- ....

    Check in...OK! Check out...OK!
  • Nope, it was Mirabilis and they're Israelian.
    The agreement (linked in the article) also says Israelian law governs the specs (if you're not a citizen of the USA)
  • First of all, the ICQ protocol has been well-documented. Look at this address: [], for example. As far as I saw, it's quite a primitive UDP protocol which uses magic numbers for coding stuff.

    Secondly, how do you think LICQ works? LICQ certainly's got more than 10K users, and it's out of the GPL to sign various NDAs (even liberal ones!).

    Thirdly, it's been there for quite a long time, and I think it is to be taken off shortly. ICQ is becoming an adware, and I don't think they'll be so liveral for long.

  • That's such crap though. MSN's messenger is the worst program ever put to code!
  • use aim sometime.. its not at all like icq.. aim is the program microsoft virtually cloned for their own messenger..and yes msn messenger is quite possibly the worst program put to code.
  • its gets installed if you tell windows to get most things via windows update..
  • it works for me.. get the newest version of aim.. login using your icq name and password and add a buddy by their icq number and send them a message.. betanews i think had an article about this a while back
  • I have had the ICQ developers kit for ages, and it has always had the restrictions mentioned. In other words there is nothing new about this SDK.

    While its hardly an open protocol there are Open Source systems which can interoperate with it.

    I am currently working with Jabber. This has a open architecture which allows ICQ, AOL, MSN, and other services to interoperate through the use of Jabber servers.

  • The API itself is pretty limited. I was looking to provide a crypto system for it - but the API didn't allow for messing around with incoming or outgoing messages.

    If you are looking at interacting with ICQ, download Jabber from There is a server and client. This system can intereact with ICQ, and you can build your extended functionality without license restrictions.

    The ICQ agreement simply means you can't use the API to reate competing clients. They don't really care about having exactly more than 10,000 users - but they don't want a cool application - of say over 1,000,000 users - not paying something for the use of the API.

  • by dR.fuZZo ( 187666 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:24AM (#355665)
    You copied their license agreement to a different web page? What are you, nuts? Are you trying to get sued or something?
  • by Pru ( 201238 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @10:58AM (#355667)
    I think AOL is trying to just appease the FTC with its monthy releaseses of just so little more of the messaging specks and open-ness

    In other words I think they are trying to release it so slow that it will not matter when they fully release it... but all the while releaseing just enough to keep the FTC happy.
  • To me it seems that they're trying to comeback after it was revealed that MSN Messenger is more popular [].

    Also a good windows alternative client Miranda ICQ [] has been in development for over a year (did I mention it's open sourced?). It has basic messaging without all the fluff and bloat.
  • Can a person under 13 be legally bound by the license? I assumed this restriction was to prevent people from abusing the license using children.
  • Man, I'd have to take that with a freaking 12 pound bag of salt. You can tell he has no clue what he's doing just by looking at his "beautiful" female assistants for the article. Hell, I'd rather put my dick in a blender than any of those nasty old hens. Seriously, man, you want to try to attract a good looking woman (or even a non-hideous one). And as a guy who's had more sex than Bruce Perens has imposters (I'm an ex-porn star, so most of it was work though :), I have to say that not only is his whole guide skewed by the grossness and inaccuracy of his female assistants, none of those tricks work unless you're dealing with some pathetic 50 year old woman who's trying to get married so she doesn't alone. I dunno though, at least ESR's guide to getting gargoyles may work if you have one of those genetic diseases where you'll die if you don't have sex with an ugly woman in 24 hours.

    "The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his vagaries."
  • by Phil Eschio ( 210602 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:14AM (#355671)
    I think the whole community has been sick of AOL picking up companies such as ICQ and just prick-teasing us with idle promises of opening it up. I'm kind of doubtful as to how much AOL will actually put out, especially having looked at the age and size limits in their "agreement." Nonetheless, at least AOL is making some effort to allow ICQ to be examined and probed vigorously by programmers and source code readers, and I think this will benefit both users and the company's reputation in the long run. As another thought, perhaps AOL is tossing the community a small bone in attempt to cover up/improve its image after all the raping of consumers and software technologies it has done.

    "The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his vagaries."
  • there's only a windows dll, which has been there for a *long* time. For documentation on the ICQ protocol (which is _very_ ugly*) ) check: *) one of the ugly things like the way is deals with someone marking himself as 'invisible'. This is implement by having the clients of his *peers* no longer showing the invisible man - well, if the clients are 'official' clients, that is...
  • Of course the M$ messenger is more popular. It always ends up on my Windooze installation somehow. Not that I have ever used it, or ever will. But somehow it seems to get down there into my taskbar. sigh. So I uninstall it.
    But even if I don't create an account in it, will it still contact M$ and count as a installation, if so it is no wonder that it numbers is raising.
  • I didn't say that it was in the box, just that it always ends up in my installation, and it does. I figure that it is with internet exploder, but then again, windows does not interest me very much.
  • You can find all sorts of ICQ hacking utilities here []. As it says on the ICQ site, secret conversations should be held by other, more secure means.
  • It's a winblows DLL ... that's hardly what I'd class as 'open'.
  • Did anybody else watch this show on msnbc? It had several computer industry biggies, one of them being AOL. AOL was asked if they would open up AIM and they successfully skirted giving a real answer saying that they allowed anyone to access it (with their software only).

    So, why now are they now "openning" up ICQ? I'm sure they have some truly dark, deliciously evil plan...

    ..The only thing I like about ICQ is the mail.wav "swoosh" sound
  • At one point I was looking into writing extensions to ICQ for a project I was working on, and find an ICQ plugin API. This was July 2000. Anyone know if this is all that different?
  • AOL is just teasing IMunified [] by opening up something (rather than nothing from IMunified for almost half a year), albeit something that's practically useless.
  • I wonder how those who oppose Israel's (sometimes harsh) laws will feel about this. I think I'll go do some patent research and sue someone, anyone, for the sake of popularity.

    Ah, yeah. The laws in Israel can be sometimes harsh, but I have no idea how you can know this. (reasoning: israelis are ruthless people -> they have ruthless laws).

    Now, seriously. "White-collar" offenses are treated in a somewhat strange (in my opinion, though, as, yes, you guesssed it, IANAL) way in relation to other criminal offenses. You see, such things as copyright violation mean up to 5 years in jail, while rape is up to 3 (?!!!), however, if a new law (labelled "The Der'i" law, since it is assumed to be made to free the political leader / white-collar offender Der'i from jail), may allow people who made white collar offenses to be released after serving half of the time for good behaviour (instead of 2/3).

    How is this related to your remark? Well, it isn't, in any way. I am just annoyed when people make statements about stuff they probably know very little about (and especially about Israel).

    Of course, if you're an Israeli lawyer then:
    a. I'm sorry about this comment, I guess...
    b. Ha ha ha good luck finding a job

  • One step further in having only one unified messenger protocol.
  • Is there really any use in having these specs. Since there are already opensource icq clone programs what is the point in using the mirabilis API to write icq-like software when an open project will have a MUCH less restrictive license... maybe im missing something but is there any real use in having this info. One more note... the ICQ API Reference guide included with the files is dated 1998... not exactly very new is it?

  • I'm reading this story and I remember to turn my ICQ on. Oddly enough, it seems that ICQ is down right now. Their site [] is down as well as their connection servers.

    Strangley this is also very close on the heels of the Ceo to CFO [] logs that have recently gone public, taken from ICQ logs. I would have to say they are having an all time bad day right now.

  • hahahahaha! 'M$'!!!! Will the wit and creativity ever end?
  • I think we need an RFC on Instant Messaging to create a true standard. In the True spirit of standards.
  • They may have documented the API's but cant they be subject to change willy nilly as they see fit :) You can get that easily by reading the dllexport list and if com from the typelibrary using OLEView. We need a true standard not just some OEM specific standard (If you can call that a standard)
  • by deran9ed ( 300694 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:21AM (#355688) Homepage

    CHILDREN UNDER 13. Please note that the ICQ API as well as the ICQ service, Software, network, system, Web site, servers, various directories and listings, various message and news boards, tools, information and databases, are NOT FOR USE BY CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE. If it comes to ICQ Inc.'s attention through reliable means that a registered user is a child under 13 years of age, ICQ Inc. will cancel that user's account.
    This has to be one of the funniest and stupidest statements I've seen. For those who use ICQ/LICQ/MICQ/etc/etc when was the last time anything you did via the client was validated by the server. It sounds all good to parents and law makers who don't know any better, but my info states I'm about 12 years old, I live in Lithuania, etc., so much bogus information it'd make a wanted felon cry with envy. This is like (in my opinion) the case with some of these online cigarette companies, who were selling tobacco to kids under the age solely because they ordered with a credit card. Well sure if they have a credit card they must be legal, just don't verify they might have gotten the credit card number from their parents... Sure.... no need to verify, step right up for your Marlboros

    If you are not a citizen of the USA, then the laws of the State of Israel, excluding its conflicts-of-law rules, shall govern this Agreement.
    I wonder how those who oppose Israel's (sometimes harsh) laws will feel about this. I think I'll go do some patent research and sue someone, anyone, for the sake of popularity.

    vroom vroom []
  • by jhol ( 301546 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:17AM (#355689) Homepage
    Indeed it is, and the other files are dated 1999, so no, it's not very new at all.

    The API was not that very extensive either, and the code that was supplied was simply interfaces defining the methods, no code behind it.

    Any slashdot readers that might find this code useful? I'm not entirely sure why it was even released, do they want people to make applications calling these methods?
  • Um... no it's not. Let's see if I can't spell it out for you:

    #47 []: Wasnt it a Swedish company?
    #63 []: Nope, it was Mirabilis and they're Israelian
    #85 []: that's what he said, dipshit.

    This is why you have to be careful when reading at a threshold of 1.
  • by Jack Porter ( 310054 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @11:28AM (#355691)
    It's the same document I downloaded in 1998 when I was playing around with an SMS->ICQ gateway. Read the ICQAPI.doc file, it's dated 20/2/98.

    Why don't people actually check it out before debating what this all means in light of the FTC?!

    This is no more open than the Microsoft Win32 API you can find on MSDN.

    As for the submitter's questions about whether it uses SOAP and XML-RPC - why didn't you look at the API, with a 10-second look you can tell that it's just a Win32 DLL interface!

  • Not only has ICQ's API been open but AIM has begun to make itself compatible with ICQ.

    Try this:

    Open AIM.
    Type in your ICQ number in the login name box.
    Type in your ICQ password in the password box.
    Hit connect.

    The weird thing is you can't add people to your buddy list and you can't see AIM users. You *CAN* message ICQ users though...from AIM!

    A bit strange eh?
  • Hey, at least they opened up Netscape... of course, that was bound to happen sooner or later.

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