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America Online

AIM And ICQ to be Integrated 376

sam writes "According to this InfoWorld article the next version of America Online's Instant Messenger will allow users to communicate with ICQ users in a move that will bridge the gap between the company's two popular chat services. Maybe AOL finally woke up and realized people were using IM clients that have both in them." I still use only IRC for messaging, but this is gonna make things easier for a lot of users.
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AIM And ICQ to be Integrated

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  • by jimmcq ( 88033 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:08PM (#4560204) Journal
    I thought this already worked... You can load up the AIM client and add the Number (not nickname) of an ICQ user as buddy.
    • by ActiveSX ( 301342 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:18PM (#4560317) Homepage
      This isn't about the client protocol, this is interaction between users on the server.
      • by infiniti99 ( 219973 ) <justin@affinix.com> on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @09:56PM (#4560971) Homepage
        Yes, which is a huge deal. Lots of people in the comments are posting about client-side workarounds, which don't even solve the problem. If you are logged into AIM and ICQ from one client, the networks are not bridged whatsoever. You've just got two logins, that's all. It's a nice trick, but there is a lot more to solving IM interoperability.

        Now that the IETF working group for Jabber is on its way, I sincerely hope that AOL will consider using it for their server-to-server communication. They can still use OSCAR for client communication (just as they use a proprietary client mail protocol and not POP), but they need to use Jabber on the outside (as they use SMTP on the outside) to fully solve the "IM Interoperability Dilemma" (tm).

        Of course, considering how long it is taking for them to link their own damn networks, I'd say we've got about 5 years to go :(

        AOL holds most of the cards for IM interoperability. I still encourage everyone out there to start using Jabber and run Jabber servers, but AOL's users totally outnumber us. Even in this Slashdot forum today, most of you using some form of IM are using an AOL-controlled service. Please, guys, the faster we move to Jabber, the faster this war will be over. Stop using AIM, ICQ, MSN, or Yahoo, especially if you are on Linux (doesn't anyone think using MSN on Linux is just too ironic?). Or if you can't quit cold-turkey, use GAIM so that you can use Jabber alongside these other proprietary protocols. I still think it will take a move by AOL to fully solve this (as I said, they have most of the cards), but I think if the entire tech community embraced Jabber we would have a lot more influence. This move to link AIM and ICQ is a good first step, but there is more to be done.

        So go forth and use Jabber. Find a friend to do it also. Even if you just have each other in your contact list and no one else, you are securing yourself a place in the future of open IM. I'm already AOL-free, as I quit AIM and ICQ earlier this year. Now my Jabber roster has over 100 contacts, after successful conversion of all of my friends and family. Who needs AOL? Not any of us!!
        • by __aaahtg7394 ( 307602 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @10:44PM (#4561182)
          AIM and ICQ have been the same network since icq2k. It's just that they've been limiting the ability to speak between the two.

          You could log in to AIM servers with an ICQ UID and join ChatNav (AIM chat rooms) before. dunno if you still can, don't care to test. You simply couldn't IM AIM users (you could still message ICQ users).

          ICQ2K's protocol is just OSCAR with the ICQ bits stuffed in via new TLVs.

          -josh, who helped with OSCAR RE and did the first (afaik) partial icq2k implementation (See libfaim or the aimster/madster client-side proxy)
        • After your inspiring speach about Jabber. You never really tell us exactly what it is, or provide a link for more info. A link wold be nice. We like links.
          • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @12:34AM (#4561729) Homepage

            After your inspiring speach about Jabber. You never really tell us exactly what it is, or provide a link for more info. A link wold be nice. We like links.

            I'll try to help. Here [jabber.org] is Jabber's main page. The first thing you need to do is Grab a client [jabbercentral.org] My personal favourite is Psi [sourceforge.net], a crossplatform slim and slick client that I feel is better because I can opt to have incoming events as messages or chats (or just leave them as they came), opt to pop up the window, automatically show the message, or just flash in the tray (especially important when you type over 100WPM and someone messages you out of the blue), it's open source, I've created a few patches [mixdown.ca] to help make the client better (IMO), and it's under active development [sourceforge.net]. Psi also has a message/chat history (searchable) and supports multiple identities (online at the same time, in the same client) and Jabber itself features multiple instances of a particular Jabber User (home/work, etc.). Features coming up in Psi are groupchat (in 0.8.7, due out Very Soon Now), File Transfer (that works behind NAT, coming in 0.9), pluggable storage for history and prefs (SQL, etc.) and other leading-edge stuff for Jabber. Justin (the lead developer of Psi) seems to have a real knack for making a solid, stable client and pushing the envelope with the new Jabber feature drafts.

            Oh yes, Psi also supports SSL (client--server) and there is a Jabber draft for SSL between servers, so your inane chatter is kept private with strong encryption. *cough*ICQ*cough*

            Psi is a Qt app, but there are CLI clients, Perl module clients, GTK clients, Win32-only clients, Java clients, JScript clients... Hell there's even a Flash [jabbercentral.org] client. The protocol is completely open.

            Perhaps one of the biggest assets to Jabber is that it is decentralized. There are many public [jabber.org] servers, and you can set your own up (hell even Debian has packages for it!). [warning - the public servers link has a session-id, I don't know if it'll work for anyone else]

            The biggest problem with Jabber is that it is still a little tricky for newbies to get in to -- there is no "download this, it registers you with one of the common servers" links (not that I'm aware of anyway), so you need someone to either set it up for you or point you off to a public server. A lot of the clients are crap (a common problem with OSS, I'm afraid). Sometimes the transports (gateways to other IM systems, like ICQ, AIM, Y!, etc.) don't work because the other systems find a common server and shut down access to their network from it, but if you run your own server or you are on a small server, you won't even blip on their radar.

            I really like it. I used to be an ICQ-head (my UIN is just over 1-mil) but when they started throwing up ads and adding more and more crap to the client I bailed) and I couldn't find a decent Jabber client (one that didn't pop up messages and take focus, how F#%#^T#$'ing irritating!) for a while, but now I am a very happy Jabber user. Hell even my wife, mom and grandmother use it (seriously) -- it works great for computer-cautious people because of the simplicity.

          • by infiniti99 ( 219973 ) <justin@affinix.com> on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @12:38AM (#4561757) Homepage
            I guess I made the false assumption that everyone already knows what Jabber is, yet aren't using it. That was actually very stupid of me, considering what I was arguing :)

            Jabber is an open IM system, which uses an XML-based protocol for interconnecting servers and clients. Your Jabber ID (or JID) is in the form "user@host", obviously following in the footsteps of other common internet protocols (most notably email, but also ftp, http, etc). Jabber also supports SSL in the core protocol.

            Because the protocol is open, there are numerous server and client implementations, all designed to interoperate. Anyone can run a server, and there is no such thing as an "official client" (that would be as absurd as an official email client). The world of Jabber is much more friendly than that of closed IM, as the Jabber Software Foundation encourages developer participation.

            Let the linking commence!

            Jabber Software Foundation [jabber.org] - The "JSF" handles all of the core protocol decision-making. There are members, council, and an enhancement proposal system. The website is also a nice hub for information, as there are links to guides, programming info, client software, server software, public server lists, etc. Start here.

            Some nice clients:
            Psi [affinix.com]* - powerful and minimal cross-platform Jabber client (Windows/Mac/Unix), looking like Licq.
            Gabber [sf.net] - a full featured GNOME Jabber client.
            Exodus [sf.net] - a very featureful Windows client. Has a strange UI in my opinion, but lots of people like it.
            Gaim [sf.net] - mentioned 100 times already in the comments area. This program is nice because it natively supports AIM (and other protocols), which can make your transition to Jabber easier.

            Other areas of interest:
            User guide [jabber.org] - a good read for newbies.
            jabberd [jabberstudio.org] - home of the popular open source jabber server.
            Jabberd Admin guide [jabber.org] - Read this if you want to run your own server.
            Jogger [jabber.org] - a Jabber-based blog.

            *Note - I am the author of Psi. Please forgive the plug :)
          • After your inspiring speach about Jabber. You never really tell us exactly what it is, or provide a link for more info. A link wold be nice. We like links.

            • Open Protocol with open specifications, XML everywhere :)
            • Easily extended protocol.
            • Server side everything, including contact lists.
            • A multitude of clients, for windows, Linux, and other OS's
            • Server side Transports so you can talk to people on other networks as if they were normal jabber members. This even includes ICQ's ability to send SMS's. Transports exist for at least ICQ,MSN,Yahoo,AIM,IRC,SMTP, I even wrote a transport to talk to my Wiki.
            • A simple client protocol that can be easily implemented on simple devices (Cellphones etc), most of the hardwork is done on the servers.
            • Conferencing, multiuser chat.
            • Lotsa other stuff I don't use.
            Some of the proposed extentions including such nifty things such as being able to have a client fill in forms. For example, you could connect to a Pizza delivery transport, it asks you some questions, such as where to deliver the pizza, what kind of pizza you want etc, then delivers the pizza to you. Jabber is a stable platform now. It's usable as an IM today, and many people do use it. what it does need is more people to start using it. For more information see:
            • The Jabber Software Foundation [jabber.org]
            • Jabber Studio [jabberstudio.org] - A sourceforge like site for jabber projects.
            • Jabber Inc [jabber.com] - A company making money on working on Jabber solutions for other companies.
            • Gabber [sourceforge.net] - a (very nice IMHO) GTK client for Jabber.
            • Psi [sourceforge.net] - a Jabber client for the KDE people.
        • Do you seriously believe that even if every single member of the tech community, however loosely you choose to define that, started using Jabber or some other sort of open protocol system to chat with, that it would amount to a portion of the total IM user base large enough for AOL or some other company to even notice? Instant Messaging software is probably one of the most broadly used software on the market. I'd say it's probably even more ingrained in the current market than Windows is because while most people have no real idea how to use any of the features of the OS, most people know how to use at least one messaging client. For that matter, most alternative clients(even gaim) are too complicated for the majority of their users, as is ICQ for that matter, but that's neither here nor there. Admitedly it would be nice to see better *nix implementations of the instant messaging software, there is nothing terribly wrong with the current instant messengers(well excluding ads in icq which you can remove and invasive license agreements for msn which are for the most part expected for a part of passport). Plus other than annoying AOL discs, which I haven't recieved in quite a while, and tacky advertising which is typical these days and is still less annoying than the MSN bug man. AOL doesn't really intrude itself into my life all that much and outside of general anti-corporatism I personally have nothing much against it.
  • iChat (Score:4, Interesting)

    by krokodil ( 110356 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:09PM (#4560215) Homepage
    Does it mean that I can use iChat to chat
    with ICQ firends? That would be cool!
  • About Time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by codemachine ( 245871 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:09PM (#4560221)
    Considering they use the exact same protocol, I'm not sure what the holdup was. ICQ2000 onward was really just AIM protocol anyhow. I guess they need to make integration look hard so they have an excuse to not allow MSN and Yahoo! interoperability.
    • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:52PM (#4560576)
      He says that the servers for ICQ and AIM are _identical_. The only thing that separates the two networks is _one flag_ (in the message header, I think), that AOL can switch at will. The reason AOL kept AIM and ICQ separate is purely political: they didn't want the competition to connect to AIM. (IIRC, this has something to do with fulfilling the AOL/TW merger requirements). Microsoft has been quite vocal on this issue, even going so far as to propose "open standards" for instant messaging. Funny how they cry foul when they have to fight an uphill battle for a change.
      • by homer_ca ( 144738 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @09:15PM (#4560712)
        The conditions imposed by the FTC on the AOL/TW merger were that AOL must open it's IM network to competitors when it starts offering "advanced" services like video. Ever since then, they've dragged their feet on putting video features in AIM (pretty obvious when you see the "everything but the kitchen sink" feature list in AIM 5.0). Yahoo and MSN have had video for at least a year now. article here [usatoday.com]
      • by mentin ( 202456 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @03:44AM (#4562473)
        The reason AOL kept AIM and ICQ separate is purely political: they didn't want the competition to connect to AIM.
        Maybe they don't want the number of users that they can report to shrink in a moment they merge networks?

        Today they have 130M ICQ users plus 160M AOL IM users. If they merge the networks, those 100M who have both ICQ and IM running will have no reason to do this anymore and choose one of them. So instead of 300M combined users AOL will have "only" 200M :)

  • by anotherone ( 132088 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:09PM (#4560222)
    I feel that I should mention Trillian, which everyone should know about:


    Trillian.cc [trillian.cc]


    It lets you connect to and message users on both ICQ and AIM, as well as MSN and Yahoo. And you can connect to IRC with it, although I prefer to use mIRC for that.

    • by Dog and Pony ( 521538 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:12PM (#4560252)
      Personally, I found CenterICQ [konst.org.ua] to be one of the best multi-IM applications. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:16PM (#4560292)
      Well if you get to post your favorite, I get to post mine.

      I think everyone should know about Gaim [sf.net], a UNIX instant messenging client supporting a wide variety of protocols.

      All of the protocols Trillian supports:
      ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC
      plus:
      Jabber, Zephyr, and (not that it's much use) Napster.
    • by ejaw5 ( 570071 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:19PM (#4560320)
      I find Gaim [slashdot.org] to my liking. Haven't tried the $25USD Trillian, but Gaim works like a charm. It even alerts me when mail comes into my Y! account. ..and it's free. The linux version is great...well the Win32 could use a little more work.
      • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:24PM (#4560369) Homepage
        Haven't tried the $25USD Trillian.

        No, Trillian is $Free. Trillian Pro costs $25.

        There is a difference.

        There are no restrictions to the regular Trillian, and only a few tiny bells and whistles in Trillian Pro. The reasons to buy Trillian Pro are almost totally about donating to the developement, and little else.
        • by brain159 ( 113897 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:32PM (#4560437) Journal
          Also, when they introduced Trillian Pro, they gave everyone who had previously donated >= $1 a free license to Pro for a year (I think it's a year's worth of updates, not necessarily a year of using it). Cunning ploy to get us to want to pay for it after a year, certainly, and I'm convinced already :-)

          Pro adds the ability to read RSS feeds for you and pop up stuff when there's new news to be read (it alerted me to this /. entry). It also checks for emails and a few other similar nice things. Pro doesn't have IRC, but I prefer mIRC for that anyway.

      • by lewp ( 95638 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:43PM (#4560532) Journal
        The AIM file transfer capabilities of Trillian seal the deal for me. I realize that for more technical users that this isn't a big deal (everyone has a server, right?), but my less technical friends are always trying to send me files via AIM and it gets old really quickly explaining why you are using a client that isn't capable of accepting their transfers. I use Gaim on my non-Microsoft boxen and this appears to be the only major feature it's missing.

        I shelled out the $25 for Trillian Pro when I saw the first screenshot. The default interface is arguably better than AIM's and is much tighter than the ugly rounded default of the free version. The "Send to" context menus for initiating IM transfers out of Explorer, Open... dialog boxes, and just about everywhere else are a nice time saver. The weather, mail and Winamp plugins make it useful enough to consider "docking" to one side of your screen if you have the real estate (I don't do this because I have already discovered the "one true way" for my Windows desktop). Finally, with the Minibrowser plugin you even get the full HTML profiles you see in the regular AIM client.

        Oh, and Trillian Pro will notify you of mail in your Yahoo! account too (and MSN, and even AOL it looks like), but unlike the other clients it gives you quick and easy checkboxes to turn this feature off if you, like me, don't waste your time with Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail.
      • Trillian is for Windows, and there is a free version.
    • Huh? I connect to IRC with Trillian all the time, even their free version connects to IRC.
    • The developers have their heads stuck up their asses. Took hours of my work and now they're charging for it. It's half my fault for not getting anything in writing though. But the application itself is still buggy as hell - no shortcut keys to anything, it uses its own custom skinning system which makes it slow as all hell, and it occasionally hangs, hogging cycles, until I kill it. Oh, and it keeps everything in text files in the program files directory, so forget about using it in anything approaching a secure system.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Oh pleeeeezzzz. Your name is what? Al Gore?
      • I use both GAIM and Trillian, and BOTH have the autologging capability. I'm not sure what the defaults are in each program.

        In Trillian, to turn off autologging, go to:

        Preferences-->Message History-->Automatically log-->none

        Make sure that you apply to all services, which is a checkbox at the top of the window.

        I find that trillian is very good on my PII 233 with 64mb ram. In the end, it saves me having to open MSN, ICQ, IRC in seperate programs. It is also much more feature-rich when compared to msn, especially when window-managing.

        As a bonus - most (if not all) config files are XML based. Each user has a seperate folder with preferences, etc, so it is REALLY EASY (as in change the default directory) to use trillian on multiple computers with the same config files, given that the computers are networked with SMB.
    • Obligitory Fire link (Score:3, Informative)

      by Durindana ( 442090 )
      Yes, everyone has their own favorite for their favorite . One platform without most of the usual is Mac OS X, but we're blessed with the Cocoa quality and GPL love of Fire [epicware.com].
  • iChat? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JHromadka ( 88188 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:09PM (#4560224) Homepage
    Hopefully Apple will add this functionality to iChat [apple.com] as well. I don't personally use ICQ, but there are plenty of folks who do.
  • by fortinbras47 ( 457756 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:10PM (#4560236)
    For all practical purposes, aren't they integrated on the client side?
  • by MontyP ( 26575 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:12PM (#4560255)
    AOL files a lawsuit against itself as it tries to integrate ICQ into their Instant Messenger System.
  • Great... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bob Vila's Hammer ( 614758 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:13PM (#4560264) Homepage Journal
    Now instead of not using both programs, I won't have to use just one!
  • by MrP- ( 45616 ) <[moc.acissejpus] [ta] [acissej]> on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:14PM (#4560267)
    For the last year or so, you've been able to log on to AIM using your ICQ UIN and PW. The last time I tried was when I first heard about it, a year ago, and at that time I wasn't actually able to talk to anyone from it, but it did log on. Don't know if it changed, or was disabled since then.
  • by Jamuraa ( 3055 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:14PM (#4560270) Homepage Journal
    This already works, IIRC.. When I use gaim, I use the AOL transport, and put in my number as a username, and my normal ICQ password. When everyone got into a hissy fit about ICQ changing their protocol a while back it was because AOL changed it to AIM's protocol. Surprise surprise.

    It's also worth noting that gAIM [sf.net] supporta AOL, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, zephyr.. you name it, it's got it, or you can write a plugin easily for it. It also just released a win32 beta/preview, which will make my favorite messenger software ever work on windows too (yay!). I used to use trillian, but it would too often log me off and on MSN and other protocols because it didn't keep up-to-date often enough.

  • Okay, Trillian is just swell, with the exception that AOL constantly tries to block it. Why? I don't have a friggin' clue.

    But!! Gaim [sourceforge.net] is much better. It has never suffered to the blocking that Trillian does AND it is now available for Windows. Although, Gaim is still best used under *NIX. :-p
    • "Okay, Trillian is just swell, with the exception that AOL constantly tries to block it. Why? I don't have a friggin' clue."

      That was months ago. I have been using Trillian Pro [trillian.cc] to access AIM and ICQ and there hasn't been a service outage since ... I can't remember! Definitely not within the last few months.

    • Just for completeness, Gaim *has* suffered multiple block attempts from AOL. They have, however, been very succesful every time at releasing updates that fix the blockages, usually within a few hours.

      Trillian, on the other hand, has been very slow. I remember being unable to sign on for about a week, while gaim would just chug along happily on my linux box
  • What is going to be the next big thing in chat that makes all of this a moot point?

    What's the next killer "chat" app and why does it matter?

    I personally find most "chat" boring and don't see the point of it. People obviously use it though, so I guess I just missed the point.
    • I personally find most "chat" boring and don't see the point of it. People obviously use it though, so I guess I just missed the point I use it because the phone sucks, and even if I did enjoy using the phone, most of the people I talk to on aim are boring as hell on the phone. People just naturally seem better able to communicate when you can't hear their pauses, sighs, and hums.
      • I use it because the phone sucks

        I use it because
        1) I cant phone people in the middle of a workshop at uni
        2) Mobile phone calls cost arround a dollar a minute to australia. ICQ costs arround a cent a millenium. Dont use MSN or AIM - I've got a semi-low number on ICQ.
    • I personally find most "chat" boring and don't see the point of it. People obviously use it though, so I guess I just missed the point.

      The way I see it, snail mail was a very asynchronous means of communication, while telephone was synchronous. In the former, you wait a considerable time for a reply, while in the latter, the reply was instantaneous. E-mail changed things a bit. Communication was still asynchronous, but it was also instantaneous. The potential for two people to both be logged in and having a timely exchange regardless of location was nice, yet if one party was unavailable, the message wouldn't be lost to the ether... they'd just get it next time they logged in. No per message costs were another factor, what with postage and long distance rates always a consideration.

      IM straddles the line a bit more. You know when someone is online, but they may be otherwise occupied. It allows an informality... a way to exchange one-liners or anything else, without the recipient feeling they NEED to respond immediately. It's good as a background task so long as neither party is overly anxious for a reply. Less effort, and more potential for a timely response than email.

      Just my two cents...

  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:17PM (#4560297) Homepage
    I am assuming that the integration will be rolled into Apple's AIM client, iChat. [apple.com] Now it just needs MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Jabber support. The built-in Rendevous support [apple.com] in iChat is one feature that the Open Source community should jump on. Not only for chat but all forms of connectivity without the tedious cfg editing. I would love to message my Linux and BSD servers securely for system info.

    Me: Hey web server, what's your load?
    Linux-2 Web Server: Heavy dude! Slashdot just linked to a page and I am r0X0red to max! Talk2UL8r

    • Fire for OS X (Score:3, Informative)

      by mofu ( 609230 )
      Fire [epicware.com] for OS X integrates AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, IRC, and Jabber. Plus it is GPL source, and uses GPL libraries.
  • by Newer Guy ( 520108 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:18PM (#4560311)
    This also makes the combined messaging client absolutely unstoppable HUGE! I only wonder if they're planning to merge features (for example, ICQ allows you to send a message to someone even if they're not on; AOL doesn't). Now if they'd only interoperate with everyone else, instant messaging could become big enough to replace email.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Evil Adrian ( 253301 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:18PM (#4560312) Homepage
    Bloated AIM client + Bloated ICQ client = 20 MB executable. Greeeat.
  • For the rest of us, there has always been Trillian -- I guess they don't like it stealing business from their adware ICQ/AIM programs, so instead of trying to screw up older protocols, they actually decided to compete.

    As much as I hate the methodologies and idiologies of AOL, I applaud this move: it's a bulwark against the encroachment of MSN Messenger's .NET Passport, which will only lead to other bad things, including but not limited to Palladium. When it comes to things like IM, in the end there can be only one -- God forbid it be Microsoft and their schemes.
  • Diable Open source (Score:3, Interesting)

    by haplo21112 ( 184264 ) <(moc.anhtipe) (ta) (olpah)> on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:23PM (#4560351) Homepage
    Does this mean the open source ICQ clients are gonna get killed...?
  • Functionality? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by intermodal ( 534361 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:23PM (#4560353) Homepage Journal
    Does this mean they'll be adding ICQ functionality to AIM, such as being able to message/recieve messages while i'm not online or the person i'm sending to isn't online?
  • Does this mean... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jesser ( 77961 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:23PM (#4560357) Homepage Journal
    the AIM client will finally include a feature that lets you change how someone appears in your buddy list (e.g., "Jesse Ruderman" instead of "JesseRud")? I can't imagine AIM forcing users to deal with a buddy list full of 9-digit ICQ numbers. Other than automatic logging, this is the feature I'm hoping for the most in the official AIM client.
  • Now we gotta wonder what AOL will have up their sleeve next. It would be nice to see one client out instead of having both AIM and ICQ.
    • easy:

      make aim look more like icq, have a 'skinable' butotn at the bottom

      have an aim skin, and icq skin..

      also, for those yapping about advertisements

      www.jdennis.net has Deadaim ... great program kills the ads and logs for you ...
  • by Theodore Logan ( 139352 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:28PM (#4560401)
    Have a look at Gaim [sourceforge.net].

    I don't use it myself, but it's sourceforge's most active so I'm sure someone finds it valuable.
  • I've always avoided AIM like the plague it is, but I've been using ICQ for a fairly long while (For instance, I have an eight digit ICQ number beginning with 1. I had a seven digit a long time ago but I forgot it and lost it.) Now they're going to release a new ICQ with added AIM and it's going to suck, suck, suck.
  • Nah, Trillian is far more functional then this piece of monkey Doo Doo. I have nothing against Mirabilis, but so much against AOL, thought, I will admit, AOL has satisfied my curiosity of what will happen to a CD when it's microwaved for 3 seconds.
  • So (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheOnlyCoolTim ( 264997 ) <tim@bolbrock.verizon@net> on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:32PM (#4560440)
    Does this mean ICQ might finally throw out those stupid numbers?

    I mean - no one goes to slashdot by typing http://64.28.67.150...

    Tim
    • Re:So (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CyberKnet ( 184349 )
      Why does having to be TOCT1987 instead of TheOnlyCoolTim because 30 other people tried it before you make so much more sense?

      ICQ's system gives you a unique identifier, and lets you choose your own nick name, even if other people use it too. The same nickname that lets people find you by a name, instead of a number. Although the nickname may have to be used in conjunction with other identifying information, if the nickname is too common, but still...

      I'm not saying either system makes more sense, however, if we're being critical of cryptic identifiers, then let's do be fair.
  • Thank god (Score:3, Informative)

    by dpete4552 ( 310481 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMtuxcontact.com> on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:38PM (#4560492) Homepage
    Actually both systems already use the AIM OSCAR protocol. They are already controled by the same servers even (you can log into AIM using the server login.icq.com or login.aim.com it makes no difference). The only thing is that atm AIM puts a privacy policy file on all AIM accounts that blocks screen names with numbers in it and you are unable to remove it. So ICQ people can't message your AIM account because it is as though the person is blocked, nor can they see you online, nor can you see them online or message them.

    All they need to do to make this happen is remove that entry in everyone's privacy file. I always thought it was stupid having them seperated anyways.
  • AOL Contacts: 126
    ICQ Contacts: 283
    Y! Contacts: 38
    MSN Contacts: 27
    The day they all become one: Priceless.

    There's some things Trillian sucks at [trillian.cc], for everything else there's...erm, well what was there again?
  • AIM + ICQ: It'll combine the brain dead users of AIM with the hideous feature bloat of ICQ. It can't fail!
  • People still use ICQ? Although I always believed ICQ to be vastly superior to AIM, nobody uses it anymore! Once day about two years ago I realized that I was only person actually online according to my ICQ contact list.
    • ICQ has a _crap_ interface (though the new ICQ 2001 is better) -- but it's very good at SMSing (or texting) folk around the world [icq.com] -- a service Mirabilis provides to ICQ users for free. This alone makes ICQ worth it, if lots of your friends have cellphones.
  • > I still use only IRC for messaging, but this is
    > gonna make things easier for a lot of users.

    And why don't you have a girlfriend?
  • spam (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ItsBacon ( 32095 )
    Note: I haven't used ICQ in at least a year, so things might be a little different now, but I used to use it quite a lot (I have a 7 digit UIN).

    I remember that there was a lot of spamming on ICQ, especially with offline messages. Is this going to cross over to AIM now?

  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:50PM (#4560568) Journal
    AOL/Time Warner is bringing together the two massive IM communities to disuade them from straying onto other integrated IM solutions, like Trillian (which has probably been mentioned about 50 times in this discussion by now). This maximizes their advertisement potential. Users will predictably be weined off of ICQ towards AIM, which will eliminate the need to develop two seperate IM clients that effectively accomplish the same goal.
    • The beauty of IM programs, though, is you can minimize their advertising potential with one simple step: disable the applications' access to HTTP port 80 in your firewall software.

  • by Joff_NZ ( 309034 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:54PM (#4560585) Homepage Journal
    I still use only IRC for messaging, but this is gonna make things easier for a lot of users.

    IRC??? Whats that? I'm still using ytalk
  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @08:55PM (#4560594) Homepage Journal
    Why not match userID's, like Ebay did when it brought in Half.com? My UID for ICQ and AIM Screename could be linked together.
  • Plugins and Skins (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lilkeeney ( 131454 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @09:23PM (#4560779) Homepage
    AOL has waited to long to make this jump. A lot of users have switched to using other clients rather then the AOL client. Millions of people use the AOL client and many of them download other software attempting to alter the client such as AIM+ [big-o-software.com] which allows you to eliminate the ads as well as ad logging. However, if AOL released a client that allowed plugins as well as skins, many people would of not switched to other clients. They could of even kept their ads and (tried) to make it so they couldn't be removed. However, some programmers would create a skin or a plugin rather then creating a new client. And it would be easier for novice users to download a skin and not to learn how to use a new client. I believe that is why winamp has been so popular over the years. Yes, it doesn't have ads, but without plugins or skins I would say it would of been a minority in the market share long ago. One of the main reasons I have switched to GAIM [sourceforge.net] is the plugin support.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This story's been pretty much ignored by the US media (except for a 4-part Fox News story that later disappeared from their site.) It concerns Odigo, another Israeli IM company. Check it out:

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/spyring.html

    Also:
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israeli .WMV
  • by Brent_DS ( 526929 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @09:46PM (#4560902)
    The whole reason I scraped ICQ from my box was because I got too much spam through it. I wonder if using ICQ names through the AIM server will prevent spam? After all, I've never been spammed over AIM, that I remember... Then again, maybe I should have just looked more closely at ICQ's privacy settings.
  • Maybe this means someone will dust off TAC and release a new version?

    Seriously though, (I know, this is OT), are there any other AIM compatible text based chat clients? As one of a not-as-small-as-you-might-think group who's only way to IM is through SSH to a shell acount, it'd be nice to find something stable to use.
  • Spam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Viceice ( 462967 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @10:39PM (#4561158)
    Isn't this just going to increase the reach of ICQ and AIM Spammers?

    I mean doing this is juts going to increase the rate of which users of AIM or ICQ are going to be spammed, seeing as how we are now going to see AIM Spam reaching ICQ and vice versa.
  • by sabNetwork ( 416076 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @10:43PM (#4561177)
    Needless to say, this has been a move AOL has been planning for ages.

    If you hack open an old version of AOL Instant Messenger for Macintosh with ResEdit, you'll find all the necessary UI to implement ICQ integration. They have the icons, dialogs, errors, etc.

    It seems that AOL was just waiting for the right moment to flip the switch.
  • by the_2nd_coming ( 444906 ) on Tuesday October 29, 2002 @11:31PM (#4561439) Homepage
    have the best feature of ICQ, the ability to leave messages to people who are offline?

    oh please let this be!!!!!1

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson

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