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AOL to Replace AIM with Triton 240

An anonymous reader writes "BetaNews is reporting that AOL has begun beta testing a replacement for its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) software. Triton has an entirely new user interface that adds highly anticipated features including tabbed messaging and logging. The client will also be open to third party plug-ins." From the article: "It is no coincidence that AOL is fielding so many betas concurrently. AOL Browser, an Internet Explorer based Web browser; AOL Media Player, a standalone audio and video player; AOL search technologies and AOL's synchronization utilities are all part of what was once a unified communications client called Fanfare."
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AOL to Replace AIM with Triton

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  • Cool. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rekenner ( 849871 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @03:59PM (#12351246) Homepage
    Stuff that programs like Trillian (Windows), GAIM (windows, Linux), Fire (osx), and Dead AIM (Windows, add on) have had for years.

    And then VoIP? Skype...

    Nothing new to see here, move along...
  • by Jeremy.DeGroot ( 878927 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:02PM (#12351283)
    A lot of those features touted in the headline are features that I've been using for years with alternative clients. Oh, but what's this? Support for VOIP? Address books? Plug-in architechture? Now it's sounding more interesting. I may have to start using the AIM client again.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:02PM (#12351286)
    Answering another user grievance, AOL will pair down the number of preference options in AIM, taking what it refers to as a "smarter approach." A spokesperson said that the current AIM client was heavy with preferences because, "We couldn't decide one way or another."
    But they still tacked on tons of ads and annoying pop-up windows, the dumb approach. Hopefully the new version will be ad-free and user friendly. Is this possible?
  • by matt me ( 850665 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:03PM (#12351296)
    features such as logging and tabbed conversations. cutting edge innovations? ha! i think not. maybe they should call it agaim or something. now they're taking stuff back.

    looking at 80209/triton.png screenshot they are quite clearly trying to replicate MSN 6 to 'please' users. same ugly style. expect similar bloat.
  • Not very impressive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kimos ( 859729 ) <kimos,slashdot&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:09PM (#12351343) Homepage
    I live in Canada so have never used AIM. I am, however, an avid user of Trillian [] and GAIM [] over ICQ and MSN. Now I'm not sure if it's just me, but offering tabbed chatting and logging features doesn't seem that impressive to me. Honestly, I wouldn't use a client that didn't log conversations and offer some type of window control.

    I didn't RTFM, but I hope that those aren't the best features that Triton has to offer...
  • by John Seminal ( 698722 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:12PM (#12351380) Journal
    adds highly anticipated features including tabbed messaging and logging

    I've been using this for quite a while, though. It's called Gaim [].

    Can Open Source software be copywrited or have patents? It seems like AOL is stealing a feature of an Open Source product. With all the big companies suing smaller ones for the same thing, who is going to protect the open source software?

    Or does open source not care who uses what, that open source just wants the best possible product on the market?

    It seems like a double standard.

  • by HAKdragon ( 193605 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nogardkah.> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:18PM (#12351435)
    What does living in Canada have to do with using AIM?
  • Re:early beta (Score:5, Interesting)

    by barzok ( 26681 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:19PM (#12351446)
    Because the small guy actually cares about the product, has passion around it, enjoys the work, and wants to put out something that makes him look good. He's also far more likely to "dogfood" the application, so it has to work for him before anyone else.

    Huge companies like AOL (this is a generalization!) only care about the bottom line, and the passion & interest for the product isn't nearly as strong at the level of the developers. They aren't building something they believe in, they're building what they're paid to build. Add in "too many chiefs, not enough indians" (basically, every mid-level manager and marketdroid has to get their word in and impose their will) and the end result is bloated garbage.
  • by jhewitt ( 120161 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:20PM (#12351459) Homepage
    Triton was completely re-written from scratch using a new GUI toolkit called "Boxely", which was derived from Mozilla's XUL. As a result, this new AIM is extremely extensible, and hackable.

    Poke around in C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\AIMBeta\services and you'll find a bunch of javascript and xml files (ending in .box). These contain the code that drives the entire product. You can easily modify and extend AIM, just as you can write extensions for Firefox with XUL. This is no accident, AOL wants developers to build on AIM as a platform.

    When I worked at AOL, I developed Boxely as a fun side project. I left the company a year ago, but they kept my project alive and now seem to be building real software with it. I probably should have open sourced it from the beginning.

    On my blog I've written more about Boxely and how it compares to XUL:
  • by jtriska ( 520530 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:21PM (#12351469)
    Just what does this client do that it needs more than a 600mhz computer?

    I got the installer, which was annoying as it's not even an installer at all but an install-getter, and it immediately prompted me with the message "Your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements to download and install AIM® Beta."
  • by AdityaG ( 842691 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:30PM (#12351559) Homepage
    I know AOL doesn't have a record of doing smart things, but if they actually make the client non-shitty, it can only help. People won't generally switch to Gaim and Trillian, because they don't know the company. People want a name brand. We see this with Linux vs. Windows and such.

    So if they actually make a better client, maybe one that instantly kills noob fuxx0rs, the world will be a better place.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:44PM (#12351685)
    You might want to double-check with any AOL contacts... pretty sure Boxley was gutted due to Python guts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @04:47PM (#12351714)
    AOL bought them a few years ago for 350 million and didnt do anything with it. ICQ had everything AIM didnt why dont they just use ICQ.
  • by hass ( 869418 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:06PM (#12351887)
    Miranda is a nice chat client for older systems. It supports multiple chat protocols and does not require installation. The site says it can even be run from a floppy drive. I prefer it over gaim and trillian. []
  • by darthpenguin ( 206566 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:25PM (#12352074) Homepage

    Gaim, my own preferred IM client, is available as a free downloadable win32 exe. It supports just about every protocol (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, jabber, IRC, etc), has tabbed messaging, and also lacks ads.

    Since it's gtk2 based, you can apply whatever themes you want to it (and it will also integrate into your desktop that way if you happen to run it under linux). And the free gaim-encryption [] plugin allows secure messaging as well, in an easy to setup/use interface. In addition to all these features, it's Free, unlike Trillian.

  • Re:future plans? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by prionic6 ( 858109 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:19PM (#12352581)
    ICQ is still the big thing over here in germany. I have only two people that use AOL on my contact list, none use MSN, none YIM. You can add AIM-Contacts through any ICQ-Client and vice versa by simply using AIM handle or ICQ number... You can even _connect_ to the AIM Server with your ICQ data and it uses your contact list! The problem about it is your contacts show up as ICQ numbers, not names. Even regarding using AIM-Contacts over ICQ servers I still prefer a multi-protocol client so that I don't show up im AIM as 98667484 or whatever my ICQ number is.

    I once tried to drop adium in favour of iChat (can do only AIM) because it's a nice software, but all my contacts showed up as numbers (as explained) and I had to enter their names manually. I switched back. It even messed up the server-side list, I sometimes use a WAP ICQ service and it started to show only numbers, too. maybe with Jabber support in Tiger I will try again.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982