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Google's GTalk Supports XMPP 121

IceFox writes "On Google Gtalk blog Mike Jazayeri announced open federation for the Google Talk service. Nothing to do with Star Trek it means they now support open federation with any service provider that supports the industry standard XMPP protocol. Although they don't specifically mention AIM compatibility, at CES GTalk was shown with buddy icons so it can't be that far away."
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Google's GTalk Supports XMPP

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:34AM (#14498719) Journal
    For those readers interested in customizing Google Talk, I would suggest looking at Customize Talk []. It has a lot of great downloads.

    If you want to be able to chat to your friends on AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Chat, Jabber, IRC, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise, Zephyr or Google Talk, then I suggest you download GAIM [] which works on virtually any platform. There are some configurations [] that need to be set to connect to Google Talk networks.

    And, if you're really into this stuff, join the Google Talk Open Group [] on Google Groups and help people fix bugs or figure out how to kill bugs that you might have!
    • by trolleymusic ( 938183 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:41AM (#14498763) Homepage
      And if you've got a mac, Adium [] is a fantastic, cute and open-source client that does all that GAIM stuff too :)
      • Don't forget that Adium "does all that GAIM stuff" because it uses libgaim.
      • Adium (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jamie Zawinski ( 775 )
        I use and really like Adium, but the one major thing it doesn't do that GAIM does is IRC. Which is weird, since that's built in to libgaim (which Adium uses). And it's doubly weird since the Adium developers hang out on an IRC channel. Doesn't that make their heads explode? Guess not.
        • Perhaps they finally realized their functional incongruity, but the mere knowledge of it did in fact make their heads explode before they could correct it. Or maybe they figured out that most users would rather have cute, customizable icons than extra functionality, and will come out with a badass super-user version later. Either way, it's tough luck for the IRCers out there.
    • I hope that if they add more features, like buddy icons, etc, that they let me disable them all. One of the things I like about Google Talk vs. MSN is how clean and easy it is to navigate. It's so hard to make sense of the contacts on my MSN list, with their various different colours, icons, flashing dancing pigs, etc.

      And I really hope they don't let people change their display name (or at least let me keep theirs static.) Cute sayings are what comments are for - your display name should tell me who the h

      • If you delve deeper into the Customize Talk site, you'll find a page [] that has instructions on how to fiddle with the interface of your Google Talk Client using a resource hacker [].

        Another option would be joining Google Talk Open asking if anyone has perhaps a cut and dry simple version of Google that does what you're asking.

        Hope this helps you in your quest for the featureless talk client. I think GAIM can be configured to be pretty minimal but I don't think it gets stripped down as far as you seem to
        • Hope this helps you in your quest for the featureless talk client.

          Thanks for the info. Good to know the protocol is open enough to allow developers to make their own clients. And hey, don't get me wrong - I like features. File transfer would be great. Buddy icons, flashing graphics, etc, are all fine, as options - just let me see a clean screen that makes it easy to find what I'm looking for.

      • And I really hope they don't let people change their display name (or at least let me keep theirs static.) Cute sayings are what comments are for - your display name should tell me who the hell you are.

        AFAIK, any fully-functioning IM Client [with the exception of mIRC, etc] will allow for aliasing, which should do exactly what you want regardless of what they change their display name to. gAIM and Google Talk both have this functionality, and I suspect the official AIM client has it as well.
    • For a tiny chat client on Win32, Miranda [] is brilliant.
    • on virtually any platform... As long as it's Windows or linux!
    • Now that Google does allow communication with other servers, you would also be able to register for an AIM, ICQ, MSN or Yahoo gateway on another server and talk to those contacts that way.
  • by GORby_ ( 101822 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:37AM (#14498737) Homepage
    Apparently, there are some problems with certain servers (malformed XML), and there's no support for chat rooms yet. This is not really google's fault if that's true, since it's the other server that are sending out the malformed XML, and google seems to use strict checking...

    I guess the lacking features will be added later, but it would have been nice to have that already.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Google's server lacks support for chat rooms, but that doesn't stop you accessing the chat rooms hosted by other servers via Google Talk.

      So long as your client supports the Discovery aspects of the XMPP protocol (Psi supports this) you can log into your Gtalk account using it and browse the capabilities on other services.

      This also means that while Google hasn't gotten their AIM integration done yet you can add an AIM (or MSN, Yahoo, etc) transport from another server to your Gtalk account and access all you
    • Apparently, there are some problems with certain servers (malformed XML), and there's no support for chat rooms yet.
      That's no longer the case actually, Google has changed their server to be less strict about the well formedness of the XML stream.
    • That was one of the first things I learned about XMPP back when I wrote a Jabber library in C++ to support my honors thesis project. I wrote this fancy XML-stream library and then re-wrote it when I tried to use it to talk to a Jabber server and discovered that Jabber's concept of what XML is and how it works is more broken than .

      To be frank, if Jabber weren't already so popular, I would have written a replacement for it 4 years ago. It wouldn't be that hard to do it right.
      • Should there be any doubt (note that "S: " and "C: " are inserted after the fact to clarify what I typed and what I got back, following the XMPP RFC convention):

        $ telnet 5222
        Connected to
        Escape character is '^]'.
        C: <?xml version='1.0'?>
        C: <s:stream to='' xmlns='jabber:client' xmlns:s='' version='1.0'>
        S: <stream:stream xmlns='jabber:server' xml:lang='en' xmlns:stream='' xmln

    • by Baloo Ursidae ( 29355 ) <> on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @11:55AM (#14499925) Journal
      I guess the lacking features will be added later, but it would have been nice to have that already.

      You have them, you just weren't trying hard enough. This should work with any capable Jabber client (Google Talk is not capable, nor is GAIM), but I'm using Psi as a example for lack of better alternative. Psi is also available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

      • Get Psi []
      • Follow the Google Talk Howto [] on their wiki
      • Go to Psi > Service Discovery and enter, say, or one of the other IM Federation members [] nearest you. You should see at least a JUD, if not a few transports on any of those IMF member servers.

      I just did the homework so you don't have to. Enjoy.

  • Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kote-men-do ( 881870 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:43AM (#14498773)
    We should really slap google (by means of some sort of "internetworked slapping device") for not supporting desktop linux... Gtalk, gvideo store, their desktop search appliance, ... No linux versions for any of these!

    Very disappointing if you ask me.
    • Re:Linux? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bungopolis ( 763083 )
      Seeing as Linux has such a small share of the desktop market it doesn't seem fair to "slap" them for not supporting it when their resources would be better spent elsewhere. In any case, rumour has it that there will be a video store player for Linux, and since libjingle is available under a Free license, and is being integrated into Gaim, there isn't much point in Google producing a linux version of their client, which is really just a proof of concept client anyway.
      • It's not a problem as far as they stick to standard protocols. In this case, you will just may use your favourite jabber client on your favourite platform. I vote for psi :)
    • What's the point though? Every major desktop distribution includes Gaim as standard to my knowledge. Why write a client for a platform which already includes a client which is far better?
    • You missed the operative word.

    • Re:Linux? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bedroll ( 806612 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:33AM (#14499129) Journal
      You were saying about gtalk? []

      Aside from that, you have to acknowledge Google for making in-browser apps that work exceptionally well in FireFox. This means that they aren't showing favoritism to one OS or another for in-browser apps. (though they seem to favor FireFox over IE, I can't blame them for that either though :) The problem with a lot of their stand-alone apps is that they are either purchased or created as one of their programmers personal projects.

      Also, the gvideo service seems to allow you to use their Flash player for most videos. Macromedia has a Linux version of Flash, so I'm not sure it's accurate to say that it's unavailable. Google Earth is more of a toy than anything else, you can get most of the usable functionality via Google Local in-browser on any OS.

      • Macromedia has a Linux version of Flash, so I'm not sure it's accurate to say that it's unavailable.
        Alas, not for us who run 64-bit linux distros, unless we want to install a 32 bit web browser (and all of its 32 bit dependencies).
        • I suggest doing a google for nspluginwrapper. It will let you use a lot of 32bit plugins with 64bit firefox. I use it for flash.
        • Alas, not for us who run 64-bit linux distros, unless we want to install a 32 bit web browser (and all of its 32 bit dependencies).

          I still can't fault Google for this. If they're delivering video via Flash, which is very widely available, and that video works in the Flash that is available to most distributions of Linux, then I can credit them with finding a solution that will give content providers the sort of content control that they want and yet is highly available to most users on most OSes. They cou

      • Gvideo on linux works fine for regular free video's, but you can't even buy the non-free video's.
      • I completely disagree. Google Earth has much better coverage. For instance, Google Local has a big green blob covering several blocks right over my house (up in Canada). In Google Earth I have no problem viewing any of this area. The coverage was taken at different dates too. There is a park right by my house (about 7 or 8 blocks away) during the summer, which is turned into a skating rink in the winter. On Google Earth it shows the skating rink, on Google Local it shows the green leaves and no rink.
    • Re:Linux? (Score:2, Informative)

      by generic-man ( 33649 )
      All the applications you describe are still in beta. If you'll just be patient, Google will address every bug and enhancement request before taking something as important as an instant messenger out of beta.

      (Their "desktop search appliance," though, is a Linux server you lease. I think you mean "desktop search tool," which is only available for Windows.)
    • As far as GTalk goess, Google is going oto great lengths to make their protocol totally open, and are even hiring people to work on it in already existing messengers like Gaim and Kopete. I agree 100%, why re-invent the wheel when we already have these awesome clients with protocol plugin suppoer? Way to go Google for not shoving another crappy proprietary IM client down my throat.
    • They are supporting it in the best way possible: they use an open, standard protocol that so far has been used and developed mostly in unix/linux environments. That's all the OSS community needs. What more could you ask?

      Besides, there's no such thing as desktop linux. There are dozens of distributions, window managers, graphics toolkits that are used in basically any combination you can come up with. On top of that, there's different versions of all these components. Which ones of these combinations is desk
    • About gtalk:

      That's their commercial/market decision.

      Their technical decision is to use an open protocol so anyone
      can write a working linux client. This is much more important.

      Video store, ... should follow the same principle if at all possible.
    • Thats because there is no market there. After all Google is here not not give us free toys to play with, they want to make money.
  • Reposting comment (Score:5, Informative)

    by eSavior ( 767078 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:45AM (#14498792)
    Here is a comment I put on the Newsgab [] story (Found it trying to find people talking about the google talk announcement)
    I doubt the others will follow. Open networks compete on things like features reliability, but closed networks compete on things like the ability to talk to people you know. So, by MS keeping a closed im network if I want to talk to someone on it, I cant just add them to my list I have to start up a account and get a compatible client. (I am sure I am not telling you anything you didnt know, but it is important to realize open networks mean a better instant messenging experience because it changes the rules of competition) The opening of the servers will probably not make much news, but really its a huge event. A open im network (with many users) is something that has been long coming and hopefully googles move to embrace it will allow for many more users to see the light.
    So as I said, this is a huge move, heres hoping the news media doesn't downplay it. I see some commenters complaining about lack of features, well this move should make you happy then! Just jump to a server with alot of transports/services (*cough* *cough*) and you can still talk to all your gtalk buddies. Thats the greatness of open networks, servers competing on features NOT users.
    • by linuxmop ( 37039 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:36AM (#14499156)
      It's nice that Google has enabled s2s support, but I don't really see this as a big move. The lack of Google Talk support is (was) not holding back federated XMPP. The lack of users is. And frankly, there is simply no motivation for most users to switch to a Jabber-based system right now.

      For Jabber to become the dominant IM service, it would require a critical mass of users. The best way for that to happen today would be AIM or MSN to support XMPP with s2s since it would not require the millions of existing users to change their behavior.

      This is unlikely to occur. We have heard that Google is planning on somehow providing AIM support. However, based on the few articles out there that discuss this, it sounds like you will have to have an AIM account in addition to your XMPP account. This absolutely defeats the purpose of "combining" the networks, since you will still have two handles: your Jabber address, and your AIM screenname. I could already do that with Jabber transports and/or Gaim/Trillian multi-IM support.

      Here's hoping that the news reports got it wrong and that AIM users will be able to communicate natively with XMPP users. If not, Google Talk will be a failed experiment.
      • And frankly, there is simply no motivation for most users to switch to a Jabber-based system right now.

        I think that federation support is exactly the motivation needed; now Google Talk is no longer its own walled garden, but it can speak to other protocols; users will soon discover that they have backwards compatibility with AIM and MSN Messenger. More and more ISPs are offering XMPP, and eventually we will have a standard IM protocol. Yeah, XMPP has its issues, but it's what we have now.

    • >(*cough* *cough*)

      No need to cough :) is running a list of public servers [], most of which provide a number of gateways to other networks. If you can't get a particular gateway on, say,, try to use any of those.

      Note that you can have an account on one server and use gateways on other server(s).
  • Buddy Icons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:47AM (#14498803) Homepage
    Uhh, I don't know if you realize this, but plenty of other protocols besides AIM support buddy icons- Yahoo! Instant Messanger, MSN Instant Messanger, Jabber (which is XMPP itself)...

    AIM may be coming or it may not but don't rely on the buddy icons to tell you.

    • Re:Buddy Icons (Score:3, Insightful)

      And buddy icons are a pretty essential feature for any modern IM network/client anyway. It's things like this that the Jabber guys never really understood or targetted ... if you look at the JEPs which have actually been formally accepted on top of the core protocol, an RPC framework is one of them, buddy icons are not. I believe the Jabber buddyicon support coming up in GTalk is simply reusing a hack Apple added for iChat.
    • No no no. Buddy Icons must mean that AIM is on the way... w00t! n00b pwned! Shoutout to my hax0rs.
    • True, but on the same page where the buddy icons are shown is a note about one of the Google Talk developers saying AIM compatibility is coming soon. So it's just the Slashdot summary that messes up (as usual).
    • Re:Buddy Icons (Score:2, Informative)

      by bigblueball ( 909721 )
      Actually, I spoke with Gayle Laakman at CES (the engineer working on Google Talk's upcoming buddy icons). They have nothing to do with AIM interoperability. /33539-google-talk-buddy-icons.html [] However, she did say that the interoperability between Google Talk and AIM would be similar to that between iChat and AIM; iChat users can add an AIM screenname and vice versa. In other words, it doesn't appear that it will be using XMPP with AIM (no big surprise th
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Buddy Icons is [] and is probably almost ready for public usage, if it is enabled on that CES-demo version.

    If google decide to enable transports for AIM (and msn and icq and irc) got nothing to do with this.
  • by Kraegar ( 565221 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:00AM (#14498897)
    Was setting up chat via jabber to some co-workers, and found that I didn't need to set up a account, I could talk to them directly with my google talk account. Worked pretty seamlessly (To both accounts and accounts), including a chat room. I was using GAIM as a client.
    • Soon as I heard about this I added my Google account to Psi and now I can chat to myself ;) Google is supporting SSL. I can even send GPG encrypted messages to my account.

      Nobody I know uses Google Talk. In fact I don't know many Jabber users. Most people at work have private MSN accounts and we use Skype to cut down the phone bills.

      I have yet to try the Google client.
    • Excellent. I saw this article when I woke up and was gonna try it out with my server (, but it's good to know somebody already has :-D
    • I cannot get my account to successfully send to my address. Messages from gmail to jabber work, though. Any ideas? (gaim 1.5.0 win32)
  • by Intosi ( 6741 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:15AM (#14498973) Homepage
    Google Talk was always XMPP client to server (c2s), but they started accepting open federation recently (yesterday, as far as I know) using the XMPP server to server protocol (s2s).
  • Imagine (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 )
    Wow, Google Talk's value would go up immensely if one of the biggest IM networks supported this and Google Talk users could talk to them. A big IM network like... AOL...
  • How is SPIM handled? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:18AM (#14498991) Homepage
    While there's no shortage of SPIM on the proprietary networks, if federation means an increase in connectivity between disparate (and arbitrary?) IM networks, is there any trust process to keep rogue servers off of the network? Is it a matter of blacklisting/delinking?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's a matter of whitelisting (at the moment. There is work on SPIM issues in the JSF). Google Talk users can only receive IM from people in their contacts list.
      • Yes, but how do those users get onto your whitelist? They send you a "message" (contact request)? And this message allows them to add some content like "Hey, this is Bob from work"?

        So you see "contact requests" for "come see my hot pics", etc.

    • SPIM?

      SPIM is a simulated assembly language written for MIPS architecture R2000 and R3000 processors, copyrighted by James R. Larus. This language is often taught in college-level assembly language courses, especially those using the textbook Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface by David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy, and Nitin Indurkhya (ISBN 1558604286).

      argh brain has no more space for acronyms!!!

      pray tell what is SPIM in this context?
    • What the hell is SPIM? /me checks wikipedia -> Spim is another name for spam through instant messaging systems.

      I've never had any problems with spam on either MSN or gtalk. If you just don't allow random people to contact you, no spam can come through.

      I think all IM clients have the option to ignore people not on your list enabled by default, so how can it be a big problem?

      And would people please stop inventing useless words?
    • Standard way to handle SPIM in jabber network is to silently drop messages from people not on your contact list. And the only way to be added to my roster is to get my authorisation first.

      Of course, one could still spim me with authorisation requests containing relevant viagra/penis/mortgage/nigerian information in description, but nothing prevents you from doing the same on closed networks...

      In the end, the only way to stop spim would be to use aproaches similar to mail: some bayesian aproach, with the dis
  • Two tin can's (Score:2, Informative)

    by wangotango ( 711037 )
    I've tried many of the most common voip applications.......
    Most sound like two tin can's and a piece of string, when compared to Skype.
    Skype might be proprietary, but they have all of the others beat by a mile.
    • Im sorry, I must digress. Although I didnt use skype, I think gtalk is crystal clear. ive used it as voice comm while playing MMORPG's and talked to my girlfriend while she was on dialup and a noisy line. no complaints here :)
      • Im sorry, I must digress.

        Are you sure you wouldn't rather demur?

        Nitpicking aside, I hope this means more Asterisk integration.

    • ...because neither Skype nor GTalk use their own audio codec. They both license it, coincidentially from the same company (Global IP Sound)! If you don't believe me, check each program's 'About' dialog.
      • I thought Google Talk was going to use SIP for VoIP? I don't know much or anything about all this, but from what I understood they where going to use SIP, an open protocol. Didn't they also develop the GPLed jingle library to be used in other clients (like Gaim 2.0 will be using for example)?

        Eitherway, if anybody has a good link with some more background info VoIP, SIP etc that would be great! I know what VoIP is, but can't figure out why there's so many different SIP providers, can I talk with my SIP progr
  • *NOT* the GTalk blog (Score:1, Informative)

    by consonant ( 896763 )
    The article links to the Googleblog [], which does indeed have the post by Mike Jazayeri, the Product Manager for Google Talk.

    The Google GTalk Blog [] (or Google Talkabout) has a similar update, but this one's by Gary Burd, one of the software engineers of Google Talk.

  • by halr9000 ( 465474 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @11:55AM (#14499922) Homepage
    If you want an open-source, multi-platform alternative, as noted on the GTalk website [], you can try Psi []. Psi also has alpha "Jingle" [] voice chat support that is compatible with Google Talk. Read here [] for special instructions on how to connect to Google's server "natively", as opposed to over S2S.
  • I tried yesterday to store my photo in VCard on GoogleTalk server. It didn't work, which is strange -- photo in VCard is standard way to define avatars. It works with other jabber servers.

    And support for MUC (Multi User Chat) is spotty -- some users were invisible to google account.

    Both situation tested with Gajim [].
    • Re:Avatars (Score:3, Informative)

      by uhoreg ( 583723 )
      Sorry, photo in vCard is not the standard for avatars. In fact, there is no standard for avatars. (There are about three different "historical" JEPs for avatars.) In fact, vCard was only a temporary measure (temporary for the last five years), and this is going to be replaced [].
  • by pyros ( 61399 )
    Does Google's client support TLS yet? Every version I've tested (with ethereal, on computers both with and without firewalls/antivirus) doesn't do any encryption (either that or ethereal can magically decrypt gtalk but not gaim). I've posted on the groups and sent bug reports, and it just doesn't seem to get fixed. It surprises me because it seems every third party client will only connect if TLS or SSL is enabled.
  • Google Talk's support of server-to-server XMPP is great and all, but they still aren't supporting STARTTLS. Some people choose to use and/or operate Jabber (XMPP) servers specifically because there is a desire for encrypted messaging. Federating is great, but encrypted federating is better.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith