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A First Look At Gaim 2.0 243

surgicaltubing writes to spotlight the progress towards vesion 2.0 for Gaim, the open source, multi-protocol IM client. "The Gaim 2.0 release is nearing its home stretch. The Gaim team released beta 4 last week, with a number of new features and UI improvements." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.
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A First Look At Gaim 2.0

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  • Re:2 Things... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baadger ( 764884 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:34AM (#16573490)
    Sarcasm aside, beta 4 hit portage a while ago and the 2.0 beta's have been very useable and stable. Infact the damn things been in beta for ages and ages and ages.

    Personally I feel 2.0 is a huge improvement on 1.5 on the GUI front, especially on the presentation of your buddy lists.
  • Re:2 Things... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HoosierPeschke ( 887362 ) <hoosierpeschke@comcast.net> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:41AM (#16573562) Homepage
    I'm happy to see they moved away from the treeview preference style and on to tabs. To me, it's easier to hit a tab than that darned little + to expand.
  • Too Generic. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by L4m3rthanyou ( 1015323 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:43AM (#16573582)

    Gaim is indeed a nifty app, but my main beef with it is that, while it can do a lot of protocols, it can't seem to do any of them particularly well. From what I've played with in 2.0, that hasn't changed much. In particular, Gaim's IRC capabilities are lacking, a lot.

    Find me a versatile chat client that does a well-specialized job with each protocol, and then I'll take notice. Gaim is moving forward, but they've still got a long way to go.

    Not to mention, I try to stay away from GTK-based apps, especially under Windows. :\ They feel uncomfortable.

  • by Broken_Ladder ( 821456 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:27AM (#16573922) Homepage
    nope. use jabbin (jabbin.com) or tapioca. or kopete (if you can stand looking at a "kde" app)
  • by BerkeleyDude ( 827776 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:21AM (#16574366)
    > Surely it's not too much of a hassle to encrypt the passwords? Are passwords encrypted in the later versions of the beta?

    Encrypting passwords would be (almost) pointless. In order to use them, Gaim would have to decrypt them first. Which means either:
    1) You would have to give Gaim the decryption key in order to login - which defeats the point of storing passwords in the first place, or
    2) Gaim would use its own key - in which case, anyone else could use that key to decrypt your passwords.

    The only solution would be to use some kind of a wallet (like KDE's) - but it's still a hassle.

    That said, it would be nice to encode the passwords in some way - in hex, whatever. Just imagine that you use some word in your password, and then search for that word in Google Desktop / Beagle / whatever...
  • File Transfers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Epistax ( 544591 ) <epistax@gmai l . com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:03AM (#16575114) Journal
    Do they support file transfers yet, or still just pretend to?

    It's rather sad when two computers with the same version of gaim and absolutely no firewalls can't use a file transfer. I think I've had it work when sending from Gaim to Aim, but never Aim to Gaim. Anyway their lack of a functioning file transfer system is the only thing keeping me off of Gaim.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:51AM (#16575450)
    I heard this argumentation several times and i still don't like it.
    Yeah, stupid encryption might give a false sense of security, but on the other hand it will stop most people who actually will try to get your password. And it will even stop most people who know how to get around such encryption most of the times. Simply because it will raise the bar of criminal energy needed to access the file. Example: Someone is not logged off when he goes to the toilet. Chances are high that this will give you already enough time to open the file with notepad and just read the password. Printing it is in most offices already a much higher risk. Installing a tool to decrypt it ... well, you won't just do that anymore just because you see a chance.

    Well, maybe you think that people simply should just log off all the time. And yes, i know a lot people who really do that. And each of them did not do it sometimes when he was just called off.

    Gaim ain't the only one with that problem. Just for fun and adrenalin... if you have firefox users in your office, try out how many of theire passwords can be accessed. Only 12 clicks if firefox ain't open already and about 30 seconds time needed (if you think less clicks are needed, think twice).
  • Re:2 Things... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gertlex ( 722812 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:00AM (#16576140)
    In some ways I agree... But it took me a long time to switch to 2.0betas because of the change to the away message interface. The current interface is much less efficient when you want to choose one of dozens of away messages. Instead of a nice long list of the away message titles, you now have a longer list of titles accompanied by full message text. Needless to say that requires scrolling. Only a moron wouldn't give titles that identify the away message sufficiently.
  • You don't like it, improve the source.

    As long as we're getting things out of our system, I'd like to point out how completely unproductive this sentiment is.

    First, most people aren't programmers, and even of people who know something about programming, fewer still have the skills required to make any meaningful modification to an open-source program.

    Second, even if a person does know how to program, and is familiar with the project's language / graphical environment / architectural style, except in particular instances where there are no good alternatives available, or where the changes are trivial, it's almost always easier (assuming you value your time at all) to just use an alternative -- even a commercial one -- then spend several days or weeks reading somebody else's code in order to change it. Really, the only reason to work on an OSS project is if it's so specialized that it's the only thing going, or you enjoy working on it and are willing to take it on as a project despite it costing more of your time than purchasing an alternative would.

    Any time you tell someone to "go fix it themselves," you might as well tell them to go buy the proprietary alternative, because that's the end result anyway.

    I love the concept and philosophy of open-source software. But this geek ideal that everyone can just modify the hell out of their own system is false. It's like saying that because your car is made out of steel, if you don't like the design of the Ford Focus this year, you should go to a metal foundry and a machine shop and learn how to design and fabricate car parts so you can turn it into a sports car. Sure, a small number of people can probably do that, but a regular person isn't going to; they're just going to buy a BMW.
  • by MacJedi ( 173 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @11:24AM (#16578644) Homepage
    First, most people aren't programmers, and even of people who know something about programming, fewer still have the skills required to make any meaningful modification to an open-source program.
    Ok well then he should donate money to the gaim developers or sponsor them in some other way. There are other ways to help out.
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:30PM (#16584954) Homepage Journal
    Ok well then he should donate money to the gaim developers or sponsor them in some other way. There are other ways to help out.

    Definitely! This is one reason that I dislike the "code it yourself" response, because I think it turns people off and makes them believe that if you don't read and write and breathe C, you'll never have any impact or value in OSS development. There are lots of ways to help out, including straightforward financial donations, which are open to many more people than actual coding is.

    However, you don't hear about them very often, and a lot of open source projects are set up in such a way that it's more difficult to get involved if you don't have the ability to read code. For example, on a commercial software product you can have an army of testers banging away at software even when it's in development, because you have human-readable specifications that you test against. I've yet to see any specifications on an OSS project, and many programmers think they're a waste of time. The net result is that people who can't read code aren't worth a whole lot. (Which surprised me, coming from a commercial development where we probably have a 3:1 ratio of non-coding analysts and testers for every actual developer, without counting management or dead weight.)

    So I think there are multiple levels to the problem. People need to be encouraged to help out projects and make them more useful, but projects also need to be designed from a perspective that's scalable and doesn't assume that everyone can check out the code from CVS and start doing useful stuff with it. Because most people just can't.

    On the user's side, people need to get rid of the lingering attitude that "if I wanted to pay for software, I'd just use Windows." There's a happy medium between getting screwed through the nose for commercial software, and using somebody's work without compensating or helping them, and making it more likely that the project will die. In the latter case you're really killing the goose that's laying the golden eggs.

    Anyway, it's a complex issue, and I didn't mean for my earlier post to oversimplify and put blame on OSS devs unfairly. However, in the places where OSS has become mainstream, it seems like the same issues and conflicts come up again and again between coders and non-coding users, and I think both sides have some responsibility for making it easier on the other.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.