I’ve talked previously about Google Talk, and that up until now it was cut off from the rest of the public Jabber network. But a little birdie wrote to point me towards this announcement – Google Talk is now connected to the main Jabber network. Yay!
So all you Google Talk users can now add andrewjrallan @ jabber.org (and any other jabber contact to your Google Talk contacts list, and can join in with all the rest of us!
Good work Google – even if it did take a while! Who wants to bet which of the remaining IM networks will be the next to federate to the Jabber network?
As part of my ongoing series ensuring the internet is the source of all answers, if you want to get SSL working for Psi on Ubuntu (or, indeed, Kubuntu), you need to install the qca-tls package. I found the answer fairly easily, but the hint was in Polish.
(Man of many talents, etc.)
So Google Talk is out, and the only reason that I care is that it involves Jabber. Which is a Good Thing(tm).
Google are using a recognised standard (namely XMPP), rather than doing a Microsoft and inventing their own standard. So that means that I don’t have to use their client (or wait for a Linux version), I can go ahead and use my existing client and use Google Talk and my jabber.org account at the same time. Oooh, warm fuzzy feeling – open standards are good.
The catch (for there is one, of course) is that google aren’t allowing messages from their server to any other server. Normally jabber servers can talk to one another, so that you can pick any server (or run your own!) without having to worry about which server your friends are using. Google have made themselves an island, cut off from the rest of the jabber network, and are talking about creating a federalised network of trust or some such nonsense. So they have basically leveraged XMPP (“hey, we hardly need bother writing a client”), whilst turning their backs on the idea behind open messaging. So I have my jabber contacts, and my Google Talk contacts, and never the twain shall intercommunicate. Shame.
Hopefully Google will smell the roses and open up s2s links, but I doubt they will.
(gravitystorm at gmail dot com (until I get bored of Google Talk), or prefarably andrewjrallan at jabber dot org )
Thunderbird is my latest addition to my work PC, so that I can check my gravitystorm emails without using the web interface that my provider, umm, provides. The only problem is that all my filtering rules are run by the web interface, so I need to keep that open in firefox to filter all the messages into the appropriate folders. I need to sort the filters out to be server-side at some point, but never underestimate my laziness.
I found today that Psi and OpenOffice.org have installed themselves quite weirdly – i.e. they’ve added themselves to the startup folder as a network path (cs-cxgeneral6c$blah), instead of a local path (C:blah). Which explains why Psi pops up no matter what machine I log on to. It took me worryingly long to realise what was going on. I’m contemplating doing a similar thing for Firefox and Thunderbird, but I’ve no idea what that would do to my Firefox and Thunderbird profiles.
Ed’s recent post about his feeds has spurred me into restarting my favourite feed-related tool – jabRSS (which I’ve mentioned before). So that involved me installing Psi, and brings my open-source-software on my work PC tally up to Psi, OpenOffice.org and Firefox.
Next step: Persuade the Powers That Be to include them in the standard College desktop builds…
Well, another couple of people using Jabber now, but I’ve a feeling it’ll take a long while to convince everyone else to give it a go. So I’ll just have to keep on harping on about it until they relent…
In our flat, well, my current flat and my previous flat next door, we’re running our own Jabber server for in-house communications. That means that we can still message each other when the Internet connection goes down – and me being in a different house (we’ve got an ethernet cable swinging between windows) means that it’s not quite as lazy as it seems. So that’s quite useful.
Also, a new version of Psi has come out, and amongst other things, now supports file transfer. A couple of other Jabber clients have done file-transfer for a few years now, but generally by coming up with their own way of doing it. Now that all the file-transfer protocols have been officially standardised, Psi has added it to its repertoire. I’m not holding my breath for anyone to implement file-transfer on the cross-network transports though!
Hmm. I’ve aquired a few draft postings (ahh, the joys of a proper blogging tool), and I should get round to posting them. For the moment though, I’ll talk about something else.
I use Jabber for instant messaging, not MSN or ICQ or Yahoo or anything else. Well, that’s not entirely accurate, since I’ve been having a problem with it for the last few weeks. Not long after I got back, the MSN transport that I was using seems to have packed up, and it hasn’t reappeared. Transports to proprietary networks (proprietary = bad, mkay?) aren’t exactly the most reliable of things anyway, as I’ve discussed previously, so it’s not all that surprising. And I’ve heard Microsoft have been messing around over the last few months trying to stop this kind of thing anyway. So recently, I’ve only been messaging other people on Jabber.
So really, I haven’t been using it for IM at all, since I don’t know anyone else who uses Jabber often. So why have I stuck to it? Stubbornness, mainly, with a bit of ideology thrown in. But there is one over-riding reason – it’s called JabRSS and it’s the perfect fusion of two high-geek-factor technologies. I’ve added 37 RSS (huh?) feeds to it, mainly blogs that I read. It then sends me a jabber message when they get updated – it sent 411 headlines in the last 7 days. So that saves me soooo much time trawling around the web checking for updated sites – the updates come to me, and I can see if I want to read the rest of the article in question. Nice. If you keep track of lots of sites, and especially if you swap between lots of computers (and therefore a dedicated RSS reader is a bit of a hassle), then I’d recommend it.
Anyway, today I managed to persuade someone (with no important sounding position ) to sign up to Jabber, so if you decide to do so, you’ll probably already know both of us. And for the foreseeable future, it’s about the only way you’re going to be able to message me. email@example.com is the jabberid to add to your contact list.
(And for those of you who are on my contact list but don’t use Jabber any more, I’m interested to know why you’ve stopped.)