January 5, 2005

Jabber jabber jabber jabber jabber jabber....

Ok fine, I'm a little slow to jump to jabber, but least I've been supporting gaim the past few years. Strangely, when I told Yi about what I did here, she said "Finally!" as she has been using jabber previously, before I have.

For those of you who don't know what it is, it is a open, secure alternative to IM (instant messenging) based heavily on XML. No need to rely on third party services like ICQ, Yahoo, AOL, and (ugh MSN). The cool thing about jabber is that because it is an open source, open standards protocol, you are free to use any server and any client program you wish. You can write your own if you choose as well again because the it is an open standard. Also because jabber servers can all communicate with one another, you are also free to setup your own or use anybody else's servers and still communicate with other jabber users, regardless of whose jabber servers they are using. You can read more about what jabber is.

Now to explain a bit about what I've done here. I've setup a jabberd server at jabber.kwok.ca, currently it supports the jabber protocol, and as well transports for the big four IM services mentioned above.

If you are wondering what transports are, they allow your jabber client to also communicate with users on any of those other networks, assuming the jabber server supports this.

To do this, you first need to already have an account with the other network, this is because the other networks don't recognize jabber (yet) and so you need a way to show up on other people's lists. You then need to tell the jabber server that you wish it to sign you up on the other network. For example, if you wish to setup an ICQ transport and if you are using exodus on windows, you would click Tools -> Jabber Browser -> Right click on the transport you wish to use (eg ICQ) -> Select Register and then fill your ICQ login information. The jabber server will then log you into the ICQ network and as well grab all your contacts for you... voila, you are talking to all your ICQ friends again via Jabber!

Also after you do set this up once, any time you log into a jabber server from any jabber client all your contacts will be setup and should be ready to go because the jabber server remembers all this for you.

This also becomes handy in other wasy for example, on my Treo all I need is one program to keep in touch with all my contacts across all the networks.

Soooo.... my jabber id is blumpy@jabber.kwok.ca and my jabber server is available for you to use at jabber.kwok.ca with transports ready to go for ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, and ugh yes MSN Messenger.

Other Jabber links

  • List of Jabber clients
  • List of Jabber servers
  • Jabber Intro
  • Jabber Transports
  • Updated:

    Ok, so I couldn't do it, I tried for about 6 months but now I will be switching back to good 'ol gaim. Jabber definately has it's uses, and it was a good learning experience though but I can't say that I want to keep it permanently as my everyday IM client.

    The *main* reason is that most jabber clients are all kinda weak, exodus isn't bad, miranda-im isn't bad either... but in the end I had to go back to gaim + gaim-encryption. I'll use jabber on my Treo as it offloads some of the work to the server and keeps the client lightweight... but that's about it for now.