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Gaims IM services play

By on September 30, 2003 (8:00:00 AM)

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- by Joe Barr -
<SLASH HREF="//" ID="d1afe42ea732b5b3ab21cb1097c21dbb" TITLE="" TYPE="LINK">Gaim</SLASH> is a popular free software instant messaging client that works with a number of IM networks. If you are a Gaim user, you may have noticed that Yahoo!/Gaim messaging has been broken since last week, the same day that Gaim 0.69 was released. Gaim is not the only IM client in pain. Yahoo! intentionally broke logins to its Yahoo! Messenger service for most -- if not all -- third-party clients via a recent software change. But don't despair, Gaim 0.70 is here. Updated

Version 0.70 fixes the break caused by Yahoo!'s changes. But be forewarned: the Gaim site suggests not logging off once you're connected again, because no one knows if Yahoo! will continue to make changes to keep third-party clients at bay.

There are binary RPM packages of Gaim 0.70 available now for Mandrake 9.1 and Red Hat 8.0 at the Gaim download page now. And of course the source code is available for all.

According to a story in Network World earlier this month, Yahoo! took the action in order to prevent spamming of users through unsolicited IMs.

The Gaim site says, "Our friends over at Cerulean Studios managed to break my speed record at cracking Yahoo authentication schemes with an impressive feat of hackery. They sent it over and here it is in Gaim 0.70. However, certain details of the authentication scheme depend on the challenge string the server sends us, and there's really no way to tell what it does until Yahoo starts sending new challenge strings. So you can expect a few more breakages to come soon. I wouldn't sign offline if I were you."

Cerulean Studios makes two multi-network IM clients for Windows: Trillian and Trillian Pro. Trillian is free as in beer and Trillian Pro sells for $25.

I was surprised to read that a proprietary, Windows-only software project was helping its free-software, Linux brethren solve a problem, so I wrote to Cerulean to ask what motivated them to help. Scott Werndorfer, who along with Kevin Kurtz co-founded Cerulean Studios in 1998, replied, "We've always been on friendly terms with Gaim team, and they've helped us in the past. We usually pass information back and forth when we can."

I also asked Werndorfer if there was any open source licensing in the works for the free version. He said "Nope -- we're a closed-source shop, but Trillian does have a very extensive API. Leaving us to do the grunt work of backend coding, developers can use Trillian to create plug-ins for new chat networks, etc."

A Yahoo! spokesperson was not available for comment on the changes by press time.

I grabbed a Unix tarball this morning, and in spite of myself, I have a connection to a Yahoo! buddy again this afternoon. All it took was a little help from iamthelukas on the #gaim channel at to get me past a configuration problem.

Joe Barr has been writing about personal computing for 10 years, and about Linux for five. His work has appeared in IBM Personal Systems Journal, LinuxGazette, LinuxWorld, Newsforge, phrack, SecurityFocus,, and He is the founder of The Dweebspeak Primer, home of the official newsletter of the Linux Liberation Army, an organization in which he holds the honorary rank of Corporal-for-life.

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on Gaims IM services play

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Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 30, 2003 06:51 PM
You got help on IRC to get onto a proprietary IM service?<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 30, 2003 07:27 PM
Or hell, he found someone willing to help in #gaim? How long before you were insulted, or told not to ask about yahoo ever again, lest you be kick/banned?


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 30, 2003 09:20 PM
moral:when you enter a channel read the topic first.

this is _free_ user support, we can atleast follow some rules.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)

(just a normal Gaim user)


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 30, 2003 10:06 PM
You guys are less than worthless! It being free does not give you carte banche to be rude, self-absorbed idiots. Free support means that you're not being paid to do it. Period. That's all it means. It is in no way a license to act likeyou guys do.

The really funny thing is, you know you guys have to be serious l*sers in real life...because if you talked to people like that in real life, you know you'd have your tail pipe handed back to you in a plain, brown paper bag.

Your community is one of the worst things to happen to OS in a very long time.

Grow up!


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 03, 2003 12:08 AM
I think it is you who should grow up and learn to deal with people. I deal with these kinds of people in real life. There are a lot of people who have huge egos who will talk down to you and ridicule you for your ignorance. This is in real life, not on IRC. They are still useful to work with, despite being rude. And you can ridicule them back for their shortcommings if you must.

Its the people who are rude and useless who are going to be out of luck, though. I've actually worked under such a person, and he never gave me any shit because I actually knew more about his job than he did, but he was a huge dick to everyone else (see the Saturday Night Live skits on "the computer guy" for an example, only he was much worse) and he fucked up bigtime on numerous occasions. He was replaced with someone way more professional.


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 30, 2003 10:01 PM
No kidding! I visited there not long ago to ask a very simple question. They were hateful, spiteful and generally idiots and dolts. Even the developer that was there was on some ego trip.

They are such a group of ego-bound rude dolts, that it's turned me off enough to consider moving to another IM client completely. Needless to say, it's actually fairly hard to turn me aware from software, but others should know about the VERY, VERY low caliber of people (developers and their groupies) that constitutes gaim's core community.

Oh yes, after I was insulted, kicked, made fun off, and generally talked down to, I still had to solve the problem on my own. They are less than worthless as a core community.


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 01, 2003 09:24 PM

well whatever experience I had with #gaim was good.

But then I did see some guys get quieted etc. When the topic read "do not ask about yahoo", people just used to sign in and rant about how yahoo didn't work. In that case a +q is just essential in a channel with 170+ people. If everyone goes off-topic, there will be chaos for sure.

gaim is a wonderful IM client and if you don't use it you are missing just a lot<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.!.

(a proud Gaim user)


Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 02, 2003 11:54 PM
Well guess what? Most developers are egomaniacs. I am one, too. What are you gonna do about it? Welcome to the real world, where people are ego driven.


Apparantly help was given

Posted by: gerardm on September 30, 2003 10:51 PM
There are two ways to look at this: the cup is either half full or half empty.

Apparantly help was given to connect to yahoo IM. This is good. So let us praise the people that were helpfull. (the cup being half full)

Typically these bastards are spitefull and the best example of why open source support stinks. (this is not supported by the article !! the cup is half empty)

I do not know about you guys but if you want to change people, use some vinegar if you want to get a lousy community and use some honey to get on and get ahead.




Re:Is there a moral here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 01, 2003 10:49 PM
irc is chatroom software not instant messageing software it's built for heavy group chats not having a nice little contact list with your friends on it

youll say notify lists they *suck* because there is no easy way for a client to veryfy the identity of another

don't get me wrong i'm a hevy irc user myself but irc is chatroom software not instant messenger software


All in one demand...

Posted by: peterdaly on September 30, 2003 07:23 PM
The is a demand problem here. I, and I'm sure others as well, don't want two or more IM clients running all the time. In my case I want a single client that will talk to both AOL and Yahoo without much thought on my part about who's on which network.

As long as IM network operators are not working together or using open standards, there's going to be huge demand for these rogue clients.

I wish the operators would find a better way of dealing with this problem.



Jabber Yahoo transport also available

Posted by: paleo on September 30, 2003 08:39 PM
For all you Jabberites out there, Paul Curtis and the Jabber guys released a new <A HREF="" TITLE="">Yahoo transport</a> also based on the same GAIM Yahoo code. Just goes to show the real value of open source; write once and the code contributes to multiple other projects.


CenterICQ fixed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 01, 2003 01:06 AM
CenterICQ is fixed now as well. Download the CVS version, I'm sure it will go upstream soon into the stable branches.


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