Perfect Jabber client ver. 2.0

First short story...

I have been using Gentoo Linux for years already. I have it installed on my server and on all my desktops and laptops.

When people asked me why I use Gentoo I usually was saying because it is flexible, I have a good control over what is installed and how it is configured, I can install many versions of development tools which I use on daily basis (gcc, Java, Python, ...) and the last reason I used to mention was performance...

My wife used Gentoo as well because she had no choice. Some day I decided to install for her different distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora to make live easier for her so she could easily install new programs, update system and so on...

When the new system was ready to use she didn't want to use it at all! The main issue she found was it is too slow comparing to Gentoo, she wanted her "old system" back...

So even though we made similar choice our motivations were different.

Ok, ok, I know there is no single perfect Jabber client. I have already learned my lesson. Everybody has his own perfect Jabber client and even if people select the same application they may do it for different reasons.

But even then sometimes our favorite client is not enough. The most powerful applications are stand-alone like (no, no I am not going to list them here as I would miss some and authors could feel neglected ;-)) you know them... Unfortunately these powerful and comfortable applications might not be available in many cases where we are away from our own machines or when we use kind of mobile devices.

Therefore Web applications are sometimes the best choice even if they can't offer you all the features we like. It's a shame there are so few of them available. Actually the only choices we have right now are:

  1. Jeti - written in Java and works very well as a stand-alone, Java Applet or JWS application.
  2. JWChat - written in JavaScript working very well as pure Web browser application.

We all like to have a choice and the worrying thing is why there are so few Web based Jabber clients available? Those 2 presented above are not even under active development anymore. But they both are great applications which many users would appreciate. I wonder if there is too little interest from potential users side or just for some reason software developers are not interested in working on such applications?

Both of them are now available on Tigase site, installed and ready to use. Look at the top, right side of the front page. Please give them a try and share you opinions.

Jeti needs Java-1.4 available for your browser to run properly and it can connect to any server you like. Thus you can play with it using your account on tigase.org server or on any other server you like. You can even try it if you don't have any account. For anonymous users it will login straight to quest account on tigase.org server.
Until now I haven't found any major problems with this client. It works fine with many servers I tried, feature reach but a bit outdated as it is not under active development anymore. Still good choice for those away from they own machines but with access to Java capable Web browser.

JWChat needs only JavaScript in your browser. Direct link to login page is: jwchat.tigase.org.
The only major problem I found using this client is roster handling. For some accounts it has a problem with roster loading. I don't know why this happens. It may be due to either size of the roster or non-asci characters in nicknames. If you know how to fix this please let me know.
Anyway, still very good choice for those who have restricted access to Internet and can use HTTP protocol only.

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Comments

Hi!

It's real pity both projects are dead (but JWChat's JS library is still being developed, IIRC), because they are both pretty useful. On the other hand, we need something as cool as "Meebo".

Regarding full-fledged desktop clients, I'm kind of sad about the situation there. They are very user-unfriendly, lack features. Alternative clients for "legacy" (closed) networks offer about the same features as clients for XMPP/Jabber.

So, I have started writing a web page to point out some of the issues with unfriendly XMPP clients to the developers.

I like "Meebo" it is nice but I think we need basic but fully functional Web clients first. Something like JWChat or GoogleTalk so people could communicate using their Web browsers only.

Regarding desktop clients. There are many of them full of interesting features. I use Psi on daily basis and Coccinella looks really great. Many others like Gajim, Gaim, Cjc and so on are great piece of software. But as you said and I have to agree. They are very difficult to use for novices. So I am glad you started to address this on your site.

What I like about Meebo is that they have a solid backend (libgaim/libpurple) to support their needs and use relatively light-weight AJAX to communicate between the backend and frontend (user's browser), unlike JWChat, which relies on full-fledged XMPP and HTTP Polling/Binding.

As to the features Meebo offers (from the XMPP point), it's very basic IM client, IMHO. It's a pity they also dumped MUC support in favor of their own proprietary rooms.

As you can see on my wiki page (Czech only, sorry), I've tried many clients. I could find a thing or two in each of them that I like, but probably ten times more things which make me sad.

Unfortunately, I can only talk and write about the issues I can see, as I'm very lame "programmer". :)

My Czech is not good enough unfortunately but I can see the point. I look at software from programmer point of view so my impression might be different. I noticed however how painful it may be sometimes for "normal" users and i agree with you.

Unfortunately, I can only talk and write about the issues I can see, as I'm very lame "programmer". :)

It is never too late to start coding and actually writing the code is the best way and the only way to learn programming...

Hey Jeti is not dead, I was just a bit busy with work and implementing Jingle to release a new version, but as a matter of fact I just released a new beta release of the standalone version with beta jingle support

I am really happy to hear this, Eric. As I mentioned in the one of my past articles I am impressed with Jeti and I can see huge potential in the client which can be used as stand-alone Jabber client, Web applet or JWS application.

Even though some people complain that it is not so convenient because it require Java to be installed and it can not be used through some proxies I am very surprised how many people actually use Jeti client from Tigase site.

There are many ways to get support or simply ask a question regarding Tigase project. To my huge surprise I found the most often way people use is simply start Jeti from Tigase site, auto-login as quest user and start chatting with me.

If Jeti is still under active development that I could send you my "wish list". First thing would be probably Bosh implementation so people behind proxies could use the service and the second most wanted would be full support for service-discovery + ad-hoc commands with data forms.

Have you tried Bombus? A nice open source java app for doing Jabber from cell phones. Most of the docs in Russian but you can translate them :-)

Glad to hear that!

Does Jingle work across platforms (Windows, Linux/X11, Mac OS X)? Is it interoperable with Google Talk (Psi/Jabbin) or XEP implementations (Spark, I guess)?

(Trying to dig that info on jeti.sf.net site.)

It's not compatible with Google Talk as it follows the Jingle XEP and doesn't use libjingle. The implementation is based on the one from Spark so it should be compatible with that one, but it's still quite beta so I think it only works with Jeti for now

Great! Thanks for the info. I suspected it's based on Smack.

Let's hope more XEP implementations push Google to sync theirs with the XEP(s).

ICQ transport iconset for GAJIM jabber client

I am used to use PSI to communicate through jabber service on my Windows box. On my GNU/Linux machine I like GNOME/Xfce more than KDE so I was looking for a jabber client with similar capabilities to PSI but using GTK libs(and not GAIM). And Nomed showed me Gajim jabber client. This client is comparable with PSI in the features area, and has some things more (like tabbed MUC chats ).

What I did not like on the Gajim were icons for icq buddies. After small detective work to find where these icons are stored and a bit of Inkscaping, I’ve created a set which I like and give here to the world. (Who knows, maybe Gajim developers will like it too and will include it in the next version )

Of course I do provide also the package with these icons and instructions how to install. To install simply decompress these icons into /usr/share/gajim/data/iconsets/transports/icq/ directory, restart Gajim and enjoy nice new icons

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Submited by : Caballos

Thank you for this.

Thank you for your effort and willingness to share your work.

I think, however you should submit the package with icons directly to Gajim guys as they can make the best use of them.
This site is actually for Tigase projects and mainly Tigase server project. The server has very little to do with the client UI and client icons.