Jabber, GTalk and terrible hacks

And so I thought I should make GoogleTalk to use Jabber’s transports to display my AIM, Y!, MSN and ICQ contacts. What a huge mistake. Apparently Jabber’s transports are nothing but badly implemented hacks. I used Psi to register to the transports (using my GoogleTalk account) and all of a sudden I had 465 requests to deny or authorize contacts. Apparently, the transports don’t know how to deal correctly with the other IM protocols and so they download ALL your history during the years of using an IM account! It asks you to deny/ath even people which you never added to a contact list but might have a quick chat about something. What sucks even more is that EACH TIME you login to Psi or to GoogleTalk now, you get these requests AGAIN.

It gets worse: Each time I visit the Gmail web page, it automatically logs me in to GoogleTalk resulting in logging me off from Trillian or Adium (which are the IM apps that I usually use). Additionally, for some weird reason I don’t have the “voice chat” option for any of my GoogleTalk Gmail contacts. Lastly, while GoogleTalk is a fast app, it looks like an ass (like most Google pages do).

Most of this blame goes to Jabber for their half-assed transports, some of it goes to Google for logging me on to GTalk automatically without asking me. End result: I deleted the transports and will continue using Adium & Trillian and will never try GTalk again. And if I want to use Jabber, I will just use my normal Jabber account and not GTalk. While Google is building fast their Gmail community, nobody gives a shit about their IM and so none of my Gmail-subscribed contacts logs in via GoogleTalk. GTalk is completely useless to me without proper support for the other 4 major IM protocols. That’s the power of legacy for you Google! It’s time you have a taste of it too!

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Adam wrote on April 18th, 2006 at 3:32 AM PST:

You can shut off the “auto login” on gmail. Just click on the little ball next to your name and set it to be logged off.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 18th, 2006 at 3:35 AM PST:

Heh, thanks, but too late. I have deleted all my transports so it doesn’t log me out anymore. Even with this issue fixed though, the transports quality is so bad that it doesn’t warrant any usage for me. I thought Jabber’s transport support was much better than it.


darco wrote on April 19th, 2006 at 2:23 AM PST:


I used Psi to register to the transports (using my GoogleTalk account) and all of a sudden I had 465 requests to deny or authorize contacts.

The whole 100’s of subscription requests is due to PSI not properly implementing roster exchange. If you had done the registration in Pandion for example, you would not have had this problem. Again, this is PSI’s fault, not the transport.

Most of this blame goes to Jabber for their half-assed transports

There are no official jabber transports to AIM, ICQ, MSN, or Yahoo, so I’m not sure which transports you are using. Not all transports are created equal. Which ones were you using? Some suck more than others. I’ve personally done a lot of work on the transports that I host to support things like XHTML, user avatars, and group chat. Trust me, if it was as bad as you describe, I wouldn’t be doing things this way.

…it automatically logs me in to GoogleTalk resulting in logging me off from Trillian or Adium (which are the IM apps that I usually use).

I would only recommend using the MSN and Yahoo transports if that is the only way you intend to access those services, due to the fact that neither of these services allow you to be logged in more than once. To blame that on the transports is placing the blame in the wrong place–it’s just how those services work.

GTalk is completely useless to me without proper support for the other 4 major IM protocols.

If you already have a jabber account that you are happy with there is absolutely no benefit to having a google talk one. You can still chat with everyone who uses google talk just fine from your current Jabber address. In a few months, more clients will be supporting Jingle signaling so that you will be able to do voice chat as well.

Google Talk is just another jabber service. Nothing more, nothing less.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 19th, 2006 at 2:48 AM PST:

>Again, this is PSI’s fault, not the transport.

Problem is, Psi is the most well known Jabber client. I have never heard of Pandion. This whole conversation reminds me of the usual “you are using the wrong Linux distribution, that’s why you don’t like Linux”. If the API was right, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place and Psi developers would have getting right.

>There are no official jabber transports to AIM, ICQ, MSN, or Yahoo, so I’m not sure which transports you are using.

For MSN: njs.netlab.cz
For AIM: njs.netlab.cz
For Yahoo!: njs.netlab.cz
For ICQ: im.flosoft.biz
These are the transports the guide I followed recommended.

>I would only recommend using the MSN and Yahoo transports if that is the only way you intend to access those services

I use all 4 major protocols, so I need all of them. Most of my contacts are on AIM, but my husband is on Y!, so I need that too.


darco wrote on April 19th, 2006 at 3:24 AM PST:


Problem is, Psi is the most well known Jabber client. I have never heard of Pandion. This whole conversation reminds me of the usual “you are using the wrong Linux distribution, that’s why you don’t like Linux”. If the API was right, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place and Psi developers would have getting right.

Roster exchange is a well-defined and published JEP. That PSI is the most popular jabber client is no fault of the people who draft the protocols. Perhaps it shouldn’t be. There are certainly no shortage of things that PSI either a) fails to implement or b) implements poorly. Those who draft the standards have no control over who chooses to implement them or how they choose to do so.

That being said, I agree that it is a bad situation from a user perspective. It seems like no single client out there does everything that it should, which is highly unfortunate. Jabber really needs a slick, multi-platform client that the whole community can rally around. It needs the ‘Firefox’ of Jabber clients—perhaps even written in XUL.

Argh! If only I got paid to work on this stuff! *sigh*

Regarding the whole “Linux” thing… It’s rather unfortunate that every operating system that uses the Linux kernel is called “Linux”. It’s a marketing nightmare! Sometimes it seems like these distributions are so different that they shouldn’t even be in the same category.

I use all 4 major protocols, so I need all of them. Most of my contacts are on AIM, but my husband is on Y!, so I need that too.

I’m not suggesting that you not use these other legacy services, I just think it’s a shame that it has to be that way. Reminds me of the old days where “prodigy”, “fidonet”, “aol”, and “compuserv” had their own email protocols and systems and couldn’t interoperate. What happened? They either migrated to the email we know today or died. So I hope it is one day with the “big 4″.


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