July 12th, 2004


userinfo senji
2004/07/12 16:54:00 - IM clients
After tracking down another FUCKING BUG in it, and it's another BLOODY IDIOTIC one (and another one where it's not obvious what the correct fix is, either) I've decided that it's an ABSOLUTE PILE OF FOETID WANK. Plus it doesn't seem to do MSN properly.

I think in general, like bletchmail(1) it's a failure of the Bazaar Model of software development.

The client I currently use is centericq(1). The features I appear to need in a client are:

  • Console mode running

  • Runs on Linux

  • Free Software

  • Text based logging; that I can import into CVS

  • Not bitlbee which is just ick

  • Supports ICQ,AIM,Y!M,MSN,Jabber,(GaduGadu)

  • Isn't crap code


Suggestions, anyone?
Current Mood: [mood icon] irritated

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userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2004/07/12 09:53:57
Write one yourself?

I would, but I don't run Linux...
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/12 09:55:06
In what spare decade? :)
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userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2004/07/12 12:28:10
Pick a random weekend. It's a fairly small task: probably well under 2 KLoCs for one protocol, maybe 5 KLoCs for all of them.
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/12 15:20:20
You're forgetting the 4 hours of understanding the bloody protocol for each one.

And the state machine is going to be POAS.

I've got the UI sorted out though; what else is my mail client for :)
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userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2004/07/13 00:03:31
You're forgetting the 4 hours of understanding the bloody protocol for each one.

No, I was including that.

And the state machine is going to be POAS.

Yes, I'd imagine so. That's why I wouldn't even consider writing it as a state machine. Surely it's more event-driven?

I've got the UI sorted out though; what else is my mail client for :)

mailto:chatwindow01@localhost ?

I'd have thought IRC was a better app model, though...
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/13 01:08:04
So, you mean random weekend in the sense of 48 straight hours? :)

mailto:icq+icqnum@im.your.local.machine more like.

See comments elsewhere in the thread as to why not IRC...
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userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2004/07/13 03:58:48
So, you mean random weekend in the sense of 48 straight hours? :)

No, I mean about 35-40 hours (assume a Friday-night start, slightly limited sleep, eating-while-coding, etc.) - typical hackish weekend definition. I was including writing (=partial copying) protocol code in the four-hours-per-protocol.

mailto:icq+icqnum@im.your.local.machine more like.

Ah, nice. Apart from ICQ being utter shite, obviously.

See comments elsewhere in the thread as to why not IRC...

Hmm... I'm not convinced. Both IRC and IM have multicast (AIM/ICQ at least) and unicast modes, both are designed for (near) direct real-time exchange of short messages, both are text-based systems. It seems like a better fit than email (designed for indirect, non-real-time exchange of large text messages).

The problem seems to be that IRC clients *also* suck, which is an entirely different matter...
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/13 04:04:31
What we *actually* need is for someone to implement 821 SEND, but...

I suspect that trying to implement "my own" IM protocol at this stage is a bad plan though...

Bunging mail in the middle means that I don't have to worry about lots of the niceities of ensureing that delivery happens, and that the end user actually gets a chance to read the messages (rather than having to; say; guddle about in IRC scrollbacks).

Also, SMTP is a remarkably trivial protocol to implement :).
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userinfo mtbc100
2004/07/12 11:47:45
Well, bitlbee is more of a server/proxy than a client, I thought? Good luck, anyway.
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userinfo xraycb
2004/07/12 15:00:35

No, the primary problem with fetchmail is that the maintainer is an idiot.

Similarly, the problem with most OSS IM clients is that they are written by 14 year olds. One can hope that they might grow up though...

(just saw this post on somebody's friends list, and couldn't let it pass...)
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/12 15:22:05
Bear in mind that fetchmail was maintained by the same idiot who invented the Bazaar system... :-)

centericq seems to have a well-written core; it's just that anything that wasn't directly written by the main author is ABSOLUTE SHITE.

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userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2004/07/12 23:57:17
it's just that anything that wasn't directly written by the main author is ABSOLUTE SHITE.

Which would be why the Bazaar model is just as bad as the Cathedral one - worse for the lack of design, in fact, but ESR has already gone into its small advantages.

I have no problem with the principle of Open Source but I hate pretty much all of the OSS available.
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/13 01:10:15
I hate pretty much all of the OSS available.

<advocacy>Well, use Free Software then, if the second rate solution is too crap :-P</advocacy>
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userinfo sion_a
[userpic]
2004/07/13 02:15:07
Is that "Free" as in beer, speech, or jazz?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/13 02:17:18
Free Jazz would be the extreme end of the Bazaar model? :)

Free as stereotypically in "speach", as the usual counter to OSS.
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userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2004/07/13 04:08:26
Free Software? Like GCC? Or HURD?

The name seems to be the result of RMS smoking way too much pot in the early 80s. "Free" as in "not free"? Surely that is a perfect example of bad UI design - it's ambiguous for no good reason!
</advocacy>
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userinfo khendon
2004/07/13 00:35:11
bitl... oh.

What's wrong with bitlbee?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/13 01:12:52
It leverages the IRC client as a UI; which is universally acknowledged to be one of the nadirs of good interface design (and a cesspool to write well).

Also, you're taking a client that's optimised for multicast conversations and using it for unicast conversations -- an area in which IRC clients currently produce a much higher percentage of misdirected comments than other IM clients do.

Also, it is a bad design metaphor.

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userinfo khendon
2004/07/13 01:17:34
Hm. I use irssi, and when I send a message to somebody it automatically opens a new window for them. The recipient is clearly displayed in the status bar of the window. I don't see how that is either not suitable for unicast conversations or likely to produce misdirected comments.

Perhaps it's your irc client that's rubbish and not bitlbee :-)

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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2004/07/13 01:24:00
That model is even worse; because then I end up with 30,000 different windows and spend more time navigating to the window I want to engage with than I do actually talking to people -- the UI gets in the way (not it's job).

Anyway, we've already conclusively argued on #eddings that irssi fails to meet even my IRCing requirements; so I don't see why you think it might meet my IMing ones... :)

Incidently, ewx and Stark seem to think that 'leverages' in my previous comment should be 'abuses'. They're probably right.
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