A: The portability of AMSN is the result of its development with Tcl/Tk, that is available for many platforms. AMSN should work in every architecture supported by Tcl/Tk although in latest releases there are specific parts, written as modules, that need to be compiled. For instance, Tkcximage for PNG image support (tcl/tk does not include it by default) and other formats, webcam capture support, systray icon, etc.
FA: AMSN is one of the most featured messaging client... Even webcam support.
A: Yes, in the latest version it is supported and we are adding rather improvements for AMSN 0.96. It was one of the most required features and we consider it is very interesting.
"Winks" (flash animations as they were smileys), online gam FA: What did the protocol change made by Microsoft mean to the project?
A: It was a little problem for every non-official MSN clients. The system authentication requires some steps that are not documented anywhere, and it is not possible to know them by means of network packet sniffing. Luckily, there were very fast people that ascertained the protocol functioning using reverse engineering and that allowed us to be still alive after the old protocol stopped to work on the servers.
FA: Which distributions include AMSN?
A: Well, I can't say it exactly. It is available for Debian, and in the universe section of Ubuntu, in Gentoo.... I know there are ports for FreeBSD, and I don't know if it is included in SuSe, RedHat, etc.
FA: Is there anything that users missed in 0.95?
A: We have a lot of work to do. Real videoconference support, "Winks" (flash animations as they were smileys), online games compatible with the official client, chat backgrounds, etc. However not all of this features are specially important, so we'll try to focus on the most useful features, and not on the most visual features although sometimes these are the most valued by users.
FA: Are you in contact with other similar projects like gaim or kopete?
A: Actually we don't keep a permanent contact but there has been an exchange of ideas, code, etc. We also work with Farsight project to develop a videoconference library for generic instant messaging clients.
FA: What improvements and new features are you going to include in the next release?
A: We are adding webcam support improvements, bug fixing, fixing a couple of memory leaks, speed improvements, drag and drop support, and specially we are focused on usability. We are reorganizing menus and windows to make the usage simpler and more logic. I'm sure I'm forgetting something :)
FA: Many thanks for your time, Álvaro.
A: Thanks to you, regards.
Note: The original interview was made in Spanish.
- "Interview with Alvaro J. Iradier, 1/2"
- "Interview with Alvaro J. Iradier, 2/2"