Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Aug 2005 12:33 UTC
Google Google has launched an instant-messaging (IM) program that allows text chat and computer-to-computer voice connections, a move that highlights the search giant's increasing competition with Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online. You can download Google Talk here. Google also makes it very clear that you do not need Google Talk to use their service, and they provide detailed instructions on using other IM clients to connect to Google Talk. Update: Micheal Robertson announces partnership with Google to promote the use of open standards in VoIP/IM.
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RE[2]: Windoze only
by on Wed 24th Aug 2005 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Windoze only"

Member since:

I fail to see what's so good about Jabber. So far I have not seen any good reason to use it; it doesn't offer anything new and useful. Oh, and I don't ICQ & MSN being isolated and centralized services as atleast everything can be found in one place, and I don't even need to set any specific server settings to use either.
-WereCat

Ps. This isn't meant to be a flamebait or something like that...

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Windoze only
by Daniel Borgmann on Wed 24th Aug 2005 14:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Windoze only"
Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

Oh, and I don't ICQ & MSN being isolated and centralized services as atleast everything can be found in one place

That's a contradiction. ;)

Anyway, they _are_ centralized, no matter what you think. ICQ only runs on one server (well, a bunch most probably), while Jabber is designed to work between multiple servers. There is no single Jabber server which controls the entire network. Every server can send to every other server. This is the same way our email services work. We don't all use the "AOL Email Server", instead we might use our provider's email server, which then forwards the messages to the recepient's email server, and so on. This is not a matter of opinion, but a technical fact.

The advantages of the de-centralized approach are that you are independent of a single company. Imagine one company would control all email, that sounds quite ludicrous, doesn't it? Everyone can implement improved servers or clients, as long as they follow the protocol. Could Google offer their own ICQ service? Obviously not, instead they would have to create their own self-contained competing service which would once again not be able to talk to clients of another service. Only Jabber makes it possible for Google to offer an IM service that countless users can directly communicate with. Every additional Jabber service increases the compatible userbase, while every additional proprietary IM service leads to more fragmentation.

Other downsides of proprietary centralized services are that the network could be entirely unreachable (heck, the company could go out of business) or that they could restrict access to alternative clients at any time (which has happened a few times already).

As long as you use IM as a toy, this might all not matter to you. But for serious applications of the instant messaging idea, an open protocol like XMMP clearly is the only way.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Windoze only
by on Wed 24th Aug 2005 14:31 in reply to "RE[3]: Windoze only"
Member since:

That's what I was saying, ICQ and MSN are centralized and it doesn't matter. I don't care. What would be so bad if e-mail was also centralized?

"Only Jabber makes it possible for Google to offer an IM service that countless users can directly communicate with. Every additional Jabber service increases the compatible userbase, while every additional proprietary IM service leads to more fragmentation."

Uhh...Did you even read the whole thing? This still does only lead to more fragmentation: you can only use their server and it's not bridged to anywhere else. So, again, it's a single company controlling this whole thing...So, if Google went out of business, or they have some sort of a network problem rendering them unreachable, we would still be in the same situation you were talking about.

By the way, this Google Talk isn't meant for "serious applications of the instant messaging idea", it's just the same as every other IM program. Jabber may very well be good for those serious applications, but still, in this case, it just isn't such a big deal. Google Talk is just the same as MSN or ICQ (with less features), it's just using a different protocol.

About the users: I don't think many average IM users does really care about the opennes of a certain protocol. I know I don't care, as long as it works and doesn't cost me anything. If it costs me something, I stop using it. The same goes for anyone I personally know.
-WereCat

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: Windoze only
by on Wed 24th Aug 2005 19:19 in reply to "RE[3]: Windoze only"
Member since:

The advantages of the de-centralized approach are that you are independent of a single company.
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For 99% of IM users this doesn't matter one whit. There is no TECHNICAL advantage for them. Either 1 person runs the service for them or lots of people do, but to them, it doesn't matter.
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Features like whiteboard, voice chat, file transfer, buddy avatars, etc. DO matter to the majority of IM users and Jabber either doesn't accomodate these things or does it poorly.
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Also, Jabber servers only implement SOME of the spec and all the clients also implement different aspects of the spec, so in general only the lowest common denominator (text chat) is really viable with Jabber the same way it is with MSN or AIM or something.
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For normal users, there's just no point in switching to Jabber for the most part and if you think otherwise you're either using Jabber for VERY specific stuff like XML-RPC calls or internal corporate chat servers... or you're just an "open standards > *" zealot.

Reply Parent Score: -1