Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Somebody write some code!

Author:Jacob Levy
Posted:8/5/1999; 3:08:00 PM
Topic:Yusuf Mehdi on Instant Messaging
Msg #:9193 (In response to 9191)
Prev/Next:9192 / 9194

Yada yada yada...

This problem happened because my Mirabilis Israeli friends sold out for $$$. The minute that happened it was "writing on the wall". They even quietly discussed this internally, whether to sell to M$ or AOL. I'm for one glad they sold out to AOL because AOL seems more likely to open up.

If I'm understanding this right ($0.02 + rock-of-salt alert), there are actually two IM protocols owned by AOL. One is TiK and is in fact open, there exist e.g. Tcl/Tk clients for it. The other, code named Oscar, seems to be derived from the ICQ protocol which itself was open (evidence the many ICQ client clones on Linux) but now may have been leveraged by AOL.

Writing code would have worked in the pre-ICQ days. Now that's water under the bridge because the protocol that's going to be adopted and sprinkled with holy water is the one that brings the most eyeballs to the table. Saraswat (head of the IETF WG on IM) has said that they aren't going to invent a new protocol but rather "adopt a real world solution", code words for whoever has the most mind-share.

Another question: why is it currently impossible to connect to M$'s IM servers? Is there some technical reason? This is a technical question I'm asking, not a political one.

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