Facebook in Pidgin

Haudy Kazemi kaze0010 at umn.edu
Sat Nov 22 01:38:15 EST 2008

I don't think the average user cares what the reasons may be for 
Facebook IM to be supported (or not) in standard installation of 
Pidgin.  All they care about it is whether "it works" or "is 
supported".  If the protocols they want to use or think they might use 
are not supported out-of-the-box by Pidgin, that person is likely to go 
onto the next multi-protocol IM application.

I think Facebook support is important, even if that is requires a 
screenscraping design.  Facebook is incredibly popular, and for users, 
it's chat feature somewhat parallels the ease of use of Gmail+Gtalk 
(i.e. it's available as soon as the user logs in).  It is easier to 
leave an IM program running 24/7 than to keep a browser window logged in 
and then watch that window for IMs, so for convenience reasons it is 
important to bring Facebook IMs under the unified Pidgin interface.

Other multiprotocol IM clients that support Facebook include:
VoxOx: http://www.voxox.com/index.php , 
http://blog.ceruleanstudios.com/?p=373  (Trillian Astra)

I think Casey's suggestion is a good compromise: make the plugin more 
stable and it's existence more visible.  If a novice user can get the 
plugin installed without manually copying files into folders, that's 
probably good enough.


Casey Ho wrote:
> I think XMPP  is a case of the cat already out of the bag because 
> other chat clients already publicly support Facebook's hacked up 
> interface. Pidgin is slowly bleeding users elsewhere, most notably Digsby.
> How about this:  Keep Facebook in plugin land as it is now, but make a 
> move to support it publicly on the front page and other locations. 
>  Label it experimental, give Mark or somebody else from Pidgin commit 
> access, clear out the bug list, and cut down the number of features to 
> keep it simple.
> Pidgin has a great plugin system.  Why not take better advantage of it 
> and avoid the whole release problem?  (I don't think any plugin has 
> ever been featured like this, but if there's ever an argument for an 
> exception, this is the time.)
> Casey
> 2008/11/20 Ethan Blanton <elb at pidgin.im <mailto:elb at pidgin.im>>
>     I'm not really interested in a protracted discussion about this, but I
>     think there is an important distinction to make -- Facebook is a *new*
>     chat service, not an existing chat service with a legacy base of
>     users.  On top of that, the "protocol" being implemented isn't even
>     intended to be an IM protocol as such, it's screen scraping some
>     crufty interface provided for an AJAX web page.
>     I am of the opinion that we should not encourage further proliferation
>     of properietary IM protocols.  There are a number of open IM standards
>     available which have significant traction (XMPP and SIP SIMPLE, at the
>     very least), and new services can reasonably be expected to use one of
>     these.  In fact, several new services (Google Talk, LiveJournal) have
>     already embraced XMPP, several established services are publically
>     flirting with it (AIM and ICQ, possibly others), and the new service
>     in question has already announced intention to support it.
>     All that said, that's a reason why *I* wouldn't write a facebook
>     screen scraping protocol, not a reason (at least, by itself) why I
>     would keep one out of Pidgin.  The fact that, even if it's a
>     well-written plugin, it's still a dirty screen scraping hack *is* such
>     a reason.  This is important, for those who haven't gathered it,
>     because you effectively get a new facebook IM client every time you
>     click a link or reload your browser -- that means they can change
>     their protocol at any time with no ill effects to an installed client
>     base.  That's not a game we should be vocalizing support for.  We
>     can't even manage to roll a release in less than a week, these days,
>     so I don't think it's a good idea to chase a bouncing ball.
>     Ethan
>     --
>     The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no
>     remedy
>     for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
>     determined to commit crimes.
>                    -- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
>     -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
>     Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
>     iD8DBQFJJi3Kr9kA9Ig8HBQRAoMJAJ49RmyDUGyyP5OjWgTj7Ons8qbCRgCghENC
>     bPm5dtM+Yw+gM6uk27BmrvM=
>     =R4AK
>     -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
>     _______________________________________________
>     Devel mailing list
>     Devel at pidgin.im <mailto:Devel at pidgin.im>
>     http://pidgin.im/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/devel
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Devel mailing list
> Devel at pidgin.im
> http://pidgin.im/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/devel

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://pidgin.im/pipermail/devel/attachments/20081122/e47c3472/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Devel mailing list