OTR in Pidgin?

John Bailey rekkanoryo at rekkanoryo.org
Tue Jan 13 01:41:57 EST 2009

Casey Ho wrote:
> As the survey results indicated, encrypted IM support is as popular as
> VV support [1].
> How do you all feel about including the OTR plugin by default in Pidgin?

While I'm neutral on this issue, I would like to point out that historically
we've not accepted plugins not written by an active developer.

My only complaint about OTR is the strange behavior it can cause when
interacting with a non-OTR-enabled client.  For example, if I receive a privmsg
on IRC from someone using the OTR plugin, every message is prepended with a
mixture of tabs and spaces.  Given that I use irssi, which doesn't hide that
from me, it can be frustrating.

> I mention the OTR plugin specifically because Adium already installs
> it by default, it has the best protections out of the available
> plugins, and the code is reasonably well written (only the tabs/spaces
> are inconsistent).  I also took some time to test things today and it
> worked well without any serious glitches.

OTR is supported via plugins in other clients as well.  Third-party plugins
exist for Miranda, Kopete, Trillian, Psi, and irssi.  This would give us a
fairly wide range of non-official clients to be able to interact with.
Pidgin-encryption, on the other hand, is to the best of my knowledge not
compatible with any other clients.

> Possible pitfall: while most users mentioned OTR, there are some who
> wanted XMPP/GPG encryption support, which is different.

It would be nice if we could support XMPP/GPG as well, and use this method by
default where possible.

> I'd be willing to undertake this, as I have used encryption with a
> handful of other friends for several years now.  Having it be more
> widespread would definitely increase the utility.

If we accept this, I'd like to propose that the libotr dependency be non-fatal
during configure if OTR is to remain a plugin.


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