Google Summer of Code 2010 Interest

Tommy MacWilliam tmacwilliam at
Wed Mar 24 20:51:31 EDT 2010


My name is Tommy MacWilliam, and I'm a freshman computer science major at
Harvard University.  I live just outside Boston, and play guitar and
practice martial arts in my free time.  I'm interested in participating in
Google Summer of Code this year, and I'd love to contribute to my favorite
instant messaging client.

A few of the ideas on Pidgin's FutureSOCProjects jumped out at me, and I was
hoping to get some feedback on a couple of concept ideas I had.

I found the SMS protocol plugin most interesting, as my final project for my
programming class last semester was a web service that allowed users to
access their email from non-smartphones through text messaging.  My idea for
Pidgin would allow users to add their mobile phone number (specifying
carrier) as an account and store phone numbers along with contact
information.  That way, the user would be able to send an SMS message to one
of their contacts from the same conversation window used by other protocols,
with messages longer than 160 characters being split up over multiple text
messages.  Something like libcurl could be used to send a request to a
script on the Pidgin server containing the user's mobile phone number,
intended recipient, and message.  The script would then forward the user's
message to the recipient's mobile device by sending an email to a
carrier-specific address (i.e. number at for Verizon cell phones).
The message would also include the phone number to which the recipient
should reply, as responses to the SMS should be sent to the user's mobile
device, and would not appear in the conversation window (and a message
stating this fact would be displayed after each send).

I would also be interested in improving the chat log feature (as a separate
project of course).  Rather than right-clicking a contact and selecting
"view log", a centralized log viewing window would be created, where logs
are arranged in a tree by date.  Expanding a given date would show a list of
all the contacts the user had a conversation with that day, and clicking on
a specific contact would bring up the appropriate chat log.  The user would
also be able to search the logs by contact and date as well as the contents
of the logs themselves.

Please let me know if either of these ideas seems feasible and worth
implementing, as well as any suggestions you may have for me.

Thanks so much, and I look forward to communicating with you.

Tommy MacWilliam
Harvard College Class of 2013
1881 Harvard Yard Mail Center
(617) 272-0464
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