The OSS Advocates & Proprietary IM

By | 2006/04/11

I’ve recently been discussing the pros and cons of using the open IM protocol Jabber. I realize that I advocate FOSS in everything else I do. From Ubuntu Linux to OpenOffice, from Gaim to Firefox. Open protocols and open source is what we’re all about.. aren’t we?

How many of us use proprietary IM clients? For as much as we advocate FOSS do we really do as much as we can? I wonder why so many of us still use proprietary IM clients. If you’ve made the switch to Linux why are you still using msn messenger, aim or yahoo?

I am contemplating making the switch to Jabber. I foresee losing a few contacts but didn’t we lose a few things (that we were better off without!) when moving to Linux? I realize I’m having the same feelings about making that leap that I had when contemplating the leap to Linux.

I’d love to hear what people’s thoughts are on this. Can you ‘make the switch?’

3 thoughts on “The OSS Advocates & Proprietary IM

  1. Hans

    It’s been probably 3 or 4 years since I “switched” to jabber. Actually, you don’t have to switch per se, it’s not like dual booting where you’re in one or the other. At first it was just me and my brothers, but over time more and more of my family and friends have been gently converted. There’s no better time than now to push XMPP, because you don’t have to convert them to some client they’ve never heard of. Just get them to add you to their gmail buddy list and start talking to them while they read their email. Then, when they accept that they talk to you through gmail, push a client like adium or gtalk or psi or gaim or whatever.

    Of course, if your friends and family are taken by the “way cool” stupid dancing pig things you can do in MSN messenger, you’re fighting an uphill battle with something as practical as jabber. 🙂

  2. Gary

    It’s not so much a case of “switching” as “adding”. At any given moment I may be logged into seven different instant messaging accounts on three different services. But, I’m only using one client, either Gaim, when I’m on a FreeBSD machine, or AdiumX, when I’m on my Mac. In both cases, the clients are open source.

    Honestly, as long as I’ve got an open source client that can interoperate with multiple services, it doesn’t matter to me whether the person on the other end wants to use AIM, Yahoo! or Google talk.

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