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Open Discussion Day

Picture of legacy IM services being blocked, and open I services being used.May 19th is unofficially becoming a very important day in instant messaging. It is becoming the day that legacy protocols are dropped, such as Yahoo, MSN, AIM and ICQ, and only open IM protocols are used, such as Jabber.

Currently, I use all protocols. I have for a long time, and I have many contacts who use all of them as well. They just seem to collect from school, family, friends and work. Recently, I just posted about how you can contact me via these protocols. Well, I'm updating the post saying that only Jabber will be used from May 19th and on. No exceptions.

Threre are a couple of reasons for this. First, being a very out-spoken advocate of Open Source Software (OSS), it makes sense to use only open protocols- protocols which the source code is released. It seems almost hypocritical to say "Use OSS!" then turn around and login to MSN. Second, Jabber combined with other services, such as Gmail gives me some features that are important to me, such as archiving my conversations. Jabber is in the works with Jingle to provide VOIP capabilities using Asterisk over the Jabber protocol, while still using my Gmail account. Finally, becase Jabber is OSS, I can setup my own Jabber server, although personally, I have no need to. This is nice as it increased security when using the IM service. I don't need to send my messages out through the internet for the others to receive them. Everything can stay within the network.

At any rate, May 19th, I'll be making the pull. If you are in my contact list, and read my blog, realize that I will turn off all legacy IM connections on that date. Of course, those in my contact list will get an IM from me when logged in about the decision.

I encourage you to make the switch to Jabber also. Again, you can use your Gmail account, of which I'll probably put in a seperate post. It will be the last switch you ever make. You'll wonder why you ever used the legacy IM services to begin with.

{ 5 } Comments

  1. Kuyaedz | April 11, 2006 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    To hell with it. I'm going to hop on this bandwagon. This gives me plenty of time to get ready & give notice.

  2. Doran Barton | April 11, 2006 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I take issue with your statement "It seems almost hypocritical to say 'Use OSS!' then turn around and login to MSN."

    Open Source and Free Software wasn't created to exist completely independently (and exclusively) from proprietary, closed source solutions. It's an alternative (albeit a superior alternative in many cases).

    I applaud the effort to get more and more family and friends signed up with Jabber. Google Talk makes this much easier, but I know many people who simply won't give up MSN or AOL. I don't worry too much about it, though, because I've got a wide variety of OPEN SOURCE alternatives available to me to keep in touch with these people. These open source alternatives all do a spectacular job of talking to the servers operated by these proprietary, closed-source vendors.

    What spotted owl is gonna die if you keep connecting to MSN or AOL with gaim? 🙂

  3. Aaron | April 12, 2006 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Doran Barton-

    Thanks for leaving a reply. Luckily, choosing an IM service doesn't have to be either one or the other. My family and friends can continue to keep their legacy IM accounts, yet just add a Jabber account if they would like to communicate with me. For me personally, it's the principle of the matter, so it is either one or the other. But I'm not telling my family and friends they have to "switch", just add another account.

    I don't use proprietary applications as much as possible. I have to at work, due to the nature of my job, but I also use OSS as much as I can. At home, and elsewhere, it's all I use. I disagree in your statement in saying OSS "wasn't created to exist completely independently (and exclusively) from proprietary, closed source solutions." What else is it for? Surely it is to provide applications and solutions for people on a different paradigm that create community, instead of government.

    Again, for me, why have the belief of using OSS exclusively, only to use proprietry IM services? It is hypocritical. FOSS is on direct competition with proprietary closed-source applications and solutions. This is the nature behind the GPL, GNU, Richard Stallman, Bruce Parens and the whole Linux community.

    Luckily, no spotted owl, or anyone else for that matter, will suffer because people begin using open protocols and software such as Jabber.  🙂

  4. Adam | April 13, 2006 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Why not just use GAIM so that you can use all of them. There really is no point in cutting people off because of a choice they make to use proprietary software. It is one thing to have your beliefs, but don't force them on others. Why not say, in a variation of one of your church's "articles of faith," the following:

    "I claim the privilege of messaging according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them message how, where, or what they may."

    GAIM supports Jabber and will not restrict you from seeing contacts that use other protocols...

  5. Aaron | April 13, 2006 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I think your missing the point of the post. It isn't whether or not anyone else uses proprietary protocols, it is the fact that I am. I do not want to connect to these closed services any longer. My friends and family can connect to them all they like, after all, they have their agency. However, if they want to chat with me, they will need to add another protocol, namely Jabber. Again, I am the one no longer using these services, and I am not forcing these beliefs on others.

{ 4 } Trackbacks

  1. [...] A good example is Aaron’s idea to switch to Jabber-only communications over IM. I applaud his idealism, and I envy him for making such a bold move, but I would worry about cutting off communication with others who just don’t see things the way I do. It might be possible to convince all my friends to use Jabber clients instead of AOL / Yahoo / MSN / ICQ, but chances are more likely they won’t fire up one client (or switch to a client that has multi-protocol capabilities) just to talk to me. So, I compromise. I interact on their terms that they they consider standard. [...]

  2. [...] -Open Discussion Day [...]

  3. [...] Since Open Discussion Day, I have connected personally to Jabber as my only means of IM communication, and I haven’t looked back. I don’t miss MSN, AIM, ICQ (although I am stuck using that at work), or Yahoo!. It’s been wonderful connecting only to Jabber using my Gmail account. [...]

  4. [...] I blogged about this last year as well, and since then, I have only been using Jabber. I haven’t looked back. I had some family and friends on MSN and a few on ICQ, Yahoo! and AIM, so making the change wasn’t easy. In fact, it took a great deal of discussion with my wife and family members. When it came down to it, I had to do what was important for me, and being a Free Software advocate, I needed to drop proprietary protocols, and use only Jabber. It’s been one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. [...]

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