Last time on AIM Mailbag, we covered versioning, mobile privacy, colorizing screen names and of course the Mac AIM experience (or lack thereof)…and now the mailbag conclusion.
Q: What are some of the new key features being implemented in the upcoming versions of AIM?
A: I always love these questions, but hate answering them because plans are always changing but in addition since this is a public forum, I cannot share all my cards. With that being said, we continue to make important improvements in connectivity both with regards to just signing in through all sorts of network topology as well as for p2p activities like live audio and video. I think you will see improvements in how developers can interact with the client via plugins, which means that users will have cool add ons and extensions to make their AIM experience more fun. Tighter integration with mobile messaging is in the works, as well as handling all different types of mobile data. Like I said, it is not fun being vague, but we are working on some good stuff that will definitely get you excited in using AIM.
Q: Is AIM coming any closer to being inter operable with GTalk?
A: I was asked this same question in Dublin at MashupCamp a few weeks ago, and I will give the same answer. Both of us continue to work on an interop solution and when there is more to share you know you will be able to find it on this blog.
Q: There havenâ€™t been a lot of AIM custom clients. Are you planning to introduce any yourselves?
A: My team is not actively writing any new custom clients, we have AIM Lite, however we have numerous partners who are writing custom clients right now. I am not sure how many full feature AIM clients you will see on Windows, but other platforms are actively being worked upon. Hopefully our partners will be sharing some news real soon.
Here is a quick list of some custom clients:
– AIM Lite
– AIM Pro
– PCD Lounge
Q: My AIM MusicLink is still not working at all it will not show what song i am listening to through iTunes, WMP 11, or Yahoo Music Jukebox.
A: I have to say this one issue has baffled me. Here is what I am guessing is going on, first if you set yourself away and are expecting MusicLink to work, it will listen for your music, but updating the status will not work. Second, if you have installed iTunes in a directory other than the default path (c:program filesitunes) then MusicLink will not work because we need to import the interfaces to access the iTunes API. So if you have iTunes installed in a path other than the default please point it to the default and then all should work. For the other players I have tested against the latest WMP and Yahoo Music Jukebox as well as 10 of my independent testers and we have not been able to reproduce this case unless we are set as away. If you are experiencing problems what would help beyond AIM version and media player version is to make sure you note what your status is (away, idle, invisible, mobile, etc), and if you are signed in on multiple locations.
Q: Who is AIM’s chief software architect?
A: I never comment on personnel here at AOL, but from the Open AIM SDK point of view I am the lead evangelist/dev guy for Open AIM, thus the reason you will see me at conferences, etc.
Q: What do you and people from AIM dev and IM-Host dev team think about alternative clients that use directly OSCAR protocol, not AIMCC?
A: Interesting question. For those who do not know, OSCAR is AIM’s proprietary protocol for communication. OSCAR is very complex and has lots of antiquated and unused things in it, some of which are specific to AOL clients going back to AOL 5.0, and some of which are deprecated. Much like the reason why we did not open up the low layer libraries in AIM known as COOL, we feel like from an elegance and simplicity view, the Web AIM APIs and AIMCC provide a more manageable way of writing clients. In addition, things like libPurple and other libraries do not always interact with the protocol properly. Anyone notice that their buddy lists are not always displayed properly or that Adium does not do file transfer properly? As we evolve the protocol obviously things like Web AIM and AIMCC incorporate the changes immediately, while the unofficial libraries are slow to get these changes if at all.