GTalk, Jabber and other IM protocols

Since Google released Google Talk (GTalk) I started using it. I liked it because it is (or seems) lightweight, it’s easy, and it’s able to notify me when I receive a new mail on GMail account. Also some friends was using it, so I had enough contacts. The problem was that there are too many IM clients and people use them all: Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, Skype… now also GTalk! “Yet another IM client to divide people”: this was the spread opinion I found on many blogs.

I don’t like to have many clients to do the same thing, and I started using Gaim. It’s a nice IM client, enough stable, quite good. It uses GTK widget toolkit and sometime conflicts with Gimp because they use different versions of those DLLs. Gaim can handle multiple accounts and connect to GTalk, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ, etc. Many connections, many problems ;-)

I was asking myself why Google don’t release a GTalk version that also supports other protocols. GTalk is based on Jabber protocol. And we know Jabber can talk to other protocols: there are some “modules” installed on Jabber servers that acts like a bridge between different protocols. The nice thing is that the server handles protocols and the client just supports Jabber; sounds like the “thin client principle” applied to IM.
Why Google Talk can’t do that? It’s a useful option that could rule over other clients and incentivate people to migrate to Google Talk.
I think that they will add this option very soon. The Jabber protocol under GTalk supports it… and if you want, you can do it yourself!

I installed Psi Jabber Client and configured it with Google Talk. With Psi, you can register “Agents/Transports” to other protocol, so I registered transport protocols for MSN,Yahoo and ICQ from the jabber.cz server. I’m not an expert of Jabber, but after some tries, I found that this server lets you register those transport inside the Google Talk Server (gmail.com). The nice thing now, is that I can use Psi or Google Talk, to send instant messages to my friends using other clients, and it also works from GMail.

A screenshot follows:

Talking to MSN from GMail

I can see all my buddies registered on Google, indipendently from their favourite messenger client, and I can choice to continue using Google Talk or Psi client or any other Jabber client:

Psi and GTalk

The problem now is Skype that is not supported by Jabber – afaik – and I have to keep it installed; consuming my precioussss system resources.

I guess that on next future, GTalk will include a feature to add people from other clients, easily. I hope, it will interoperate also with Skype, voip inclusive.


9 Responses to “GTalk, Jabber and other IM protocols”  

  1. 1 Domenico

    Si, in effetti si sta andando nella direzione che ognuno si fa i propri protocolli….se vuoi qualcosa di più su skype vai qui http://www.auroemarco.org/medialab_autoform.php (sempre se non l’hai visto già). Speriamo solo che tra qualche anno con la convergenza e con il sistema IMS si possa arrivare ad uno standard anche per questo!

    Saluti!

  2. 2 ashjas

    Thanks..for this info…

    I knew earlier about such a possibility but i couldnt find any working transports for yahoo/aim/icq/msn…

    thanks for letting me know about jabber.cz…

    Thanks..

  3. 3 luigi

    Don’t know why, but jabber.cz stopped working as a bridge (for me). Don’t know if the problem is due to Google or Jabber.cz…

  4. 4 luigi
  5. 5 Manish

    hi,

    i have configured my gtalk account in psi, after login when i try to browse service discovery for jabber.cz, i can see anything :(
    am i doing things right way?

    -manish

  6. 6 Manish

    ah found a strange thing

    I have hosted my email for linuxlabs.biz on google so i can use linuxlabs.biz ids in gtalk. when i try to discover services with this ID it fails. but when i try to discover services with my gmail id it works

    dont know why is this happening. anyone got ne clue ?

  7. 7 Luigi

    manish,

    I believe that jabber.cz does nomore support transport for gmail users.
    no advices instead for linuxlabs.biz

    I’m sorry manish. Good luck

    Hope that gmail will soon offer transports for other protocols. What about starting a online petition?

    Luigi

  8. 8 Manish

    Hi,

    yes i noted that jabber.cz no more allows transports for gmail users. I have found one more server which allows transports its jabber.hot-chilli.net

    btw now google is also allowing xmpp for own domains read this https://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=34143

    -manish

  9. 9 Luigi

    Thanks Manish for your info.

    I also found several servers allowing other IM protocols.

    I’ll check your link to try for a definitive solution

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