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Jabber

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6th Dec 2005 | 16:05

Following http://www.livejournal.com/users/fanf/42585.html

Bob presented a revised version of my proposal to the SMT today, which included some changes as a result of the previous attempt - essentially, upgrading the perfunctory "oh, and maybe we could do these things" paragraphs to "we will do these". In particular, the web front-end and MSN gateway.

The main result was that I have the go-ahead!

I will have to write a paper for the IT Syndicate (which oversees the Computing Service) to get full approval for a significant new service. I will also have to get it working by the summer, complete with MUC, MSN, web, etc.

The oddest thing was some quibbling about the usability of the MSN gateway, based on no practical experience at all. Sigh. Still, no harm done.

If anyone wants to be added to my ineterst list, please email <fanf2@cam.ac.uk>. If anyone knows of other Universities in the UK which have Jabber services, I would be interested - I know of Portsmouth and Cardiff.

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Comments {10}

Richard

from: captain_aj
date: 6th Dec 2005 18:25 (UTC)

Out of interest, to the people demanding the MSN gateway realise that you still need an MSN account to use it? :-)

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 6th Dec 2005 18:39 (UTC)

I hope so :-) I think they see users switching rather than using the two services in parallel, and users are more likely to switch if they can still communicate with their MSN contacts via our Jabber service.

The EBW thing about the MSN gateway is that it requires the users to give us their MSN username and password. This kind of thing is very much against our policy, but I didn't want to mention that because it would have caused arguments.

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Andrew

from: nonameyet
date: 6th Dec 2005 21:18 (UTC)

Evil, Bad, Wrong ?

I'm probably out of touch: I know that people use google, hotmail and yahoo and that XP comes with an invitation to use MSN, but I haven't heard of anyone using MSN. Which services are behind the MSN gateway ?

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Richard

from: captain_aj
date: 6th Dec 2005 22:35 (UTC)

MSN == MSN Instant Messenger in this context

It's nothing interesting, just Yet Another Closed IM System like ICQ, Yahoo Messenger or Googletalk.

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Andrew

from: nonameyet
date: 7th Dec 2005 06:42 (UTC)

I haven't found the project doc (if it is available) but it seems that MSN has been written in as important, but my impression is that our users use the other systems you mentioned but not MSN. If the other systems are part of the requirement: fine. However, *if* my impression is correct *and* MSN is the only closed system written into the requirement then Tony's effort is being directed into less useful avenues.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 7th Dec 2005 10:59 (UTC)

MSN has been written into the requirements because there are CS staff who use it :-) Where it says "MSN" I am reading "other proprietary IM systems", so I'll also set up AIM, ICQ, and Yahoo! gateways.

I wanted to keep the explicit requirements limited, so that the project could evolve according to user feedback, rather than our (probably misplaced) guesses about what they might want.

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Andrew

from: nonameyet
date: 7th Dec 2005 06:35 (UTC)

Hmm.
So MSN is bad because it gives the jabber server its username and password,
but Raven needs lots of client mods because it doesn't :-).

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Ben Charlton

from: benc
date: 6th Dec 2005 18:48 (UTC)

We (kent.ac.uk) have a jabber server, but it's internal only and run by the recently revived Compsoc rather than Computing Service. It's significantly less popular than Compsoc's IRC server, but I suspect external access to other servers would make a huge difference to popularity (at least for students, who don't have outgoing "internet" access). Maybe next year ;)

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The Uitlander

from: uitlander
date: 6th Dec 2005 18:49 (UTC)

The biggest 'nasty' I know of relating to implementing/running Jabber is that Yahoo, MSN etc., erratically update/change their protocols without much (if any) warning. So your users may be unexpectedly without access to their service of choice for a few days whilst new transports are writted/updated and implemented. This is based on watching people administer Jabber servers on a small scale (<100 users) rather than doing it myself.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 6th Dec 2005 19:22 (UTC)

I get the impression that this is less of a problem these days.

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