Ticket #34 on Pidgin’s Trac Record
April 10th, 2008 • General
There are three popular messengers that support voice calls: MSN (or Live) Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and Google Talk. While MSN and Yahoo use proprietary protocols, Google relies on extending a popular messaging protocol called Jabber, which makes it all the more relevant.
Google implemented voice chat in Google Talk and packaged that implementation in a library called Jingle, which was then transformed into a proposed Jabber standard, XEP-0166. Note that Google’s libjingle is not an exact implementation of XEP-0166, it differs slightly in the way it initiates its sessions, but that’s just a minor inconvenience.
Jingle has been introduced back in 2005, and even three years later, while most messengers tried to incorporate it, most still don’t support it. That’s why I got excited when I read Ticket #34 on Pidgin’s Trac. The ticket includes a bunch of patches that link Pidgin with Farsight which already supports Google Talk and Jingle.
Now the ticket isn’t assigned to a milestone, so we won’t be seeing voice support in the next couple of Pidgin version, especially that this code is only a month old. But the ticket’s been there for a year, and somebody has decided to dedicate some time to it, and that’s always a good sign.
I’m glad that the Pidgin team decided not to re-invent the wheel, and use Farsight. Pidgin can now, without much effort, support proprietary protocols as soon as they are implemented in Farsight. Meanwhile, I can stick to Tapioca for when I absolutely need to hear a human voice.