Charles Hallenbeck chuckh at
Wed Nov 21 17:53:00 EST 2001

Hi Randy

On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, randy turner wrote:

> hi chuck,
> i went to the site but i am not sure what file to download.
> can you give me a step by step because i am new to the program.
> do i need to compile imcom?
> it seems like i might need a library
> for imcom to work, is this assumsion correct?
> thanks for all of the help

I recommend you go to the guy's development page and get his "latest
nightly" package. Imcom is written in Python and requires an XML parser
library called "expat" which usually does not come with Linux. I had to
get that library from a link on the Imcom page, then get the Python source
archive so that it could be compiled with the expat library. Although the
imcom package is a source package, it does not have to be compiled,
because Python is an interpretor and executes the source code as it is
interpreted. You si;mply run the "make" command with the "install" option
in the imcom directory.

This whole process is very messy and I am beginning to think it might not
be worth it. Imcom is highly accessible, that is the good news, but it is
very limited in its features, and I am having a tough time getting it to
perform consistently. The author was very helpful for the first 24-48
hours, and fixed one nasty problem promptly, but problems still remain
which I cannot identify as imcom problems or jabber problems. I guess that
is life on the frontier.

Text console client programs for jabber are scarce. I only see two on the
website carrying a collection of clients: imcom is one and the other is a
Perl script that _ONLY_ does group chat sessions. What the world needs is
a quality text console client for jabber. All the protocol details are
public domain, all the server documentation is online, the need is clear
and pressing.

Any programmers out there looking for an interesting and not overly
ambitious project? I am sorely tempted.

Right now what imcom does reliably is to create an account on a jabber
server of your choosing, and perform roster management and message
exchanges with other jabber users. The ICQ transports that tie jabber to
the ICQ world either do not work or else imcom does not know how to
interface with them. The Yahoo transport works on one jabber server but
not on another, and I have in fact used it successfully to chat with Yahoo
people, but imcom sometimes composes the "to=" field incorrectly producing
error messages instead of conversations. But just sometimes!

My current assessment is that imcom is currently the best there is for
jabber, but it is not good enough to give us the breakthrough in instant
messaging that it first appeared to provide.

I hope I have not discouraged you from  proceeding. It would be nice to
begin a small set of jabber folks to perhaps push the envelope a little.

Regards - Chuck

Visit me at
The Moon is Waxing Crescent (40% of Full)

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