Dear Adium community,
As some of you may have heard, the Pidgin Project has just released Pidgin 2.6.0 which supports audio and video communication (commonly referred to as A/V or V/V) over XMPP (Jabber, Google Talk, etc.). First, a huge congratulations to the Pidgin team, for whom this is a major milestone!
Knowing that Adium and Pidgin share the same backend, libpurple, the logical question is:
What will happen in Adium? Where is Voice and Video support in our favorite Mac OS X chat client?
In October 2007, hopes were raised by two Adium team blog posts:
“Happy Leopard Day!” and “A/V Questions Answered”
A small team volunteered then to tackle the great effort of implementing Audio and Video chat, using the partially-developed support found in libpurple at that time. It made a limited amount of progress, but two major barriers were encountered: First, libpurple wasn’t ready to provide reliable voice & video support. Second, the scope of the project far outweighed the available manpower. The project stalled before it even really took off.
The team at present
The Adium team currently has a fraction of the manpower it once did. We throw ourselves into this labor of love when possible, but the number of people who have committed code in the past 3 months can be counted on one hand. Adium has been, perhaps, its own worst enemy in terms of maintaining the team, as our developers commonly step from here to excellent but demanding jobs within and without the CS world (including multiple at Apple). We have even less manpower now than when efforts failed in late 2007.
We’re not complaining, we’re not offering excuses, and we’re not asking for donations of money or server resources.
We are seeking interested developers and designers!
Join an exciting, popular open source project with a proven track record of being both successful worldwide and a fantastic resumé builder. Voice & video offers a huge new domain to explore.
The state of the code
We have successfully compiled libpurple and its dependencies with voice & video support. What remains is implementation of libpurple’s media API and production of an Adium-quality UI for it. That will include a lot of code, though hopefully we’ll find that the QuickTime and Core Graphics frameworks in Mac OS X 10.5 can do much of the heavy lifting for us. We’ll also need icons. More development thoughts can be found on Adium’s VoiceAndVideo page.
Want to help?
Developers and designers, feel free to join us on IRC or email the Adium development mailing list… or dive right in and start contributing!