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Gaim Renamed — Now Pidgin IM 498

An anonymous reader writes "Announced on the Gaim mailing lists earlier today, the Gaim project is being renamed. This follows a lengthy and, unfortunately, secret legal process with AOL, which also prevented any code releases except betas. The project will now be known as Pidgin IM. Development is being migrated off of as well and is now being hosted on"
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Gaim Renamed — Now Pidgin IM

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  • by Chineseyes ( 691744 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:34PM (#18651723)
    Please let this be a Joke thats a terrible name.
  • Damn Shame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:36PM (#18651759) Homepage Journal
    I used to really love Gaim. But other messengers have begun to really surpass it.

    Part of this apparently is due to legal problems with Gaim which no doubt discouraged the developers. Part of it is Google hiring the lead developer to jump ship and focus primarily on Google Talk.

    However, it is time we had one universal standard for messages. You can have different clients with different features, however, users should have a universal address so you can message anyone from any network from any client.

    Anyone recall separate independent email systems before one unified email standard?

    I hope this new project begins full steam, but a big part of me is sad that between projects like Kopete, Gaim, Trillian, Miranda, etc. that we're dividing efforts instead of having one truly incredible messenger that works across all networks, supports all the features of each network (including full voice and video).

    I'd gladly pay money for it. I'm sure many would. Then again, if we had a universal standard for messaging, everyone (Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo) could keep their clients, and everyone's networks would grow instantly, and we wouldn't even necessarily have to devote so much developer time to keeping networks so private, and trying to reverse engineer network standards.
  • by Tragek ( 772040 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:40PM (#18651783) Journal
    To which I completely agree. It's about the fifth story I've read today on slashdot and other sources about intellectual property and licensing and copyright. And god, is ever saddening to see such a massive amount of resources and time and energy spent on those issues, rather than everything else that should be done.

    Of course, then I have a cynical moment and think here I am writing a comment about a story about an IM client's name change, rather than rather really changing what matters in the world, like disease. It's these kind of moments when I wonder about why we do what we do.
  • Perfect Name (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Terminal Saint ( 668751 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:51PM (#18651871)
    Looking at the comments so far it would appear the only thing keeping this from being a perfect name is ignorance...
  • Re:Damn Shame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by malevolentjelly ( 1057140 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:01PM (#18651917) Journal
    I whole-heartedly disagree with you, sir. There is absolutely no reason to use a lowest-common-denominator gui for a basic and functional program like gaim. Projects like Adium have taken things like libgaim and made them usable and beautiful and integrated. Coding a multi-platform GUI should never be a limiting factor in projects- it's much more intelligent, practical, and over-all better to just create a separate GUI for each popular system. I'm all for libgaim, but I think gaim as the every-OS IM client is just poor design practice.

    What would be more intelligent is just making libgaim more OS agnostic and easy to use with GUI's coded in Objective-C or C#, etc... the open source community needs to get away from multi-platform omni-messes and embrace the style guides provided for various OS's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:17PM (#18652055)
    There is no such thing as "Intellectual Property". It is propaganda. There are copyrights, patents, and trademarks. They are very different from each other. Anyone using the term "Intellectual Property" to group the three of them is either confused or is trying to mislead others.

    Watch This speech [] by Richard Stallman. Warning: it's 2 hours.
  • This is not saying that the developers don't want people hacking on Pidgin. There are currently plans in place to implement a Subversion gateway so that casual hackers can pull the Pidgin source and create their patches and whatnot. The reason behind the switch to monotone is that a distributed version control system fits more in line with the core developers' workflow, working on things separate from the main line for weeks and sometimes months before pushing to the public version control in order to minimize breakage and other issues. Take for example the planned moving of libpurple to using GObjects internally. This is a project I hope to assist with, and much of the work will likely be done privately in a local monotone database, then pushed periodically into a dedicated branch and merged for Pidgin 3.0.0 when the time is right. Between pushes, however, we have the freedom to break stuff as much as we want, then go and fix it whenever we want without having to worry about breaking things for other developers and users.

    As far as plugins go, good for you that you had revived a plugin. Yes, the core crowd is a bit condescending and irritable, but realize the crap that we see in #gaim--all we ask is that people read the damn documentation and the channel topic. However, if you're making an honest development effort, we will assist you if we are able. For the most part, however, Pidgin is extremely well-documented for development, and what documentation lacks, other plugin code can often be used as an example (I have done this more times than I can count in the development of my own plugins). This abundance of documentation and examples means we expect you to do a little work for yourself, which seems to be a problem for the majority of visitors to #gaim.

    For the record, I will note that I am a channel regular and have been for over three years. I am not officially affiliated with the project, but I have contributed in the past. I just happen to share some of the opinions of some of the developers and more involved contributors.

  • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:49PM (#18652603) Journal
    Anyone using the term "Intellectual Property" to group the three of them is either confused or is trying to mislead others.

    Not at all. It's no different than grouping Christianity, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. under the banner of "religion". Funny how the concept of religion has striking similarities to that of IP. Both depend on faith in something that doesn't necessarily exist. Well, in one case it definitely doesn't exist.
  • by Skreems ( 598317 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @01:02AM (#18652983) Homepage
    I'm of the opinion that the original 14 year copyright term was reasonable. Anything more is overkill (well, heck, let's bump it to 15 just to be nice). Seriously... if you can't extract enough value out of an original creative work in 15 years to make it worth your while, the work's probably not that good in the first place. After that, let it go back to the public. Copyright is supposed to be a concession to the reality that not all work can be service-oriented, not a license to completely replace goods and services with ideas in gigantic sectors of our economy.
  • by MoxFulder ( 159829 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @01:24AM (#18653087) Homepage

    Not at all. It's no different than grouping Christianity, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. under the banner of "religion".

    Well, I often have a problem with that too. People of other religions often assume that *my* religion requires a kind of faith similar to theirs, and that it affects my life in similar ways to theirs. When in fact different religions often have strikingly different effects on the societies in which they exist: for example, it's often said Islam encourages a confluence of spiritual and temporal authority, while in most Christian-majority societies this has rarely been the case since the Reformation. But I digress...

    A lot of FLOSS people despise the term "intellectual property" since it's often used intentionally to confuse people, by encouraging the belief that trademarks, copyrights, and patents give the same kinds of monopoly rights. When in fact, this is far from true.

    For example, Linus Torvalds holds the TRADEMARK for the name "Linux". But he does not hold the copyright for most of the code in the Linux kernel, since most of it has been written by other individuals and companies. And IBM may hold the patents on some algorithms used in the Linux kernel, but again this does not mean they hold the copyright for all of the code. None of this is a problem as long as no one is suing anyone.

    But then we get ass clowns like SCO or Microsoft who come along and make threats about how "Linux is infringing on our 'intellectual property' rights." That frightens a lot of users needlessly, and it's complete bullshit unless they care to specify exactly what rights they are talking about: trademark, copyright, or patents. All have COMPLETELY different repercussions. The FSF are totally right to deplore the use of the term "intellectual property" in my opinion. It is meaningless except as FUD.
  • Carrier Pidgin (Score:2, Interesting)

    by steve426f ( 746013 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @01:44AM (#18653185)
    Did anyone else think of carrier pigeons when they saw the name--as in passing messages between people? Apparently the pronunciation is the same.
  • by dodongo ( 412749 ) <chucksmith@alumn ... .edu minus punct> on Sunday April 08, 2007 @01:57AM (#18653257) Homepage
    "enforceable trademark on their logo for 300 years"

    Apologies. I should say their logo dates back 300 years -- they do still have a trademark on it, although I do not know when the trademark was acquired by them. Suffice it to say that having a trademark on such things in perpetuity (at least as long as you have the wherewithal to fight for it in court) seems not too far off base. At least within reason, and yes, I think you're fine to doubt the enforceability of a AIM trademark on another similar product whose name happens to involve the a-i-m string. Though the Lindows-Windows fiasco seems to back up the idea that rhyming with a trademark may be a bad deal.

    Anyway, it's a trademark, not a copyright.
  • Re:Tell it to AOL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <knuckles@danti a n .org> on Sunday April 08, 2007 @02:52AM (#18653503)
    I suppose we should have seen it coming when Lindows lost to Windows.

    Except they didn't []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2007 @03:59AM (#18653711)
    It seems the Pidgin/Gaim donation policy has been updated as well.

    On the old web site [] they explicitly refused donations (Can I give you money/hardware/other expensive things ... ? No. We're completely fool-hardy and won't accept any gratuities with no strings attached for just being good guys.).

    In the same area on the new web site [] this has disappeared.

    So, does Pidgin now accept donations?
  • All this and..... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jlk_71 ( 308809 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:54AM (#18654631)
    I love it, all this effort to change the name, yet the downloadable files still have the name "gaim" in them. Personally, if you are going to change the name of your project, then go all the way, don't go half-baked.
  • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @09:10AM (#18654721)
    From the dev website:

    Tickets to Be Resolved before Going Public

            Get a webpage
            planet css stuff
            Get a logo
            get legal stuff cleared up with AOL
            Rename libgaim to libpurple
            Rename UI functions into the pidgin_* namespace
            Setup Certificates
            Alert Coverity of the VCS Change
            Trac allows account creation without e-mail or verification
            wierd blist overlay icons

    Hmm... Maybe someone got a little overzealous here? Some of these are -not- done, and Slashdot has been made aware. I can't think of anything more 'public' than that.

    As for the name... People are talking a lot of how it relates to 'pidgin' language. But 'pigeon', the common 'misconception', is accurate as well. When playing strict role-playing games like MUDs, quite often people want to talk about sending a message outside the game. A very common way to say it is 'I'll send you my pigeon.'

    My first thought on the name was 'Oh, that's horrid.' My second was a long string of memories from one of my favorite games, DragonRealms. Maybe it's not such a bad name after all.
  • Re:Tell it to AOL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sitarah ( 955787 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @11:51AM (#18655461) Homepage
    "Lessons learned:

            * Trademark your name right away.
            * AOL sucks
            * "IP" Law sucks, so the first lesson may also be a waste of time.
    Unsurprisingly, AOL has been down this path before.

    See lt.htm [], which features our favorite judge, Judge Claude Hilton of Vonage injunction fame. Basically, AOL tried to sue AT&T for using the terms Buddy List, You've Got Mail, and IM, and not only did the judge rule that these terms were too generic for AOL to 'own', but actually cancelled AOL's trademark on the term Buddy List and pending trademark on You've Got Mail.

    So, AOL does suck, but the law does seem to work fairly in some cases. Conversely, that means that even if GAIM had trademarked their name, it could have been dismissed.. and thus a waste of time as you suggest. GIM would have been fine, though, since "instant message" was deemed generic.
  • Re:Powned him? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheoMurpse ( 729043 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @12:12PM (#18655631) Homepage

    Many pidgin languages are named some variation of "Pidgin" but they don't have exclusive claim to the title.
    For example, Tok Pisin was formerly a pidgin (now it is a creole) which is the combination of "talk" and "pidgin" in Papua New Guinea.

    Don't even get me started on how stupid the idea of calling an IM client which is the combination of AIM, ICQ, MSN, &c is. From Wikipedia:

    Pidgins have rudimentary grammars and restricted vocabulary
    . Compare that with

    A creole language [], or simply a creole, is stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from either parent.
    Calling it "Pidgin" implies that it is unstable, underdeveloped, serves only the most basic of needs, and that no one uses it comfortably (a pidgin is never a native language). I understand the motivation, but I think it should have been called Creole instead, because Creole is the natural evolution of a Pidgin. It is fleshed out, spoken as a native language, and can be used in any situation.

    As a user of gaim and a linguaphile, I just don't like it.
  • by Skreems ( 598317 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @12:13PM (#18655633) Homepage
    I'm curious as to what things you think wouldn't be created today if we went back to a 15 year copyright period? Movies make 90% of their income in theaters and the first couple months of DVD sales. Software obviously has a shorter shelf life than 15 years. Video games drop in price quite drastically after 6 months or so, and can't be making a lot more profit. Music, aside from the odd exception like the Beatles or Dark Side of The Moon is out of steam within 5-10 years. Books may be the slowest to move, but they're also quite cheap to create compared to other forms of media. And if there's a book falls out of copyright after 15 years without making a profit, I don't see a 3rd party company going to the trouble of doing a printing just so they too can continue to be unprofitable, so there's little chance of competition in that case.

    Now, I'm not saying that some things don't continue to generate income past 15 years. Music generates royalties on nostalgia radio stations, movies and tv shows through syndication, etc. But as long as the original creator has a fair chance to extract compensation, I see no reason why we shouldn't start trying to expand the public domain again.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.