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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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:27PM (#18651679)
    IM-speak is a lot like a pidgin language.
  • Powned him? (Score:2, Funny)

    by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 )
    Pidgeoned him!
    • Re:Powned him? (Score:5, Informative)

      by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:16PM (#18652041) Homepage Journal

      It's not Pigeon - it's 'Pidgin', which refers to a number of English-derived dialects spoken in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The language is simple in construction and has a very limited vocabulary, but it can be quite poetic.

      I speak Bislama, the Vanuatu version of the language, which contains elements of French as well as English. The syntax is very much like English (subject - verb - object), but its idiom is derived from the hundreds of local languages.

      I don't know whether the team were aware of this when they chose the name, but Bislama and the other South Pacific Pidgins are spelled phonetically, which makes it really easy to understand. Example:

      Mi wantem toktok long yu Means "I (me) want to talk to you."

      This phonetic spelling makes it absolutely ideal for texting, because there are few if any of the crazy English spellings that stretch on forever without adding anything to the word - 'thought', for example, is simplified to 'ting'. When SMS was recently introduced into Vanuatu, even expat folks like myself found ourselves texting in Bislama, because it's more concise.

      So with all that in mind, I'll simply say, "Mi ting se 'pidgin' hemi wan gudfala nem blong givim long kaen software olsem. Smol tingting blong mi nomo.'

      • Re:Powned him? (Score:5, Informative)

        by damiangerous ( 218679 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:04PM (#18652319)
        'Pidgin', which refers to a number of English-derived dialects spoken in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.

        "Pidgin" is actually an adjective describing a simplified combining of languages, not a specific language family. There are pidgin languages spoken all over the world combining many languages, not always English. Many pidgin languages are named some variation of "Pidgin" but they don't have exclusive claim to the title.

        More information here: []

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheoMurpse ( 729043 )

          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 l

      • by Matt Perry ( 793115 ) <perry.matt54@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:24PM (#18652449)

        Mi ting se 'pidgin' hemi wan gudfala nem blong givim long kaen software olsem. Smol tingting blong mi nomo.
        What? My mother was a saint! Get out!
      • It's not Pigeon - it's 'Pidgin', which refers to a number of English-derived dialects spoken in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.

        All well and good.

        But the brave and ever-faithful "carrier" pigeon has been in service for over 800 years - and has done his duty in countless cartoons, war movies, spy thrillers, martial arts epics. He had a memorable cameo in Grim Fandango.

        It's the perfect logo for an IM, easily understood, easily pronouced - though just as easily mispell

  • About Time (Score:2, Funny)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) *
    I for one welcome our new pigeon overlords.
  • by Eudial ( 590661 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:32PM (#18651711)
    Tomorrow's headlines:

    "AOL Instant Messenger changes name to Idgin"
  • Uh oh! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Funkcikle ( 630170 ) *
    Ixnay on the amenay angechay!
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:34PM (#18651717) Homepage

    Wikipedia knows []

    Once again, useful time and resources wasted on IP issues.

    • 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.
  • by thephotoman ( 791574 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:34PM (#18651721) Journal
    I've been playing around with the 2.0 tree of Gaim for a while now, and now that the legal issues are fixed, it'll be nice to finally see a stable release version of Gaim with a reasonable feature set. I don't care what it's called.

    Also, AOL needs to go off and die. The previous sentence is nothing but pandering to the /. crowd.
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "Anyone recall separate independent email systems before one unified email standard?"
      That's what Jabber was created for.
      The Gai[esc]dw[i]Pidgin/Kopete/Miranda/Trillian split is mostly because they're designed for different platforms. Pidgin is GTK+(and GNOME by extension, though I run it on Windows), Kopete is KDE, Miranda is Windows, and Trillian needs to drop off the face of the earth (kidding, it's Windows, but proprietary, not much better than Gaim, and bloated to hell :)
      • Pidgin is GTK+(and GNOME by extension, though I run it on Windows)
        Actually, a nice thing the Gaim people did late last year is split out the IM backends into libgaim, so while Pidgin will continue to be GTK+ based, they've written an ncurses version called gaim-text, and the Adium people (who used to create their own libgaim) use it as their backend too.
    • What are these other (open-source) messengers that have surpassed it? I'd like to try them out.
    • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

      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,

      If you have a universal standard, what reason is there for anyone to use one (official, ad-supported) client over another?

      AOL wants to advertise to people on AIM, ditto for MSN, Yahoo & others.
      The IM client & service is not free.
      It is ad supported.
    • Re:Damn Shame (Score:5, Informative)

      by rekkanoryo ( 676146 ) * <rekkanoryo AT rekkanoryo DOT org> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:35PM (#18652159) Homepage

      Pidgin hasn't really been surpassed in its core focus--textual instant messaging. Yes, other clients are equals in many respects. Yes, some clients have integrated that fabled voice and video support that so many users seem to want. This doesn't really mean that any application is better than Pidgin or that Pidgin has fallen behind the other clients.

      A unified instant messaging standard is the point of XMPP, which is more commonly known as Jabber. It is a completely open, standards-based specification using XML, which makes it flexible and extensible. Google Talk is helping XMPP gain popularity, but to an extent hiding some of the details from its users. For widespread acceptance, at some point the details have to be hidden, and Google Talk is at least doing a decent job of it.

      Dividing effort is another issue entirely. Pidgin had long wished to finish its fabled Core/UI split that started way back at Gaim 0.60 (and its nine-month GTK+2-ification process between 0.59 and 0.60), and at the 2.0.0beta4 release finally accomplished this. The few revisions in Subversion that accomplished this were a complete disaster that could have been avoided had there been a bit more patience, but what's done is done. At any rate, libpurple exists now and its purpose is to make it easy to write alternative user interfaces. Enter Finch, the ncursesw-based console UI. If everyone trying to implement voice and video in other projects could come together and get a decent abstraction layer built into libpurple, any UI that wanted to could take advantage of libpurple functionality, thus reducing duplicated effort to the frontend that the user sees, which is a significant improvement over duplicating literally everything.

      Next I'd like to address paying for Pidgin. In the past this was not possible for numerous reasons, including taxing and trusting individual people with the money. Now, however, when the infrastructure is in place, anyone who wants will be able to "pay" for Pidgin by donating to the project and the Instant Messaging Freedom Corporation. Just be patient a bit longer and such things will be in place so anyone who wishes to contribute money may do so.

      Let me finish by coming back to my original point--Pidgin is extremely good at what it does, and has not fallen behind.

  • april fools (Score:2, Insightful)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 )
    this should have been posted on april first.
  • I'll let someone else do the first installs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 )
      Very sure.

      AOL gives away their services for free right now, mimicing Yahoo and Google, trying to get by on having a large network of users they can direct targeted advertisements at.

      If people opt not to use AOL products and services, AOL loses money.

      If the project has an obscure name, people are more likely to never hear of it, or pass it over.

      GAIM sounds like an AIM replacement.

      I nominate that we all say a big fuck you to AOL and forever refer to Pidgin as the Program Formerly Known as Gaim.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by metamatic ( 202216 )

        I nominate that we all say a big fuck you to AOL and forever refer to Pidgin as the Program Formerly Known as Gaim.

        I vote we do it by switching to Jabber/XMPP.

  • by ancientt ( 569920 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:42PM (#18651805) Homepage Journal

    It seems reasonable that if your product is Product Sucks and you offer Product Sucks Messenger (PSM) and somebody else comes out with something that works like your product, only better and names it GNPSM (GPSM's Not PSM) then you'd have a reasonable complaint. It seems odd to me that this wasn't voluntarily changed years ago.

    I personally have used both products and wouldn't use the "official" AOL client if I had any choice and in fact have never personally installed it on my computers. I've had the misfortune of using computers that had it foisted on them but sometimes its hard to convince people to switch when they already have something they "know how to use."

    I'm sure the new name has wide approval and it's too late for suggestions, but I wish they'd gone with "Nonsucky Chat Client" instead.

    I know it is coming so I'll head it off, yes your client is better for whatever reason you claim. Yes, I've used IRSSI, Zinc, XChat, Mozilla's whatever it was called and others. I like the client formerly known as Gaim because it was always easy to set up and easy to use and easy to explain.

  • Quote "Also, we have chosen to go with monotone for our revision control".

    That's a clear notice to me that they do not want anyone checking out their source code and having people hack on it.

    I once revived a gaim plugin and made it working again, only to be tremendously discouraged by the core gaim crowd (not to mention #gaim has been a worse flame-promoting hostile channel on freenode forever) in actually helping out.

    This is a great step for all Open Source IM users I think: Gaim is dead. nobody
    • 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.

  • Perfect Name (Score:2, Interesting)

    Looking at the comments so far it would appear the only thing keeping this from being a perfect name is ignorance...
  • After all that hoohah with Apple's "pods", Google and whatnot I think most of us have already been wondering at some point why Gaim is still keeping that name, especially since AOL isn't well-known as a conglomerate that plays well with this community... At least Gaim, the name, has had a good long run.

    That being said, *Pidgin*? *LibPurple*? That sure sounds... odd. I wished they took up the chance to pick a really good name worthy of one of the best long-time open-source projects around. Now we have to
    • I wished they took up the chance to pick a really good name worthy of one of the best long-time open-source projects around. Now we have to face on onslaught of bird jokes the next time we're sincerely recommending instant messaging software to Linux newcomers.

      Anyone who makes a bird joke would also make a "windows" joke. A pidgin is a slightly obscure but extremely well established term, and is PERFECT for an IM system.

      I think I might just install it, and I've been pretty IM-adverse for a few years.
  • by emblemparade ( 774653 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:58PM (#18651901)
    The disgusting legal issues notwithstanding, I have to say I'm very pleased with the change! I really hate all the cryptic acronyms so popular in the free software world. "Gaim," especially, was awkward and ugly. Pronounced like "game", is it? "Pidgin" is a terrific name. It immediately implies what the software does, and rolls nicely off the tongue. I'm also *really* happy with 2beta6 -- it was exactly what I needed to let me leave Windows, where I was dependent on Trillian for far too long. Pidgin supported Unicode correctly, which I needed, and there's a handy plugin that lets me read all my eight years worth of Trillian logs. I'm a very happy Ubuntu user now. As long as I have the stage: I'm sorry that the Pidgin team had to endure AOL's despicable treatment. Big kudos to them for sticking through and listening to their lawyers. I feel like they "took the bullet" for a lot of us who use free software and believe that engineering achievements should be accessible to anyone, period. Y'all deserve a nice big hug for your service and commitment to the free software world.
  • Do they think this is some kind of GAIM?
  • by Vector7 ( 2410 )
    It's sad that AOL feels it necessary to harass developers of 3rd party clients. I don't know anyone who would use their service if they had to use the (absolutely terrible) official AIM client.

    OTOH, the UI changes in Gaim 2.0 are so uniformly horrible that I'm deperate to find an alternative anyway. Combined with the name change, maybe the whole project will sink away into deserved obscurity. :)

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:20PM (#18652081)
    does this mean it'll add, "Yah" at the end of all of my IMs?
  • ...I immediately thought of Voltron instead of a bird. Doh.
  • Or have there been other changes (either forced by AOL or done for other reasons)?

  • OMG (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davie ( 191 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:36PM (#18652523) Journal

    Results 1 - 10 of about 3,130,000 for pidgin [definition]
    Please, for the love of God, if you're going to name a piece of software, use some made-up, bullshit name that doesn't produce over 3-fucking-million hits on google.
    • Re:OMG (Score:4, Funny)

      by John Meacham ( 1112 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @06:31AM (#18654177) Homepage
      indeed. this is why I use a FIPS-181 "random" password generator to generate names for my projects and their releases. Sometimes coding is the easy part, coming up with a name is hard. In any case, I would recommend one of the following as a consequence:

      • yesoinanu
      • gocaphy
      • onjajimoocno
      • wyediodnufba
      • hugebneoko
      • rutcacpodjo
      • iahairnesita
      • mishkosu
      • sesikzay
      • febquetmojna

  • Contract (Score:3, Funny)

    by Reed Solomon ( 897367 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @12:23AM (#18652769) Homepage
    Did the contract also specify that they use the dumbest possible name instead? Honestly. Shoulda called it Chazwozzer IM.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @12:43AM (#18652895) Homepage
    They should change the name to something that sounds like the previous name. and just let'm do their worst. GAIM hasn't caused any "damages" and I think they'd be hard pressed to really come up with anything that even sounds good to a judge. Taking out the "A" should be enough.
  • Better name (Score:4, Funny)

    by Lobais ( 743851 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @05:34AM (#18654015)
    I'd probably go for the name GINFA: Gaim Is Not Fucking AIM!
  • 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.
  • by AusIV ( 950840 ) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:32AM (#18655041)
    1) AOL objects to a program called "GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger"
    2) The program changed the name to Gaim.
    3) AOL trademarks AIM
    4) AOL starts complaining about the name Gaim.
    5) Gaim changes name to Pidgin.
    6) AOL trademarks Pidgeon...

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong