Monday, January 16, 2006

Google Talk XMPP Federation

Google Talk is now connected to the public XMPP network. The announcement was made this morning in the Google Talk Blog. This means that Google Talk users can communicate with anyone on a public Jabber server using "the dialback protocol as described in RFC 3920."

This is an important step in standardizing Instant Messaging in the same way that e-mail has been standardized for years. Imagine if you could only send e-mail to other Gmail users. Or, if you used Hotmail and you could only send e-mail to other Hotmail users. In a few years, I hope we will look back at the now-current state of Instant Messaging and wonder why it took so long to connect all of the Instant Messaging networks together.

By basing Google Talk on the open XMPP standard Google will help make universal Instant Messaging federation a reality. The connection of Google Talk to the public XMPP network today brings us one step closer to this goal. Google has announced plans to connect Google Talk to AIM. It will be interesting to see if AIM also adopts the XMPP standard.

Yahoo! and MSN are connecting their Instant Messaging networks together. It will be tough to convince Yahoo! and Microsoft that opening up their Instant Messaging networks will be in their best interests. Right now they have a very large combined user base. However, every new person that signs up on Google Talk or another service on the XMPP network gives Yahoo! and MSN one more reason to open up their network. They cannot continue to survive as a closed-off network while an open network flourishes around them.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Buddy Icons in Google Talk?

Customize Talk has an article about an unreleased version of Google Talk that was demoed at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. The article has several pictures showing various "buddy icons" in Google Talk. There is also word that the Google Talk/AIM integration will be released soon.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year, New Features

We'd like to wish everyone a happy new year! Our recent updates were very successful (other than a minor DNS glitch). Some questions have come up in regards to the new Google Map. There are a few known bugs we are working on fixing.

One new feature, just added today, is the ability to get RSS feeds of profiles. Two feeds are currently available: 10 newly added profiles and 10 newly added/edited profiles. Want to see more customizable feeds? Let us know in the GTalk Profile Google Group.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Exciting Changes

We have some exciting changes in store for GTalk Profile. These changes requires us to take the site offline for a period of time this evening. GTalk Profile will be unavailable starting at 1:15 AM EST, Thursday, December 22th for at least one hour. Due to the nature of DNS propagation, we can't say exactly how long it will take for the site to become available to you again.

Some of the major changes you will notice after GTalk Profile comes online again:

  • A new site design that allows you to take full advantage of any size browser window. We hope that you like this new interface!
  • The ability to browse profiles by location using a Google Map. There are a few known bugs with the map that we are working on fixing. Rather than waiting to fix every last bug, we decided it was better to let you jump in and start using it. You will notice that some countries do not show up on the map. Also, you will notice that the location for some countries and states/provinces do not show up in exactly the right spot. Again, we are working on fixing both of these problems.
  • A search box that is integrated into the map, allowing you to further refine your searches.
  • A new server to handle the map functionality—so that you can spend more time searching, and less time waiting for content to load.

In the near future, you will notice even more upgrades including:

  • Newly designed profile pages. We've heard that the profiles are too bland and boring, and we're working to fix that.
  • Combining of the Public and Private Friend list into a single Friend list. The current system is confusing so we will be combining both lists into one. To protect your privacy during this transition, Google Talk users currently on your Public Friend list will disappear from your profile. We suggest that you add these users to your Private Friend list if you do not want them to disappear from your profile when we make this change. Google Talk users currently on your Private Friend list will be publicly displayed on your profile page. If you do not want links to these user's profiles to be publicly displayed in your profile, you should remove them from your Private Friend list before we make this change. We will make another announcement when we get closer to making this change so that you will have an opportunity to make any last minute adjustments to your Public and Private Friends lists.
  • Snapshots of your Friend's profiles will be shown on your profile. This will replace the current "friends" section and the "see who lists John as a Public friend…" link. As always, adding someone as a Friend will not expose their contact information to anyone that they have not added to their Friend list. It will, however, allow you both to see each others contact information if you have accepted each other as Friends.

We hope you continue to enjoy using GTalk Profile. As always, if you need help or have suggestions for us, please visit our discussion forum. And one last thing, we'd like to wish everyone a happy holiday season!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Google Talk Version

It looks like Google has upgraded Google Talk to version I poked around a little and didn't notice any major changes, maybe they just fixed a few bugs.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Promoting Google Talk in Gmail

It looks like Google is promoting Google Talk in Gmail as you can see in the screen shot on the left. I have seen text links in the footer of Gmail before but this is the first time I've seen an image link like this. Not all Gmail users are seeing this link. It's interesting that Gmail doesn't realize I already have Google Talk installed and running. Hopefully this means that more people will be installing Google Talk soon! Don't forget to tell your friends about Google Talk and GTalk Profile. And while you're at it, help us spread Google Talk.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Google Talk Version PHP Script

If you are a PHP programmer this script might be useful to you. It's a little script that fetches the latest Google Talk version number. If you have any questions on how it works, please leave a comment and I will try and help you out. Note that future changes to the system that Google uses to update Google Talk could break this script. This script is in no way supported by myself and certainly not by Google. Note that you can change the $file_name variable to the value "" if you want to see the version number of the latest Google Talk testing version.
 * @author Bradley Holt
 * @copyright Found Line
 * @license GNU General Public License
class google_talk_version {
google_talk_version($file_name) {
$handle = fopen($file_name, "r");
        if (
$handle) {
            if (!
feof($handle)) {
$buffer = fgets($handle, 4096);
$pieces = explode(":", $buffer);
$this->version = trim($pieces[1]);
$pieces = explode(".", $this->version);
$this->major = $pieces[0];
$this->minor = $pieces[1];
$this->patch = $pieces[2];
$this->build = $pieces[3];
//example usage
$file_name = "";
$gtv = new google_talk_version($file_name);
$gtv->version . "<br />";
$gtv->major . "." . $gtv->minor . "." . $gtv->patch . "." . $gtv->build;

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Something to Talk About

There is now an official Google Talk blog that you may want to keep an eye on for information on upcoming Google Talk features. We are excited to see that Google is featuring our friends over at Customize Talk in their first post. Customize Talk was created shortly after Google Talk was released (around the same time as GTalk Profile) and I have used it to find lots of useful resources for Google Talk.