Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Google Talks, bullshit walks

Ok, it’s out for real. First things first: question 15 of their FAQ, first paragraph, last sentence:

We can say this, though: we believe strongly in user choice and open standards, and we are committed to letting users access Google Talk using the client and platform of their choice, as well as to enabling our users to talk with users from other service providers.

Emphasis mine. The entire point is clearly stated in question 16 though: we are in business to open up IM networks. The developer FAQ is also filled with “service choice” questions and answers. But it’s also filled with federation stuff. They want to balance openness with security. I’ll guess we need to wait to see what that really means.

So although the SRV DNS records for server-to-server are still MIA, I suppose its just a matter of time. The subject of SRV recored is specifically covered in the developer FAQ.

I haven’t downloaded the Windows client, being on a Mac myself, so I’ll check the other reviews to figure it out some more. Main features seem to be: no ads, voice (SIP in the future, according to the developer FAQ, and we can speculate that the door was left open to IAX), Gmail address book integration.

For me, working at Sapo in the XMPP area, and being in the team that launched a XMPP/VoIP client last July, it’s exciting to see some of our decisions validated by Google. Also, it’s nice to see some of our regrets also validated by Google. They are not using SIP for signaling, they are using some custom made signaling protocol over XMPP. There is a rough standard to do SIP over XMPP called TINS, but Google seems to have taken their own route. We can only hope the they will honor the community by writing a JEP about this custom signaling protocol.

In terms of Codecs, we are compatible with Google using iLBC, and G711. They don’t have Speex yet, though.

Some reviews, more to come:

  • Julian’s take: no offline messages, also talks about the custom voice signaling protocol Google is using, and possible iChat integration in the future. This one seems a no brainer as long as Apple and Google agree to it: they are both using Jabber.
  • Nat’s O’Reilly Radar entry: that get’s the quote of the day so far: make MMS messaging on cellphone look like a W3C hot-tub party.
  • Russell Beattie about Y! and XMPP, we are all pulling for you, Russel
  • Download Squad: speculates to new features, we should see a lot of that in the future :)

Some first comments about the client from the reviews:

  • 900kb download (!!), that’s impresive. Must check if it’s just the installer or the real thing;
  • very clean interface.