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Having just written an article on XMPP and IM federation, which I must admit is rather focused on my own views, but then that's better than cutting and pasting from someone else I suppose, I thought I'd do a bit of development. So pulling out the latest development environment and a copy of /n softwares brilliant IP*Works product I had an XMPP IM client running in no time. So what else? I headed over to AOL as I recalled something about OpenAIM, and a developers kit for their AIM network. Thinking it would be fun to write an application that did XMPP and AIM. Well, that was short lived. I found the section on 'AIM Custom Clients' and though I'd better check out the restrictions, expecting to have to carry advertisements or a large AIM logo, to be shocked to find this; '... developers are not permitted to build AIM Custom Clients that are multi-headed interoperable with any other IM network.' So AOL haven't really opened up their network, they are just letting other people build client software for it. So a quick check in the Custom Clients gallery, expecting to see lots of cool AIM type desktop apps reveals six, yes six apps. Compare this to something else, like the Apple Apps store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, at 1000's of apps and counting and you start to realise why AOL's loosing the race to own a piece of the 21st century 'net.

Published: October 22nd 2008 at 10:21pm

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