After a bit more than two years of development we are proud to announce the first stable release of msn-pecan. The project started as a “fork” of libpurple’s msn protocol (read below why it’s not really a fork), but it has grown and soon will become a standalone library with support for Telepathy too.
I’ve been involved in Pidgin (formerly Gaim) since 2002, trying to improve it’s support for the MSN protocol which has been a very difficult task due to the reluctance of the Pidgin development team to take the issues seriously.
But don’t take my word for it, you can read an example of their excuses on John Bailey’s blog:
So yes, we have been “neglecting” Pidgin to a certain extent. Our time is a precious resource, and in many cases we simply have better things to do or simply don’t have the time to sit down and attack bugs to get them closed.
So yes, Pidgin neglects MSN, and yes, they need help; they themselves acknowledge that. IOW their MSN plugin is under-maintained.
The main reason for that is that the people who wrote the code have left the project. You can read all about it on this post; after several years of leaving the project my code still accounts for 42% of the code base.
The result of this bad maintenance is already visible in their bugzilla, but what is not visible is that many bugs are simply closed as invalid after two weeks of inactivity.
Despite all this, they rejected my help. And that’s how msn-pecan was born; I took my own code and carried development away from Pidgin. One way of looking at this is that Pidgin’s MSN has become the fork, and msn-pecan is the trunk 😉
Bugs are actually fixed
The main advantage of having the original development team (or person) is that the whole code base is maintained, which means that no bug will fall through the cracks due to lack of expertise.
Besides, all bugs are carefully evaluated and unlike Pidgin; they are not closed automatically. The result is that most bugs are resolved as fixed, and even verified. Even if it takes months for the reporter to verify, some bugs are that important.
This means if you report a bug to msn-pecan; you have higher chances of getting it fixed.
Since msn-pecan’s code is better organized, every operation is under control, which means less resources are wasted; faster login times, faster response times, etc. This might not be important to many people but in some platforms, like Nokia N900, it’s essential to maximize battery life, and minimize network bandwidth (e.g. 3G network).
The main feature of msn-pecan is that it will always login. Many people have reported not being able to login to Pidgin’s MSN and they are with msn-pecan. We ensure this by prioritizing login issues as critical, and fix them ASAP. Currently there are only two login problems open in our tracker, and they will definitely be solved by 0.2, or sooner.
A very important feature is fast file transfers with p2p connections, it has been by far the most requested feature, and therefore basic support has been introduced in 0.1. It will work on most situations, but not all, further development would be needed to support more scenarios.
Other features include: winks, plus! sounds, and plus! tags.
Again, unlike Pidgin, we try to prioritize features based on user feedback. This way we ensure that the features we implement are actually relevant to our users. That’s how we found out that people wanted offline messages, and handwritten messages, and the next one to implement is multiple login support. In many cases we implement the features before Pidgin.
We want to support as many clients and platforms as possible, therefore in our plans are:
Also in the scope is videocall support, but that might take some time.
So in these two years the objective has been to reorganize the code, and stabilize it as quick as possible while developing the most wanted features. I believe we have reached that objective, therefore 0.1 is a release that is ready for mass consumption. Please spread the word.
These are the stats:
204 files changed, 50254 insertions(+), 15940 deletions(-)
Special thanks should go to Devid Antonio Filoni who has taken a big amount of tasks: translations, Ubuntu PPA, Adium builds, Instantbird support and porting patches from Pidgin, not to mention the usual development. Thanks Devid! Also important have been the contributions from Elliott Sales de Andrade, although his work goes to Pidgin, Devid makes sure we get the juicy patches. Single patches are also highly appreciated, please keep them coming 🙂
1 Albert Cervin 3 Alexandre André 6 Andrea Piccinelli 1 Chris Stafford 3 Christiano Farina Haesbaert 1 David Geary 89 Devid Antonio Filoni 1 Edgardo Fredz 2 Eion Robb 2 Elias Julkunen 10 Elliott Sales de Andrade 2 Erik Fredriksen 2 Evan Schoenberg 866 Felipe Contreras 1 Geoffrey Antos 1 Gulars 1 Jisakiel 1 John Bailey 1 Jovan Turanjanin 1 Ka-Hing Cheung 1 Keir Lawson 2 Luís Neto 2 Marco de Moulin 2 Mike Ruprecht 3 Octavio Alvarez 1 Peter Skov 1 Sergei Zivukov 1 Simo Mattila 1 Simone Contini 1 Tao Wei 3 Thiago Silva 1 Thomas Gibson-Robinson 3 Víctor Manuel Jáquez Leal 1 Wei Hsiang Hung 1 Ying-Shiuan Pan 1 ZyroBlue 1 drummingdemon
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