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Summary:

As Ajax spreads it wings, folks are using it to come up with cool new apps. Writely, was one. Latest – Meebo, a web-based IM client. Through Ajax, the folks at meebo were able to create a virtual application-like experience within a single web browsing window. […]

As Ajax spreads it wings, folks are using it to come up with cool new apps. Writely, was one. Latest – Meebo, a web-based IM client. Through Ajax, the folks at meebo were able to create a virtual application-like experience within a single web browsing window. meebo integrates a user’s accounts from AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and ICQ into a single buddy list that is automatically populated upon signing into the meebo web site. Sort of like Trillian/Adium, but in a browser window. The interface is so simple and elegant. It is still alpha so be kind. It as a few issues, so be kinder. But this is slowly turning browser into more than just a browser. Like Writely, Meebo is a three-person start-up. Elaine Wherry – the Ajax guru; Sandy Jen – Server side programming; and Seth Sternberg – jack of everything else. Mark Jen has an indepth look at this app.

  1. Wow !! Great mention. Meebo rocks, except that the voice chat isn’t possible, as of now.

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  2. This one is really cool ,but is there really a need for it ?

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  3. To answer the first comment, voice is more difficult in a web browser for a couple of reasons. To do binary byte manipulation which is necessary for RTP, the language needs to be able to handle unsigned chars or something easily. Javascript is not well suited to this task. The other issue is access to the soundcard. Javascript does not natively allow you to have arbitrary access to soundcard samples.

    Both of these problems can be solved by wrapping Java modules with Javascript interfaces but its ugly and requires the browser to have Java working which breaks Ajax.

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  4. To answer the second comment, I need it! My corporate firewall blocks me from using AIM. Now I have a nice web-based application that will tunnel through that! I’m going to test it tomorrow when I get to work and I’ll let you know.

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  5. someone ambitious should do an ajax virtual desktop complete with web browser, writely, meebo, and forgotten others

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  6. Hey Om, while the technology might be cool I see a very big issue with this kind of rolling up of identity be start-ups.

    Here it is:

    I imagine one of my kids saying, “Dad, I heard about a cool site called Meebo where I just have to give them my MSN, AOL, and Yahoo IDs and passwords and they’ll let me use their great new website. Can I use it?”

    And I imagine myself saying “No. Haven’t you her about phishing? Whatever you do, NEVER give anyone your passwords.”

    How does a start-up get over the trust issue?

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    1. Rich Hartley Monday, June 15, 2009

      Here is it 2009, Meebo is no longer a “startup” but somehow my yahoo messenger password was sold/stolen or hacked to send spam yahoo messenger spam. I use meebo exclusively, mostly from Debian machines though occasionally from xp or vista.

      Trust is always an issue when you hand some website your password. Meebo may not be directly at fault, but I won’t be using meebo anymore.

      Even if not for the sold/stolen or hacked password issue…each time I sign in the pop-over ads, some with audio on meebo are increasingly more shrill and obnoxious on a daily basis.

      Now I DO understand that programmers do not work for free, and it costs money to host a website so if it’s your model to sell ads the burden is on you to make sure they are annoying enough to get someone’s attention and yet unobtrusive enough to prevent functionality and thus alienating your visitors.

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  7. Google Next.

    Already the gmail client(used by google employees) have embedded chat. I think in a few more months they will be coming up with full fledged embedded googletalk in their Gbrowser.

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  8. An AJAX Office Suite makes sense as that allows you to store your documents on the server with web based access/editing from any desktop ,but a AJAX IM ?? . I hate technology for the sake of technology so i am standing by my previous comment !.

    But said all these i have to say thats a nice piece of engineering and wish them good luck!

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  9. ok, so Om did you pick this up off of Mark Jen’s blog?

    If so, why not the link back to it for credit?

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  10. nope, this was dropped in my inbox by one of the friends close to the company. i checked it out and posted. did not even know that mark had a link on his site.

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