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Summary:

Mac users are lucky to have Adium, one of the best IM aggregation tools on the planet. On the Windows and Linux side, there are many options, but Anil Dash says Pidgin (formerly GAIM) rocks, and is following the trajectory taken by Firefox, the open source […]

Mac users are lucky to have Adium, one of the best IM aggregation tools on the planet. On the Windows and Linux side, there are many options, but Anil Dash says Pidgin (formerly GAIM) rocks, and is following the trajectory taken by Firefox, the open source browser.

Pidgin, formerly GAIM, is the best instant messaging client available; It works with all common IM networks, supports extensions and customizations through plugins, has smart and simple default settings, runs on all common desktop platforms, and is a free open source application. Being so similar to Firefox in so many ways, this leaves the application poised to become the “Firefox of IM”.

In comparison to Trillian, Pidgin totally rocks. However, since I have spent little time with this application so far, I am not going to make a judgement call – just yet.

In a field crowded with proprietary, confusing clients that are tied to individual networks, Pidgin reflects the reality that all of us are connected to more than one network. And despite the rush to try to convert all desktop applications into Ajax-powered web equivalents, there is still ample proof from Firefox’s example that powerful, smart, extensible desktop applications are an essential part of the Internet’s evolution as well.

Previously: IM – the last desktop app standing.

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  1. “In comparison to Trillian, Pidgin totally rocks.” — To perhaps aid readers with deciding on adopting a multi-IM client, would you be so kind as to provide some supporting evidence, as opposed to a trite one-liner?

  2. How about for starters, Pidgin is open source, and lets you customize the experience, starting with the very basic.

    Trillian Pro, you have to pay for, and Pidgin is free. (Trillian basic is free.)

  3. It’s interesting how AOL continually went after the name gAIM till they changed to Pidgin.

  4. AIM is just a bad client – and probably it is good GAIM people changed their name. being associated with a shoddy product is not such a good idea.

  5. I’d like to point you to another open-source multi-protocol IM client; Miranda. I think this is the real Firefox of IM clients, with tons of plugins, themes, and ways of expanding your feature set.

    It has not even reached a version 1.0 (developer builds are at 0.7) and is already my favourite. I have tried Pidgin (back when it was GAIM) and was disappointed with it’s lack of themes. I’ve tried Trillian, and just cannot bear its memory footprint, and lack of complete compliance with protocols.

    Miranda is always being developed and upgraded, and with an active community, I think it’s the best open-source client out there.

  6. I love GAIM (I am still going to call it that because I hate the new name). If your going to use any multi network IM client it is the best choice by far. It may not be as pretty as Trillian, but ease of use and functionality take the cake.

  7. Rodney Aiglstorfer Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Personally, as a Mac user, I like using Adium. I’ve used it for a couple of years now and its rock solid. Has a plugin architecture and support for themes.

  8. “In comparison to Trillian, Pidgin totally rocks.”

    See, this is just silly. I’d expect more from this blog, honestly.

    Pidgin can’t even support file transfers (an extremely basic IM feature) for most chat networks. You’re comparing it to Trillian?? Seriously??

    Trillian supports videoconferencing, file transfers, iChat, Bonjour, the list goes on and on. Comparing it to Pidgin is just sort of stupid, and really shows you aren’t doing your research, Om.

    I love open source just as much as the next guy (I love my FireFox), but c’mon! Lets get real here.

  9. Pidgin(or GAIM) is by far the best multi-protocol client on Linux. I use both Linux and Windows platforms, but prefer Trillian(free) on windows over Pidgin. Given the ease of installation and stability, Pidgin still needs a lot of improvement before it can reach a ‘firefox’ status.
    I hope Pidgin overcomes it’s MSN-crashing-behaviour (even on 2.0.x beta). Until then, it’s still Trillian for me. Also looking forward to Trillian Astra …

  10. If forced to work on either Windows or Gnome, I would definitely use Pidgin (né GAIM). It is quite solid and consistent, works with everything and despite being simple is quite customizable.

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