iChat and Adium should get married


That’s right, Apple. You should help Adium out by contributing the one thing that keeps me using iChat – video conferencing. Sorry to say, but iChat isn’t much good for anything else. I like that it looks through my address book for potential iChatting buddies, but anyone with a year of AppleScript experience can do that. Sometimes you complain and run out without notice, but no one else delivers video conferencing like you. Why do you insist on having different windows for Bonjour, Jabber, and Buddy List? Can’t I pick what I want to you to look like?
On the groom’s side, Adium, what’s the deal with not supporting video? It’s great you can handle a lot of different chat protocols, but text is so 1999! It’s time to move up to the new world. So I think you should propose to iChat and make a kid. Like if Clark Kent and Louis Lane had a kid, or a vampire and a werewolf, but not as scary or threatening (it would still be immortal and kill all the other IM clients). I know how much you like to open up, and iChat does its’ typical close-minded thing, but opposites attract right? All couples have their different viewpoints, and you might fight from time to time. I think you two would work well together.



brian, you seem way too offensive.

Adium or no Adium, I would just like to see a single company release versions compatible with each other. I think the technology is there, but the people with the know-how will have to bridge that gap. An example of a company releasing different barely compatible versions are Windows Live Messenger (or MSN Messenger) and AOL Instant Messenger. Both have released Windows and Mac versions, but they are different enough that anything beyond text messages is out. I have an iSight I can’t use because no one I know is on a Mac, and none of these companies are bridging that gap. I love Adium features and ease of use, but once it is 100%, I think iChat will drop out of the picture and Apple will likely roll this app up into the next version of OS X.

Todd Baur

I’m not attacking Adium or iChat, and I would have never expected that type of response from the article. I’m sure I’m not the first person to suggest Adium add video support, and probably not the first to suggest Apple and the Adium team pair up. What I did want to do is 1) See if anyone from Adium or Apple would read this and maybe try to contact one another 2) Write something with a little humor 3) Show that there is interest from the community that these two apps work together 4) Maybe even open a discussion about it on TAB

So listen, I’m using Adium as my default IM client. When I need video, I switch over to iChat for the duration. I like both apps 60/40 – and the sum of that is 100%. The idea of the two teams working together seems logical with this thought.

There does seem to be interest in the Mac community for it…

And sorry about the Windows comment, I should have put more thought into it.


Get what together and solve what issues? A Windows version would require a complete, nearly ground up rewrite as none of the technology used to build the Adium client is available for any other platform. It’s built for a Mac, folks; just because it’s open source and based on part of gaim doesn’t mean it can do any and everything. It would basically be Adium in name and spirit only, as has been discussed many a’time already by the developer team, interested parties, and forum members. I’d suggest looking to see if your idea has been posited before spouting them out… usually they have and they’ve been hashed out, so it saves repetition.

David Smith

Christoph: It’s a solution we’ve thought about some. I believe the last time it came up we decided that our official position on it would be to do it right or not do it at all (see filetransfer support for an example of why ‘works partially’ can be a bad thing). If someone stepped up to the plate to write the code for it it’s possible that we’d change our tune, but for the time being the plan is to get it working in Adium, which will take a while.


I am not particularly an expert, but my question is:

would it be possible to start ichat (or even just the vieo bit of it only) via adium in case you get a video request.

Plus indicating on the side of the nickname, if video is enabled or not (i.e. if this plugin is installed, and the camera hooked on) – this would be a compromise. You would not have to run both apps at the same time if you re not in video chat.

But since i am not familiar with programming, i do not know what effort would be involved with that.


This suggestion is old and the AdiumX guys are already working on it. To show up out of the blue and say, “Gee, why don’t you do THIS?” just makes you look late to the party and annoys everyone else who’s wanted it for a long time and/or is working on it.

If text is so 1999, and your blog is text, then…

Todd Baur

Why not get the two together and release a Windows version? Methinks that would help solve the cross-platform issues.

Todd Baur

It’s not venting, it’s just a wish of mine. I enjoy both products and I thought it would be a hoot to write a piece about the two apps getting hitched, making the ultimate IM client baby. It’s not picking sides, or which is better, or why don’t you do something about it – it’s just the idea of Apple and the Adium team working together. How could I do that? By putting it out here, hoping that someone from both sides would consider it. Heck, they might even exchange an email. For me, that would make all this worth it.


I think this is a really good idea. I love video chat but hate having to run iChat and Adium when I do.


The problem with ‘suggestions’ is that it’s much easier to come up with wishes & ideas than it is to actually figure out what it would take to accomplish them [or ask someone who knows first.] Articles like this make it sound like we, the Adium team, ignore what users want and work on other things. Armchair quarterbacking is easy, making a 60 yard Hail Mary pass to win the game isn’t. This is what most of these ‘suggestions’ come down to – because it’s “make file transfer perfect”, “make chatrooms perfect”, “make DirectIM perfect”, “add voice & video NOW”, or “I just found this service, I expect support for it now” and each of these is incredibly complex, hardcore, and requires specialized knowledge that we may or may not have available [and even if we do, doesn’t mean it fits in with the roadmap we’ve laid out already.]


I would also like like Adium to have video, but even if it did it would have the same problem as iChat. AIM for PC users is not very good and there are too many issues with video chats between AIM and iChat. Skype 2.0 with video for the Mac will be out fairly soon. Once Skype is released, there will be little need for me to use any other chat program. Skype allows file transfers, text, audio, and a great interface. You can even use Skype to call mobile or landline phones from your PC. You can even receive skype calls on your mobile with the EQO application.


I suppose, but it’s been suggested over a millions times. So I guess some people get tired of it.


Why is it that when anyone makes a suggestion for a feature in a piece of software, some idiot ALWAYS has to say “why don’t you create your own?” or “do it yourself, it’s open source.”?

Is it impossible for some folks to see a simple suggestion for what it is, which is a simple suggestion?

Christopher Forsythe

Nobody on the Adium team has volunteered that they know much of anything about the quicktime api, much less anything involved.

If you would like to help out, find someone who does and is willing to work on the project. That’d be much more useful than making a post here about it that basically does nothing more than help you vent.

David Smith

If Apple wants to work with us, we’d love to work with them; heck, basically we’d love to work with anyone with something to offer. We’re certainly collaborating with Google and Kopete, and in the future we have plans to work with a few other groups.


If you want video in Adium then get working on it. It’s open source you know.


Apple has staff who know the 2D & 3D APIs quite well in addition to the ability to communicate directly (obviously via channels) with other teams developing employed resources. Adium has volunteers who know what they know and contribute in their spare time, thus required skillsets are blessings when available, but the balance of hardware and graphics programming required are nigh impossible to get for free.

Gareth Potter

On Adium and video chat:

Why not? Because it is easier said than done. Read the wiki page on it. There are various issues that must be sorted before it can work, and, bearing in mind that the protocols employed are doubtless entirely proprietary, it looks like it will be something of a lengthy and uphill struggle.

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