I’ve had my share of ups and downs with multi-protocol chat programs. First there was Trillian, which was bloated and slow at every point in my experience with it, and eventually led to me losing my low ICQ number (7143329) through a series of unfortunate and confusing events (possibly involving marijuana). Then there was Miranda, which was just lame. I’m sure there were more, some on the Lunix side which were largely “OK”, but nothing that blew my mind. Then I tried GAIM, which was nice and stable and seemed pretty good. Hitting escape didn’t close a chat window, but it was keyboard shortcut friendly and had a nice layout. I used it under the Lunix and at work to get onto Sametime with a client that didn’t crash every fifteen minutes (way to go, IBM).
Recently, they updated to version 2, and a new name, Pidgin, so I made the switch on both my PC and my laptop.
It’s smooth sailing 99.5% of the time, but when it doesn’t work right, it doesn’t work right in the slightest and it leaves no fucking clue what you have done or what has happened. From time to time, I’ll quit out and reopen it, and while it says I’m connected to Google Talk (which I use for 90+% of my messaging) all of my contacts show offline. Interestingly, I can’t message them (they’re offline), but if I ask Fargo to message me, the IM comes in and I can reply, it just continues to say he’s offline. I tried to clean up some groups last night and suddenly all of my contacts are gone. I was able to re-add Fargo and my dad, but when I try to add Brad, it gives me the “He has been invited” thing and doesn’t actually let me message him. It interestingly pulls down a couple contacts who couldn’t possibly be on Google Talk (notably some craigslist anonymizer addresses and a couple yahoo.com addresses). If I launch the Google Talk client proper, my contacts still show up. I was also able to add my dad back to my list twice, and he showed up simultaneously as on- and offline. I thought maybe this was just it being weird, so I uninstalled it and reinstalled it on my desktop to no avail. I then noticed that the settings were saved to the server, as I had no buddies on my laptop either, so I’m flummoxed.
Update : Pidgin now seems to be crashing every couple hours.