Setting expectations, Voice and Video

Hi folks,

So I think we need to clarify things on the Voice/Video front. We (the Adium team) get asked a lot, sometimes daily, when Voice/Video are going to be implemented. I will answer this for you, right here, right now:

We do not know. It may never happen, it may be next year, it may be five years from now.

Now, take a deep breath. Let it out. Yes, I know it sucks, but it’s the honest truth. Voice/Video is probably one of the hardest parts of IM. Especially in a multiprotocol IM client such as Adium. Now let me explain the requirements and why, and maybe that will shed some light on why you won’t see this for a while.

  • The first part to all of this is locating a library (or creating one) that sends and receives the information required. For multiple protocols this could be multiple libraries, or a single library that does them all. For those who don’t know what a library is, think of it as the engine in a car, taking care of a lot of things that most people don’t know about.

    There are a few libraries, but as of right now we don’t have anyone implementing them in a way that we can use them, with the exception of our Summer of Code student working on Google Voice support.

  • After we get a library, we have to hook it up. This was mentioned a bit above, but basically this would be like hooking up libgaim to talk to Adium, or Joscar. It depends on the library for how difficult it will be, along with the experience of the developer implementing it.

  • QuickTime. Simply put, we need something to process the images, and QuickTime is it. QuickTime is also a pretty big API that none of us know much about as of yet (except Peter, who does not know IM protocols, and is therefore not suited to hook QuickTime up to anything).

  • Someone to do all of this. Hooking up a library to talk to Adium, and then hooking that into QuickTime, and making sure it works with at least an iSight if not USB/Firewire cameras is a big task. One that nobody has really stepped up and said they wanted to do as of yet.

If you know someone who you think would be able to do all of this, and would like to work on Adium to get all of this going, please have them contact us. We’ll eventually get to it otherwise, but it could be a long time.

PS: That blog post about the Voice/Video and Adium replacing iChat was an April Fools joke.

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