There’s a little program out there known as Pidgin, which is an open-source messaging project formerly known as gAIM. It supports communications with all of the popular chat platforms out there, like AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, and Jabber. I have been using it for years and love it.
However, there is a sense in the user community that the Pidgin developers have been unresponsive to user requests. Apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was the latest version not allowing you to resize the text entry box, forcing the user to rely on the program doing so automatically. In response, a bunch of concerned users decided to fork the project. This means that they are taking the existing, freely-available, freely-redistributable, freely-modifiable source code for Pidgin, and taking it in a new direction. From the project site:
Funpidgin is a fork of the popular open source client Pidgin which allows instant messaging with over twenty different protocols. What makes us different from the official client, is that we fork for you.Unlike the Pidgin developers, we believe the Pidgin should have the final say in what goes into the program. So far five new features have been added to Funpidgin upon requests from users, and all of them are optional. It is these options that make the use of Funpidgin enjoyable to a diverse range of people.Feel free to try out the software and get involved! Tell us what you like and what you’d improve – we’re happy to hear from you! If you can think of a feature you would like us to add, tell us what it is! You don’t need to give a detailed reason – fulfilling our goal of improving the user experience is the only reason we need.
I am very much in support of the idea of forking to improve the project, despite being somewhat concerned about fragmentation. However, the name “Funpidgin” just isn’t working for me. So I decided to suggest a new name in the forums yesterday, recommending the name “Carrier” instead. Apparently there’s been a lot of discussion on my suggestion. If you think Carrier is a better name, please show your support by following the link and saying so in the forum. Anonymous posts are allowed.