Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yahoo Search + Ubuntu = Yahoo Messenger for Linux?

Rather than bashing the hell out of Canonical for its evil, evil attempt to make more money (SHOCKING, I know!), and given my foolish optimism that Mother Nature threw up on me, I prefer to look at the full half of this whole shenanigan (this word is AWESOME btw) glass thing. (the whole shenanigan, in case you are not up-to-date with the news, is that Yahoo will now be the default web search engine in Ubuntu, replacing the unarguably superior Google). 

I have been using Yahoo's web services pretty much my entire online life, be it e-mail, Messenger or even GeoCities (GASP!) and I admire the company for what it's done thus far. Unfortunately, my admiration level dropped down a whole lot since I've began my e-journey through Linux. How come, you ask? Well, first of all, Y!Mail still warns me that my OS is unsupported. Seriously now? I mean it works perfectly fine on Linux, just as good as it works on Windows, so why pop that rude message? Rather than trying to officially "support" this exponentially-growing platform, they prefer to absolve themselves from any responsibility and kick you all the way back to Windows.

But! That's certainly not my biggest problem with Yahoo, as that is a one-time message and, in the end, Y!Mail works great. The no.1 pet peeve has to be dealing with Yahoo Messenger. Being the most popular IM service in Romania, sure enough, all my friends are there, so, doh, I connect to it quite a lot. Now, can someone please explain me WHY isn't there a Linux client? I mean there is a truly ancient one (collector's piece, heed my word!) that's still being downloaded like crazy by new Linux users only to find out that it's a worthless piece of.... code, but that's it. Happily, there are some truly awesome folks in the developer community that maintain and constantly improve projects like Pidgin, Empathy, Kopette, Konversation to help Linux users connect to their favorite IM services.

Of course, these are all unofficial apps, and every time Yahoo turns a knob, all sorts of problems arise: buggy file transfers, buddy list issues, or even no connection at all.

What we need is an official Yahoo Messenger client and maybe, just maybe, through this deal with Canonical, Yahoo will start noticing the little people of Linuxland and provide us with one. And don't think that this will only benefit us, as the ads they would serve through their application are sure to be adding up pretty nicely.

Yahoo has all the resources in the world to make this happen. Look at Skype. How come they were able to create such a wonderful client for Linux? Eh... it's purely a matter of actually wanting to do something. At worst, if they absolutely refuse to create a client, they could collaborate with the Pidgin developers to make the interoperability as smooth as possible. 

Enough babbling! Here's to Yahoo Messenger for Linux!


  1. Yahoo could easily put together a J2ME messenger client for Java mobile phones. They only have an iPhone app. So they're going with the trendy slice of the market share and not the big slice which is made up of people that have Java enabled phones.

  2. There is a J2ME Yahoo Go client for the Nokia N95.

  3. There are several J2ME Yahoo Messenger clients built by enthousiasts on the jYMSG API. But they're also constantly broken by Yahoo's tinkerings on the system.
    And I have a good client on my Nokia E71 but it's made by Nokia. So you get that my beef is with Yahoo 'cause they don't make an official J2ME client.
    I don't know the Yahoo Go client for N95. Is it a true messenger client or is it just like that horrible webpage that you refresh to see your messages?

  4. yahoo had is messenger client for linux, it was made with gtk and this last version was a 0.81 if i recall correctly, it be nice that they continue with the linux client...

  5. I use the messenger in the mail account, works fine for me, OS agnostic...

  6. Have you tried ? It doesn't have features like voice chat or video, but it works pretty well otherwise.

  7. Thank you for your suggestion. Yes, I have tried it and, for chat-only, indeed, it works quite good. But file transfer + voice/video support is what I truly need.

  8. So how can I get Instant Messenger for Linux?
    All I really want from it is a sound notifier alert for new email.

  9. Install pidgin and when you add your username and password, be sure to check the "New mail notifications" box.