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Adium 2.0 Coming - With video / audio support
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Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:44 pm Reply and quote this post
Version 2.0 of Adium is in the works with added video and audio support... just what everyone's been waiting for!

This is from the Adium blog at

            Happy Leopard Day!          
Well everyone, we've got some great news. A lot of you have been askingabout audio and video chat for a while, and have been really frustratedby our response of "It's coming." We've been hard at work trying tomake this a reality, and today we're excited to give you an update onour progress, and to show you where things will be heading in thefuture.

Aroundthe end of July, a team was put together to begin working onintegrating audio and video chat into Adium. This is a herculeaneffort, as it requires the cooperation of several people from bothAdium and Pidgin to accomplish, as well as the use of several newexternal libraries to facilitate a variety of tasks. The team hasworked extremely hard over the past four months under the leadership ofEric Richie, and we are extremely happy to finally be able to tell youwhat we've been up to.

First up, a large number of changes tothe Adium build system are in order. Augie Fackler and Elliott Harrishave been heading up the effort to create a more flexible and powerfulbuild system at the core of the Adium build process, allowing us tointegrate a number of new libraries using their native build systemswith ease. It's important to us that all of these new externaldependencies can be easily upgradeable given that many are currentlyunder active development. These are all anchored around the use of theFarsight and Gstreamer projects to implement various capabilities atthe Libpurple level. We are rapidly approaching the completion of thisbuild system, and hope to integrate it into Adium trunk as soon as itis done and thoroughly tested.

Next, we have to make a number ofadditions to Libpurple itself. Luckily, we aren't alone in thisendeavor; Sean Egan and the rest of the Pidgin team are working closelywith us on integrating AV capabilities into Libpurple itself. These newfunctionalities are being developed in a new branch of Pidgin, anddevelopment will continue as we improve our support for AV-capableprotocols. So far, GTalk receiving audio has been implemented into thePidgin voice and video branch, however it is largely untested as noclient has actually tried to use the code to this point. We are aimingto be the first.

"What about AIM!?" you say? Great question. Ourvery own Alan Humphries has been hard at work on extending Libpurplefor AIM AV, and we hope to begin merging that work into the Libpurplevoice and video branch as soon as possible. In addition, Farsight hassome support for Yahoo and MSN, which will surely be our foundation aswe move forward on those protocols.

Finally, we have a lot ofwork to do to Adium itself. These efforts have been headed by Elliott,with tons of help coming from other members of the Adium team, who'vebeen hard at work designing all of the things that we need client-sidefor AV to function. This includes things such as the user interface,local video preview, and bridge code between Adium and Libpurple. Inaddition, we will be writing our own Gstreamer-based code to facilitatethe bridging, and hope to commit those improvements as far upstream aswe can. Right now, we've got several mockups of the interface which youwill find below.

All in all, we've made an amazing amount ofprogress over the past few months, and we're confident we will continueto do so. Today, we are making all of the work we've been doingcompletely public to anyone wishing to help out. You can follow ourprogress in the branch located at:


You'llnotice, of course, that we've denoted this as Adium 2.0 - and for goodreason. These changes will anchor a large amount of new technologybeing implemented. The entire team is looking forward to thismonumental push forward for Adium, Pidgin, and all projects that useLibpurple.

Of course, we always welcome help, and encourageeveryone that can lend a hand to do so. You can find all theinformation you'll need on our wiki, and you can contact either of usdirectly to get a better idea of where we're at as well as where yourhelp is needed most.

As is usual, there is no way to tell whenyou'll have it in your hands, but trust us when we say that we want itjust as much as you do, and we're confident that once it's ready,you'll absolutely love it.

Enjoy the pictures and thanks for reading,

Eric and Elliott.

With all the seemingly unanswered questions from the last post, Ithought it would be prudent to follow up more than just in the commentthread.
Will it run on Tiger? As previously stated, it will be Leopard only.  I wanted to includeTiger if possible, but the more we looked into it, Elliott made itclear that this would not be a realistic goal.  As nice as it would be,it would have done nothing more than to draw this project out twice aslong and frustrate ourselves as well as our users.  There was simply nochoice, it had to be done for the sake of doing what was best for theproject.
Peter adds:Specifically, we're using the QTKit Capture API. That API is new inLeopard; it never existed before. To support VV on Tiger, we would haveto implement capture twice: once using QTKit Capture, thenagain using the older, uglier Sequence Grabber. Considering thatSequence Grabber isn't long for this world (all the old QuickTime APIsare deprecated), we decided to focus entirely on QTKit Capture.
What protocols will be supported? Our goal is to support all major protocols, including but not limitedto, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, XMPP (GTalk/Jabber).  That being said, ourprimary goal is to provide the same support as iChat since thoseprotocols seem like they may require the most work.  As we mentioned inthe last post, Farsight has plugins for MSN and Yahoo! that may greatlyease our support of those two (although we haven't gotten to that pointjust yet.)
What about support for Skype?  Unfortunatelythis is something we are completely unable to do at this point in time. Skype is also a closed protocol.  If it were an easy thing to break,other apps would have supported it long ago.  This doesn't even takeinto account that there are also some VERY serious legal issues inregards to this.  There has been a lot of discussion about this in theopen source community and the lawyers involved have all recommendedstaying far far away from it.  There are some individuals out therethat are working on their own plugins to at least allow you some textcapabilities with Skype but they are not affiliated with ourdevelopment team and we wish them the best.
What is the current state?/Can I run this right now? No, it's not functional yet.  The majority of the work right now isgoing into the back-end technologies that will provide the support foreverything else.  Those are making significant progress and are gettingclose to being where we need them to be to move on.  The capture codeIS working.  The screenshots you saw showing a picture were real, itwas simply the UI itself (the input selectors and levels) that wasphotoshopped to show what we're thinking about right now.
Audiochat for GTalk will probably be the first working feature.  Once wehave that working we'd like to put out an alpha to get some more peopletesting the new code as we continue to progress with the rest.
Itcertainly won't be ready soon.  It will most likely still be severalmonths until everything works properly and lives up to our own highstandards.  We simply wanted to let everyone know that yes, we reallyare working on it and we have made a LOT of progress.  I can'temphasize that enough.  The progress made so far has truly beenawesome.  I know there are doubters because everyone has heard itbefore, but it is DEFINITELY becoming a reality.  It would be foolishof me to give a firm deadline because there's no way to know.
Thereason we chose to bring everything out in the open now is because wewere using some Leopard specific features and thus bound by the NDA tokeep it from the public.  We're excited about the work we're doing andthe progress we're making and thought that you guys would be as well. We really appreciate all the support that you guys are giving us. Also don't forget, if you think you might be able to help, certainlyget in touch with us, we'd definitely appreciate it!

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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