Incoming Hack: Windows Live, YahooIM, ICQ, and possibly more! | webOS Nation

Incoming Hack: Windows Live, YahooIM, ICQ, and possibly more!

by Jason Robitaille Sun, 27 Sep 2009 11:42 am EDT

Yahoo Instant Messenger was officially announced to be join Palm's synergy in the OS update accompanying the Pixi. But what about the other instant messaging protocols, like Live Messenger or ICQ? And what if you're impatient, like many on the forums seem to be (not trying to insult, just being realistic here)?  Well, there may be a hack-style solution in the near future.

The WebOS instant messaging is powered by an open source library called libpurple.  Unfortunately, for a while Palm was not meeting the GPL requirements, leaving 3 header files out of their opensource postings.  This prevented people from modifying the source to support more IM protocols.

Well, a little over two weeks ago, Palm finally complied, and since then, Australian developer Greg Roll has been hard at work expanding what's capable on the WebOS.  The above screenshot is the result of his work: Live Messenger, Yahoo IM, and ICQ support.  Better yet, if all things go well, Greg will also have Facebook Chat added in the first public release!

Right now there are a few unfortunate bugs that Greg is working to address:

  • Attempts to link your new Live Messenger, Yahoo IM, or ICQ contacts to an existing contact will result in your Pre freezing.
  • After such a linking, that contact card will look completely blank white, in essence uneditable.
  • After such a linking, the Live Messenger/Yahoo IM/ICQ contact will be the primary contact for that person.

To echo the sentiments of Tim Carroll of PalmInfocenter, just don't link these contacts and you'll avoid the above issues quite handily.

Greg has told PreCentral that this hack isn't ready for release yet, but to expect it soon, and hopefully with Facebook chat.  He also says that with the full access to libpurple that Palm has finally given, virtually any of the libpurple supported IM protocols could be integrated into the WebOS.  In fact, Greg Roll is considering making an IRC application for webOS based off the new access.

This is certainly a huge step forward for webOS' instant messaging capabilities. Between this, the virtual keyboard, and video recording, it's an exciting time to be with the WebOS.

Thanks to Greg Roll, and PalmInfocenter