Is Open Source the solution?

Should Yahoo! open up its messenger protocol? Does Google really follow its ‘Do no evil’ philosophy? Should government and public data be allowed to be handled by proprietary software? Is open source the solution always? Is using non-freedom software detrimental? The big debate is here.

7 thoughts on “Is Open Source the solution?

  1. With so many disparate issues being debated in a single ‘debate’ ,have you managed to reach at any conclusion(s)? :)

  2. Yash: Yes, we have. We conclude that there are no conclusions :P

    Seriously though, this world is/was/will always be a heterogeneous world. Period.

  3. Hey now what you have to say

    With Google using Jabber ??

    This why Yahoo is different from Google. They need to see someone else doing it first (lots of examples already ajax – address auto completion, 25MB after Hotmail made it 25 and now 1 GB when hotmail made it 250 …)

    Now I see how childish your arguments were.

    >>Similarly, if the yahoo messenger protocol was made open, lots of people would start using it, but they will all use it for free. Who is going to pay for the bandwidth and maintenance of the messenger servers? Again, who is going to monitor and check its abuse?

    From Google Talk’s announcement.
    Google Launches Open, Instant Communications Service

    Open Communications Model
    Google believes that users should have a choice in what applications they use for communication. Built to support industry standards, Google Talk enables Google users to connect to the Google Talk service and exchange IMs using any client that does the same, including Trillian, Adium, iChat, GAIM, and Psi.


    Its not that Yahoo has no intention of opening the protocol. There have been many debates (someone referred to it as a full-scale religious war) on opening the protocol, but doing so means opening a big can of worms (read as ‘abuse’) as well as the bandwidth and server costs. Hence, it was not done. If you can suggest a better way to opening the protocol, I am willing to consider forwarding the idea to the appropriate people.

    Well, I guess Yahoo can use Jabber (If google can why not yahoo ! ):-)

    Jabber relies on somebody running a server which users can tap into. This is like Usenet. First of all, I still don’t see any takers giving away free Jabber servers for use. Another, users trust Yahoo for their reliability. How can Yahoo guarantee the reliability and security of someone else’s servers? Just won’t happen.

    Again proved baseless with google running free Jabber server for use and users trust google.

    Well if Yahoo gives Jabber servers for use they don’t have to gurantee the security of somone elses server but theirs (like we use jabber protocol to connect to google and they provide guarantte and security for those who use its servers)


    For a company’s intranet, that works out fine. What about ordinary users? Like moms and pops who know nothing about IM but just want to talk with their son who’s somewhere else. Do you expect them to go hunting for Jabber servers that are going to work and not work?

    Now how does google do this ? Think man. For google talk you just need to sign in with your gmail id, no worries about server or anything :-)


    On an unrelated note, do people actually use Jabber? Don’t consider this as a flame, just a curious question.

    Now I think you got the answer :-)
    Sreedhar>>I feel Y! can switch to jabber, they don’t lose anything. Their realiable service is an advantage for them. I would switch to (from if they did so.

    I also have the same oppinion (Now I am going to dumb yahoo messenger as far as I can advice people to go for google Talk instead — I already did it today. I was chatting with Sarath Lakshman on Yahoo and I told him to chuck out it and come to google — Now we are chatting on google :-) )


    On the other hand, Jabber is yet to prove their viability on such a large scale that MSN, Yahoo and ICQ have.

    Now let us see if google can prove something here :-)
    Is google risking the abuse and bandwidth ?

    Clearly shows who thinks ahead :-) Hey man it is going to be an Open World :-) If google choses it then others simply follow :-)


    I don’t see anybody switching from Yahoo to other messenger providers and protocols ; but people are switching from Windows to Linux. I don’t see what one has to do with the other.

    What do you have to say Swaroop now ? I have switched to Google Talk and I prefer it and recommends it (though I may need to use Yahoo a bit longer while most come over to google)


    So where is Google’s ‘recognition’ now? And all this though they keep hiring Firefox devs left, right and center

    Now what about Google Talk ?? (Well they have only Windows verson but that does not matter as we have enought Jabber clients already)

    And here is what I have to say about Google talk
    Google embracess Open Protocol for its IM

    Note: All quotes (except those mensioned other wise are from the earlier debate )

  4. Praveen – I’ll agree with you once Google Talk has the same number of users Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger has – or something even close. Right now, I’m completely underwhelmed by their you can chat..and talk. How innovative.

    Wake me up when they can do super innovative sending files. Oh wait – let them go do emoticons first.

    And Praveen – for the answers to your questions

    – No, we haven’t got an answer as to whether people are using Jabber. Every bit of data I’ve seen on the web points to MSN and Y! and AOL being dominant in the market. And all the folks in my friends list who tried out Google Talk went back after they couldn’t do things like sending files – or going invisible

    – Yes, Google is taking a risk with Jabber. Just because they have done it doesn’t make it magically ‘right’ somehow. Already people are cribbing about how their voice stuff doesn’t work with Jabber clients on Linux

    – My original point still holds – wake me up when the finally get around to releasing a G-Something that runs on a non-Microsoft operating system

  5. @Praveen: If you have read our [earlier discussion](, you will notice that among the above things, I *also* said:

    > I am discussing about the Yahoo protocol and on whether opening it up is going to help or not, *not* about switching to the Jabber protocol. I can’t comment on the latter. That’s more of a business decision.

    I hope you did read that part.

    First of all, I’m happy that GTalk used an open protocol. It took just a minute to setup access to their gmail jabber server in Adium and start chatting.

    Second, there is nothing that GTalk does that the official Yahoo! Messenger for Linux doesn’t do, and Y! Messenger for Linux has been around for *years*. Yes, it’s outdated. Yes, it uses GTK1, *but* tell me which other company has an *official* client for Linux and BSD, and that too since many years?

    Personally, what would be really cool is G releasing a GTalk client for Linux and for Mac that does voice. That would be kick-ass.

  6. @Praveen: Also, how does GTalk aim to interoperate with Y!, MSN and AOL messengers, since their protocols are proprietary? I have searched for this information, but can’t seem to find anything.

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