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MSN down today
So MSN was down for half of today. It’s like earthquakes: everyone bitches when one rocks the place, but nobody ever does something about it for the next time.

Okay, that analogy is stretching it a bit. Seriously though, all you people should go find a client that can speak the Jabber protocol and register an account at your nearest public Jabber server. (Don’t mind the features chart in the server list—you don’t need the server you pick to have any of that just to chat.) Those of you already using Miranda, Gaim, or Trillian (Pro only) to chat on MSN can register and use Jabber directly in your client. Others of you might want to consult the exhaustive list if you don’t want to use one of those three excellent clients. (And those of you using two, three, or even four different Official clients to chat on Y!, MSN, AIM, ICQ, or etc, you’re just silly. Wouldn’t you rather have all of those people in one list? Even that much can be done without switching away from MSN and the rest.)

What are you waiting for? You don’t need to commit to using the account—but you’ll be glad for it the next time MSN goes flaky. Think of it as an escape hatch when Microsoft fails to provide adequate service. Hell, the only reason I got cut off from most of my fellow IMers is because I and my sweetie were the only two on Jabber.

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odd ... I was online all day with no interruptions.

In fact, I can't even remember the last time I had any problems with MSMessenger.

Oh wait .. I do ... it was sending files to Jess running the web version on MAC. The time before that I had problems was sending files to Maus running some sort of hacked client (jabber maybe?) under Linux.

I was a slow convert from ICQ (I still even use ICQ), but I am pretty much sold on Messenger at the moment. It lacks nothing I want.

The interruption was a bit spotty, apparently. A lot of people couldn't get on from as far as Germany all the way back to here, but some people weren't affected.

I must admit, file transfer has been the only thing to really lag on the alternative clients. Why, I can't imagine—you'd think after all this time with it *half* working they'd have fixed it or removed it, but no.

By the bye, Jabber ain't no client. That would be like calling email "Outlook". It's what you might get if MS and Yahoo! and ICQ and AIM and a bunch of computer science geeks all got together and designed the chat equivalent of the email protocols: works everywhere and answers to no-one.

doesn't jabber just link in to the other chat systems?

So really it is just a set of hooks to use that which is designed by the people at Yahoo!, MS, and AOL?

Or am I mislead?

No, it's not just a set of hooks. It can do that (on the server side, through a gateway module in one's Jabber server), but it's a full protocol on its own with its own servers and network(s).

The reason it's comparable to email is that it uses a similar architecture: anyone can set up a Jabber server (like they can an email server), and people can have accounts on that server. If I send a Jabber message to "foobar", it will go to "foobar" on the same Jabber server where my account is (which happens to be jabber.org). If I send a Jabber message to "bizbaz@amessage.de", it goes to my Jabber server (jabber.org), which routes it to amessage.de for delivery to the "bizbaz" account there.

The messages themselves even look like email, or what email would look like if it was written in XML. The only functional difference is that it's being used to send Instant Messages instead of mail that gets stored and retrieved asynchronously, though it could be used that way if someone really wanted to code an email server that spoke Jabber instead of SMTP.

The confusion comes from all the alternative clients (like Gaim, Trillian, etc) that can speak multiple protocols. They just link into existing chat systems' networks, including linking into the Jabber network. So Jabber serves the same function as the ICQ/AIM message protocol, and Gaim (or whatever) serves the same function as the ICQ or AIM user client.

As I said, Jabber refuses to work. I registered, I am logged in, I am online but can't send messages to somebody who sits next to me ;) He, too, is registered and logged in and online on his screen - but not on my buddy list. I'll try another server.

And the problem is not on my side, I have plenty alternatives. But some people I have on MSN JUST have that and won't switch.

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