Windows Live Plugin for webOS Messaging In Development
Updated: Has the lack of Windows Live Messenger integration in Palm's webOS Messaging system got you bummed? Do you stare forlornly at an empty Buddies screen, lonely and sad? Then cheer up, misery guts! Australian WebOS Internals developer Greg Roll has something that'll make you smile: a beta plugin for webOS messaging that adds Windows Live support.
It's definitely not perfect: there are bugs aplenty in regards to Synergy contact linking (that we'll detail after the break). But if you're just wanting to chat with your friends on Windows Live, you're covered. The mod works by altering Palm's custom wrapper to libpurple (the open-source IM library upon which webOS Messaging is based) to support Windows Live, and then updating the database of account plugins. And yes, this also means that other libpurple-compatible IM services - including IRC, Facebook chat and Skype IM amongst others - could potentially be easily added in the future. (Update: Greg has now successfully upgraded the webOS libpurple to version 2.6.2 and has Yahoo! IM up and running as well.)
More details - and pretty pictures - can be found after the break...
Pass The Bug Spray, Please
As noted in the introduction, this mod is not yet perfected. I found the following bugs while I was testing, most relating to Synergy. (These aren't complaints, mind you, just warnings to anyone else who wants to test this out once Greg publically releases the mod.)
Windows Live Chat avatars are not yet supported.Working now!
- Once you install the mod and add a Windows Live account to Messaging, Synergy will pull your buddies into the Contacts application. But if you then try and link those WL contacts with other contacts, the Edit Contact view will freeze up on the "Linking..."
- Slightly more scary is that once you've linked the WL contact, it will leave you completely unable to edit contact details for that person. All the information you've previously entered is still there - but you won't be able to see it or change it. The contact card will be blank, apart from their contact pic.
- To add insult to injury, the WL contact will then become the Primary contact, making their WL username permanently display.
So in case I haven't driven the point home: don't link your new Windows Live contacts with your official, Palm-supported AIM, Google and Facebook contacts. This means, of course, that you won't be able to totally enjoy the benefits of webOS's "mega-messaging" that links SMS and IM conversations. But it's certainly better than a poke in the eye.
Palm Are Walking The Walk On Open-Source
There's an interesting story behind the development of this mod, as well. Originally, Greg's progress was stymied as Palm had not distributed some necessary libpurple header files (as they're obligated to under the terms of the LGPL).
All it took was a few emails, though, and Palm willingly parted with the source code. Apparently it wasn't quite as simple as that: destinal from WebOS Internals has been in talks with Palm for quite awhile regarding their adherence to the LGPL. (We'll be covering that story later on this week.)
Still, it's a big tick for Palm, because the truth is that these kinds of open-source license violations usually go unprosecuted and they likely could have gotten away with not releasing the source at all.
It also bodes well for other mods that may need access to such information, such as the gstreamer plugin mods (for additional multimedia support) that we've previously covered.
When can I try it?Very soon, hopefully. Greg hopes to release the mod publically within the next few days, after beta testing concludes on the Pre and the webOS emulator.
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