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Old 09-24-2004, 02:15 PM   #1
jeremy
root
 
Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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Interview with gaim Maintainer Rob Flynn


LQ) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, where did you go to school and the other basics. Also, what car(s) do you like to drive fast?
RF) I'm currently 24 years old. I grew up in North Carolina, though I have lived in a few places (California, Alabama, and Georgia). I haven't tried my hand at the whole "college experience" yet. Not long after I graduated High School, I received a job offer in California and decided to move and accept the offer. I plan on going back to school at some point, though. As for the cars, when I wrote that description, I owned two twin turboed Mitsubishi 3000GTs. One was stock and was my daily driver and the other one was modified and was my weekend car. I put down somewhere around 410 horse power. Before I sold it, I checked the 0-60 time and it was in the low 4 second range. I miss those cars sometimes.

LQ) What OS(s) do you use? What is your preferred Linux distro and why?
RF) I use Windows, OSX, and Linux. WindowsXP at work, and OSX and LInux at home. My favorite distro is probably debian, as it's the only one I've used for some time now. I prefer it because it's more flexible than the others that I've used, and I don't have to worry about RPM hell.

LQ) What's the hostname of your favorite linux box and why is it named that?
RF) Papouli! My girlfriend I were very delerious at 5.30a once and Full House was on TV. There was an old man on there named Papouli and we thought that was really funny for some reason.

LQ) What was your first introduction to Linux? What was the reason behind you using Linux and was anyone in particular responsible for turning you on to Linux?
RF) I believe it was back when I had a 386. I was probably around 12 years old. The computer was a hand-me-down and I couldn't get Windows to run very well on the machine, so, instead, I spent about a million years downloading some slackware disks and installed it. That's also when I taught myself how to program in C.

LQ) How did you get involved with the gaim project? How does it feel to be the Maintainer of the most active project on SourceForge?
RF) It was November of 1998 and Mark Spencer had just started the project. I had met a girl at the beach that used AIM, and I had no way to talk to her, so, I joined the project to help development. I eventually just took over maintainership. It's a pretty good feeling, and has given me a lot of experience. I still like hearing from the various users of the project, even though the experience can be unpleasent at times. This usually happens from people that feel that I do the work as a paid job and complain when things aren't implemented as quickly as they'd like.

LQ) What do you see in store for the future of gaim? In what direction would you like to see the project go, now that you've hit v1.0? We see a lot of calls on LQ for a webcam enabled chat feature (and Video/Audio integration in general) and VoIP/Skype functionality would be potentially useful.
RF) I'd like to see the Core/UI separate move further so that other interfaces can be slapped on to the core. There's already a fork of the project on sourceforge (http://gaim-vv.sf.net/) that aims to add webcam/voice support and Linspire has developed a VoIP solution for Gaim (http://www.phonegaim.com/).

LQ) As multi-protocol applications such as gaim gain in popularity, what do you see for the future of dedicated single-protocol applications?
RF) I think a lot of the single protocol applications will eventually lose their popularity as people search for a more efficient solution to chatting on the various platforms. I think it will be some time before a wide adoption of Jabber, so until then, multiprotocol applications will be the way to go.

LQ) Does gaim's coming of age with v1.0 change the way you view the project or is it nothing more than a statement of its stability?
RF) Really, we just felt like now was a good time to change our versioning system, and after much discussion, 1.0.0 seemed like the best choice. I don't think there'll every be a time when we just say it's "finished". 1.0 is kind of a mental thing, as well, and helps curb some questions we've had from people over the past five years regarding when we will ever reach 1.0, etc.

LQ) From a technical and implementation standpoint, which of the supported protocols do you feel is the best? the worst?
RF) From a technical perspective, I like Jabber a lot. It's open source and the protocol is fairly well documented. We don't have to deal with any of the issues related to protocol changes that we have to reverse engineer, etc. As far as the worst, I really don't like the way MSN was designed. I think it's just a bad design in general.

LQ) Having gone through the licensing ordeal with Trillian, do you have any comments on some of the recent GPL-related incidents?
RF) We're just trying ot handle them as we find out about them. We try to be upfront with the offenders and hope that they "do the right thing" so that we don't have to take more extreme measures. This usually works pretty well.

LQ) How's the current funding situation for gaim? Any plans for another set of auctions, or any other creative funding attempts?
RF) We don't really seek out funding. We're poor kids and it's worked well that way for a while. Someone did donate some beer to us once, which was nice. As far as the auctions, they were just an April Fool's joke. We never bothered to collect any money from people.

UPDATE:

LQ) Are you sometimes surprised that Yahoo! and others purposely attempt to shut out 3rd party clients? Is there are valid reason for this from your point of view? Have you ever attempted to contact anyone at Yahoo! (or anywhere else) to see if an understanding could be worked out, with respect to the protocol?
RF) I'm not particularly surprised by it. It can be annoying, but I know that they're just trying to "protect what is theirs." I try not to let such things bother me, and just know that eventually someone on my team will figure out the issue and have the problem solved.
 
Old 09-24-2004, 02:18 PM   #2
jeremy
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Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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Original Poster
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A couple followup questions have also been sent to Rob - I will update the post as soon as I have the response.

--jeremy
 
Old 09-25-2004, 06:08 PM   #3
XB-70
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
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Thumbs up Old Fart Linux User

First of all, this interview is incredibly inspirational. Hearing about Rob's start in computing and how he just 'learned' C is a fantastic! As a GAIM user, I just use it and have never really thought about the people who write the software. Please continue these interviews and keep inspiring us. For me personally, I'd like the ability to search for forums (like Yahoo messenger does) and, in a perfect world, be logged in to MSN, Yahoo etc. all at once using one log-in.

Tragically, I'm a piss-poor programmer, otherwise, I'd love to help.

With regards to cars: once you're hooked on horse-power, you've got yourself a serious problem! I'm 47 and it still won't go away.
My second car was a '68 Camaro 327 that I bought for $700 from a little old lady (really). First thing I did was bolt on a 4-barrel carb, ditch the cheezy exhaust system and drop in some headers. My brother contributed a four-speed close-ratio standard transmission pulled from a 400 HP T-37 Pontiac. We spent more time sideways in that Camaro than frontwards! It was such a good feeling to get up to rev (around 25 MPH) then power-shift (stomp & pop the clutch, gas never leaving the floor, hoping not to miss a gear) through all four gears and really smoke some dude who thought he was hot stuff! Top end was about 70 MPH - good enough for the street - but 30 to 70 happened in a wink of an eye.... As to 'tuning' - that was done with a strobe light!

Lastly, I'd like to let you know just how much I appreciate what you're doing. You deserve a lot of thanks from a lot of people and I don't think enough thanks can be given for all your time, dedication and hard work - let alone dealing with idiots who are critical rather than being constructive.
 
Old 09-25-2004, 07:25 PM   #4
c_cinq
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: miami, fl
Distribution: 64Studio, A/DeMudi, opensuse 11.0
Posts: 17

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thanks for my favortie IM
 
Old 09-25-2004, 10:40 PM   #5
test
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Registered: Apr 2004
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didn't want to register so...

It's nice to see interviews like this showing that open source developers are just regular guys, doing it all for no more compensation then the occasional case of beer and all the critisism they could ever want.

Thanks.
 
Old 09-26-2004, 12:26 PM   #6
mardanian
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 254

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hey I am wondering lot of ppl doing great work for open source community.
im only using gaim on my fav. slacky.
from sometime yahoo is not working, i thinks yahoo stop supporting third parties?
would this sorta things effects gaim user base?

regards
 
Old 09-26-2004, 12:43 PM   #7
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
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You simply need to upgrade to the latest version - the Gaim team work very hard to keep up with the protocol changes.
 
Old 09-27-2004, 09:20 AM   #8
Fugu
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3

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Hi. I've always used Gaim, i really like it.
Are there any chances to use the file exchange option with Icq (and a more stable one using Msn) in the future?
There are also a couple of fetures: the "invisible" mode for just some users (setting user by user, not with the "black list"), the formatting text option for Icq and the authorization system used in Icq. Will be implemented?
Thanks for the great job done till now.
 
Old 09-27-2004, 12:32 PM   #9
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
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Distribution: Lubuntu
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Fugu - if your question is directed at the Gaim team, you'd be better off emailling them. This thread is to show and discuss Jeremy's interview with Rob Flynn.
 
Old 09-27-2004, 12:43 PM   #10
Fugu
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Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
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Quote:
Originally posted by XavierP
Fugu - if your question is directed at the Gaim team, you'd be better off emailling them. This thread is to show and discuss Jeremy's interview with Rob Flynn.
Yes, you're right, sorry.
 
Old 09-27-2004, 10:34 PM   #11
Doomhammer
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Montreal Qc, Canada
Posts: 102

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As for file sharing, Alvarro's Messenger hadles that... Look on Sourceforge for amsn
 
Old 09-28-2004, 05:33 AM   #12
Fugu
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally posted by Doomhammer
As for file sharing, Alvarro's Messenger hadles that... Look on Sourceforge for amsn
Yep... but file transfer with Msn protocol works in Gaim. I could use Licq, but i don't want to loose Gaim
 
Old 10-01-2004, 03:29 AM   #13
student04
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Georgia
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I really enjoyed reading that interview. I think very highly of Gaim and its developers, as it surpases AIM by far (the one feature i think rocks the most is setting the aliases; a lazy person like me doesn't care to bother memorizing screen names - just add 'em to the buddy list and slap their name ontop of it).

I have actually gotten many many people to start using and admiring Gaim (switching from AIM). The last person being just three days ago, and he told me how much it rocks last time we spoke over the phone.

Many MANY thanks to all the developers in continuing to update the features and fix the bugs. I appriciate the existance of this piece of software - all of Gaim's positive aspects (for me) largely outweigh the negative ones. Keep up the awesome job!

One question i have is: how does the Gaim Team make the ports for the different architectures and linux distributions so quickly as each version comes out? Does it just involve GTK+? If it'd be more appropriate that i email this question, then i apologize; however if anyone does know the answer i'd gladly appreciate it!

-alex
 
Old 10-05-2004, 10:39 AM   #14
scorpi007
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Forest City, NC
Distribution: Fedora Core 1+2+3; Mandrake 10; Libranet 2.8.1
Posts: 10

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Cool YO Robbie what's up!!!

Robbie!!!!

Just to let people know Rob isn't kidding about his background in computers. I have known him since he was about 14 when he was running the one of the best BBSs in our small home town.

It's great to see ya out doing the kewl stuff with LINUX Rob, keep up the good work and GOOD LUCK from all us old BBSers back home in NC!!!

Your old pal from IBR and home,

Rick P.
 
Old 10-15-2004, 09:31 AM   #15
robflynn
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1

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Re: YO Robbie what's up!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by scorpi007
Robbie!!!!

Just to let people know Rob isn't kidding about his background in computers. I have known him since he was about 14 when he was running the one of the best BBSs in our small home town.

It's great to see ya out doing the kewl stuff with LINUX Rob, keep up the good work and GOOD LUCK from all us old BBSers back home in NC!!!

Your old pal from IBR and home,

Rick P.
Holy crap... how've you been ?

Email me, rob at robflynn dot com.
 
  


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