So it's time to look back and see how we did in 2005.
Things we did right:
AIM Triton 1.0. Back in 2004, we had gotten to a point
with the AIM 5.x codebase where we knew we could not innovate
significantly any longer. The UI was hard to update, our Unicode
(non-English characters) support was awful, the HTML renderer was a
conglomeration of patches... we needed to rewrite almost everything...
and so we did, resulting in AIM Triton. Yes, AIM Triton does not yet
have all the features of AIM 5.9, including several important ones, and
I will be the first to admit that we need to continue to fix bugs and
improve performance. Nevertheless, the new platform that we have
established is much better in terms of overall correctness and
flexibility than what we had before, and getting there has been a
substantial achievement.. The new UI is great and the plugin support
will open the door to lots of neat stuff - plus we're working hard on
getting your most-requested features back in for the next Triton
AIM Developer APIs. From the humble beginnings in AIM URLs and
big.oscar.aol.com, we have been working to open up AIM to the outside.
And now with the AIM Presence API and the upcoming release of the AIM
Triton Plugin API we are have an opportunity for people to build real
applications on our platform. This new opennness may be suprising to
some, but we've wanted to do this for a long time - we know we don't
have all the ideas!
AIMFight. Two guys did this as a quick fun feature that they
thought people would enjoy. So it was pretty awesome to see it make the
front page of the Washington Post. The profligation of widgets that
display the AIM fight scores are also great - another example of people
using our AIM APIs.
And things we didn't:
The AIM Terms of Service. A couple of unclear sentences in the
TOS and we find ourselves looking like we're trying to claim ownership
of everyone's AIM conversations. Of course this was untrue, but getting
that cleared up resulted in a very unfun week.
The AIM Profile hyperlink: I thought everyone would love the new
all-in-one AIM Profile/Away page. And, we thought, what better way to
let people know about it than putting a link in users' profiles? Well,
as it turns out, people don't like having a profile they carefully
created altered in any way. This was a case where we thought we were
doing a good thing, but the way we did it made it a mess.
Megabots. I think the Moviefone bot is pretty neat, but I knew
forcing it into the buddylist, especially at the top, was going to
cause an outcry. Having just been through the AIM Profile hyperlink
issue, we tried our best to argue against this same sort of unwanted
change to personal data...
So, there it is. There are many other wins that I don't have the space
to talk about now (500 buddies, JAMS, VoIP), and there are many other
bad ideas that we prevented as a result of our constant fight to "do no
evil". We (AIM teams) worked really hard to do cool stuff in 2005, and
you can expect the same of us in 2006. Happy New Year!