Saturday, October 7, 2006

Juberti has signed off.

It's been almost 10 years since I came to AOL, and almost 9 years since I started working on AIM. It's been a great ride, with a lot of great moments (especially Open AIM), but alas, today is my last day at AOL. I start Monday at Google's Kirkland, WA office.

I hope this blog was valuable - I had fun writing it (when I had time). For the latest AIM information, I highly recommend Greg's AIM blog; you should also check out the blogs of Justin2 and Gus from the AIM team.. If you really liked this particular blog... there will be a new blog at

If you would like to keep in touch, you can look me up on LinkedIn, or email juberti at gmail dot com.

All the best,

Friday, October 6, 2006

The Forgotten Easter Egg

When I first started working at AOL back in 1997, one of the things that I worked on was "aoltray.exe" for the AOL 4.0 software. aoltray didn't do too much, other than launch the AOL software, but it seemed like a clever place for an Easter egg. I discussed this concept with the product manager for AOL 4.0 (codenamed "Casablanca"), and he gave me the go-ahead to implement an easter egg. (It was the late 90's, when products like Word, Excel, and IE had elaborate easter eggs. But I digress).

So, I got together with a pair of artists and we came up with the idea of having the tray icon AOL logo split open, revealing a dancing running man, all set to a techno music score. The artists did the illustrations and the music, and I coded it up into the aoltray code. This shipped out in some of the AOL 4.0 beta builds, and we all thought it was pretty cool. Well, almost all of us.

Eventually somebody showed it to one of AOL's senior executives, who was most displeased with it. The exact reasons why he didn't like it were never known, but the message was sent down that this sort of tomfoolery was a fireable offense. My career at AOL could have been very short, but fortunately my management chain played dumb and didn't give up my name (thanks!).

Anyway - Jason, Erik, and I thought this thing was pretty cool, and it's a shame that only a few people ever saw it. So here it is, for your viewing pleasure. If you run this application, you'll see an AOL icon appear in your system tray. Hold down "A", "O", and "L", and double-click the icon. Then sit back and watch! (See the 3 screenshots to the left to get an idea of what happens. Note that this thing does play sound, so you might want to turn down the volume if you're in an office environment)

Update 10/07/2006 2:08 PM PDT:
Some people have reported that it doesn't work for them. I forgot, back when we originally did this we noted that some keyboards would not indicate properly that 'A', 'O', and 'L' were all being held down. So I have uploaded a new version, where you can just hold down Ctrl and double-click the AOL logo.
The entire app is contained in the EGGTRAY.exe file, which is only 43 K - to uninstall, just delete the file.
If you can't seem to get it to work, you can check out the (somewhat less cool) web version of the easter egg.


A few of us have been working on a new AIM client that demonstrates what you can do with the Open AIM SDK and the Boxely UI toolkit we've developed here at AOL. It's fast, light, and has some great features - including IM logging, SSL encryption of your communications, and support for plugins (including AIM Gadgets).

Check it out at the AOL Greenhouse New builds will be posted on a regular basis, so let us know what you think!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

New AIM Gadgets 2.8 (AKA JAMS 2.8)

A new version of AIM Gadgets (the plugins formerly known as JAMS) is out. This latest version, 2.8, has a number of small but important improvements. Greg did the tedious job of allowing individual installation of all 12 gadgets - so if you only want EzLogger and Colorizer, you don't have to install 10 other plugins you don't want. Greg also made some improvements to EZLogger, including adding a preference for where the logs are stored and fixing a bug with Unicode text display, and I fixed the issue that was keeping Colorizer from working properly with recent Triton builds.

Monday, August 28, 2006

SecurID/AOL Passcode plugin for Thunderbird

Got wind of a new Thunderbird plugin today that makes using AIM Mail with SecurID/AOL Passcode much easier. Basically, it means you only have to enter your SecurID code one time a day as long as you keep Thunderbird open. Check it out at

Monday, June 12, 2006

AIM SDK 1.1 Released

Today we released the latest version of the Open AIM SDK, at Highlights of this release:
* AIM Bots - turn any screenname into a bot that has higher rate limits and cannot be warned
* AIM Location Services - see where your AIM buddies are in real life
* Improved support for AIM Talk voice calls
* Support for custom clients and bots on Mac OS X, Linux, and Pocket PC
* Support for custom clients and bots written in Java
More sample code, including VB.NET and Java samples

Also, be sure to check out the stuff that people are building with the AIM SDK:

AIM Gadgets (formerly known as JAMS)
AIM Location Plugin
Nalsoft IM Logger

Custom Clients
AIM Triton
Go PowerTools
PCD Music Lounge
Super Computer International

Monday, May 15, 2006

PCD Lounge

Some more cool Open AIM news - the startup Doppelganger just announced a new client called the PCD Lounge that lets you hang out and chat with people in a virtual nightclub, and it's integrated with AIM. There's nightclub lighting and kicking music going the whole time - definitely captures a club feel pretty well. Definitely worth checking out - but make sure you have a fast computer.

Here's a screenshot:

Friday, May 12, 2006

AOL Music Now Developer Site

AOL's music download service, MusicNow, just went live with its developer site at Using RSS, you can get all sorts of interesting feeds from the site - top songs, stats on a given artist, new releases - very interesting stuff. You can also make your own MusicNow playlists and listening history available as an RSS feed for others to consume. Here's mine...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

AOL Greenhouse

The AOL Greenhouse has officially launched. Greenhouse is a site where various employee-created apps, plugins, widgets, and other pieces of software that use AOL technology can be promoted for the world to see. Naturally, JAMS is one of the items available for download from the site.

Other Greenhouse submissions include an AIM Fight Dashboard widget and an RSS screensaver. Another neat feature of the site is its blogs section where you can find AOL employee bloggers and catch up on their recent posts.

Give the Greenhouse a look!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

TopCoder Open 2006

Just got back from the TopCoder Open 2006 finals in Las Vegas. For those unfamiliar with TopCoder events, they are computer programming competitions where contestants have to solve several programming problems in a fixed amount of time, usually around an hour. The problems can be quite difficult; I was eliminated in earlier rounds of the TCO 2006 after missing this problem:

You are given a NxN matrix M, where 1 <= N <= 50, and an integer k, where 1 <= k <= N. Write a function to determine the maximum possible trace value for a kxk submatrix S, created by taking any k rows and k columns from M. (The trace is the sum of the elements on S's main diagonal; the selected rows and columns are not necessarily contiguous.)

Anyway, the final rounds were quite dramatic, with the problems being tougher than ever, the elimination of some of the top seeds, and some close finishes in the rounds to select the competitors for the championship round. In the championship round, it came down to 8 competitors - mostly from Eastern Europe, with 1 each from China, Japan, and Australia.

"tomek" (from Poland) got out to an early lead by solving the 250-point problem (You are given two rectangular solids of arbitrary sizes; write a function to determine the minimal surface area of a box than can enclose them) in just over 5 minutes. However, "Petr" (from Russia) prevailed in the end by being the only competitor to solve the 1000-point problem (Given an array of cables connecting N points, where each cable has a quality Q and a cost C, select a subset of the cables such that all points are connected and the sum of the quality values over the sum of the cost values is maximal). Petr walked away with $20,000 for his efforts; he was also asked at the post-event press conference "What was the most important decision that you made during the competition that allowed you to win?" His answer, naturally, was "The most important decision that I made was choosing to solve the 1000-point problem correctly."

Below are some pictures I took during the competition. At first, it can seem a bit strange to think of programming as a spectator sport. TopCoder does an excellent job though, with multiple screens displaying the standings in real time and mirrored viewsof all the competitors screens so you can see how they are approaching the problems. When the competitors are this good, it is quite exciting to just watch them work.

Friday, April 28, 2006

More AIM SDK stuff

Whoah! Kind of fell off the surface of the blogosphere for a bit, had a lot of distractions recently (more on that another time). Anyway, here are a couple quick news items regarding the AIM SDK:
  • After considerable customer feedback (see my previous post), we've clarified several ambiguous points in the AIM SDK license agreement, up at Specifically, we've addressed the use of the AIM SDK with open source software in Section 4, and modified the wireless restriction to exempt software running on a PC or using 802.11. Lastly, we've removed text which indicated that you must send us mail if you change the URL where your custom client or plugin is hosted; now you can just change it from the "Manage Keys" page.
  • The first AIM SDK plugin written by a third party developer that I have found is AMIP, which adds the song that you are currently listening to to your AIM profile. It's like JAMS's MyTunes, except AMIP supports many more music players. Worth checking out.
  • On the subject of JAMS, we now see over 100,000 people using JAMS every day. Thanks to all of you who have used JAMS and recommended it to friends.
  • Last, we are gearing up for our AIM SDK 1.1 release. There will be a lot of new goodies along with many bug fixes in this release. Look for it in the near future...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

AIM SDK License Clarifications

I have seen many posts ragging us for the language we have in the AIM SDK regarding what you can and cannot do. I agree that the language is confusing and overbearing in some parts, and often the legal text sends a message that is different than what we intended.

The next version of the EULA will have many of these things remedied, but until then, let me try to clear up some of the sticky issues. (Many of these questions were submitted in an email exchange that you can see here.)

If you have more questions about the license - or are still unhappy with terms in the license - please let me know so that I can try to clarify the issue, not just for you, but for everyone who reads this blog. This is the first effort of this type at AOL and we are still learning how to do this.

Keys, Name, URL
Why is AOL using keys to control access to the API? I don't want to have to come beg AOL for a key!
A: Anyone can get a key. You don't have to "apply", you just go to our webpage
and click a link. We don't vet the keys in any way, you just click and boom you have a development and deployment key. You can deploy your software, sell your software, have up to 250,000 users of your plugin/client per day - all completely for free. All we ask is that once you exceed that limit (as you start to approach 1% of our userbase, and potentially start consuming nontrivial network resources) you come discuss a business arrangement with us.

For those still unconvinced, Google is doing the exact same thing for access to the Google family of web services. It allows the network operator to know who is using the network, and prevent people from abusing the network (spam, malware, etc).

Lastly, many have asked "I don't know what to put in when for the name/URL fields when applying for a key". The name and URL are intended to allow us to help us monitor the network, by allowing us to get more information about your plugin or client. If you are still in the development phase, and don't know what to put for these fields - you can just make something up for now - you can go back and change it later.

Open Source

Q: Section 4 (viii) (about "Publicly Available Software") seems to be the subject of debate. Some think that it forbids the use of *any* open source code with theSDK, including well-understood licenses that are not "viral". The GPL is notoriously problematic, but I think others (like the MIT license) should be okay.

A: We encourage the use of open-source code with the SDK. The only prohibition is that you cannot write code with a license that would require AOL to open source the SDK. I think the GPL is the only license that has this issue (since you cannot link to closed-source libraries); LGPL, BSD, and MIT should be fine.

We will try to make this absolutely clear in the next EULA. We are very supportive of open source - we use several best-of-breed open source technologies in the AIM SDK (libexpat, zlib, NSS, and sipXtapi).

Q: The definitions for wireless use seem very broad. I think the most
worrisome part is:
offer or enable a service or functionality not authorized in writing by AOL that utilizes a wireless telecommunication carrier's network and/or wireless services.
This seems to extend to computers using a wireless internet connection. Three cases come to mind:
  • 802.11 networks operated by wireless telecommunication carriers (e.g. T-Mobile Hot Spot)
  • 802.11 networks using internet access provided by a wireless telecommunication carrier (e.g. a wireless router and a DSL line)
  • TDMA, CDMA, GSM, etc. networks, using a computer, not a mobile device (e.g. Verizon data service using a PCMCIA card)

A: I agree this is very poorly worded. This is only intended to apply to software running on mobile phones using TDMA/CDMA/GSM.

PCs/PDAs using 802.11 are not affected by this.

You may not deploy or distribute your Custom Client to any third party.
Q: This appears to extend to distributions that do not include a key or (distributable parts of) the SDK itself (e.g. source code).

A: This is from the section where it discusses "Development keys". The intent is that plugins built with "development" keys (as opposed to "deployment" keys) should not be distributed to end-users in binary form (mainly since the 500-user limit will prevent your plugin from working properly for most users). If you are distributing source, you may include a "development" key in the source - we do this in the sample applications provided in the SDK.

Distribution Limitations
from a fixed HTML website located at a publicly available fixed URL
Q: Theterms "fixed HTML website" and "fixed URL" seem to potentially problematic. Many pages are dynamically generated and mirroring requires redirection.

A: This just means, you can give us a URL, that if we follow it, we can get to a site that has more information about your plugin. The "fixed" language is just a way of saying that if we go to your URL, we should not get a 404.

Monday, March 13, 2006

VON Conference

Greg and I are in San Jose for the VON conference this week, and Game Developers Conference next week. If you're interested in meeting up with us during that time to talk about Open AIM (or anything else), drop me an email [juberti at AOL].

Monday, March 6, 2006

Open AIM

At last! Today is a big day for our team and AOL as we proudly announce the "Open AIM" platform at In addition to our AIM Presence web service, we are now offering the AIM SDK to all developers. With the AIM SDK, developers can write plugins for the AIM Triton and AIM Pro clients, or write their very own custom AIM clients. 

The full functionality of the AIM network is exposed in the AIM SDK – it’s the same robust and performant libraries that AIM Triton and AIM Pro are built on top of. Both plugins and custom clients have easy access to presence, text messaging, SMS, voice, video, security services, and much more. And it’s being made available through a very flexible license – it’s free to use for non-commercial and limited commercial use (up to 250,000 users per day). 

The JAMS source code, and other sample code, is included in the SDK. And there is extensive documentation, so it’s easy to get started.

Why are we doing this? We think that we can offer developers the best IM platform, by combining the AIM network’s extensive reach (63 million active users) with the power of our AIM SDK and web services – and that puts us at a real competitive advantage. 

We’re really excited to be launching this first version of the AIM SDK, but also have a lot more in store that just couldn’t make it into the 1.0 release. We’ll be offering a number of new features, plus support for more languages and platforms in future versions of the SDK. Show us what you can do!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Triton Beta 1.2.10

We just released a new beta of AIM Triton, this was mainly a bugfix release as we get ready to land our next set of features. Notable improvements in this release include support for most proxy configurations, and (at long last) a fix for the plugin settings bug.

For proxies, we will now support SOCKS5 and HTTPS proxies if they are configured/autodetected with IE. However, we don't currently support proxies that require authentication as we have not yet done the work to deal with retrieval/storage of the proxy credentials. A future release will support SOCKS4 (is anybody still using this?), proxies that require authentication, and smart selection of the ports used to contact the AIM service. If you are using Triton and are having problems connecting, please let me know (along with any details of your network that you know) so that I can find out where we can still improve.

For the settings bug, a small oversight on my part led to this being broken for several weeks. When "null" is passed in from Javascript, the VARTYPE of that argument is VT_NULL, not VT_EMPTY. I missed this when we were trying to get all the plugin stuff finished and we didn't get a chance to get a new acccore.dll into Triton for quite a while.

Anyway, settings will now work for plugins that support settings (IAccCommandTarget::Exec with a command id of -1). The only JAMS plugin that currently supports settings is Colorizer, where you can change the saturation and value of your colors, as well as the time it takes to cycle through all the hues. Now that the settings button works, look for more plugins to have tweakable settings (one common ask is for timestamps in EZLogger) in a future version of JAMS.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

AOL Employee Blogroll

So this blogging thing is starting to catch on at AOL. Seems like every day, I'm getting email from another employee blogger. So I figured I would make a master list of employee bloggers... and sort them by their AIM Fight scores.

Here's the top 5:And here is the full version of the list.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Week, New Stuff

Last week brought some reshuffling of the technology groups at AOL, with one result being a greater focus on open services, and a second result being that I now report to the SVP in charge of open services (Sree Kotay). Sree's done some neat stuff in his career (Kai's Power Tools); it's always cool to have a VP who can still throw down some CODE.

Open services are going to be a big deal at AOL (really!)- we already have AIM Presence, with AIM Plugins, AOL ModuleT, and a bunch of stuff I can't talk about yet coming really soon. Some other AOL employee blogs to check out... Greg and Justin C. (my team, AIM infrastructure), Corey (UI toolkit), Gus (AIM Triton UI), John (OCP infrastructure), and Jason (MusicNow).

And in the "it's about time" category... now support SFTP... point your SFTP client (I like PSFTP) at and log in using your AIM username/password. I will no longer have to fight the Hometown file manager to upload my photos...

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Google and AOL

Whoah! Been a bit heads-down finishing up our APIs and cranking on new stuff for Triton. Can't wait to get this stuff out in your hands. Anyway, a number of recent happenings to blog about...

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, dropped by the AOL campus as a surprise guest to one of our company meetings. Sitting in the audience, it was very interesting to hear him speak. The Q & A session with him was very funny:

Q (read by Jon Miller, AOL CEO): Why did you pursue a deal with AOL? Was it simply to block Microsoft with us as a pawn in a geopolitical chess game?

A (Eric): Yes. (Massive laughter). I can't think of any other reason. Did you have another question?

Eric is on the left in the picture, wearing his very bright blue suit. On the right is Ted Leonsis, AOL executive and majority owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team. Ted's an interesting character and has a blog you should check out at

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cool AIM Stuff of the Week

A bunch of things going on, so I'm a bit light on the updates this week. I'll be doing a mailbag early next week. In the meantime, here's a few neat AIM-related things I found while poking around on the web:
  • AIM Buddy Icon Maker on the Web
    Not quite as cool as the JAMS IconMaker plugin, but this website allows you to take just about any image (there is a 300K size limit), upload it, and get it back as an AIM buddy icon that you can simply click to set as your own buddy icon. Works in AIM 5.9 and all other AIM versions that support the aim:BuddyIcon URL (AIM Triton users should use JAMS :)
  • Personal AIM server
    Written from scratch by a bored AIM user, this personal AIM server allows you to have your own private AIM network. It is provided as source code (VB 6.0), so you can look it over and/or extend it to do what you want. To make your AIM client use it, simply run it and change the AIM server address in the connection preferences to the IP address of the machine running this AIM server. It only supports a subset of the AIM protocol, and so AIM Triton can't use it, but it's quite interesting nonetheless. Some other interesting stuff on this site as well.
  • AIM Business Cards
    While looking for information about AIM SMS short codes, I found this page which allows you to create business cards with your AIM screenname, which you can then print out from your computer. Kind of short on the options, but maybe of interest to someone.

Monday, January 23, 2006

JAMS 2.51

JAMS 2.51 is out with a couple minor improvements:
* MobileControl will now return users' away messages when using the "info" command
* The issue with MobileControl and the "&quot;" entities has been resolved.
* The issue with IconMaker not showing up for many users due to an invalid key has been resolved.

Also, apologies for not better explaining the keying issue and what it means to API developers. The "You know what that means" good news in the prior API Update post was simply intended to mean that the official release of the API is in its final stages. With regards to the keying, all it means is that you will need to come to our developer web page to obtain a (free) key string, just like you do for the AIM Presence Web Service (or any of Google's Web APIs). This allows us to identify the customers of the API, and protect ourselves and our users from malware plugins. If you have further questions on this topic, please let me know... it will all become clear when the API is released.

The license plate here was seen while driving by the Apple campus while out in California. VV (W?), thanks for your support!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Orb Networks

Finished up our Bay Area swing with a visit to Orb Networks, who does some really neat stuff allowing you to access your home media (photos, TV shows) remotely either by PC or cell phone (and for free). They've done some integration with Skype where you can get your Skype voicemails remotely, but we think they can do a lot more than that with our AIM APIs. We got some great feedback from them, especially regarding how our API stacks up against Skype's. We're definitely looking forward to an AIM-enabled release of their product.

This photo is shot from the Orb conference room looking out across San Francisco bay, from the Oakland side. Quite a view...


Spent a long day Thursday at the Googleplex discussing various technical matters. We're jazzed to have Google extending the AIM network, and we expect our collaboration on engineering will result in great things for our users. It's quite fun to be able to share experiences with people who have had to solve the same technical problems, and exciting to think about what could be accomplished if we can work together.

We didn't get to meet Larry or Sergey, but we did get a cool mini-tour where we saw, among other things, the Google "globe" plotting where all the Google search queries on the Earth are coming from. It would be way cool to do the same thing for all of our AIM traffic...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Apples and Running Men

Dropped by the Apple campus on Wednesday to talk about some of the new and upcoming AIM features. Apple's iChatAV uses the AIM libraries that my team develops, and they've done great stuff with them - a perfect example of an external developer using our APIs to build a super product and add value to the AIM platform.

The iChat guys were great to talk to and it was a truly memorable visit -
getting to see Steve Jobs, John Ives, people from various Mac OS X teams, and the new MacBook Pros running iChatAV at an amazing resolution and framerate.

We did discuss audio/video interop and there will be a new AIM Triton out soon that will properly interop for audio and video calls with iChatAV in Mac OS X 10.4.4 (iChatAV 3.1.1)

Looking forward to see what the team comes up with for the next major iChatAV release...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

AIM API Update

Greg and I are out in Silicon Valley this week talking with some select customers about our APIs (and getting a chance to grab some great fish tacos). Here's a shot of the AOL building here in Mountain View, where we gave a presentation today - love the palm trees.

Anyway, about the APIs - we have some good news and some bad news.
First the bad news: if you have been developing 'unofficial' plugins by looking at acccore.dll/reverse-engineering JAMS, your plugins probably stopped working today. This is because our API key management system went into production today.
The good news: you know what that means.
Also: head on over to I Am Alpha and see the web widget APIs that our AIM web guys have whipped up. These are not the AIM Plugin APIs, sorry for the confusion.

Off to another exciting location tomorrow! (If you're a native of the area and have any recommendations for hip restaurants, we'd love to hear from you.)

Update 1/18/06:
The IconMaker plugin in JAMS 2.5 had an incorrect key and was therefore disabled by the key-management system. Look for a JAMS 2.51 this week with a fix.

Monday, January 16, 2006

IM Etiquette

I came across an interesting page today entitled "IM Etiquette". Some of these tips are more important than others, but people who use good etiquette when IMing me (and probably many others) are much more likely to get a good response.

Most important tip:
"Unless it's some sort of joke or prank, don't leave more than two consecutive messages for someone who you know is away. The same goes for if you're talking to someone and they don't respond right away. They may be otherwise occupied. There is no reason for "Hi!", then five seconds later "Hello?", then "Anybody home?!". This elevates into ridiculousness and you'll only lose the other person's respect. And they will want to ninja-kick you."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Using AIM Triton with Google Desktop Search

Google Desktop Search is a nice utility, and its support for indexing AIM conversations has saved me many times when I have had to remember some obscure detail that someone metioned to me in an IM several weeks before. Unfortunately, it doesn't  support AIM Triton yet, but getting it working is not too difficult. If you're handy with a hex editor, you can follow the steps below. Otherwise, you can skip to the end and just download the file you need.

1. Shut down GDS, from the tray icon.
2. Find GoogleDesktopNetwork2.dll; for me, this file was in the "C:\Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search" folder.
3. Make a backup of this file, in case you make a mistake.
4. Open GoogleDesktopNetwork2.dll in your favorite hex editor.
5. Scroll down to approximately offset 0x1A000, or search for "aim.exe"
6. You will see a list of EXEs such as waol.exe, opera.exe, netscape.exe, msn6.exe. Each name will be in Unicode format, meaning each character is 2 bytes, with the first character being a NUL (00).
7. Pick one of the EXEs that you do not use; "msn6.exe" is a good choice because it is the same size as "aim6.exe". (To be fair, I will note that "waol.exe" is also a good choice.)
8. Replace the EXE name that you have chosen with aim6.exe. If you chose a name that was longer than 4 characters, you will need to replace the remaining characters with NUL bytes.
9. Save your changes.
10. Restart GDS.
11. Restart AIM Triton.

If you don't want to go through all this trouble yourself, and you are using the version "Google Desktop 20050818-en", you can use the GoogleDesktopNetwork2.dll that I modified and skip steps 4-8.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

JAMS 2.5

JAMS 2.5 has been released and can be downloaded here. It is compatible with AIM Triton 1.0 and later, please "Exit AIM" from the Triton menu before installing. Descriptions of all the JAMS plugins are available on the JAMS home page (now with screenshots!)

What's new:
* IconMaker - set your custom buddy icon from any image file. You can crop the image to get just what you want in your buddy icon. (by Justin)
* MobileControl - set your away message, or get buddy info by sending a SMS message from your mobile phone. (by Alan, the director for our group!)

Bug fixes:
* The bug where Colorizer did not work if you had customized your font has been fixed.
* EZLogger now displays an error message if you try to read a log that does not exist.

Got an idea for a neat plugin? Post it on the blog, or send it directly to us.

Update 4:17 PM 1/10/2006:
* The initial version of JAMS 2.5 had an issue where the displayed version numbers said 2.2. This has been resolved with the latest jams25.exe.
* To use MobileControl, you must first set the mobile phone number you will be using. Currently, you must do this from the Actions menu, "Set Mobile Phone Number". This will pop up a dialog where you can set your number, and also display the commands you can send. The currently supported commands are "@away msg" and "@info username".
* The Settings buttons do not work in JAMS 2.5, because it requires a new AIM Triton (version 1.2) that has not yet been released. Look for it soon.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Mailbag 1/6/2006

Happy New Year!

Got a number of questions over the past week:

Q: I want to build an AIM bot, but I am having trouble with rate limits and other uptime issues. How can I ensure my bot stays online?
A: We have a bot program where you can be added to our "bot whitelist" for a certain price (I don't know the pricing offhand). If you are interested, send me an email with "bot" in the subject line and I will send it on to our bot business folks. In the future, we hope to have an AIM bot (naturally) where you can submit these requests.
Q: What happened to Direct Connect/Instant Images in Triton?

A: We ran out of time and it missed the cut for Triton 1.0. However I have seen some demos from the team working on the UI for it and I can say that it will be worth waiting for.
Q: Why doesn't Triton's audio or video work with Apple's iChatAV?
A: We switched to a new SIP stack with Triton, and both Triton and iChatAV had some incompatibilities that did not fully get sorted out in time for launch. Look for these incompatibilities to be resolved with the next Triton (1.2 hopefully) and iChatAV builds.
Q: I don't like the green color used for the messages I send. Can I change the IM window text colors?
A: The colors are set in Triton's strings.xml file. You can find strings.xml at
C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\....\imapp\verXYZ\resources\en-US\. In this file, <string name="imForm.userColor">#4a9e00</string> sets everyone's favorite green. "imForm.buddyColor" sets the sender's color. You can change these values to something more pleasing to you; the changs will take effect the next time you start Triton.
Q: Is the plugin API ready yet?
A: We are still expecting a release in the very near future. In the meantime...
Q: I looked at the acccore.dll type library you mentioned before but I don't know where to start. What interface should I be looking at?
A: IAccPlugin is the base interface that all plugins need to implement. Methods on that interface will be called when your plugin is loaded and unloaded.
Q: Can I test the new Mac AIM client?
A: You will read about it here as soon as it is available.