I was using Jabber (or XMPP) 'like always' ie. from the time I've first time heard about it :) It was way better that the polish most popular IM service Gadu-Gadu now GG and it was always free and open source. But from time when Talk (around 2005) was annouced and everybody started using it (some time later) things changed. There were people who only use Talk, some other only Jabber server or some both. All of them just want to communicate with each other. From the beginning there were some strange problems with Talk <-> XMPP with eg. authorization or not delivering messages and storing them in Gmail as history of conversations. Nowadays we've got Hangouts a better new IM from Google. I like it much, it works in my Gmail, on Google+ and my Android phone. It exchanges the history between different clients etc. It works as it should ;)

But there's no rose without a thorn. The problem is with the old XMPP users like me. As we can read here the XMPP support will be dropped, its almost year from that moment and yes users from @gmail.com still CAN communicate with regular XMPP users. But its not that nice as it could be. I have tried myself a few cases what works and what works not. Here are my results:

  1. You can't write using Hangouts app on phone or Gmail chat to regular XMPP.
    • You just can't. The messages are not send to anywhere at all.
  2. You can still add your @gmail.com account to XMPP client (and use it)
    • at some point the support for XMPP in new "Hangouts/Talk" still exists and works
    • you can then add regular XMPP contacts and write messages to them through XMPP client
    • the classic 2-side authorization protocol works like in XMPP
    • after that you still CAN'T send messages from Hangouts on phone or Gmail to regular XMPP (or you can use eg. Xabber on Android)
  3. You can still add your @gmail.com friend to your XMPP account (if they use it as in point 2)
    • you can normally authorize them and contact with them
  4. You can use @gmail.com account from XMPP client to contact with other people using @gmail.com account only as Hangouts/Talk
    • they will need to "accept" you on their Hangouts app/Gmail
    • the history will be stored both on your XMPP client and Hangouts account (so after opening the conversation on Hangouts you will see what you write on XMPP client)
  5. You can't make voice/video cals to Hangouts over XMPP client
    • you just can't. This is Google own new protocol.

Finally if you are using @gmail.com account (and eg. Hangouts/Talk), not much is changing for you except point 1. If you don't know to use Hangouts/Talk/Gmail IM or standalone Jabber/XMPP? Then this is question of your morality who you trust/like/whatever more ;) If you use XMPP and have @gmail.com contacts nothing changes for you (at this moment the future is unknown ;) They will still be getting your messages as now.

What is important from times when standalone Jabber/XMPP services are very popular, to now things got changed MUCH! Every very big community portal have it's own "XMPP"-like IM service eg. Facebook, Google+ or NK.pl. And all of them are not compatible of each other, all of them are collecting our messages on their own. And every day more people is starting using them - we can't change it or stop that. It just happens.

At this moment I'm supporting 4 different IM accounts, polish GG for my old friends, Facebook for almost every of my actual friends, Hangouts for people I know by mail, Google+ "circles" and friends who are using Gmail accounts for conversations. And the last one but not the least one the Jabber account on jabster.pl for people who know what XMPP is and what it is so nice :-)

PS. Oh i forgot about Skype/(old MSN/Live Messager) contacts, also need to support them. And of course WhatsApp on phone. Oh my! I forgot about IRC. Gosh. So many messengers.

So long live XMPP and Google please don't shout down XMPP support in Hangouts.



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