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Social Networks Communications Facebook

Facebook Now Supports Jabber/XMPP 174

Posted by timothy
from the cross-pollination-nation dept.
supersloshy writes "Facebook Chat has so far only been meant to be used in a web browser, and instant messaging applications have had a hard time implementing its undocumented protocol. Today, Facebook is making this job much easier by enabling support for XMPP to access its chat service. AOL's AIM and the Empathy Instant Messenger are also including pre-set Facebook options, due to already supporting XMPP." Here are instructions for setting up XMPP Facebook chat with popular instant messaging clients, including Pidgin and Adium.
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Facebook Now Supports Jabber/XMPP

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  • Steam Chat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bucky0 (229117) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:29AM (#31109788)

    Man, if steam chat would support jabber, I would be a step closer to combining all my communication to the same program. Valve probably wouldn't do it though :/

    • Re:Steam Chat (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Hadlock (143607) on Friday February 12, 2010 @02:31AM (#31110070) Homepage Journal

      Came here to post this, found out I was beaten by the FP. Are you listening Valve???
       
      Somebody mod this up. Between gchat and steam, that covers 90% of my non-buisness e-socialization. Also it'd be nice to message the server admin on his phone to rcon in and reboot the server when he's not at his computer (never, it seems like).

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Hm. I'm down to Live Messenger, Steam, Xbox Live and Skype... I ditched AIM since gmail's web interface does that now, and I only had a couple friends on it anyway. I hardly ever use Steam, although my friends know to use it to get my attention if I'm playing a game. Xbox Live has a web interface, and I don't check it often enough to really care for a 24/7 app.

      So that leaves Live Messenger, Steam and Skype running at any given time. Pain in the ass, but not unmanageable I guess.

  • They havn't included Kopete, which is the default IM ckient in KDE, in the instruction. And I demand they include Kopete. :/
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Denis Lemire (27713)

      They've included generic Jabber account details. You should be able to add Facebook to Kopete with this information. Is there really a need for specific step-by-step hand-holding for every client?

      • by socceroos (1374367) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:46AM (#31109882)
        There is for Kopete, because it will make us KDEers feel important.
      • Is there really a need for specific step-by-step hand-holding for every client?

        not really. In fact i've already added facebook chat it in kopete yestarday but there are many people who require it :p

        • To accommodate these users, Kopete/Pidgin/Adium/etc should all remove their now-legacy Facebook plugins and just have a Facebook option that prompts for the username and password and sets the particulars up automatically. Much like most of them handle Google Talk currently.

          • by Andy Dodd (701)

            Pidgin can't do it, since it was never a "mainline" plugin in the standard distribution - can't remove that which was never there to begin with.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        They've included generic Jabber account details. You should be able to add Facebook to Kopete with this information. Is there really a need for specific step-by-step hand-holding for every client?

        Of course it is necessary for step-by-step instructions.
        Haven't you ever helped anyone with a computer problem?
        When you're catering to the lowest common denominator, step by step instructions are the bare minimum...
        Screen shots are the norm and a video is the gold standard.

        I consider myself knowledgeable and even I end up googling for step by step instructions when I'm stuck. [xkcd.com]

    • They havn't included Kopete, which is the default IM ckient in KDE, in the instruction. And I demand they include Kopete. :/

      Maybe you and the seven other guys using KDE as your WM, and the two of you which still use Kopete, can get together and contrib that.

  • by mwilliamson (672411) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:33AM (#31109814) Homepage Journal
    I've been using the pidgin plugin for a while now, but it seems a little flaky. This will be rather nice to have a standards-based protocol. This also means I have plausible deniability now as to whether or not I'm logged into facebook all day. ;-)
    • by emurphy42 (631808)
      Yeah, the Pidgin plugin occasionally screws up which icons/names go with which entries, even switching it around on mouseover/mouseaway (whatever the proper term for the second one is). I'm keeping it around but disabled for a while, in case the new XMPP hotness turns out to have problems of its own over time.
    • by TBone (5692)
      The Pidgin plugin also had a tendency to knock your browser session offline while your Pidgin session was online - couldn't consistently run both of them. This is much better.
  • Federation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Denis Lemire (27713) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:34AM (#31109820) Homepage

    Now if only they'd setup federation so people can talk to those on Facebook from their own XMPP domain. This combined with Google Talk can bring XMPP near the critical mass of users necessary to finally abandon the proprietary protocols I've despised for so long. Good riddance Windows/MSN/Live Messenger! I look forward to the not-so-distant future where everyone can communicate on IM without having accounts with several non-interoperable IM networks. Wishful thinking?

    • Yes, wishful thinking.
    • by SuperQ (431) *

      I hope so too. Google didn't have federation at first, but eventually it got sorted and now it just works. I'll dance the day Yahoo adds a Jabber federation gateway to their IM.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cozminsky (452030)

      Given that the interserver federation in xmpp doesn't scale well ( see http://about.psyc.eu/Jabber#Scalability [about.psyc.eu] ), I'm guessing the thought of federation is too scary an option for facebook. 60% of the packets in an xmpp network are presence packets and xmpp uses an extremely naive way of distributing these (i.e. it sends an xmpp presence message for each user in the buddy list, even if many of the users are on the same xmpp server and the presence packet could be only sent once for all of them and exploded

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by paul248 (536459)

        If the XMPP protocol sucks, can't it be fixed? Surely the servers should be able to negotiate the latest supported version to enable new features.

      • Re:Federation? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday February 12, 2010 @08:19AM (#31111550) Journal

        This probably wouldn't be too much of an issue if not many people have buddies on other xmpp servers, but could be disastrous if it becomes popular

        No, that's not the issue. It's a problem if lots of people have multiple buddies on the same remote server. XMPP was designed to follow the email model, where you have lots of small servers (for a few people, maybe a company, possibly for users of an ISP who don't have another server they can use). In this case, it is entirely reasonable to send a copy of the presence stanza to each remote server. It's only if most of your contacts are on the same server, but it is not the server that you are using, where this is a problem. In that case, there will be some redundant server-to-server data.

        Saying that this means that it 'doesn't scale well' is hyperbole to put it mildly. Even the article you link to doesn't say that, it simply says that it's possible to improve the scalability. I run a Jabber server with just a few users and, although my numbers for stanzas reflect theirs, they are misleading. Most presence stanzas that I receive are quite small compared to message and info-query stanzas, so the numbers are very different when you look at the total bandwidth used by each one. The shortest message stanza that I could find in my log was 20% longer than the longest presence stanza. A typical message stanza is 200-300% the size of a typical presence stanza.

        Note that, if both servers support XEP-33, then this problem doesn't exist at all; they can use the extended addressing to send a single copy of the stanza to the remote server, without any modification to the client or the core protocol.

    • Well, MS and AOL committed to the gub'mint back in the 90's to cooperate and make their networks play nice with each others.

      It's basically taken being made irrelevant to get XMPP support in AIM. A decade later neither AOL or Microsoft talk to each other but their users have found ways to talk around them.

      Google's "chat" applications are a complete mess but at least you can talk to them with a non-google client. But what the hell is their deal, they support AIM, but not 3rd party XMPP servers?!
      Not that it wo

      • by sznupi (719324)

        What you don't like about Google chat clients is irrelevant in the scope of XMPP interserver communication. It's about clients and server talking XMPP; also with 3rd party servers.

        And you can use any Jabber client to connect to Google server...yes, Google clients present contact list in particular way. But it's just a standard XMPP, serverside roster; heck, groups of contacts are supported since the beginning even though Google clients work only in flat view.

    • I look forward to finally having a standard protocol IM that I can avoid. Until than I'm forced to avoid IM using proprietary protocols.

  • No security (Score:5, Informative)

    by scott_karana (841914) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:45AM (#31109878)

    I couldn't help but notice the conspicuous instructions to "Uncheck TLS/SSL security" in each of the clients.
    I really hope that doesn't come back to bite anyone in the ass, there's enough spam on other parts of Facebook already.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by darkpixel2k (623900)

      I couldn't help but notice the conspicuous instructions to "Uncheck TLS/SSL security" in each of the clients. I really hope that doesn't come back to bite anyone in the ass, there's enough spam on other parts of Facebook already.

      Yeah--that's a big "What the fuck, facebook?"....in this day and age, it's tough to find XMPP software that flat-out doesn't support TLS. Even rolling your own in Python supports TLS...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Hadlock (143607)

        I would imagine adding TLS encryption for 400 MILLION users litterally overnight might be slightly taxing to their already overtaxed servers. They're adding something like 500,000 users a week (I shit you not, look at their statistics) so anything they can do to minimize server load without degrading service is probably a plus for them at this point.

        • by TBoon (1381891)
          I don't exactly think they prepared XMPP support overnight. So they could either have worked on it for a month or two before release, or have some kind of system "click here to enable XMPP support" and run the others through a gateway with the browser-based chat-users (which most likely will include most people for the forseable future), if that is techically possible with TLS and XMPP...
    • I'm sure it will be fine. It's not like you can setup shop with a sniffer in a busy coffee shop and expect to get any traffic.

    • Where do you see spam on Facebook? I'm a pretty heavy user of the site, and besides 1-2 odd friend requests every month (usually devoid of info, not selling me something), I don't get anything unsolicited there.

    • Re:No security (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <(deleted) (at) (slashdot.org)> on Friday February 12, 2010 @05:49AM (#31110874)

      LOL. What would be the point in using encryption to connect to a server that is not trustworthy in the first place?
      Besides: Is you e-mail encrypted?

      And it’s far from the worst WTF.
      The worst WTF is, that in order to use it, you have to give them your phone number!!!
      Yeah right. What’s next? A body cavity search?

      Luckily I don’t have to, so I won’t. Facebook can seriously just fuck right off!

    • I was worried about this, too. I sniffed the connection, and it turns out that they use SASL during the authentication process - so your password is safe, though your communications are not.

      At least I presume your data does not get encrypted - didn't test that...

  • by Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:46AM (#31109884)
    And I'm glad to hear it! Everyone seems to be moving towards one open protocol (starting with Google Talk) instead of the sea of protocols out there already.
  • by JSBiff (87824)

    Just what the world needs. *Another* IM service. I suppose I can see Facebook's reasoning for doing this. . . they want to be a complete 'social' solution, and don't want to be reliant on MSN, AOL, Google, or anyone else for their IM service. I suppose, all things considered, that at least opening it up with XMPP is fairly 'enlightened' of them, but it really seems like the whole 'genre' of Instant Messaging platforms has been one big cluster-f**k since day one. If email worked like IM, we'd all have to hav

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hldn (1085833)

      and if IM worked like email we'd get messages all day long about how to make our penises bigger.

      • by Octorian (14086)

        It does, if you ever bother to sign into your old ICQ account and leave it on for a day or two.

    • by Denis Lemire (27713) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:58AM (#31109936) Homepage

      That's the whole point of XMPP. If all IM was XMPP then IM WOULD work like e-mail. For this to work, Facebook still needs to enable Federation but it's a huge step in the right direction. The world needs more XMPP networks. Once the number of XMPP IM users outnumber the users of legacy "cluster-f**k" proprietary protocols it will become common sense to drop the proprietary garbage in order to gain interoperability with everyone else. What a nice utopia that would be. :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dangitman (862676)

        What a nice utopia that would be. :)

        More mindless chit-chat is the exact opposite of utopia.

        • You're too old, grandpa. If you're not telling everybody the most minute detail of your day [penny-arcade.com] then you're just not hip anymore.

          Go play with your 8bit console, pops!
        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by Ma8thew (861741)
          You're totally right, nothing productive has ever been accomplished over IM. And other communication methods are only used for serious and valuable conversations.
        • by Draek (916851)

          Actually, no. Enough free time that you can reasonably spend most of it in mindless chit-chat is the exact definition of utopia.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Tim C (15259)

          You say mindless chit-chat, I say social interaction... Do you never just shoot the breeze with a friend? You know, just kick back and relax and chat about nothing in particular?

    • by keeboo (724305)

      Just what the world needs. *Another* IM service. I suppose I can see Facebook's reasoning for doing this. . . they want to be a complete 'social' solution, and don't want to be reliant on MSN, AOL, Google, or anyone else for their IM service. I suppose, all things considered, that at least opening it up with XMPP is fairly 'enlightened' of them, but it really seems like the whole 'genre' of Instant Messaging platforms has been one big cluster-f**k since day one. If email worked like IM, we'd all have to have 10 email accounts.

      Well, XMPP itself is an attempt to standardize that mess.
      If Facebook does not talk with other XMPP servers, it's their own fault. Google Talk does, and many other XMPP account providers aswell.

    • If email worked like IM, we'd all have to have 10 email accounts.

      My list of e-mail accounts goes to 11.

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      Just what the world needs. *Another* IM service.

      Facebook already was another IM service. They had their instant messenger built into their website. The only difference is now you can access it via XMPP.

      This is a very welcome change from my perspective. There are people who mostly contacted me via Facebook and Facebook chat. Being able to participate in chats with these people without using the chat system on the Facebook web page is very nice. (I understand there were other solutions to that problem, too - I didn't explore these, and am very glad to

  • I'm surprised this hasn't already come up, considering this is geek central I would have hoped more people were using Bitlbee. Facebook has added this annoying caveat to being able to login via jabber: You must be able to login via a web browser on the same host as the one you're trying to setup jabber with; this rules out public Bitlbee and other gateway services, as well as boxes that don't have X installed on them (Facebook requires you use an 'approved' browser, meaning lo (e)l[inks|ynx] for you).

    Logg

    • Last I checked, my password identified me as me, why the extra unnecessary step? Because they want you to actually read their shovelware app spam to make money.

      That tin foil hat really suits you.

    • by shish (588640)
      I just signed in via bitlbee with no problem, so either they've removed this feature or it only applies to specific people
  • by Kooothor (1743982)
    Hey, I'm experiencing troubles while trying to connect to the xmpp facebook account with Finch from my shell in Germany. Facebook tells me I connect from an unusual location (usually I connect from France or Sweden), and that it isn't bad but they block the chat anyway.... -_-' Anyone has had the same troubles ? How to resolve it ? Thanks. Screen : http://nsa13.casimages.com/img/2010/02/12/10021201582580101.png [casimages.com]
  • by hey (83763)

    I logged in with Pidgin.

    Its weird everyone logs in with the username "bckwrds". Really - http://www.facebook.com/sitetour/chat.php [facebook.com]

    Too bad SSL / TLS isn't supported.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Hello Dave.

      Did you know that you just gave your facebook username to everyone? (although your privacy settings are pretty clamped down so it doesn't really matter.)

      Remember long ago when you could choose a username (to replace the number in your profile URL with something human-readable)? While on the site you login with your email, apparently with XMPP you log in with that username. This is the first highly visible use of that name other than your profile's URL.

  • This would instantly allow me to use my usual desktop chat client to connect to non-tech people who I am friends with.

    But, Kopete on Kubuntu 9.10 does not work. I get this error message:

    "There was a negotiation error. Unsupported protocol version. XMPP 1.0 is required."

    Is there a solution to this?

    • Not so far, but empathy and pidgin work. I prefer kopete, but until it is fixed, empathy seems decent.
    • by kbahey (102895)

      Found a partial solution. It is not XMPP based, but rather uses JSON to interface directly to Facebook.

      It is in the Ubuntu repository as kopete-facebook. Install that package and you are good to go.

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