What’s all this then?

by on Jan.15, 2010, under Uncategorized

So… On 01/01/2010, two weeks into my Christmas vacation from work (I’m a software engineer, by the way), I got bored. As a software engineer, whenever I feel bored I get an itch to write a piece of software – selfishness usually leads me to pick something that I’d find useful.

I’ve recently been dabbling with Second Life and using it as a glorified chat-room. However, sometimes, when I simply want to chat with someone, it’s very annoying having to launch a heavy-weight client and waste CPU cycles with useless 3D rendering. I searched the internet for third-party clients and there aren’t many. The two that are easiest to find are probably SLiteChat and GnomiVerse. Let’s take a look at these two…

SLiteChat is exactly what I want! However, after using it for a while, I’ve found it to be buggy and unreliable. The UI has some issues (where the window size keeps expanding each time a new conversation is started and can’t be shrunk after the conversation is over)… it has some issues communicating with Second Life (sometimes reports friends being online when they’re not) and has crashed more than a few times on me. It’s also cross platform, which is a bonus.

GnomiVerse – I didn’t even enter my username and password into this. Who knows what they’ll do with it? It appears to be one of those “all-in-one” clients, but requires you to have an account to use it. Does that mean they store your details? How securely? Do they route all of your traffic through their servers? I don’t care to find out.

My search for the perfect client had come to an end. As I was looking for a little project, I decided that I’d write my own… so that’s what this page is. It will hold details about how to obtain the client and run it (when it’s ready!)

There’s a good list of thirdparty clients here and “Radegast” certainly looks to be better than any client I’ve tried. However, it’s written in .NET so requires a heavyweight Mono process to be run. It’s also far too heavy-weight in terms of features that I’d want to support.

I just want to be clear that I’m not bad-mouthing any of the solutions out there, there’s just not a solution that suits me!

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