Sun 24 Sep 2006
Update: It seems that this will soon be obsoleted – AOL, mother of ICQ, is adopting Jabber.
Gossip has been my favourite Jabber client for a long time. I like the simplicity and non-intrusiveness of its interface. But at work the standard IM network is ICQ. I’ve been using Gaim to connect to ICQ, but its interface has always bugged me.
The Jabber protocol provides for so-called transports, which enable you to talk to other IM networks while using Jabber on the client side. Gossip doesn’t support transports. But although that sounds like a deal-breaker, it isn’t. Transports work like this: you register on a jabber server and then sign up for a transport, providing your ICQ credentials. Then your ICQ contacts are available through UIN@transport.jabber.example.com, for example. After signing up for the transport using a transport-supporting client, you can use any Jabber client you like, and that includes Gossip. All your ICQ contacts will appear on the new account, and you can add other ICQ accounts using UIN@transport.jabber.example.com.
Now step-by-step for Ubuntu Dapper users:
- Shut down Gossip.
- Install gajim:
- Applications -> Add/Remove Software
- check “show applications without tech support”
- in the search field enter “gajim”
- check gajim and click OK
- Start gajim through the Applications menu. It’s in “Internet”.
- Add your existing jabber account to gajim.
- Add a new account on a server that has a transport for ICQ (or whatever you need). I used jabber.freenet.de. This server has transports for AIM/ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, ICQv2 and IRC. You can see a list of accounts in Edit -> Accounts -> New -> Forward.
Use the “Discover services” window to find out which transports are offered by a specific server.
You can have both windows open at the same time.
- Close the “Discover services” window and open it with your new jabber account.
- Select the transport you want and click “Edit” or “Register”. You’ll be asked to provide the credentials for your ICQ/AIM/whatever account.
- Close gajim.
- Start gossip and add your account on the new server.
That’s it! All your ICQ contacts appear in Gossip. Add new ICQ contacts using UIN@icq.jabber.freenet.de (replace icq.jabber.freenet.de with the transport server you selected).