New MSN client in developmentPublished: 3rd Sep 2007, 00:01:56 | Permalink | Printable
Currently with beta testers [Updated 5/9/07]A new RISC OS MSN chat client was released for free tonight for brave punters to test drive. Dubbed Parmesan by developer Christian Ludlam, the software allows people to chat to each other in real-time over the Internet - ideally enabling RISC OS punters to converse with buddies using Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and other computer platforms.
In a covert announcement earlier this evening, Christian said: "I'm looking for beta testers to trial a new MSN client I've written for RISC OS. If you have an MSN account, please try it."
Although the freeware software, pictured, gets stuck at the "Setting online status" point on drobe's RISC OS 4.42-powered A9home, the client at least reportedly works on a vanilla RISC OS 4 RiscPC and a RISC OS 5 Iyonix. Christian's client even supports nudges, allowing online chatterboxes to wobble the other person's Parmesan windows to grab their attention.
While basic chat operations work, other functionality including file transfers has yet to be implemented. The software's user interface is governed by XML and CSS, according to Christian, allowing users to tweak how the program appears on the desktop.
It's believed that, by supporting features such as nudges, Christian's software is the most up-to-date MSN client available for RISC OS.
Update at 19:58 05/09/2007
Christian has withdrawn the beta download as a number of people have now stepped forward to act as beta testers. A number of bugs have now been fixed, and the software is working on the A9home. A website is expected soon, although Christian's priorities are file transfer support, configuration settings, 'sort by group' functionality, configurable fonts and colours, and various user interface tweaks.
He told us last night: "I prefer my client over the official MSN Mac OS X client, even though there's still loads of things it does that Parmesan doesn't.
"There's lots of stuff I want to do, but it's been usable for so long it should be released. I removed the download when I had enough beta-testers and started getting bug reports back.
"I spotted the drobe.co.uk article later - that's unfortunate."
File transfer is said to be mostly working and needs a user interface to finish it off. The program can also receive handwritten messages from other MSN clients.
Download beta version 1
Christian's website - the parmesan site appears to be password locked.
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