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MSN clients parry October lockout

By Chris Williams. Published: 14th Sep 2003, 22:49:00 | Permalink | Printable

Full steam ahead!

MSN on RISC OS motifAs a follow up to the recent headline on MSN, it's time for news on some updates to MSN client software for RISC OS.

Firstly, a new version of Natter has been released which supports MSN and ICQ. Version 1.20 features sound effects, contact list and group management, chat logging and more. Natter is shareware and can be registered online, although a demo version is available. Natter is quite colourful and looks polished, if you ignore the infrequent spasms of flickering when scrolling the contacts list.

On the subject of the impending October lockout of the MSN messenger network, where Microsoft will attempt to deny unauthorised clients from connecting, Natter developer Russell Palmer had a few choice words on the matter.

"I am confident that the proposed changes will not cause a major hurdle for me to continue supporting the MSN protocol, and I hope to support the software long into the future", Russell told drobe.co.uk.

Russell also explains on the Natter website, "I will be focussing my efforts on updating natter to work with the latest MSN protocols, and see no technical reasons why natter will not continue to work after the changes are introduced. The new protocol is available on the internet (it doesn't take much searching at all to find it), so there are no technical barriers for me to get past (except for the challenge of writing a SSL library...).

The only way I will be prevented from maintaining support of the MSN protocol is for legal reasons. I am currently looking into exactly where I stand on this issue, but am confident that I will find a solution."

On the other hand, Philip Hardy has another approach to the MSN lockout worry. When we asked Philip about how he'll cope with the lockout, Phil explained that he had decided that it would be better to open source his client so that others who were interested could contribute.

This weekend Phil confirmed that he's released his MSNMessenger client under the BSD open source license. This means others can take Philip's code and adapt and improve it to help development of the MSN client.


Natter MSNMessenger

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Doesn't RComp have an SSL library for programmers to use?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 15/9/03 9:17AM
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R-Comp certainly have a SecureSockets module which supports SSL 2, SSL 3 and TSL available to download and use freely.A public programmes guide for the module is also available from there website. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 15/9/03 9:39AM
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Incidentally R-Comp's own communicatione client Grapevine is conspicuous by it's absense from your information on updates to MSN client software for RISC OS. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 15/9/03 9:42AM
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We told Chris a while back that we're tackling this with a two-pronged approach, to cover whatever MS may do.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 15/9/03 11:05AM
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IIRC Mike Curtis was porting OpenSSL for use in cURL. So perhaps look there? [link]

It's beyond me why people need a instant chat program. Isn't email or the phone quick enough?

Or is this program just for ppl stuck in front of their computer all day? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 15/9/03 12:12PM
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Phone costs money, especially if your friends are abroard. Additionally, instant messaging is "in your face", ie. it acts as a reminder to say hello to people, where perhaps you wouldn't bother to phone or write a long email. From my perspective, it has allowed me to catch up with a lot of old school friends with whom I wouldn't otherwise be in regular communication.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 15/9/03 12:53PM
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Thought I'd give these a go. Natter seems okay, connects, etc. The other on the first download complained about the lack of a file in !PhileLib. This was cured by downloading again. Now it's complaining about there not being a file in "!MSN.Sounds" Which doesn't exist at all, and which I would like to disable but can't. Bah.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 17/9/03 11:21PM
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All of the above problems with !MSN should now be fixed. I've uploaded a new version.

 is a RISC OS UserPhlip on 18/9/03 6:20AM
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