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Grapevine 3 features mooted

By Chris Williams. Published: 30th Jan 2006, 20:30:16 | Permalink | Printable

No Yahoo messenger support unless users flash their cash

MSN logoInstant messaging client Grapevine is set to include some long awaited enhancements to its MSN Messenger and ICQ support, all of which are expected to be released in the guise of version 3. Responding to feature requests from end users, the next major installment of the online chat software will likely support for attention grabbing 'nudges' and better handling of contacts lists for ICQ users.

Developer Alan Wrigley said earlier today, "The top priorities for Grapevine 3 will be to catch up on the MSN protocol front so that we can have nudges, display pictures, custom emoticons etc., and to improve the overall look and feel. Then comes ICQ contact handling which I've always known is far from perfect but the available documentation wasn't too helpful."

Describing the task of adding these new features as being "a fair bit of work", he continued: "After that I guess it will depend on how many upgrades R-Comp think they can sell. For instance, there's not much point in adding Yahoo Messenger support if only half a dozen people will want it."

Meanwhile version 2.10 of Grapevine is set to be released within the next few weeks and is generally seen as an effort to increase stability. The update is currently doing the rounds amongst privileged beta testers and is said to feature fixes for the MSN and IRC protocols plus four new sets of 'emoticons', which can also now be user-defined.

Grapevine 2.10 was hoped to be delivered to punters in time for Christmas, although the release date was later pushed back to 2006.


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All this is good news

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 30/1/06 9:19PM
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Yes, it does sound good.

I have recently enjoyed and preferred using the Skype system, I found it very user friendly and easy to use.

I have MSN Messenger, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger but have not really used them apart from set them up, they did not impress me so much when I was nosing about their menus and style layout etc.

So only having a look through these VoIP systems, I would be interested to have some feedback and opinions from anyone who uses MSN Messenger, Google Talk & Yahoo Messenger, all in comparison to the Skype that I use?

As for this Grapevine MNS support article, it sounds like a really good idea to start with MSN Messenger support.

Does MSN Messenger comes in all the Windows bundled software packages?

If it does, it would be the majority of VoIP user market I guess?


 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 31/1/06 12:37AM
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MSN Messenger is, like all the other windows chat clients you mention, available to download for free. Whatever Windows bundled software packages you are referring to I have no idea.

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 31/1/06 1:11AM
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In reply to Gulli:

Thanks, I think you have just answered my question.

When I got my XP Windows Professional laptop from school 18 months ago, it came with MSN Messenger and I wanted to know if MSN Messenger was part of the XP Pro package?

It appears that our school ICT teacher, may have installed MSN Messenger (amongst a few other software) on our staff laptop computers?

Sorry if it sounds daft, but I had no idea how I got it on my school issued laptop.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 31/1/06 2:35AM
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Windows Messenger (which is a "slim" version of MSN messenger) is bundled with all versions of WindowsXP and is loaded automatically by Outlook Express and a few other Windows apps (eg. Media Center). It was downloadable for other versions of windows. Pretty much every RISC OS internet user SHOULD be interested in this stuff - MSN has (supposedly) a billion users (If I reemmber correctly) which means your PC owning friends and family most likely have it, and may be using it. As such, I can never understand why RISC OS users aren't interested. Yet in every other ways they/we complain when RISC OS can't interact with other platforms. Here it can, but people aren't interested!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 31/1/06 10:23AM
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arawnsley: Ah, forgot Windows Messenger. It's very strange to see people not interested in these messengers, especially MSN if only because of its immense distribution. Then again, anything coming from Microsoft is supposedly evil!

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 31/1/06 10:42AM
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With telephone and email to communicate with friends and family, why WOULD every RISC OS internet user want to be interested in this stuff ?

 is a RISC OS Userajb on 31/1/06 11:19AM
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Email is hardly real time. Telephone can be intrusive or expensive - for example one's mother might not want to call at 11pm at night but she can log onto msn and see you are at the computer and chat without calling and the phone waking everyone up. Also I talk to people in other countries and free real time chat is handy. It's very good for discussing things - many a time I have been on the phone to someone and talked about a web page or site and sent them the link via messenger. It's not a replacement but a complement. It's like saying why use email when post exists.

 is a RISC OS Userdansguardian on 31/1/06 11:32AM
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It is different from telephone and email (rather in the way that texting is different from either) and it has some benefits. The main one is that you have a fair idea that someone is at home when you try to comunicate.

You can use this information to make a phone call, knowing that someone will pick up the phone, if you like:-)

What I like best about is the sense of companionship it gives when working late at night. You don't have to actually chat - just watch your friends log in and log out when they go to bed.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnR on 31/1/06 11:49AM
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Well said dansguardian.

IMO Andrew has a solid point. There really should be more interest in Grapevine. Yes, in the past people have complained about its graphics / design. I don't particularly like them either, and indeed I have replaced some since they're just sprites.

What does matter is that this program allows a RISC OS user to log in to one of the largest chat networks on the planet, certainly the most used one in the EU, namely MSN. What also matters is that the program is 98% of the time doing an excellent job at it and with this coming update (version 2.10) I expect it to be 100%. Furthermore it is built to support more chat protocols, like Yahoo, when and if (enough) users want to.

Personally, I use Grapevine all the time and it allows me to keep in touch with people anywhere, most of whom use Windows and therefore MSN Messenger (like most of them are also inclined to use Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player). Nowadays many, many people chat regularly on all kinds of computer platforms and a chat program has become just as standard as a webbrowser - it allows our platform to join in and communicate no matter what OS your contacts may be using.

When Grapevine 3 comes, I'll be smiling :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/1/06 12:11PM
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In reply to arawnsley:- I think part of the reason why there has not been as much interest is that many RO users will have a PC and can use MSM on the PC for free, without having to go out and purchase the RO version. Another reason is probably the age range of people currently using the RO platform.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 31/1/06 12:57PM
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Used Grapevine to chat to my son when he was working abroad. Invaluable. Had to use a PC to be able to see him though! Marvellous if Grapevine had sound and vision too. I use it to talk to friends for short periods of time - it is invaluable. Grapevine 3 will be on my MUST purchase list.

 is a RISC OS UserDaveW on 31/1/06 1:03PM
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Its an essential app or rather it allows me to communicate with friends all around the world in real time, send pics etc. Also sending modules or bits to fellow RiscOS users.

 is a RISC OS UserHairy on 31/1/06 1:15PM
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Often I have to send or receive files to or from PC users. If the file exceeds around 4MB then I have to resort to the PC. If improvements to Grapevine will allow me to send or receive such files on the Iyonix then I am very interested. Well done to R-Comp who are entitled to expect a return on their investments. RISC OS users should support such improvements if they can make use of added features.

 is a RISC OS Userroberthunter on 31/1/06 1:16PM
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sa110: "I think part of the reason why there has not been as much interest is that many RO users will have a PC and can use MSM on the PC for free, without having to go out and purchase the RO version."

Yes, that is correct. Same goes for those on Linux and Mac. But isn't it true people use RISC OS because they like using it? Surely you can visit drobe.co.uk on a PC too, why would you want to do that if it's more fun on RISC OS... Point is, this is all about doing something on RO and doing it well. Having a modern, popular cross-platform standard supported on RO. Yes, you pay a fair price for that, which is only understandable and that price also includes updates and personal support - do you have support for free with Microsoft's MSN client (or at all)?

"Another reason is probably the age range of people currently using the RO platform."

Yes, I think this is quite a big factor actually. I think most RO users are in the "above 40" age, whereas I believe almost all age groups below that far more often chat, than e-mail. For all of you people unfamiliar to Instant Messaging / Chat - check if your family or friends use it, if so make sure you check Grapevine out.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/1/06 1:25PM
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hEglia: Perhaps that's why I use RISC OS then! Rapidly approaching 30, so any group where most of the people are older than me is welcome :-)

Moving onto a more serious point, even if you don't use Grapevine (I don't, the only online chat of any method I use is IRC, and I use LIRC for that), it's essential that programs like this exist, even if it's not much more than a "tick in the box". Anything that will enable even a small number of users to stay with RISC OS is essential, because there are so few of them.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 31/1/06 2:18PM
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roberthunter - our test files recently have been 4.5Mb .wma and .mp3 files and some 25Mb TIFF files. They are transfering fine, although we did have a problem with the percentage completed bar vanishing for the 25Mb file! (the joy of short integers!). We are spending quite a lot of time testing this all rather thoroughly for GV 2.10.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 31/1/06 6:55PM
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Interesting observation - whilst MSN Messenegr is free on Windows, it is ad-ware. The bottom quarter of the MSN contacts window is a constantly changing animated gif (or similar) advert. There are tabs down the side of the window, which are basically MORE adverts. GV is advert-free (and so it should be!), so no more subliminal plugs for ebay, match.com or whatever!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 31/1/06 6:59PM
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I too used to have big problems sending files of any size to pc users in the past. I had email conversations with A Wrigley, used trace versions.. however about 6 weeks ago it ' corrected itself 'sending files now is fine. Maybe the protocols had changed ? I still love the app, thanks :) Would be good on the new version after the downloaded file ,the status bar would close and you dont have to set the filetype :P would always pay money for the updating of this app.

 is a RISC OS UserHairy on 31/1/06 8:49PM
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reply to arawnsley:

MSN Messenger is a pain. You can get rid of the tabs and park the window partly off screen to hide the flashing ads - but it is far better to de-install it and use Windows Messenger instead - but neither is as unobtrusive or pleasant to use as Grapevine.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnR on 31/1/06 9:34PM
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Hairy - filetype is now set automatically via looking the extension up in Mimemap (enhancement in 2.10). I believe the transfer window stays open, but I will check with the programmer if there is any reason for it to do so.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 31/1/06 10:42PM
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In reply to ajb:

I understand your question why would anyone bother if there is email and telephone.

In the past nearly three months now I have used Skype almost on a daily basis to contact friends from New Zealand to Australia, Thailand and Pitcairn Island, amonst some other countries seldomly.

dansguardian makes a point very well along the lines that I have experienced from using a VoIP like Skype.

I suppose like anything, if you have no real need to make international or toll call contacts by the phone, then a VoIP may not been seen as a valued resource.

What I have found, is that the New Zealand Telcom to Thailand is not always a strong connection.

The Thai connection is more than often very intermittent, cutting out and in a delayed effect that can be annoying at times.

It is almost impossible to send a fax to the far North East because of the line poor quality.

I have been told that it is the main line New Zealand uses to access Thailand mainland that is the problem, in Thailand their phones are fine.

Using Skype, I have never had any problems with the connection, and the sound is superior to Telecom's landline phone.

Maybe the internet access Thailand on a better main connection?

But the sound quality on Skype is still far better than our Telcom service.

Other useful features (as dansguardian points out too) about calling on the Skype system (and other VoIP's may be similar) is the real time, talk and chat features.

Features I cannot do on Telecom, like call a friend in Thailand (6 hour time difference) and their computer is off or they are not "home"?

So I can leave a "Chat" (text typed) message to arrange a suitable contact time to talk and/or chat.

Also, if I am not at home to receive the reply, I can access my Skype at school (work) or anywhere someone has a computer, and/or if I were "mobile" from home a lot I could get a Skype cordless phone to access my Skype anywhere at school (work) or a friend's house?

When I started to use Skype recently, I found more features and conveniences tham I could imagine, and... I am the sort of person who dreads and will not own or use a costly mobile phone.

The big difference I found with the Skype Chat (text typing) features, is that in "real time" I can get responses instantly instead of slow mail "Email" system.

So now, my close friends and contacts we use Skype chat as opposed to bothering with email to each other.

Getting MSN Messenger on RISC OS will become a big plus for us.

To get Skype on RISC OS would be nice too.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 1/2/06 12:22AM
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hey anyone used msn 8 yet?

[link] [link]

any thoughts on the background swapping :@P cause its got more complicated with animated backgrounds

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 1/2/06 4:22PM
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em2ac: Yeah, I've been using MSN8 for a couple of weeks now.

To be honest, though, I've not used the background swapping stuff, or animated backgrounds.. I just use a static image (I think an animated one would be too distracting) and keep it to myself :P

I am getting the feeling that the MS MSN client is getting VERY eye-candy oriented rather than being nice and useful, although at the moment I'm using it in preference to Grapevine since there are a few odd bugs in GV that have messed up conversations in the past (I did email RComp about this a while back), and the fact that it still allows you to send blank lines, which is something that /really/ annoys me...

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 1/2/06 5:01PM
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andypoole: The new client is designed to look like / intergrate with the latest Vista Build

For information the new client uses Microsofts newer authentication servers, apparently.

I have found it useful from the shared folders idea rather than individual file sending (your mate can see a folder of files) you can also share Music, as in you share a music file, and ure mate can hear it, but not download it (not too bad actually).

The fact you can send a message to an offline contact, and when they come online again, your messages are sent, even if you are not online, is VERY good :@D

Im currently beta testing office 12 as well - little odd, but is looking more and more like a RISC OS app each release, i think anyway.

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 1/2/06 6:37PM
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andypoole - the blank lines is a *feature*, just cos you can't do it on Windows, doesn't make it a bug. MSN correctly displays it as a blank line, so why shouldn't we offer the ability to do it if it renders correctly? I spoke to the programmer about this very issue, and we agreed that if the MSN protocol displays it correctly (which it does) then why specifically remove the ability to do something that works? In fact, I use the feature to "push up" things on the chat display, so it is actually useful.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 1/2/06 11:41PM
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MSN Messenger uses Shift+Return to insert a newline (as is consistent with Windows) and Return to send the message. You can happily send simply a newline using this, but not accidentally send a blank message.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 2/2/06 12:06AM
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arawnsley: Pushing stuff up the chat display in MSN using grapevine may be useful for you, but not so much for the other person, who could indeed still be reading it, and then be hit with a heap of blank lines they didn't ask for. As not_ginger_matt said, Shift-Return is the *correct* way to insert blank lines (thus allowing multiple lines per message...). Empty lines should be ignored when return is pressed. copying and pasting text in adds a shift-return to the message in place of any blank lines.

Incidentally, in IRC (according to the RFC and a quick experiment), blank lines are ignored by the server anyway, so Grapevine shouldn't show these as having said a blank line (by putting your nick and then nothing) and (if anything) should just move the text up the page a line.

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 2/2/06 10:45AM
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Since shift-return (and ctrl-return) are already present in GV, we'll be changing this for 2.10 as what you say does rather make sense (grrr, users making sense, it's heresy I tell you, heresy!)

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 2/2/06 2:52PM
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