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The only thing I dislike about Campfire is that it doesn't support some other protocol, like XMPP or IRC, so that I can use it in a normal chat client, with normal chat client features, like desktop notifications.

This one doesn't seem to, either.

The reason none of these new chat systems have wide protocol support is because they're really trying to improve the user experience with features like inline image previews, drag + drop file upload, archived history on the server, accessibility to non-techies, etc. Existing clients just don't support that stuff. Innovation is needed in chat UI, not protocols.

Don't get me wrong though, having these platforms be open is definitely important. I'm a co-founder of HipChat.com and while we don't openly support XMPP or IRC yet we are XMPP on the backend and plan to make it available to everyone in the future. IRC support is also something we're considering: http://help.hipchat.com/hipchat/topics/irc_compatibility.

As for getting "normal chat features" like desktop notifications, we provide our own desktop clients in addition to our web interface. Having to pay for Propane just to make Campfire usable is some weak sauce.

If you use OS X, try http://propaneapp.com/

I did, when I was on OSX... but now I've switched back to Linux, and kinda miss it. It would be great if I could just connect to Campfire with Pidgin, or any libpurple chat client.

There is Butane for Linux: http://github.com/ricktessner/butane

Try http://jaconda.im which does exectly what you want.

Propane doesn't support IRC/XMPP/any other group chat protocol.

Try Mibbit. It also does desktop notifications now (In Chrome).


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