You are the administrator for one or more Google App Engine applications that may be impacted by an upcoming new product release. Google will be releasing a new communications product called Hangouts which users may choose to use instead of Google Talk. The new service does not support XMPP.
As a result XMPP bots such as the App Engine XMPP service will not be able to communicate with users who adopt the new service. There are two ways to keep your App Engine XMPP service working for end users:
1) Your users may use any chat client that supports XMPP. XMPP clients will continue to work as usual with the App Engine XMPP service.
2) End users will be asked to opt-into the new service when it goes live. Note that the go-live date may vary for Google Apps domains. End users and google app domain administrators may choose not to opt into the new system. If they do not opt in they will remain on the current Talk client and there will be no change to their existing functionality, including being able to exchange messages with App Engine XMPP bots. Users who already opted in may toggle back to the old XMPP based chat clients in Gmail.
Note that the changes discussed above have no impact on non-Google XMPP clients, which will continue to work as usual with the App Engine XMPP service.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
Instant Messaging is now dead for me because all the people I used to chat with are now fragmented across 4 or 5 different services. Aside from those who gave up on IM for the same reason I now have to.
Ironically, after all this new fragmentation, a few friends and I have decided to move back to IRC. It has all the features we need, we know how to use it, it's not going anywhere, and it's not gonna start changing privacy settings on us.
No dude. I'll just create one more alternative and amass a user based and then ??? and then profit! But I'll have an iOS app and an Android app, so that should cut it right? Fuck feature-phone users, Symbian/BBM/etc. Don't have a browser/desktop app.
Whatever. Google Voice is a dying product, and I hate them for what they've done, but at least the underlying transport is SMS and a portable phone number -- if I want I can host it myself in Plivo, which I plan on doing soon.
Windows 8 and the windows phone 8 messaging apps bring a bunch of these together very nicely. My usage of IM (which includes SMS and facebook messaging) has gone up significantly ever since I switched.
I run two user accounts in Chrome during the day: One connected to my personal use the other to Google Apps for Business. I use Chat for Google for both (Adium sucks)
About an hour ago, the personal account had a changed icon, started looking nicer, and is now called Hangouts. The Apps for business one stayed the same.
I've never been closer to being a fanboi than I was with Google, but this seals it...I'm pissed. Closing off (yet another) service in favor of proprietary protocols is not something a "Don't Be Evil" company does...in fact it's why you have the motto in the first fucking place.
You could have made the change without breaking XMPP. This is just shitty all the way around.
Are messages from your XMPP client going to users of the Hangouts app and vice-versa, though? The e-mail implies that users of Hangouts can still continue to use XMPP clients, but that they're connecting to a totally seperate XMPP-compatible chat system by doing so.
This is incredibly confusing. The sentences seem to alternate, between "Your end users will be affected, you must do something" and "Your end users will not be affected". Some of the sentences seem to imply this is isolated to AppEngine ("Your users may use any chat client that supports XMPP","the changes discussed above have no impact on non-Google XMPP clients") and others seem to imply that Hangouts is going to completely stop working with XMPP, if not now, very soon.
Can anyone clarify if this actually impacts your average standalone XMPP client, not connected with AppEngine, sending and receiving messages to Google Talk users?
Something interesting is going on here. If you log in to Plus, you can use New Hangouts _right now_. And they _do_ interoperate with XMPP users _right now_ -- I just tried it.
So does this mean the rollout is not complete, and what they rolled out as Hangouts today is not what they'll ultimately roll out? Or does it mean -- as I suspect -- that New Hangouts is XMPP under the hood, but they plan to flip the 'interoperate' switch to 'off' once they think nobody will notice?
I have heard from somebody else that using XMPP on Hangouts on Plus works. It doesn’t work for me. When I enter an XMPP address, all I get is “send invitation”, but nothing happens when I chose to do that. When sending a message from my XMPP client, it does not show up in Hangouts on Plus.
Are you sure? From my reading, it's saying the exact opposite - XMPP clients still connect to a seperate XMPP chat service that's compatible with the App Engine XMPP support and completely seperate from Hangouts. The Verge also had a chat with the head of that department and he said that Hangouts drops XMPP support, apparently with no caveats about it still partially supporting XMPP: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/15/4318830/inside-hangouts-go...
I'm amazed at people complaining about the fragmentation of IM clients and how it's going to kill instant messaging.
IM has never been unified. In the mid-90s you had the war between AIM and ICQ, then came along the IM clients from MSN, Yahoo and Excite. That's what led to the rise of multi-protocol IM clients like Gaim, Jabber and IMVU and out of that rose XMPP (one of 5 major "cross-compatibilty" IM standards).
Then you had a new generation of IM wars as desktop clients died out and were replaced by browser chat like GTalk and Facebook Messenger. As the desktop IM clients died, Skype pretty much absorbed their desktop users into their voice chat platform.
But now web IM clients are being wiped out by a new generation of mobile IM apps like WhatsApp, Vibber, etc.
IM has never been unified, and given it's track record, I doubt that's going to change anytime soon.
I think that, at this point, the only Google service that still supports standard, interoperable APIs anymore is Gmail. All the other ones have been discontinued or are in the process of being discontinued. I wonder how long it'll be before Gmail gets closed off.
Larry Page seemed very upset  that Microsoft is basically leeching off their Gtalk contacts into Outlook, without returning the favor (with Skype I assume), and he said he'd prefer if things weren't like this and everyone was more open.
He didn't continue that idea, but I think he would've continued it with "...but since nobody wants to do that, then we won't do it anymore either". So they are probably responding in the same way they responded to the leeching of Gmail contacts by Facebook a few years ago, by blocking that API, or in this case replacing the XMPP protocol with a proprietary one. It's too bad it had to come to this, though.
It's very simple: no XMPP? Then I'm not IM'ing with you. No SMTP? Then I'm not emailing with you. I might be the exception, but I don't care. I encourage others to do the same, and don't support in any way, shape, or form companies that keep doing these things. Someone comes to you with a problem caused by this BS (or just a problem with, say, the offender's platform in general), refuse to support them. Tell them to talk to their vendor.
I wish it were that easy. The problem with that is it at the end of the day, you're the only one at a disadvantage. The vendor doesn't need you and doesn't care. If your casual contacts and non-technical friends find communicating with you to be uncomfortable, they'll just move on without you.
And that sucks, and I don't like it, but I'm still not giving in. To be honest, I have a hard enough time keeping up with people I know IRL (which thankfully doesn't have these problems), and I can't see any of them cutting me off because I won't "upgrade" (they haven't yet).
I'd love to live in this world with you. Literally, I think one friend I know, even of techie friends of friends that work in tech (msft, etc), would know what I meant if I said that without having to think for [too long].
It's why I'm so upset that a large network that had the potential to include a huge amount of people and volume AND LEVERAGE XMPP just spat in our faces.
iMessage is transparent, so that doesn't bother me. I have three [edit: four] solutions: GTalk, Email, Text, and Facebook. Except GTalk, they're all passive (i.e. I get messages from them on my phone without the app being open). Now that hangouts are available, it's 100% passive. This doesn't seem like that bad of an outcome to me.
I think it has more to do with not having access to the API to display those ads. I have strayed from Google ever since I got a windows phone. Found decent replacements for most of their services, however Youtube is one thing that has and may never have a real replacement!
Had it been a Google startup, it may not have bothered me so much. I was using it way before Google brought it and now I am punished with a second class service for my choice of phone? That is just sad. :(
Just hope the same won't follow when Ubuntu and Firefox launch their phones.
Google negotiated a contract with Apple in that instance. This is the way the old iOS app worked too - Apple licensed the API in exchange for them building it.
The main issue is that partners that use revenue sharing couldn't restrict their videos from playing on WP devices that wouldn't generate ad revenue. Normally, you can block devices from having content if revenue sharing is unavailable, something Microsoft circumvented.
>That app shows Youtube videos without ads. That seems like a clear violation of Youtube's TOS and I don't blame Google for being upset about it
So, for years, Google's stated reason for lack of a Youtube client was that Windows Phone didn't have enough marketshare, and now suddenly it has so many users that it loses so many ad impressions because Microsoft's Youtube that the content creators are suffering because all the millions of freeloaders using Windows Phone?
i.e It doesn't care enough for the ad impressions on Windows Phone to itself make an app , but when MS does, the loss of the same revenue is the reason for sending the lawyers in and pulling the app?
I wonder how Google would react if the websites that fuel it's search database started having TOS terms for search engines like "In your search results, you must also display the advertisements on the pages that you scrape".
A few sites doing that wouldn't have any effect. Google would probably just remove them. How many websites it would take for Google to actually pay attention though? 20%? 30%? 50%?
That wouldn't work. Search and display snippets of search results have been ruled as fair use in multiple cases for their transformative value. You wouldn't have a copyright claim and robots.txt has been upheld as an industry standard/easily implementable escape hatch to make it known that the crawler should not index the specified sites/pages.
You could certainly say, "I'll keep you blocked in robots.txt (or block by IP or whatever) until you show my ads", but you are unlikely to succeed in that, and then there are still the downsides of not being listed in search results to consider.
I'm not sure how these compare. The XMPP case and demanding the youtube app are two examples of Microsoft taking from Google but not wanting to return anything. In the case of Youtube, they're taking bandwidth but not giving back ad revenue, which is legitimate.
While I don't think that every action you list is necessarily Google trying to screw over Microsoft (dropping support for common protocols hurts everyone, not just Microsoft), I also can't deny there's some obvious bad blood between them. It doesn't help that Google has a fair number of ex-microsoft employees, and they have A LOT of products in competition with each other (google vs bing, gdocs vs office, android vs wp, chrome vs IE, etc etc etc)
And the fact that HN would have a slight bias towards Google should not be a surprise, as Microsoft veers more towards the business side of software while Google veers more towards the open source, free stuff, etc etc. Which do you think people would honestly be more supportive of?
I don't think it's reasonable to expect Google Talk to remain indefinitely though - if you need XMPP you at least want an exit strategy if Hangouts isn't suitable. It's quite telling that the Hangouts app on Android is called "Hangouts (replaces Talk)" and takes Talk's URL in the play store.
Plenty of federated XMPP servers, true, but unlike Reader, XMPP requires other users on federated servers to be useful. Since the Reader brouhaha I'd been considering moving away from GApps back to hosting my own mail and xmpp. Now Google has made the XMPP side of that worthless, 87% of my IM contacts use G(Mail|Talk), and will switch to Hangouts.
Ugh, and to think that the only thing needed to prevent this was one other "big" IM provider using XMPP. If we didn't have to rely on a single point for everything, and were, instead, more distributed, like email, then Google would have found it much harder to cut federation off.
Just to clarify: If you think you need a client because you are currently using an XMPP client with your gmail account, then you do NOT need to switch. See bullet point 1 — XMPP _clients_ are still supported.
They're saying XMPP clients still works with the App Engine XMPP service (which is "An App Engine application can send and receive chat messages to and from any XMPP-compatible chat messaging service, such as Google Talk"). The email says that Google's new service no longer support XMPP.
That extension is essentially broken (running iceWM), as the text input box dips below the taskbar. Furthermore, it requires chrome to be open. I don't necessarily want to keep my browser open at all times, nor do I care to use my browser as a chat client. (Also, what happens if switch to some non-standard browser? There is no way that my choice of browser should impact my ability to chat.)
I'm trying to stay open-minded, but so far I really dislike this product. I hope gtalk stays open.
I think the Chrome app is an excellent cross platform solution (written once, easily maintainable). As for the protocol I don't think it is practical or even possible to built this sort of all encompassing communications platform on top of XMPP (see the competition).
I think the chrome app is one aspect of a cross-platform solution. But what if I'd like to chat without opening chrome?
I'll cross my fingers for a Hangouts API that allows me to write a standalone client. However, if chatting through a semi-broken browser extension (or memory intensive gmail tab) are my only options, then I guess the service isn't for me. I think the reason I'm annoyed is that I have a lot of important contacts on gtalk, so migrating away will be a challenge.
I know change is inevitable, that the service is free, and that they want to offer a better product. Perhaps my use cases are just too expensive to support in the long run.