NewsForge: Can Kopete replace GAIM and XChat?

NewsForge's Robin Miller tested if Kopete satisfies his instant-messaging and IRC needs and can replace the separate applications GAIM and XChat he used so far. He asserts that Kopete is a fine choice especially if you run it under KDE and enjoy the good KDE integration.


What about the #1 user voted program on kde-apps.org, SIM? [ http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php?content=10080 ] Has anybody here used it? Why does it get such a high rating on kde-apps.org (higher than Kopete)?

By Spy Hunter at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I switch from sim to kopete a while ago because sim was going downhill.

By etoibmys at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Just try it and see why. Almost everybody tried Sim under Linux or Windows switched to it. No IRC support yet (although you may use IRC gateway through Jabber) and some releases are not perfectly stable, but it's very handy and looks perfectly.

By Sergey at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

tha main purpose i use it is its i18n support, usability and some nice features like this:

i know when my interlocutor writes (not sends) me message

By Nick Shafff at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Being a long-time ICQ junkie, I like the style of SIM's chat windows more. And perhaps I'm dense, but I couldn't find an option in Kopete to get a message window to close automagically after you've sent a message. Now that SIM has better multiprotocol support, I'm lovin' it.

Having said that, it would be nice if SIM was DCOP-ified, now that I'm playing with Khotkeys. Also, while I'm sure SIM's plugins make it quite extensible, the configuration of them is annoying.

I haven't had the previously mentioned stability problems with SIM.

Plus, SIM now has weather reports and horoscopes. That's kind of cool, but it starts to make its name (Simple Instant Messenger) seem a tad ironic, no?

By Ed Cates at Sat, 2004/04/03 - 6:00am

You can change the chat behavoir in Kopete as so:
Configure > Behavior > Chat > Single-shot window (Jabber email/Old ICQ style)

By Anonymous User at Sat, 2004/04/03 - 6:00am

I did that, but if memory serves it introduced some other undesired behavior. I don't remember what it was. Maybe I'm just too entrenched in the SIM UI to switch.

That's sad, because I just messed with Kopete a few days ago, because I was having problems signing on to a friend's Jabber server. Turns out it wasn't the IM clients' fault, it was the end users' fault. ;-)

By Ed Cates at Sat, 2004/04/03 - 6:00am

I have recently switched from Gnome to KDE after several years with Gnome.
Now I'm using Kopete for IM and Konversation for IRC.

By Isaac Clerencia at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Ya era hora, ¿no?
KDE en los clientes ligeros ¡ya!
Y a ver si empiezas a programar con Qt...

By Quique at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am



By Andre at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Creo que se te ha ido la pinza con el lenguaje.
(I believe you had a language confusion.)

By mambru at Mon, 2006/03/06 - 6:00am

According to my experience (latest stable version in date), Kopete is far from being stable, and far from being mature compared to some other IM (psi, sim, gaim). Of course I can only talk about the non-IRC protocols management.

Also, mixing IRC chat and IM would require from the user to re-think long-time habits. Up to nowadays, at least for me, IRC clients use was in a big window (sometimes fullscreen, or at least half screen) that resides quite permanently on the screen, whereas IM clients use was only a small contact list somewhere in a corder, with raising "instant" chat windows (instant: that may not last long).
Of course, recent IM clients have gained experience from the IRC clients (tabbed windows, chat mode, multi user conference support, file transfert, and so on), so that both IRC and IM override themselves regarding to the features. But not from the starting idea: the contextual use.

Anyway it's a very good idea IMHO to give it a try, because at least from the IRC client point of view, the contact list could be considered as the IM clients' one, which brings up guidelines for commong UI design and use.. Even if I'm using gaim/licq and xchat for years, without even using the IRC features from gaim (sounded quite incompatible to me, according to my arguments above).

There's also an interesting alternative to this: bitlbee.
And another aspect of such topic is that there are really TOO MANY clients or first steps for client projects, and TOO FEW real stable ones. Re-inventing the wheel seems to be hacker's best occupation!

My 2cts.


By wwp at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I would encourage you to not summarily dismiss IRC on Kopete without first trying it.

Namely, switch to a theme that lends itself to IRC well ( Like the Simple theme or XChat theme ), and add an account. Lastly, set the chatview grouping policy to "Group by account", so all your IRC chats go into one tabbed window - I think you'll be thorughly surprised at how simmilar to your existing clients it is.

You still have many commands at your fingertips ( and more in CVS Kopete ) ( type /help ), you still have a notify list ( the contact list ), you still have on connect commands, custom CTCP responses, etc. And starting with Kopete 0.9 / KDE 3.3 and the JavaScript plugin, you will have a super-powerful scripting interface as well. Windows don't auto-raise when you are in group chats like IRC, and Kopete never ever steals focus from the desktop anyways.

Anyways, my point is I don't see why so many people dismiss IRC on Kopete, when in reality it is nearly the *exact same* as it is using clients like XChat and KSirc.

By Jason Keirstead at Thu, 2004/04/08 - 5:00am

i replace gaim & xchat with kopete & kvirc.

konversation feels like a clone of xchat while lately kvirc in cvs gives me powerful control in the graphical way

By coward at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Nice to hear that KVirc development for 3.0 is active again. It seemed to have almost halted in-between after version 3.0 Beta 2 (January 2003).

By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

It's been active all the time, but just in cvs. There should be stable release coming "soon". They are in feature freeze so next release is likely 3.0.0.

By Jorma Tuomainen at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

> It's been active all the time, but just in cvs.

Possible, it's just that the web site didn't show any activity for over a year.

By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

That is good to hear. I like some of the features of KVIrc over X-Chat (how it handles dcc chats for one) but it was too buggy so I switched to X-Chat. I'll probably switch back when a stable KVIrc comes out.

By Ian Monroe at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I prefer Kopetes' elegant UI but it just isn't stable enough and SIM beats it due to the fact you can send messages to more than one person at a time, a must in my book. Both aren't great on conferencing (we're talking jabber backend here) but I suppose I can't complain as I could get in there and give a hand if I only had the time ...

By Jon at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

You can send messages to more than one person at a time, depending on what you're doing. With MSN, you can invite multiple people into a chat - and using the IRC plugin, and MSN plugin with multiple people behave identically. I love that.

By Troy Unrau at Sun, 2004/04/04 - 6:00am

Everytime I've tried Kopete, I've been terribly dissapointed with it. Maybe it's because everybody here (in Europe) has ICQ while almost nobody has MSN, AIM, Yahoo or Jabber. Currently I use LICQ.

Anyway, I tried it several times, the last time a few months ago and it never worked reliably, does anybody use Kopete with ICQ here?

By Roland at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

>Anyway, I tried it several times, the last time a few months ago and it never worked >reliably, does anybody use Kopete with ICQ here?

I use Kopete with ICQ, I also use it with IRC. Both are working fine for me. I used to have a little problems with stability but they seem to be gone on the version(0.8.1) I use now.

By 138 at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

"Maybe it's because everybody here (in Europe) has ICQ while almost nobody has MSN, AIM, Yahoo or Jabber. Currently I use LICQ."

You've never been to the Netherlands then. Almost everybody here uses MSN.

By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Same here.

In Spain *everybody* uses MSN :( It's a luck that kopete, and amsn are good enough.

By suy at Tue, 2004/04/06 - 5:00am

> Maybe it's because everybody here (in Europe) has ICQ while almost nobody has MSN, AIM, Yahoo or Jabber.
Huh? I think you're joking? :)
Here in The Netherlands everybody uses MSN. With everybody I dont mean only my friends and/or class mates, but almost everybody with an internet account. From my 6-years-old nephew to my father, they're all using MSN.

By Niek at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I used kopete for some time for icq, hoping from release to release that someone would fix this annoying "could not parse xml.."-thing that causes the loss of messages.
So I switched to licq. Not that beau, but reliability is more worth than looking nice.
I *really*hoped* if it s released with kde 3.2 it would be solid, but it is not.

By Donbot at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I see this problem too. Sorry, but Kopette is unusable with this problem.

By Petr Balas at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I'm running Kopete (0.8.1) with ICQ only - and it works like a breeze. You just have to select a style (see http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=69417, #16)


By Daniel at Sat, 2004/04/03 - 6:00am


This is Spain, and almost everybody uses MSN here.. Damn, I don't know anybody using ICQ nowadays :)


- Juan

By Juan at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

es M$N, no MSN ;)

By galio at Sun, 2004/04/04 - 6:00am

In Czech Republic about 80% uses ICQ, rest MSN. Hackers IRC or Jabber ;)
Koppete is really strenght piece of software. Sometimes works, sometimes no. Currently i'm switching between Kopette and Sim.

By Pavel at Wed, 2005/03/16 - 6:00am

i use licq it's no the same thing, I'm having problems with conections to icq2003b
msn is m$n, it's time to create an linux icq compatible with v7 and v8

By cesar lopez at Tue, 2004/04/20 - 5:00am

Gaim and XChat are too good for Kopete. I hate the way Kopete handles contacts. It will mess up your buddy lists if you ever sign on that screen name elsewhere and you can't easily delete stuff from the list.

By Turd Ferguson at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Yeah, the same thing happened to me, finally I had to switch back to gaim and a new AIM account to get a clean contact list again.

Kopete's "metacontact" feature is nice, but that wasn't working well either; contacts would not stay associated into the same metacontact. (Haven't tried it recently, perhaps it's improved.)

By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

My #1 BIGGEST problem (and why I recently got so tired of it and switched) with Kopete is that if AIM/ICQ drops for whatever reason, A) I'm not notified that i'm offline, and B) it doesn't reconnect me! I've been offline sometimes for more than a DAY and didn't know it!!!!!!

My #2 problem is that when I go away and someone IM's me, it does NOT send the away message to that person.

As far as any IM program replacing a full time IRC client, Kopete/Gaim is ok for the CASUAL IRC user but if you're on multiple servers with mulitple channels and/or you're an op or IRC op then you need a full time IRC client be it XChat, Konversation, or KVIrc.

By Jeff Stuart at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I forgot to add that for #1, yes I KNOW that the Oscar proto is being COMPLETELY rewritten. We'll see how that goes.

By Jeff Stuart at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

I hate how it pops up the MSN disconnect dialogs. Why does it not use a ballon like messages?

By Anonymous User at Sat, 2004/04/03 - 6:00am

Dear all

Nice, fair article by Roblimo. I use kopete for two reasons: integration with KDE and User Interface (very attractive and intuitive).

The problem with Kopete is that it is in-between alpha and beta stages. It really is not a mature app (as opposed to Gaim, where things "just" work). The switch from ICQ to OSCAR protocol for icq users for instance is still causing some pain, and it was a real pain in the back for a long time.

After all, kopete is at 0.8 version, and it is a great app for a pre-golden stage. My feeling is that they pretty much finished the UI before the backend was mature, that's all. It is useable, but there are some glitches here and there. As an example, if I disconnect my modem connection at night, and leave kopete running, there is no way I can get it to re-login in the morning.

I'd really love to see more projects follow the FSF recommendation to _separate_ the GUI from the main app, and make it easy to reuse the application from either the command line or another GUI. Imagine if Kopete could just use the "gaim engine" as a backend, its developers would contribute to enhance it, and Gnome users would use Gaim and KDE users Kopete as a front end. Oh well ...

Let me finish with a big THANK YOU, GRACIAS, DANKE, MERCI, GRAZIE (*)! to the Kopete team :-)

(*) sorry for mispellings and ommissions ;-)

By MandrakeUser at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Gaim is actually working on separating the UI and backend. But at this point I doubt Kopete would switch, even if it was ready.

Sometimes it is handy to have multipe backends, just in case one protocol change by MS/Yahoo/AOL breaks only one of the implementations. Then you can take a look at the other, or even switch if you want.

By Anonymous at Sun, 2004/04/11 - 5:00am

Replace Gim? Wasn't April Fool's Day yesterday?

By Lig at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

GIM Homepage: www.gimsoft.com
a bit far fetched, don't you think? I can't see any link to kopete or gaim or xchat...

By thomas at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Ehm I'm the kinda always busy person, so I'd really love to see kopete starting in the same mode(status eg. away offline, invisible:) etc.) as I closed it. This is the top-feature which I really miss

By miro at Fri, 2004/04/02 - 6:00am

Have you tried:
kopete --help
it seems you can start and connect only some or noone of your connexions.
And this command line seems to work too:
dcop kopete KopeteIface setAway

By mi at Sat, 2004/04/03 - 6:00am

I would like Kopete to be able to start invisible, as AMSN does or Licq. That's the only reason i keep using them both instead of Kopete. This feature is very, very easy to implement, if I had no little children I'll program it my self, but right now I don't have the time, so please, if someone of the developers can read this, I think Kopete is great, it just needs this feature, to be capable of starting as invisible.



By Smith at Tue, 2004/11/16 - 6:00am

Do you mean completely invisible, or is a little icon in the system tray acceptable? If the latter, just start Kopete once, close the window and never completely quit it before quitting KDE. It'll be restored by KDE's wonderful session management as a single systray icon and won't show its window.

By Boudewijn at Tue, 2004/11/16 - 6:00am

I think he means the *status* "invisible". He would like to connect to the IM service without being displayed as "online".

By cm at Tue, 2004/11/16 - 6:00am

This is really a missing feature! Right now I'm using Kopete 0.12.3 and I can not start Kopete with account status other than "online". :(

By Douglas at Wed, 2007/01/31 - 6:00am

Just like to add my support for this request. Being able to set a preferred startup status is an essential missing feature.

Keep up the good work!

By Ian B Gibson at Tue, 2007/02/27 - 6:00am

Yes it would be nice to have one or both these features:
- kopete starting with last status for each account
- kopete starting with a user-set default status for all accounts (this will override the previous one).


By Giovanni Venturi at Thu, 2007/06/07 - 5:00am

I've modified source code of version 0.12.2 to start all accounts invisible. It works with msn accounts, i haven't tried with other. It's a provisional solution until the feature is implemented oficialy. The source is on the attachment.


By Pablo Castro at Mon, 2007/06/18 - 5:00am