and XMPP

I've been trying out micro-blogging through recently. (I'm jpichon, if you're curious.) I find their integration with XMPP both awesome and handy, so here's a quick guide to setting it up and using it, if you haven't given it a try yet.

Activating it

Start by adding to your buddy list. Then, log in to your account, go to Connect -> I.M. and enter your XMPP enabled address. They say any Jabber or GTalk account will work, I'd be surprised if it didn't work with any XMPP account.

Authorise when it asks to add you, and tadam! You are set to send and receive updates, depending on the options you selected on that initial Connect -> I.M. screen.

How to use it

Don't trust the help page as it appears new commands have been added since it was last updated. If you open a chat with your new buddy and type 'help', you'll see the following menu:

(12:34:56) [] Commands:
on - turn on notifications
off - turn off notifications
help - show this help
follow <nickname> - subscribe to user
groups - lists the groups you have joined
subscriptions - list the people you follow
subscribers - list the people that follow you
leave <nickname> - unsubscribe from user
d <nickname> <text> - direct message to user
get <nickname> - get last notice from user
whois <nickname> - get profile info on user
lose <nickname> - force user to stop following you
fav <nickname> - add user's last notice as a 'fave'
fav #<notice_id> - add notice with the given id as a 'fave'
repeat #<notice_id> - repeat a notice with a given id
repeat <nickname> - repeat the last notice from user
reply #<notice_id> - reply to notice with a given id
reply <nickname> - reply to the last notice from user
join <group> - join group
login - Get a link to login to the web interface
drop <group> - leave group
stats - get your stats
stop - same as 'off'
quit - same as 'off'
sub <nickname> - same as 'follow'
unsub <nickname> - same as 'leave'
last <nickname> - same as 'get'
on <nickname> - not yet implemented.
off <nickname> - not yet implemented.
nudge <nickname> - remind a user to update.
invite <phone number> - not yet implemented.
track <word> - not yet implemented.
untrack <word> - not yet implemented.
track off - not yet implemented.
untrack all - not yet implemented.
tracks - not yet implemented.
tracking - not yet implemented.

(As a side-note, if you see me saying 'help' on, I'm not in trouble, I probably fat-fingered the command. Ignore!)

These are all the cool commands to do basic micro-blogging tasks from the comfort of your IM client, as well as a few house-keeping tasks. I particularly like the commands using ids: has a feature I find very nice, the link "in context" under notices that let you follow the flow of a conversation (see an example). Replying / repeating with id lets you preserve this link.

For a bit of context (heh!), when you have your IM client open and someone you're subscribed to writes a notice, you'll see something like this:

(21:23:51) CoolKid789: Hello, world! [12345]

12345 is the notice id, so you still don't need to open a browser. Usually, both the id and the person name appear as hyperlinks, if you'd like quick access to the web view. To preserve the link, I would reply:

reply #12345 @CoolKid789 OHAI!

The actual notice posted (and associated character count) will start from @, and the 'in context' information will be preserved.

Something to watch out for: When I initially tried this, I kept getting a "Message too long" error, even when writing very short notices. It turns out that when I was copying the ids in my IM client, Pidgin, I was also copying the url for the initial notice, even if I couldn't see it. Right-click -> Reset formatting in the text area and the problem is solved. Have fun!