EPS (justeps) wrote,

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Linux users no longer feeling the love from Yahoo!

Yahoo! Messenger has started popping up this dire warning:

SYSTEM Message
Warning: This version of Messenger will expire on August 15, 2009. Please upgrade to the latest supported version: http://messenger.yahoo.com/download .

That link then offers me a Windows version of their software, even though my browser is sending a User-Agent: that clearly and unequivocally reveals that I am not running Windows.

I fired Microsoft years ago, and in the decades I've been using computers, I can't think of anything else I've ever done that has produced such a phenomenal increase in my "customer satisfaction," productivity, happiness and general well-being. Ubuntu Linux has proven itself completely adequate for all my mundane needs. (I also run FreeBSD to do "real work," and make frequent use of its excellent Linux emulation.) So, I'm deeply saddened that Yahoo! has chosen to abandon users of their official native Linux client and offer no reasonable upgrade path. (Do I really need to explain why their Flash-based "solution" does not qualify as "reasonable?")

What are my alternatives? The "800-pound gorilla" of open-source instant messaging software is Pidgin. Trying to be all things to all people makes it horribly bloated, and from what other people have told me, it's not all that great. Coincidentally, none of Ubuntu's official Pidgin packages work any more, since Yahoo! has already started locking out their users. Instructions on how to work around this are here, but there's no guarantee Yahoo! won't try to sabotage this (or any other third-party client software) in the future.


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