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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Google, Gtalk API’s Raise The Bar : Skype Better Watch Out

The pace at which things move in the online world is indeed amazing. In early September I wrote that Skype may well follow the principle of being a natural part of larger ecosystem with open standards to avoide being nichified.Interesting to watch skype blossom into an ecosystem. Courtesy of Mike Arrington came across this development - Google has just released a set of components called Libjingle that allow third party applications to interact with Google Talk. The components, which include some source code, are being released under a very liberal berkely style license allowing for free incorporation into commercial and non-commercial software. Google says in its API site that this is released as part of its ongoing commitment to promoting consumer choice and interoperability in Internet-based real-time-communications. This can be freely incorporate into software and distributed without any restrictions. There are several general purpose components in the library such as the P2P stack which can be used to build a variety of communication and collaboration applications. A summary of the individual components of the library reads like this:
* base - Low-level portable utility functions.
* p2p - The p2p stack, including base p2p functionality and client hooks into XMPP.
* session - Phone call signaling.
* third_party - Non-Google components required for some functionality.
* xmllite - XML parser.
* xmpp - XMPP engine
Google is now training its guns at Skype,forcing them to release their API’s. While Skype clerly provides for integration with the Skype client, Google has gone far beyond this, allowing integration with the Google Talk’s VOIP network. Google Google's Philosophy as seen here needs commendation : it says that you should have a choice in how you communicate with your friends, and it’s committed to upholding this idea of user choice for Google Talk. Today, with instant communications, you can't talk to your contacts or buddies in one service while using another service and makes an open statement that it wants to work with other willing service providers to enable their users to communicate directly with Google Talk users. Good move- probably as I see it next to google search and Gmail this may have the maximum number of profiled community members. Good move- am an instant convert to using GoogleTalk. Let a thousand mashups bloom.

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