The last few years have seen an explosive growth in the number of instant messaging clients, especially of the alternative freeware and open source variety. The vast majority of savvy Internet users have tossed aside the official IM clients and now use third-party clients such as Trillian and its Linux equivalent, Everybuddy. But one little client that had been hanging at the middle of the pack for years has now shot up ahead of the rest and choked them on its dust.
Miranda IM originally started out as an open source Windows ICQ client with the primary goal of being lightweight and keyboard-friendly. Over the last several years, Miranda has cultivated a hardcore, devoted user community and an enormous library of plugins. The project has changed lead developers a number of times, and yet it has never strayed from its primary goal or fallen out of active development. In fact, most of the time Miranda development takes place at such a fast pace that the nightly changelogs are several pages long.
The best thing about Miranda is its plugin API. Via plugins, Miranda can now communicate seamlessly with the ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, Jabber, GaduGadu, and Tlen IM networks. It will also import contacts from a variety of other IM clients. This way, the core Miranda program stays extremely lightweight while most of the functionality is implemented via plugins, so each user gets to completely customize his or her client; remove what you don’t want, add what you do, and no matter what you’ve still got the lightest, most memory-friendly IM client available.
Anyway, the point of all this fanboy raving is that Miranda kicks ass, I love it, and because of this I’ve tossed together a nifty Internet installer for it which allows you to customize your installation completely, then install everything with a click. If you’re still using Trillian, it’s time to switch.