BeAIM: The original AIM client for the BeOS. Once again under maintainership.

...And now, on to the FAQ for BeAIM (from the original site):

the general stuff

What is BeAIM?
It's an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM, that is) client for BeOS. AIM is a service that allows you to chat, one-on-one, with other AIM or AOL users, and to keep tabs on when they are online.

AOL provides "official" AIM clients for Windows, the Mac, Unix (sort of), and a big fat resource-hogging Java client. Faced with either using the Java client or being left out in the cold, a couple of Linux users decided to hack the protocol and write a "clone." This they did, and BeAIM is based off of their work.

Does it have all the same features as the "official" clients?
Not yet. Until very recently, BeAIM was written with some extremely messy code that made adding some of the more advanced AIM features problematic, to say the least. I have been rewriting this in a much more intelligent manner, so these features will start showing up pretty quickly.

Will BeAIM have ads, like Windows/Mac AIM does?
Nope. In the AIM protocol, ads are something you have to ask for... and BeAIM doesn't. So, you aren't even losing any bandwidth. And I intend to keep it that way. :-)

Tech Stuff
it's acronym time

Is BeAIM Y2K compatible?
Well, January 1st of the year 2000 has come and gone, and everything seems OK.  :-)  I haven't done a ton of checking into this, but overall, I don't think that BeAIM will have any problems with the Year 2000. There is an issue with the AIM (OSCAR) protocol itself, though... it uses the Unix epoch to represent dates. The epoch will overflow sometime in the year 2034... so I guess BeAIM has the Y2.034K bug. I have a while to fix it though. :-)

What protocol does BeAIM use?
BeAIM uses the OSCAR protocol, instead of the TOC protocol. (If you don't have a clue what that means, ignore it.) The advantage to this is that OSCAR has a bunch of nifty features that are not a part of TOC. The disadvantage is that TOC is documented, and OSCAR isn't. BeAIM is based on the good work of a couple of guys who managed to reverse-engineer the thing (quite an achievement, believe me!). So the potential for bugs is there, but so far BeAIM seems to be holding up quite well.

Are you going to integrate ICQ into BeAIM?
Well, I was going to do this at one point, but for a bunch of reasons that I'm not going into here, I decided not to. There are some great ICQ clients for BeOS out there; go use 'em.

the person who writes this stuff

Who are you?
I'm a junior computer science major at Central College in Pella, Iowa. I've been programming in C++ for about 5 years now, almost completely self-taught. My first experience with BeOS was with PR2 on a school's PowerMac, but I didn't get it actually working on a computer I owned until December '98 (R4). I like programming for Be; apart from some insanely stupid design decisions, Be has what is easily the best API of any OS I've ever used.

Why doesn't BeAIM get finished as fast as I want it to?
Because I can't work on it as much as I'd like to.

Why not?
Because I can't work on it as much as I'd like to. Being a full-time student eats up a lot of time, and I also have to hold down a workstudy job (although I don't get many hours). I'm also a webmaster on BeBits, a site which should need no explanation (just go there!)... this takes a lot of time! I have to design the thing, write editorials, do site design, etc. And all work and no play makes Greg a dull boy... while I love working on BeAIM (it's a hobby as much as anything else) I'm also a big movie buff, and I have other hobbies. And... I try to keep a minimal social life going.  :-)

All of which means that I might not be able to update stuff (BeAIM as well as documentation, etc.) as fast as you'd like. In spite of this, BeAIM has been evolving very quickly, and I hope to be able to keep the pace up.