What is Libjingle?

I've been following all the buzz over the weekend in the blogosphere about the Libjingle release. You can check it out for yourself using Google Blog Search.

I'm very pleased with all the excitement about what this technology can enable. However, when I read this post I realized that many of our users may not be clear on exactly what this means in terms of new capabilities and scenarios being enabled for Google Talk.

So, here are just a few of the possible scenarios that we hope will be enabled as a result of the release of Libjingle. I'm sure the developer community will come up with other innovations that we have not even considered.

1. Voice calls between other PC IM/VOIP clients such as Gaim, Adium, Psi, etc. and Google Talk.
Since we launched the beta of Google Talk in August, many users (especially those using Linux and Mac) have been connecting to the service using one of many 3rd party clients. However, up to now, these clients have only been able to send and receive IMs, but not make voice calls. With the release of Libjingle, the makers of these clients will be able to add the ability to make and receive calls between their clients and Google Talk. In fact, they'll be able to support calls between their clients and ANY OTHER clients that support Libjingle .

2. Voice calls between mobile devices and Google Talk!
More and more WiFi-enabled mobile devices (including WiFi-enabled mobile phones) are coming on the market. Imagine being away from your PC and still being able to have the same free high-quality calling experience you have today between PCs using Google Talk. I expect to see a lot of innovation here in 2006.

3. Peer-to-peer applications.
Did you know that nearly all calls made between Google Talk users happen directly between their two computers and don't go through servers? This type of peer-to-peer scenario is best whenever large amounts of data are being transferred in real-time between users (such as voice calls, video conferencing, file sharing, etc.). Libjingle includes the components necessary for developers to easily build a variety of peer-to-peer communication, collaboration, and sharing applications. We can't wait to see what the community builds.

There are many other uses for Libjingle as well, and hopefully this will shed some light on what users can expect to see as a result of this release.

Mike Jazayeri
Product Manager

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Jingle All The Way

For me, the most exciting thing about working on Google Talk is having the opportunity to help develop an instant messaging network based on open standards. By using XMPP, an open standard protocol, we give Google Talk users the choice of what client to use, and make it easy for developers to implement their own clients and innovative services on top of our network. From day one, everyone has been encouraged to connect to the service with any XMPP-capable client they choose.

Today, two major advances have been made in the openness of our voice capabilities. This morning, the Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) introduced two new proposed extensions to XMPP, known as Jingle and Jingle Audio. These enhancements describe how to write software compatible with Google Talk's voice features and have been introduced into the JSF's standards process where they'll be reviewed and improved by the XMPP community. To make implementing these extensions even easier, we've released a library we call "libjingle."

Libjingle is the very same code Google Talk uses to negotiate, establish, and maintain peer-to-peer voice sessions, packaged as a library for other developers to use in their own projects. By incorporating Libjingle into your project, you enable its users to voice chat with other users of the Google Talk service.

I'm really thrilled to be able to release this source code to the IM development community. This holiday season, it's Jingle all the way!

Sean Egan
Software Engineer

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A Googlewhack Engine?

A few nights ago, some of us from the Kirkland Googleplex went to see the funny Googlewhack Adventures playing in Seattle.

The next night, when Jonas (a teammate with a very unique 19 letter GMail ID!) sent me an IM, I was pretty sure that our names together would make a Googlewhack. But I was wrong. A few minutes later, another teammate, Jon IM'ed me and I found myself a Googlewhack. Since then I've discovered two other Googlewhacks by combining my name with the name of a contact, including my wife's!

A friend of mine told me today that these are not technically Googlewhacks because there is no dictionary link for them. But maybe that's because we're still in Beta!

Reza Behforooz
Software Engineer

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Internet Voice Campaign

We're big believers in the future of real-time communications on the Internet. It's only a question of when, not if, all our communications (whether in front of a computer or on the go) are done using Internet-based communications services.

However, old habits die hard. The traditional phone system has been in use for over a century and making the majority of consumers aware of the new alternatives and their benefits is critical to gaining mass adoption. That's why Google decided to join a new industry organization known as the Internet Voice Campaign. The goal of the organization is to raise consumer awareness about VOIP and its benefits.

You can read more about the Internet Voice Campaign on this press release from the Von Coalition. If your organization is involved in Internet communications services, we encourage you to consider joining.

Scott Ludwig, Software Engineer

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