AIM 6 Beta Out

New AIM Beta (AIM 6.0) Out

AIM’s Triton Beta is out. Took it for a spin today. Some observations:

  • Much slower. Using AOL’s silly network utilities apparently. Totally unnecessary. Skype works behind any firewall I’ve ever seen with no problems, and uses much less CPU/RAM to connect. I don’t know how AOL’s going to validate all that bloat.
  • UI is rather sluggish. And I’m on a 1.8 GHz Pentium IV Mobile with 1 GB RAM and an ATI Radion 7200 Graphics card. Skype is faster.
  • It’s bloated. The whole point of a plugin architecture is to be thin and let users customize. A whole bunch of things in 5.x aren’t even implemented in the new version yet, and it’s bloated. I can’t imagine how bloated it will be when done.
  • No Mac or Linux build. Guess that means they are still considered 2nd class. Edit: A good source says this doesn’t indicate Mac or Linux builds aren’t in the works.
  • Can we say silly UI design? Tabs are awkward, lots of UI candy which does nothing but waste CPU, rather large thanks to the graphics. Takes up to much screen space.
  • Built on IE. There’s a great idea. Take a product riddled with security wholes, and build a product on it. Now whenever IE has a vulnerability, you can assume AIM is just as vulnerable. That’s wonderful. Edit: A good source says it’s not to integrated into IE is replaceable. Also has strict sanitation, so security flaws should not get through, and in theory sanitation could be adjusted to compensate.

When will AOL listen to the customers. Here’s what I should be saying (but I’m not):

  • Thin easy to extend client. Uses minimal ram, and is extremely fast, even on my slow system.
  • Mac and Linux builds available and of similar quality. AIM is finally becoming an adequate cross platform messaging system.
  • UI is minimal, fast and doesn’t invade the users system. It’s functional and easy to navigate and work. There’s not one thing on the screen that isn’t useful.

See the difference?

I wish someone would actually look at AIM’s shortcomings and address them. That’s beside the whole not working with other IM platforms issue.

For now it’s even uninstalled. Has no place on my HD. Sorry AOL, back to the drawing board. If that’s the future of AIM, I’m looking at GAIM and Skype or even Yahoo. MSN is all around weak, but at least it’s somewhat lean and fast. AIM 6 is a backwards step. Sorry.

It’s new UI is based in part on Mozilla’s legacy thanks to Boxely. Though it appears AOL abused the functionality by putting way to much eye candy in there. And that’s a big mistake. Functionality is key in an application. Not showing off your photoshop skills.

Edit: 4/29/05 added more info from a good source.

4 replies on “AIM 6 Beta Out”

I use AIM b/c most of my fellow students also use it, so it’s a very handy feature to communicate. That said, I don’t like it. The only thing keeping me from switching to another software is that, frankly, they’re not much better.

I still use AIM version 5.2, with DeadAIM 4.5. Until AOL forces me off their network, I refuse to upgrade. Every AIM release since 5.2 has been worse than the previous one. I’ll stick to the old one.

Keep in mind please that this is Beta *”One”*. Written completely from the ground up.

I can assure you that you will see many betas and the product will not go final until it is rock solid (a very light rock as well 😆 ) . Everyone on the development team, despite wearing AOL beanies, I can guarantee you is insanely passionate about the product…as you will see in the coming months.


□ – ly

Perhaps AIM would be a better long term solution than using WebCore? Yea this is rehashing some old wounds I’m sure, but it is something to think about. It makes Safari easier for web developers to target, since it’s rendering engine is shared by millions of Firefox users. It’s rather robust and improving. If Apple threw in some engineering to Gecko it would quickly accelerate development as Gecko engineers aren’t exactly great in number (it’s currently a few people doing a lot of work). With some Apple effort it would pick up.

I think aim should add the ablity to change the ports it is run under. I mean as soon as they do i will try it out.

Some proxies block aim default port, 5190. I use 1080 and it seems to work fine. Too bad the new aim does not support changing ports.

My Review: 2 Thumbs Down LOL

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