Were making another chat program. But WHY?! Theres so many!
Why make another chat program? Many good chat programs already exist. Have a massive user base (e.g. MSN, AIM) Work with multiple protocols (e.g. Trillian, Pidgin) Support many features No cost to use most programs
However, they have their flaws Some programs limit whom you can talk to; only use one protocol.
More flaws... Also, can you really trust your program? Do you know what it really does? Is it slowing up your computer? You can't tell, because most are proprietary software.
Another flaw Some programs are confusing, or they're filled with useless junk. The user interface makes it challenging to do what you want. It isn't fun to chat; it's stressful
What is the solution? We can do better. We need a feature-rich, but easy-to-use, chat client that works with multiple protocols and operates efficiently. All of this should be open-source.
Pirate Captains present to you... Parrot Instant Messenger
Parrot IM is... An instant messaging program that can connect to people using a wide range of programs, including Google Talk, Twitter, and ICQ. It has many useful features, and no useless features. It is very easy to use, and elegantly designed.
What's in the name? Why Parrot IM? You can teach a parrot to say things in any language. Parrot IM is similar in that you can communicate with people using different messaging programs. You do not need an array of programs to communicate with your friends. Parrots are attractive....and so is our user interface. Simplicity and cleanliness are top priorities for us.
Goals of Parrot IM Easy to use Running Parrot IM will connect you to as many people as possible. Technical knowledge should not be a requirement to chat. The user interface wil be intuitive and clear. Its features won't require a help menu to find or use.
More Goals of Parrot IM Full of useful features How do you let your friends know what you're doing without announcing it to the world? Get the Chatbot to tell them for you! Forgot where you're supposed to meet a friend? Use the search feature for the following: "friday meet Alice". Find out in less than a second. Don't waste your time scanning chat logs. Want to update your Twitter status, but don't want to log into the site? Do it from Parrot-IM.
More Goals of Parrot IM Be enjoyable! Chatting in real life is fun. It should be on the computer, also. Define your style. Use fonts, colours, and emoticons to express yourself in text. Using a chat program should be as natural as speaking. All of the programs functions will be at your fingertips. However, they won't crowd up your space.
Target Audience Anybody who wants to chat over the computer.
Behind the Scenes Who is making it? Is it on the right path?
Who is making it? Pirate Captains – We are a team of ten budding software engineers who are committed to making Parrot IM the best it can be.
Team Organization Creating Parrot IM requires knowledge in the following areas: – Communication protocols To connect and chat to other people. – Database To store all the program's data. – Graphical User Interface To create a functional and easy-to-use interface. – Quality Assurance To ensure that the program is of high-quality with no bugs.
Planning We are using an iterative development approach. After a one month specification and design phase, we will release three versions: alpha, beta, and final. The release date for Parrot IM is July 31, 2009.
Phased Release Alpha (June 26, 2009) – Simple GUI, basic chat functionality. Adding features are a low priority. Beta (July 17, 2009) – More polished GUI, efficient database, most of the features implemented. Final (July 31, 2009) – Polished, and well-tested program. Elegant and clean GUI, all planned features functional.
Potential Challenges Coordinating code submissions of the entire group is difficult. – Subversion protects us from overwriting each other's code changes. Implementation time is hard to estimate. – Time management is vital to our success. Staying ahead of schedule is our priority. Testing is time consuming and tedious. – We are designing a fully-automated testing solution.
More Information and Documentation Please visit our project page at: http://code.google.com/p/parrot-im/