It only took a few minutes for me to develop a pleasant addiction to an open source Mac instant messaging program called Adium. Whether the person on the other end of my text message uses Yahoo, AIM, MSN or some other system, I can seamlessly chat with them (whether they like it or not) sans annoying ads, and a tab system allows me to manage several conversations at once. And yes, I have my pick of emoticons from any of the services!
Adium’s developers deploy regular software updates while the user community provides a constant stream of custom skins and event sound-sets that range from alerts you’d hear in a Tokyo train station to the guy from Napolean Dynamite screaming, “You idiot!” every time I log on. Add to this the simple elegance Mac users have come to expect and you’ve got the perfect instant messaging client.
The open source movement is remarkable when you consider massive projects like Firefox and Apache. But it’s these little projects that never cease to inspire me. And I don’t just mean the program itself. I even am even moved by the custom skins that users create and share via the Adium Xtras site.
Who would have guessed that open source and the seamless sharing of creativity would work work so well in so many different areas?
Come to think of it, who would’ve guessed that you’d be reading this right now?