"Last time I had looked at Licq, a solution for your
ICQ needs on Linux. I was supposed to follow up the next with a
review of an AOL IM client. As you can see, I ended up taking a bit
longer than a week! This week I take a look at a client that'll
help you keep in touch with all your "Buddys" on AOL Instant
Messenger. Like with ICQ, the only official version available is a
Java client. Once again, the lack of an official native client is
not much of a problem and there are several Linux clones for you to
choose from. The one that I am taking a look at is Gaim, a feature
rich, easy to use and lightweight client for AOL.
Gaim incidentally is a perfect demonstration of open source at
its best, originally started by one developer, it has evolved into
a project involving several people, and which continues to develop
further and further, despite the fact that the original developer
has not worked on it for a long time. Gaim is also currently
involved in dispute with AOL, the latter has served a notice on the
authors for creating a name 'confusingly' similar to AOL's AIM.
Catch up on the latest at their site.
Gaim is available from www.gaim.sourceforge.net. As always there
are a number of packages you can choose from and if you can't get
one specifically built for your distribution you could always go
with a source tarball. Also Gaim is bundled with a number of Linux
distributions, so look around, you may just find it already there
(try typing Gaim in an X terminal). If you are of course running an
old version of your distribution you would probably want to go over
to the site and pick up the latest copy of Gaim, so that you don't
miss out on all the cool new features."