Access Meebo via Bitlbee or a Jabber Client

I have a web-page where I integrated the Meebo plug-in. It’s handy because it allows quick instant messaging with your page’s visitors, rather than asking them to contact you via MSN or some other IM protocol and waiting for requests to be accepted. Despite Meebo’s convenience, I’ve been frustrated that in order to take advantage of this service I have to log into the Meebo page and that I don’t have access via one of my multi-protocol apps –or so I thought.

When I learned that Meebo uses the XMPP (Jabber) protocol, I experimented connecting to Meebo by using the Jabber client called Coccinella, Psi and Bitlbee. I was successful.

Coccinella Instructions
Create a profile, do not use “New Account” as this doesn’t allow you to specify the Meebo username. To so this, at startup select Profile, give it a name such as Meebo, specify the jabber server to meebo.org, input your Meebo username and password, and throw in “Home”as the resource. Select “Less” and “SASL authentification method” under “Use Secure Connection”(under the “Connection” tab). Other than that, the only other selection that should be activated is “Scramble password” under the “Login” tab. Save your preferences when done and log-in.

The only caveats are that you need to delete the Meebo visitor after he surfs off your page, at which point he becomes listed as off-line. The other seems to be an OS X specific issue in which Spotlight is activated evoking a window manifestation when your contact IMs. This happens initially and only once.

Coccinella allows you to log into various protocols, but adding various servers or profiles seems less intuitive –if at all supported (I see no “log-in during startup” selection under the profile’s preferences to enable simultaneous multiple server/profile log-ins). To be useful, I need to login to various servers, including Google Talk, and Meebo, which –as far as I see– are not regularly supported with transports (transports or gateways are the “things” on servers that allow connections to various IM protocols).

In short, if I connect to a Jabber server called –say– MyJabberServer.org and it does not have a MSN transport, well, this would bar me from connecting to the MSN network for the session (until I logged in again with another server that supports MSN). There are clients that allow multiple server connections. By the way, Psi does, so that you can use the Google Talk talk.google.com server (your Google Talk account, a XMPP protocol based service), the Meebo meebo.org server (another XMPP protocol based service), and just any ordinary Jabber server along with your MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo accounts.

Notes on Getting Meebo Working with Psi
I will not narrate how to get Psi working with Meebo as the above Coccinella example serves as a general guide, but in short, you need to specify the following.

Host: meebo.org
Port: 5222
Select “Encrypt When Available”
Allow plaintext authentication: “Over encrypted connection or Always”
Do not select “SSL encryption”.
Note: (Doesn’t show subscribed rooms until someone contacts you. As default, a window doesn’t pop-up when contacted either.)

Bitlbee Instructions
Following up on my previous HOWTO on Bitlbee interoperability, I got Meebo working with Bitlbee too, but deleting the continuous stream of contacts –as they log-off– might get frustrating. Of course, this depends on the amount of traffic your site receives, but if you’re getting that much congestion, you need another service such as email. I added Meebo to Bitlbee the following way, in a one line command,

It was also accepted without the “/Home” bit. Experiment at your own risk,. It seems my logging in with the Meebo plug-in on my page on SeaMonkey caused a crash. Suffixing “:ssl” disables Bitlbee’s ability to log on; Bitlbee reports “Login error: Unable to connect” and signs off –so don’t request “ssl”.

Bitlbee needs a script to automate off-line Meebo contact deletion in real time (all apps do). The other option would be to selectively allow off-line Meebo contacts show presence on the roster. Thus, one could manually delete them as they take off-line status (assuming that Meebo contact names are not recycled in which case rendering deletion unnecessary). This might be manageable if “only Meebo contacts” show up as being off-line, because enabling off-line visibility for all IM accounts would become unmanageable (just so that Meebo shows its offline contacts); This, due to the sheer number of off-line contacts at any given time and the needle in the haystack scenario contact deletion involves (I reported this as a bug). To lighten this quandary, UNIX style commands could help as in, “blist all | grep @hotmail.com” or “blist all | grep hotmail.com”, or “blist all xaccount” to list all (off and on-line) xaccount contacts (I reported this as an enhancement request).

I guess this guide comes close to answering this Meebo user’s wish. Except in the Bitlbee example we replace his desired Jabber server with Bitlbee (specifically, IRC client to Bitlbee server to Meebo server). While there are fewer links with the Jabber client route … we bypass any Jabber server entirely and connect directly to Meebo’s server (Jabber client to Meebo server).

Maurice Cepeda

P.S.
I tried this with Adium’s Google Talk and Jabber plug-ins but these don’t work because they don’t allow Meebo username and password input, and add-in “@gmail.com” or “jabber.org” to your Meebo username –thus, rendering the function useless. Rather than write another plug-in, why not just allow better setting customization (as with Psi), with a Meebo check mark option automating contact deletion? (Adium is more or less Pidgin ported to OS X.)

For developers,
Protocol: XMPP
Domain: meebo.org
Resource: Home
Connect port: 5222
Connect server: meebo.org

As for references, they were useful in cluing me into the XMMP protocol and and port 5222. There is a Pidgin plug-in written that automates contact deletion. Perhaps this can be incorporated into Bitlbee and other “clones”.

http://jrpomeroy.com/pidgin/
http://oshelpdesk.org/?p=256

Misc
Google Talk Notes
Google’s Google Talk guide for third party apps doesn’t help anymore, thus my point form guide:

Google Talk on Psi
Host: talk.google.com
Port: 5223
Allow plaintext authentification: “Over encrypted connection or Always”
“Use SSL encryption” (to server) or the like.

Spark
Meebo works on Spark but Google Talk does not, at least not for me.

This is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License. All brands mentioned are properties of their respective owners. By reading this article, the reader forgoes any accountability of the writer. The reading of this article implies acceptance of the above stipulations. The author requires attribution –by full name and URL– and notification of republications.

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14 thoughts on “Access Meebo via Bitlbee or a Jabber Client

  1. Pingback: Turn ChatZilla into an Universal Instant Messaging Client « Le Blog de Maurice

  2. i still have a problem with connecting to a certain room in meebo… i use Psi for my client, and i was wondering if any one could contact me about this problem and help me… thanks a lot!

    ps: the email is punkmasta0@yahoo.com thanks again.

  3. Wow, you’re going into new ground I never fathomed. My article is on how to connect to Meebo’s own dynamically created IM service which is made accessible to public end-users visiting your wordpress page via widgets, –not the more stable semi-public chat rooms for which Meebo is becoming known– so I can’t say without experimenting myself.

    I haven’t tried Psi in a while (or any Jabber client), on account of disappointing Jabber gateways.

    But if you also use Bitlbee you might try something like …

    join_chat room@server.tld &localroomname username

    Example:

    join_chat 0 conference@jabber.server.org &chatroom ubuntu-user

    Other than that, try Psi forums and irc. Let me know what you find out.

  4. Hi, its a wonderful discovery.
    Is there a way to connect to meebo via a jabber client, and chat with the users in other IM networks.

  5. Not that I know. I never experimented with that idea.

    My guess would be that you probably can –as I expect (and this is just a guess) that browser to server communication is probably always going to be Jabber based –because Jabber “piggy backs” on HTML communication). This assumes you have Internet communication on your station. Now if Meebo takes that Jabber signal and translates it remotely to MSN, GTalk, etc, protocols and ports (thus allowing proprietary IM interoperability) and you get that sent back to you –this could bypass at-work banned IM servers (if that’s what you’re up to).

    Keep in mind I haven’t messed with Meebo in years, so I’m not up to date.

    I’ve done something similar with IRC, see my article “Turn ChatZilla into an Universal Instant Messaging Client”, but IRC is one of the first things that admins block, so your idea may be better. If that’s the case, you could setup your own Jabber server with IM transports. Apparently, it’s easy as pie on Debian … or just remotely connect to a public jabber server with appropriate transports (via a pendrive based Jabber client). Transports are more advanced but less reliable than Meebo — years ago. I’m sure Meebo has matured since then, though.

    If you could report back on your successes and failures, maybe write an article and link it, that would be most interesting.

  6. You are all newbs. I have been using adium and meebo chats for about 4 years now. You all fail epikly. Ty and goodbai.

  7. Patrick: It must feel be a great burden being so ahead of you time.

    I’d like to respond in various points. First, the fact that you have been using Adium with Meebo for about four years might mean something if you’d documented it and cared to have shared it with folks. Anyone one can say, I’ve been doing something for an X number of years. In contrast, I wrote about my experiences.

    Second, the point of the article has never been about Adium. You’ll notice that the title of the article is “Access Meebo via Bitlbee or a Jabber Client” if you’d cared to have read it. Adium was an after-thought. The fact that the Adium section is under PS, well this was the hint that should have given that away.

    Third, about your claim that you’ve been using Meebo with Adium for “about” four years, how many is it? Two, three? You might have noticed the article was published three years ago.

    Fourth, you don’t have a license to disparage my readers.

    Fifth, besides, anyone using OS X (such as yourself) and making the claim to be an expert … well that claim just doesn’t ring true. OS X has always been about customers that like being pampered like new born babies –in part because they’ve always wanted to remain ignorant about line command. Not that there’s something wrong with that. It’s just how things are, the model upon which Apple has always made its business. Remember DOS and how Macheads would laugh at DOS and its line command?

    Now if you’d said you’ve been using Pidgin that might have gone somewhat farther in in establishing yourself as an advanced user, because (traditionally, at least) you have to be a little more savvy to run BSDs or Gnu-Linuxes or even Pidgin with MacPorts (on OS X), for that matter.

    But than again, what does knowing how to run these apps on less friendlier OSes (and knowing the interoperability capabilities of an app) have to do with being an expert, anyway? I’ve taught some FreeBSD admins with university programming degrees a few things or two on app capabilities in my time, but that doesn’t make me an admin or a programming wizard. So why would you try to pass yourself off something to that effect just because you’ve done something other people are just now learning about?

    Think about it.

  8. “Hallo und Frohes neues Jahr!

    Alsoo,.. ich hätte doch so gerne ein PlugIn für den http://www.meebo.com Dienst, da ich von denen ein vordefinierten Chatroom auf meiner Webseite platziert habe und ich den meebo Client nicht unbedingt als meinen Standard sagen möchte um den Leuten dort im Channel antworten zu können.

    Wäre es möglich oder hat vlt. schon jemand davon gelesen ob es machbar und Seitens meebo geduldet wird?

    Liebe Grüße

    edit#1

    was für miranda gefunden
    http://miranda-im.de/mediawiki/index…er_-_Meebo_Mod

    edit#2

    hier die Lösung:

    https://mauroandres.wordpress.com/200…/#comment-2005″

    http://forum.trillian-deutsch.de/showthread.php?t=2035

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