Instant Messaging

Vol. 1 No. 8 – November 2003

Instant Messaging


Beyond Instant Messaging

The recent rise in popularity of IM (instant messaging) has driven the development of platforms and the emergence of standards to support IM. Especially as the use of IM has migrated from online socializing at home to business settings, there is a need to provide robust platforms with the interfaces that business customers use to integrate with other work applications. Yet, in the rush to develop a mature IM infrastructure, it is also important to recognize that IM features and uses are still evolving. For example, popular press stories1 have raised the concern that IM interactions may be too distracting in the workplace. This concern suggests that we still need to fine-tune the interface design for IM so the benefits of quick, lightweight communication can be gained without creating a distracting burden for users. How can the industry meet the demand for robust platforms and standards for IM without locking out innovation and development?

by John C. Tang, James "Bo" Begole

Broadcast Messaging: Messaging to the Masses

“We want this and that. We demand a share in that and most of that. Some of this and - - - - in’ all of that. And their demands will all be changed then, so - - - - in’ stay awake.”1 Comedian Billy Connolly wasn’t talking about messaging when he said this, but I don’t think there is a more appropriate quote for the voracious hunger we have for information as a result of the messaging-enabled, network-connected world that we take for granted every day.

by Frank Jania

Nine IM Accounts and Counting

Instant messaging (IM) has become nearly as ubiquitous as e-mail, in some cases—on your teenager’s computer, for example—far surpassing e-mail in popularity. But it has gone far beyond teenagers’ insular world to business, where it is becoming a useful communication tool.

by Joe Hildebrand

Sentient Data Access via a Diverse Society of Devices

It has been more than ten years since such “information appliances” as ATMs and grocery store UPC checkout counters were introduced. For the office environment, Mark Weiser began to articulate the notion of UbiComp (ubiquitous computing) and identified some of the salient features of the trends in 1991.1, 2 Embedded computation is also becoming widespread.

by George W. Fitzmaurice, Azam Khan, William Buxton, Gordon Kurtenbach, Ravin Balakrishnan

Uprooting Software Defects at the Source

Source code analysis is an emerging technology in the software industry that allows critical source code defects to be detected before a program runs. Although the concept of detecting programming errors at compile time is not new, the technology to build effective tools that can process millions of lines of code and report substantive defects with only a small amount of noise has long eluded the market. At the same time, a different type of solution is needed to combat current trends in the software industry that are steadily diminishing the effectiveness of conventional software testing and quality assurance. These trends include:

by Seth Hallem, David Park, Dawson Engler


A Conversation with Peter Ford

Instant messaging (IM) may represent our brave new world of communications, just as e-mail did a few short years ago. Many IM players are vying to establish the dominant standard in this new world, as well as introducing new applications to take advantage of all IM has to offer. Among them, hardly surprising, is Microsoft, which is moving toward the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as its protocol choice for IM.


IM, Not IP (Information Pollution)

Respected technology commentators say that they now prefer instant messaging (IM) over e-mail as their medium of choice for computer-mediated communication.1 The main reasons are that e-mail has become an overloaded channel for readers and that you can’t be sure to get a timely response from the recipients of your e-mail.

by Jakob Nielsen


On Helicopters and Submarines

Bernoulli vs. Archimedes - Whenever you see a movie that's got a vehicle that's part helicopter and part submarine, you know you're in for a real treat. What could be cooler? One second, the hero's being pursued by some fighter jets piloted by some nasty dudes with bad haircuts, dodging air-to-air missiles and exchanging witty repartee over the radio with a megalomaniac bent on world domination; and then, just as the hero is unable to evade the very last missile, he pushes a button, the craft dives into the ocean, and is surrounded by an oasis of peaceful blue.

by Marshall T. Rose