Subcategory: Instant Messenger
Platform: Linux, OS X, UNIX-like, Windows
Programing language: C
First release: December 31, 1998
Pidgin (formerly named Gaim) – a chat program which lets you log in to accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on MSN, talking to a friend on Google Talk, and sitting in a Yahoo chat room all at the same time. The program was originally written by Mark Spencer, an Auburn University sophomore, as an emulation of AOL’s IM program AOL Instant Messenger on Linux using the GTK+ toolkit.
Pidgin is compatible with the following chat networks out of the box: AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber/XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE and Zephyr. It can support many more with plugins.
Pidgin supports many features of these chat networks, such as file transfers, away messages, buddy icons, custom smilies, and typing notifications. Numerous plugins also extend Pidgin’s functionality above and beyond the standard features. Pidgin is widely used for its Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) plugin, which offers end-to-end encryption.
Pidgin integrates with the system tray on Windows, GNOME2, KDE 3 and KDE 4.