BitlBee ... is Bitl
"I CAN HAS SPEEECH?" This is how Wilmer announced to me that he was going to do another BitlBee release. I was as surprised as you are. I thought he had given up on this whole releasing business.
There is some humor in using a LOLcats reference to announce a new Bee release. The last major BitlBee release (1.0) was done a long time before the hype even begun. Between then and now we've celebrated BitlBee's fifth birthday and had a handful of releases, but nothing big happened. As a user this lax release planning worries me. What if this means that later releases will take even longer? I don't think we should fear this. Let us explore why this release took so long.
Personally, I blame Google.
There, I've said it. Google. The guys who are so big on "Do No Evil" and all that jazz. They caused this release to be so late. Let me explain why.
They made Wilmer an offer. Wilmer, being the sillily naive guy he is, couldn't refuse. There were no decapitated horses involved, but he couldn't refuse nonetheless. That's not a big problem of course. Lots of guys (and gals, sure) work for Google. It wouldn't have become a problem if they hadn't shipped him of to Ireland. That's where the trouble starts.
Ireland. Home of the leprechauns. These rascals joined forces with aliens and LOLcats to abduct Wilmer. The aliens had been trying for years to kidnap him, but they were on his turf and his trusty sidekicks Jelmer and Maurits were there to help him. All that changed when he moved to Ireland.
But it wasn't just that Wilmer was all alone in some strange place. It was also that the aliens had created the LOLcats and made an alliance with the leprechauns--the real rulers of Ireland. Wilmer is cool, but he's not that cool. So they abducted him for a few years. When he finally came back, he regathered his mad coding skills and hacked a new release together.
By now you're thinking, what has happened to Jelmer and Maurits? Well, they're still here and they worked on the Bee while Wilmer was absent. But, like open source, they are very Bitl--they're cool, but they're ready when they're ready.
Well, whatever you may think of my little theory, they did take forever to launch this release. We're not mad at them, because it shows. They have added some cool new features and made plenty of changes under the hood. Let me give you a sneak preview of some of the new features: Jabber groupchats are supported. Configuration files are stored encrypted. You can now use ForkDaemon mode, which gives better stability over normal daemon mode, but doesn't require inetd. Also, server owners can now use the /OPER command to spy on their users. And--as I was specifically asked to mention--this is the first stable release that supports plugins. That's some Bitl changes for ya.
BitlBee is cool, but ready when it's ready. Very Bitl.
(LOLBee by Erik Bosman.)