The Empathy instant messaging client for Gnome is not yet ready to be the default client on your favourite Gnome-based distribution. In fact, I can’t even make it work! Tyler B originally posted about this problem way back in October, but it doesn’t seem to have been fixed during the interim.
To demonstrate my point, allow me to walk you through the process of adding an MSN account, one of the officially supported protocols, to a clean install of Empathy:
- After launching Empathy, select Accounts from the Edit menu:
- Select the MSN protocol from the dropdown menu, and hit the create button:
- Enter your MSN email address and account password, and hit the Connect button:
- With the new account created, hit the Close button, and watch as the authentication of your newly added MSN account fails:
- Hit the Edit Account button, and open up the Advanced area of the Account Manager window that pops up:
- Open up your working copy of the trusty Pidgin instant messenging client, put the correct port number into the Port textbox in Empathy, and try to figure out how to save your changes:
- Watch as, even with the correct Server and Port information, Empathy continues to fail miserably at connecting to an MSN account:
The Bottom line? This application is buggy, untested, incompatible, falsely-advertised garbage. I want my Pidgin back. It may have some rough edges, but at least it connects. How these glaring errors and this horrible GUI design ever got past the community is beyond me. I do hope that Empathy has something even somewhat mediocre up their sleeves for their 2.29 release, but until then, I’m headed back to Pidgin.