BitlBee, The only buzzword your manager doesn't know about

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Release speech for 0.80

Hello everyone. Welcome to the release party of BitlBee. Well, at least, that was the intention. Because of the timing of the release party, very few people were able to attend the release party. Because of that I'm not giving the speech, but instead write it at the release party.

Today (June 24th 2003) it's exactly one year ago the idea behind BitlBee was born. Happy anniversary everyone. As most of you know Wilmer got the idea to build an IRC to IM gateway while farming. Yeah, he's a farmer, not a coder, as anyone who looked at the code can tell ;-) He told me and he started working on irc.c, which is still a major part of the core. Of course I liked the idea and I wanted to help. Well, the first thing I could do was invent a name...

The name. It's probably the most remarkable thing of BitlBee. What does it mean? That just may be the most frequently asked question. It's so often asked that I added it to the FAQ, which is distributed for the first time in 0.80. The answer? Well, there is no answer. I just played around with words for a while and BitlBee just "hit" me as the right name. Wilmer liked it. Of course there are possible explanations to it's symbolics. One of those is listed in the FAQ. If anyone has another interesting explanation, I'd like to hear it. You can reach me at <>.

One year. When people would tell us a year ago that BitlBee would be such a hit, we would've called him (or her) a lunatic or a nutcase. But it looked like it happened. I asked some of our users how they expect BitlBee to be in another year. Some interesting things came out of that. Some might be realised in the very near future, others may never be implemented. But it was nice to see some responses and ambition from our users. Of course this goes for all feature requests and bug reports too.

Sometimes (when tired of hacking) we just surf around, Googling for 'bitlbee'. Every reaction or review is kind on the Bee, which can almost make a man emotional. The idea that your program is appreciated by so many people, well, it's indescribable, but a very good feeling. I can do no other thing than thank you all for your support and use of the program. I think I speak for all developers when I say, thank you.

Of course, this being a release speech, I should of course mention a few new things in 0.80. The thing I like most are groupchats. It's only supported on MSN, but that's where most IRC-wannabe's are anyway. Another very nice thing is a renewed login system. It might take some time to get used to, but it really is an improvement in that it makes it a lot easier to reconnect to a network once you get disconnected. A lot of other things changed too, but these two are the most important ones.

We looked at the past and at the present. In a few moments ghost of BitlBee future will tell the rest. ... He's late, I'll do this part too then.

I mentioned that I asked some users about there opinion on the future of the Bee. Of course the development team has there own expectations of the future. One thing we intend to do is ditch the GAIM code in favour of some system that takes less maintenance and makes it easier to add new protocols. The idea has been with us for as long as the first release, but it will get priority now. This gets top priority for 0.90. Other things are probably the cleaning of the current TODO and perhaps we'll see an 1.00 release this year.

This is not a complete "happy-happy joy-joy" speech. Starting with the 0.80 release our good friend and fellow developer, Jelmer Vernooij will leave the BitlBee development team. We wish to thank him for his contributions and his fellowship when working on the Bee. Jelmer, 'nepnerd', we hope you enjoyed your time as a BitlBee developer and wish you luck with the things that get your BitlBee time now.

That about concludes my speech for this release. "0.80 are go!"

Sjoerd Hemminga, BitlBee developer.