❯ Guillaume Laforge

Talking about Google Talk...

Okay, Google released its Google Talk client and its related services. This all sounds good and well, but alas, for us, poor corporate users, we have yet to figure out if it’ll ever work through our nasty proxies (with authentication) and firewalls (port 5222 should be opened?). I’ve tried tweaking the proxy settings myself, but it didn’t work. Unfortunately.

On paper, Google Talk certainly looks promising, taking into account the great services Google have come up with so far, but there’s really not much more than other competitors already provide. And in fact, we have yet to see the great features not available anywhere that we all expect from Google. We’ve become pretty demanding users… (and as we say in French “Qui aime bien châtie bien”).

Apart from the integration with GMail, there’s nothing really innovative that other services like Yahoo! Messenger or Skype (doesn’t seem to work across firewalls either) don’t already provide. And worse, in their email invitations they send, they claim:

Google Talk also works across all firewalls.

but I have yet to see it becoming a true statement… But if ever it really manages to work everywhere, then that’s becoming interesting to have a reliable Jabber server to play with, and that would be even greater if we could also get an (Java) API giving access to the notification means of the client. I guess we could do some cool things (Continuous Integration notifications, and so on). Time will tell…

In the meantime, if someone can tell me how to use it from work, I’m game, otherwise, I think I’ll stay with my good old and faithful Yahoo! Messenger which has always been working at work like a charm (except once where the company blocked *.yahoo.*).

Update #1: It seems that Google is already aware of the problem I’m facing with regards to passing through corporate firewalls. They had this to answer my information request:

Thanks for contacting us about this problem. We’re aware of the issue, and our engineers are working diligently to find a solution.

Update #2: Google Talk’s client must probably not be working across all firewall configurations. The proof is that other clients like Psi work perfectly with Google Talk from work. So it really must be the client which’s got some problems currently.