Why I hate YIM.

A while ago a friend of mine wanted me to access their webcam over Yahoo Instant Messenger (no, not for amateur porn). What the hell ever happened to web-based camera feeds? You know, the “web” in “webcam”? Does anyone here remember JenniCam? Oh well, anyway. I happened to have a Win2K install at the time, Pidgin lacks webcam support, and so I reluctantly installed YIM’s own “official” client.


Forced, entirely unmentioned install of Adobe Flash. Adobe can’t even make a PDF reader not take an agonizing amount of time to load and display even the simplest of PDF’s. Xpdf and gv in Unix start, as far as practical, *instantly*. Foxit does the same for Windows boxen. And the shear size of it! Ugh. You’d think the company that invented the format could produce a decent viewer for it? Apparently not. So why should I want anything else of theirs on my system? Especially given Adobe’s history in recent memory: Adobe Quietly Monitoring Software Use? Adobe Flash Zero-Day Attack Underway. Yeah. I totally want their shit on my computer. Riiight. To be fair though, at least they’re finally opening up the specs to the Flash format. Not that you couldn’t get them before, but now you’ll be allowed to use them to actually write a player, not just a producer, and projects like Gnash have begun to suck quite a bit less since then. Anyone willing to bet this wasn’t simply in response to Microsoft’s Silverlight? Everyone’s familiar with the phrase Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish. Just sayin’. Regardless, I was trying to install a damn IM client, not a browser plug in. The only plausible excuse I can think of for this is if it’s using Flash for its webcam support… but then why can’t I just point any old flash-capable media player at the stream?

Oh, I know why! Ads in the webcam window, unless it’s fullscreened. Want to multitask? Say, to write to the person who’s webcam you’re viewing to request a different view angle on the problematic component they’re trying to show you? And face it, for many, many users, tits? They know their userbase, and sex sells.

But that’s not the only time you see ads. They’re in your friend’s list. Constantly. Are we ad-ware yet?

During install, must opt out of installing a “toolbar”, and some other browser crap. I want an IM client, not my browser hijacked.

Weather and music crap. A VOIP phone balance telling me I have no minutes either way, which are separately billed, of course. Irrelevant plugins. What the fuck? I even told it during the install that I didn’t give a shit about VOIP. And if I wanted to stream music, or use VOIP, why the hell would it be with an IM client, from Yahoo no less? If they can be turned off, it wasn’t very obvious how to do so. Stop advertising shit I’ll never use. It makes me cringe, it makes me desperate to slam the reset button and get back into BSD, where do one thing, do it well reigns supreme. IM client. I want IM. I have a back yard. I have music. I have a cell phone, kthx?

It starts with windows, without ever having asked to do so. It’s not in the start up folder. Any software which does this is FUCKING EVIL. YIM is not a device driver, the only remotely plausible excuse for this behavior. Again, if this can be corrected, it wasn’t obvious how to do so. IM client, not a device driver.

Yahoo Messenger Insider. What The Fuck? No, I don’t want what you call “news”. I don’t want to see it every goddamn time I log into Yahoo, especially considering how piss fucking slowly it (and YIM itself) loads. I want an IM client, not a goddamn web browser.

Quit checking my fucking email account. I don’t care what’s in it, anyone fucking stupid enough to email me there doesn’t know me well enough for me to give a shit about in the first place. IM client. Not mail client. Why the hell is YIM trying to be the center of my fucking life?


GUI. It stands for “Graphical User Interface”, not “Candyland User Interface”. Using it made me feel like I was in preschool.

No tabbed windows. An entire separate window for each person is simply… primitive. Can we get out of the fucking 1990’s, please? Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if Windows supported tabbed window management, but it doesn’t. Unless you replace the shell, of course.

Webcam only support 1x, 2x, 3x, and fullscreen zoom levels. I can’t remember the last time I saw anything related to the display of media with such limitations. Maybe this is normal in Windows?

The aftermath:

Bad lightning storm, some bits of kit were fried (along with a tree, a few power line transformers…), the computer I was using is now an NFS server for my laptop, which lacking a (working) HDD is acting as a diskeless client. Because you can do that kind of shit in Unix, without a “pro” or “corporate” version of your OS and yearly Terminal Services licenses. For obvious reasons, I nolonger have a Windows install, and with it no YIM. I’ve also come to find out that Kopete supports the viewing of YIM webcams perfectly well, and have it installed for such cases where it may be nessessary again. I’d just use it exclusively instead of Pidgin, but like I said… I’m a fan of do one thing, do it well, and I don’t appreciate the resources it sucks up loading all of its required support daemons (artsd, dbus, a whole slew of shit under kdeinit…) every time it starts. Granted KDE at least has a nice modular design, I still just don’t want all of that to run a simple IM client, and I’m not interested in the Windows/OSX-cloning desktop-“integration” whoreing behaviors of KDE/Gnome/etc… in general. But that’s for a different post, at a different time.


June 22, 2008 - Posted by | Annoyances, Malware, web

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