Adium joins the Twittering classes
Adium, the open source instant messaging client for Mac OS X, is now able to Twitter in its just released beta version 1.4. Using Matt Legend Gemmel's MGTwitterEngine library, the Adium developers have added Twitter to the list of supported protocols which already includes AIM, ICQ, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, MySpace, FaceBook and others. The Adium 1.4 beta also sees IRC being added to the supported protocols.
Twitter timelines in Adium now appear as a group chat called Timeline, with all the users followers displayed as participants in the chat. Double clicking a Twitter follower opens a one-to-one chat window where the messages are exchanged over Twitter's direct message mechanism. The IRC support also works through the group chat mechanism, though it lacks an auto join ability at first glance; joining chat rooms is achieved by bookmarking the chats so they appear in a Bookmarks group in the contact list.
In initial testing at The H, the beta appears to manage Twitter, including authentication with Twitter's OAuth mechanism, and IRC reasonably well, but the user interface is becoming somewhat convoluted as it adapts to the variations in messaging metaphors. Even so Adium is probably still one of the better and more flexible instant messaging clients on the Mac, and the new beta helps it cement that position.
The Adium 1.4 Beta is available to download and requires Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) to run.