Text Messaging Application Design

Jon openmoko at snowulf.com
Thu Oct 25 06:59:26 CEST 2007

On 10/24/07, Joshua Layne <joshua at willowisp.net> wrote:
> Sorry if I participated in the thread-jacking mentioned above, but I
> fundamentally disagree with your premise above.  I should not have to
> know what protocol I am using to contact my friends - I should be able
> to configure it and it should just work, negotitating protocols as
> necessary.
> text-based messaging = texting + IMing + emailing
> emailing is asynchronous
> IMing is synchronous (usually)
> texting is somewhere in between.
> it's fine to target an SMS-only app, but I personally think it would be
> better if it evolved to unified messaging.
> Regards,
> Josh

We all love thread jacking!

Here are a few quick points in considering "unified" messaging system.
1- SMS is one paid add-on.  Data service (for IM) is a separate paid add-on.
Many people have one, or the other - not nearly as many have both.
2- SMS has no online status.  IM is all about status.
3- SMS is not necessarily real time.  IM is generally real time.
4- SMS is length limited.  IM is not.
5- I need the ability to customize on a per contact basis, and switch
services quickly.  (EX: Which service is default, how it "fails over" to the
next service in line, what the order of services are.  Also - If I IM
someone and get back an auto reply saying they are out, I need to be able to
SMS them in as few steps as possible.)

Thats a few key items I thought of off hand.  I think they are important to
discuss how to "resolve" these issues.  While Yahoo and AIM work in much the
same fashion as one another, IM and SMS are completely different designs.
That all being said - I'd love to see Pidgin w/ SMS powers on the OpenMoko
(or similar style software)

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