Bug or turf war? ICQ via Pidgin now fails with "startOSCARSession: Request Timeout"
I've been using Pidgin as my primary messenger client for the better part of twenty years, having found it back when it was called GAIM. There's a lot to like about Pidgin: it's open source, it's cross-platform, its interface is simple and effective, its memory footprint is only around 8 megs of RAM. And at least until recently, it supported all of the messaging protocols I use on a regular basis.
When Oath decided to turn off the AIM service, I racked my brain for awhile to recall my old ICQ number and then hopped back over there. I don't know many people who still use ICQ, but there are a few, especially with AIM shuttered, so it's nice having everyone in one client. Unfortunately, that changed a couple of months ago when Pidgin started throwing this error during the connection to ICQ:
Received unexpected response from https://api.icq.net/aim/startOSCARSession: Request Timeout
Looking at the debug window, it's clear that the connection is established properly and Pidgin sends the login request, but ICQ's server emits a bunk reply:
oscar: startOSCARSession response statusCode was 408: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <response xmlns="http://developer.aim.com/xsd/aim.xsd"> <statusCode>408</statusCode> <statusText>Request Timeout</statusText> <data> <ts>1536369207</ts> <upgradeData></upgradeData> <betaData></betaData> </data> </response>
ICQ's proprietary client works, so it seems likely that ICQ is intentionally crippling connections made from Pidgin. I don't trust the official client to run it outside of a sandbox VM, so for the time being, no ICQ for me. I hope this is a temporary setback and not the permanent end to ICQ support in Pidgin. I see someone opened a ticket in Pidgin's trac and a developer has claimed it, so I have my fingers crossed.
And how is it that, after almost a full year, no one has acquired the rights to AIM and stood that service back up?