Dear translators,

Many years ago, when this project was first started, it was called "GTK+
AOL Instant Messenger."  AOL naturally complained, and Mark Spencer
changed the name to "Gaim."  AOL was appeased, and no one really ever
heard of it because there were very few users back then.

A few years passed, AOL trademarked "AIM," and started refering to their
IM services under that name.  They complained.  The issue was brought up
on Slashdot, and the developers at the time got some legal support.
That legal support advised that the ongoing discussions with AOL be kept
confidential until fully settled, and so it remained.  Everyone thought
the issue went away then.  It sorta did, in that AOL stopped responding
to the legal support for a while.

Our legal support has changed several times, and each group of lawyers
have recommended silence & secrecy.  Around the time of the first 2.0.0
beta, AOL came back into our lives in a very strong way, this time
threatening to sue Sean.

This represents a clear pattern.  AOL received more pushback than they
expected, and would sort of let things stand for a while.  They they
woudl threaten a different Gaim developer.  Each time a new Gaim
developer was threatened, we had to look at new legal support.

This process could not go on forever.  As a result we ended up forming
the Instant Messaging Freedom Coporation, and making it legally
responsible for Gaim.  We also had our new legal support work to create
a real settlement with AOL that would get this issue dismissed from our
lives forever.

Getting a settlement with AOL has taken FAR FAR longer than we would
have ever guessed.  On legal advise, we have refrained from any non-beta
release during this process as a show of good faith, and to keep AOL
from giving up on it.  Again, on legal advise, we have also kept this
information closely embargoed.

At long last, I am pleased to announce, that we have a signed
settlement, and can again release.  There is one catch however, we have
had to change the project's name.

After long, and unfortunately secret (as we could not say why we were
looking at a name change, we ended up just doing this ourselves),
debate, we settled on the name "Pidgin" for gaim itself, "libpurple" for
libgaim (which, as of 2.0.0 beta6, exists), and "finch" for gaim-text.
Yes, the spelling of "Pidgin" is intentional.  

Since between the name, and the nature of the 2.0.0 release itself, so
much is changing, we decided to go ahead with something we have talked
about doing for a while now anyway.  We have gotten our own server,
kindly donated by DVLabs.  As a result our new home will be
www.pidgin.im and developer.pidgin.im  We, at least for now, will still
be using SF's mirroring system for releases.  However, the bug tracking
will no longer be on SF, and we will be migrating the mailing lists at
some point soon.  Also, we have chosen to go with monotone for our
revision control, rather than the SF cvs or svn.

In the last week or so, an upgrade to SF's infrastructure caused an old
version of the gaim-cabal list to become briefly public.  It has always
been our intention to end-of-life this list and make its archives public
once the settlement was signed.  Fortunately, very few people took
notice of the lapse, and equally fortunately, the legal process has
concluded, allowing us to make a formal announcement now, instead of
months from now.

I, and all of pidgin's development team have deaply hated the need to
keep some portion of our work, decision making and discussion secret for
a time.  I sincerely appologize that as a result of this need, you all
have had no chance to help us with it, and to provide feedback.  I also
regret that this will create additional work for you.  

Now that the settlement is signed, we are looking at making our public
announcement sometime this weekend or early this coming week.  We hope
to have the final pidgin 2.0.0 release late this week or early next. 

I know we have announced a string freeze several times, and only poorly
kept the source actually frozen.  Hopefully you now see why there were
several false attempts at releasing (delays in the legal process), and
why it has been hard to honor the string freeze (no sure notion of when
exactly we would be able to release, whether in weeks or in months).
This will be the last string change before the final release.  Ethan
tells me that for some languages this will be more than a search and
replace operation, or I would just sed the po files and change the name
myself. 

Nathan is working on getting a new copy of the i18n page up at
www.pidgin.im.  We are closing the SF tracker (I believe there are one
or two translation updates still in it.  I will grab those shortly), so
new updates should go to developer.pidgin.im, just create a ticket for
them. You may need to gzip your po file to be able to upload it.

luke

luke

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