Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Miranda provides a basic client framework and an advanced plugin architecture. Support for various IM protocols and additional features is implemented through optional plugins, some of which come bundled with Miranda by default while the rest can be downloaded from the Miranda IM website. This keeps Miranda lean and fast, since non-used protocols can be removed. There are currently over 400 plugins for Miranda.
Through a little effort, Miranda can be customized to look and function to each individuals needs due to its flexible design. It is easy to manage hundreds of IM buddies on an assortment of IM networks with convenient built-in features such as contact renaming as well as plugins such as QuickSearch which simplify organization of contacts. All instant messages are stored to file and can easily be recovered at a later time, or deleted automatically or manually with either the DB Tool or the History Sweeper plugin. Miranda can be configured to display photos and buddy details the mouse is held over a buddy on the buddy list. Miranda is free of advertising and free of charge, both forever. Miranda is worked on both by the core developers and by the plugin developers. With very fews plug ins Miranda can fit on a single 1.44 inch floppy disk.
Miranda probably appeals most to people who like to tweak software due to its extreme flexibility, but no special skills are required. More advanced users may wish to dig deeper into the Miranda IM database files with one of the available database plugins.
Protocols supported via plugins include:
The Early Days
Miranda IM was first started by Roland Rabien (figbug) on February 2, 2000. At that time, it was a minimalist ICQ clone and officially called Miranda ICQ. The first public release, version 0.0.0.1, was released in February 6, 2000. This release was made using LibICQ, has no support for message history, database, and plugins, and had a distribution size of less than 100kb. Miranda ICQ had been actively developed ever since.
On version 0.0.0.4, a major new feature was added to Miranda ICQ - the MegaHAL chat bot. The bot enabled automatic chatting between Miranda and other ICQ users. Plugin support was added on version 0.0.0.6. Loggin Plugin became the first plugin to be boundled with the official release; the AutoAway, Status Notify, and Talk plugins became the first 3 plugins to be listed on the file listing as seperate downloads.
After the release of version 0.0.6.1 on December 26, 2000, the original developers left, and Richard Hughes (cyreve) took over the project. His first release, version 0.1.0.0 on April 8, 2001 was a huge improvement over the previous version as most of the code were rewritten. The split message dialog bundled with this release became the first messaging module to be put into a plugin. The MSN protocol plugin appeared around the time of version 0.1.1.0 release. This was the first messaging protocol other than ICQ to be supported by Miranda. Version 0.1.1.0 was also the first official release to support language pack translations. This was the first step for Miranda to become the multi-protocol, multi-language instant messenger as it is today.
Ever since the release of v0.1.0.0, Miranda continued to grow rapidly. By the time version 0.1.2.1 was released on February 28, 2002, there were approximately 50 plugins available. At once, there were a plugin called Lizard. This plugin is much like the clist plugin of today, but it enabled skinning support for Miranda. This was the only instance that Miranda became skinnable; however, the development of the plugin stopped soon after it was introduced due to the instability it caused. Many of the lizard skins can still be found in the file listing today.
After the mysterious disappearance of cyreve on June, 2002, the current developers, Martin Öberg (Strickz), Robert Rainwater , (rainwater), Sam K (egoDust), and Lyon Lim (lynlimz) took over the project. The MSN protocol was taken over by Rako Shizuka who also developed the first version of Yahoo protocol, which became the third protocol to be supported by Miranda. However, because this plugin was closed source, it was later re-written by a new developer Gennady Feldman because the older version lost reliability as Yahoo protocol upgraded. MSN also became the first protocol to support the rename-dll trick for multiple account support, thanked for the invention by Rako. The first of the non-IM protocols, including RSS News and Weather, were also released within this period. These protocols added contact to contact list for the purpose of displaying information to the user rather than chatting. Due to the increase of protocol support, the project officially renamed to Miranda IM on December 17, 2002.
Version 0.2 of Miranda IM was released on February 1, 2003, approximately 3 years since the beginning of the project. A bug fix version was released approximately 2 weeks later. At this time, approximately 150 plugins were available. Discussion about renaming of the program and removal of ICQ from the core also surfaced after the release of version 0.2.
The major change in version 0.3, relased on June 23, 2003 was the removal of ICQ from the core into a plugin just like MSN and Yahoo. From now on, Miranda could run without ICQ being installed. Around the same time, the project moved to a new site at http://www.miranda-im.org, featuring a new discussion board and file listing.
Protocol plugins boundled in version 0.3 includes ICQ, MSN, AIM, and Jabber. Yahoo protocol was not included in the package due to its closed source nature. IRC support was later added to the official release of version 0.3.1, on August 8, 2003.
Another major change was the removal of messaging module from the core into the plugin. This reduced the size of the executable file and also encouraged the rapid development of messaging modules. During this period, many variation of messaging modules (including SRMM, SRAMM, SRMM_mod, etc) were available, and each offered different new features and improvements over the original version. The amount of Miranda IM plugins continued to rise rapidly. By the time of the release of version 0.3.3 on April 19, 2004, there were approximately 250 plugins available!
Version 0.4 of Miranda IM was released on April 7, 2005. This was the first version to have Yahoo protocol boundled with the official release. Other major changes included the removal of contact list and database module from core into plugin. As a result of this, there were 3 variations of contact list modules: the original (clist_classic), multi-window contact list (clist_mw), and nicer contact list with extensive UI customization (clist_nicer). Other popular plugins released within this period included tabbed message window (tabsrmm and scriver), webpage based message log support (IE view), scripting plugin (mbot), and also the meta contact plugin. At the time when version 0.4 released, there are a total of more than 400 plugins available!
A new release (v0.4.0.1) with many bug fixes are planned in the near future.
The next major release of 0.4.x will include a new avatar module and also dynamic skinning of icons. Later releases will include login manager where password protection can be used on a profile. Also, a new sqlite database is being written to improve the performance. Version 0.5.x will consist of a rewrite of message modules and plugins.
There has been discussion about a future v1.0 release, which will feature a completely rewritten codebase to allow new features and functionality beyond what the current architecture is capable of. For example, it is expected that there will be easier handling of multiple accounts of the same protocol and a better multi-user chat in ICQ. There is no current timeframe for the 1.0 release, but work continues and the developers insist "it will be done when it's done."
- Miranda IM Website
- Miranda IM SourceForge Project
- Miranda IM Spanish-Speaking Website
- Miranda IM Spanish-Speaking Forum
- Miranda IM Spanish-Speaking Blog
- Miranda IM Israeli Website
- Miranda IM Polish Forum
- Miranda IM Deutsches Forum
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