A new release of instant messaging application Emesene 2 was pushed out a few days back and saw the application début initial work on a native QT interface.

emesene: buggy, but brilliant

Anyone unfamiliar with Emesene 2 can be brought up to speed in once sentence: Emesene 1.x is no longer being developed; the entirely-rewritten Emesene 2 is, as the kids in the 1980s would say: ‘where it’s at’.

So onto this release and what’s new. The change-log lists: –

  • Improved support for Adium themes
  • Improved group chat features: –
  • Drag and drop support in chat window
  • Ctrl+Tab support for switching tabs
  • MSN groups chats support when using Adium themes
  • Updated translations
  • Over 100 user-reported issues fixed

Adium theming is all fine and dandy but can I use Facebook chat or GTalk yet?


The short answer when I tried was ‘No’. Both ‘Facebook chat’ and ‘Gtalk’ simply stayed ‘logging in’ forever. And you can’t log into more than one account in the same session, either.

Thankfully MSN succeeded at logging in but, once there, I was unable to open chat windows with contacts – something that makes running a chat application redundant! I’m hoping this is a fluke on my end, but if you’re considering upgrading be aware there are still flaws.


The belle of the ball development wish is surely in the sumptuous new Qt interface. Currently you need to say hocus-pocus and do some funny hand movements in a terminal to use it – and it’s prone to crash quicker than my blood sugar after the 7th coffee of the day – but it truly is an exciting development to see.

emesene: Beginnings of a native Qt interface

To try it out in Emesene 1.11.5 run the following command from the command line. Be sure to have Qt packages galore installed, particularly Qt4-python: –

  • emesene -e main:qt4_main

Hold the criticism

Emesene 2 currently has more bugs than the inside of a dead tree. But, you know what? That’s great. It shows that not only is Emesene 2 still being improved upon and, quite frankly, built but, via the route of twisted logic, a testament to the immense work that has already been put into recreating Emesene 2 from the ground up.

Sure it might not be polished yet, or even work properly, but Emesene remains the de facto IM client for users of Windows Live/MSN. And I love it.

Now, back to Empathy…


Emesene 2.11.5 can be installed/upgraded to using the Emesene Stable PPA. Remember, this is a third party PPA and is not supported by Canonical.

  • ppa:emesene-team/emesene-stable