CenterIM4 Frequently Asked Questions

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Archived Copy of the old FAQ

Important notice: Did we miss anything? You're missing a question here? Please report to us at our mailing list, and we will be happy to include your question (and the answer, of course) at this page. Please do not add your question directly here, since then you won't get an answer...


I joined the IRC channel, but no one answered my question. What do I do now?

The developers of CenterIM are busy people, and are unable to watch the channel 24/7. Be patient, and someone will lend a hand when they can. Otherwise, if there's no answer to you (which might happen, since we're all only volunteers on this project, and have mostly other work to finance our living), you may want to subscribe to one of our mailing lists, and ask your question there.

Why can't I see online users anymore?

My centerim (latest Debian package) does not show me online contacts anymore. 
Only when someone contacts me, can I see  his/her status.
I encountered this situation a few weeks before, then everything worked fine. Now, it's the same.
Tried on several PCs.
I am using only ICQ with centerim.
What can I do?

You may want to read bzid:39, because this is a known bug with ICQ. This has already been fixed in the current release 4.22.2.

Does/will UTF-8 work in CenterIM 4.x?

No, it doesn't, and won't. UTF-8 support is planned for CenterIM 5 (which will be released when it's done - come and help us!). It does somehow work in CIM4 (see next question and charset translation in menu), but it's not supported. You might want to try using luit, when you are using CIM4.

Why doesn't my language work (anymore)?

First off, CenterIM and CenterICQ never had official support for languages that use characters with accents. BUT, in certain situations, it used to work fine. The following hints may help to fix the problem.

  • Link your centerim binary with the 'cursesw' version of the ncurses library. This is done automatically if you have crusesw package installed (be sure to have *-dev package installed too), and enable the locales fix mentioned below.
  • Try configuring with --enable-locales-fix.
  • Set your locale correctly. E.g., if you want to type Russian text, try the locales KOI8-R or ru_RU.UTF-8 (by entering 'export LOCALE=ru_RU.UTF-8' at the prompt).

This should work well for all locales that encodes their characters in a single byte.

  • A workaround was suggested on the mailing lists. Run centericq using the command 'tcs -f utf -t koi8-r | centericq | tcs -f koi8-r -t utf' (for Russian).

Why did you start CenterIM as a brand new project?

A user asked this, on the CenterICQ mailing list:

Why did you start CenterIM as a brand new project?
AFAIK, Konstantin has no time to support CenterICQ, so I have a strong feeling                           
that he would gladly shift the responsibilities to you.  

We asked Konstantin if he would grant write access to the CVS repository, even to just one person; he gave us no answer. Weeks later, we read an interview on his Web site, where he was saying that all we have to do is code, everything else is unimportant; so we have ended up with the decision of forking centericq. After all, we needed some repository to include patches, and now there are quite a few.

What about implementing such a neat <blah-blah> feature in centerim?

Hey, centerim is GPL and open source, so feel free to contribute. Don't wait for the maintainers to implement it; just do it yourself and send a patch. The best way to contribute is described on the Contribute Code page.

Can't build it under FreeBSD

Just use gmake instead of make, or use the preconfigured port. (Refer to http://www.freshports.org/net-im/centerim for more information.)

CenterIM and gnome-terminal problems

  • Question

When I run centerim in a xterm or from the console, it is fine, but when I run it in a gnome terminal window, the screen does not update correctly. Specifically, the right side of the screen does not get cleared, after I send a message or other similar events.

  • Answer

It happens only with the gnome-terminal. centerim works fine on linux-console and eterm (Enlightenment), so it is a problem with gnome-terminal: It does not support all xterm sequences. /usr/share/terminfo/g/gnome file could correct that (gnome users should have it), so that ncurses will not use such extended sequences for gnome-terminal.

  • Workaround

For me, setting the TERM variable to gnome, and then running centerim, worked without problems.

  (gnome-terminal)
  $ export TERM=gnome
  $ centerim
  

and it is OK

How do I authorize someone's request with centerim?

You'll see as soon as someone requests it. If you receive an authorization request from an unknown user, it just pops up like a message from a buddy where you can decide whether or not to accept, deny, or ignore the request.

I can't use Ctrl-O to view history and Ctrl-Y to delete a line under FreeBSD

Simple workaround: Execute the following before starting centerim:

stty dsusp undef
stty discard undef

I can't get out from a dialog or a menu. When I press ESC, nothing happens

Have you ever used mc (Midnight commander)? It requires users to press ESC twice to close a dialog, menu, etc. It's not a CenterIM problem, but just a terminal-specific issue.

How do I enable logging the protocol info, etc.?

Run centerim with the --debug commandline option.

CenterIM compiles way too slow on my box. What's wrong?

C++ compiler optimization, which a rather slow thing, is on by default. To turn it off, do the following:

CXXFLAGS=-O0 ./configure && make

Can I make the ESC resp. ESC-ESC sequence a configuration choice?

If I understand the FAQ correctly, centerim makes Esc into EscEsc,
because some terminals don't map Esc properly. Could the use of Esc or
EscEsc be made a configuration choice? For me, hitting Escape twice is
reallyreally annoyingannoying, especially if I'm two menus in, and, to
get out, I have to hit Escape four times in a rowrowrowrow.

It's a limitation of the console. Keys like f1..f12, the arrows, etc., generate sequences of characters starting with Esc. If the application were to handle Esc as cancel unconditionally, you'd have arrows cancelling your dialogs. so the app must do one of these things to avoid that:

  1. Require Esc-Esc instead of single Esc, as that disambiguates it from the function keys.
  2. Have a certain timeout, and accepting the Esc as a cancel only if there wasn't a function sequence after the Esc during the timeout.
  3. Switch keyboard to raw or medium-raw mode, and do keycode mapping internally.

As 2. is annoying and sluggish (at least to me) and 3. is too much work for too little gain, I think the current situation with double Esc is the best choice. CenterIM used timeout Esc in the past (I think it's the default way ncurses handles Esc), and at least I'm happy with the change. :)

Perhaps there could be a configurable choice between double-Esc and timeout, if that doesn't complicate the input routines too much.

What does 'turboing' mean?

This question reached us from staale@lorentzen.org:

  + [icq] connecting to the server
  + [icq] disconnected, turboing

  Msn works fine.

  I've tried different icq-servers, with no luck. Anyone with a
  clue to what this can be?

It means exactly "turboing". You're logging in and out too fast, so that the server turns on DoS attack protection. All you can do is to try again in half an hour.

CenterIM binary more than 20 MB in size?

WTF?! My centerim binary is more than 20Mb. SOS! HELP! Virus? Aliens?

There are three steps you need to take.

  1. Look at other applications written in C++ compiled in your system.
  2. Read the install(1) and strip(1) man-pages.
  3. Type "strip -s centerim; ls -l centerim"

Can i use CenterIM to use messages from within another shell script?

I need a program for sending messages on IM networks from the command
line. Is it possible to write a program that would use the centerim
libraries, or maybe there is a special batch mode in the program?

Implementing batch mode as you described is not possible, because, due to frequent logons followed by disconnections, the servers will turn on their DoS-attack protection. So, there is the only decent way, which consists of sending messages in batch mode through an already running centerim instance. If you want to run it like a "daemon", use screen(1). More details on the batch mode usage can be found in the README, chapter 9.2.

ICQ registration doesn't work

ICQ new UINs registration doesn't work! It just sends a request, and
then, after 30 seconds, reports a timeout.

It does work. However, the ICQ server doesn't report the "password is too simple" situation. Try to enter another one, more complicated. Also, as far as I know, "xxx123" is complicated enough to be accepted by the server software.

What about encrypted password storage in config?

What about storing passwords in some kind of an encrypted mode in the config file?

It doesn't make much sense, because in many cases, they're transferred unencrypted. Also, the program must first decrypt them before sending, so the one who really wants to find them out anyway will do so quite easily. However, if you still think that such crypting will help, please consult the homepage of the program, which was made especially for ones like you: http://konst.org.ua/kripp/ (This software is not part of CenterIM, and is in no way related to this project.)

Permissions of the config file?

When $HOME/.centerim/config gets created, you should set it to mode 0600,
so only the user can read it. It contains passwords in clear text,
which other users on a system could read.

Your filesystem permissions knowledge is very sound, but please just try to access the config file before making any affirmations. You'll see that the .centerim directory permissions do not allow others to read your configuration data.

How to use CenterIM with GTalk / Google Talk ?

Google talk works (currently) like a charm, if you remind that you need the following type of configuration:

jab_nick        yourGmailAddress@gmail.com
jab_pass        yourPlaintextPassword
jab_server      talk.google.com:5223
jab_prio        4
jab_ssl         1
jab_status      o

Please verify that your entry in $HOME/.centerim/config matches this example, before seeking support :-)
If it doesn't work (e.g. getting error 403) try @googlemail.com

I want hilights from irssi in centerim

go here

What does the '!A' next to someone's name mean?

This option was added at version 4.22.4. This means that you don't have authorization from that person (yet).

I can't login to ...

Check if your Nickname has the correct form:

For Yahoo, Jabber and AIM its just: <nickname>
For MSN its: <nickname>@live.de or <nickname>@hotmail.com

When connecting to IRC, I get Excess Flood

This is because you have "Anti-spam: use captcha to identify bots" enabled in the config. And there is a service on the network (NickServ) that sends you a message. When you disable the captcha option, you should be able to login.

Credits

Did we miss anything? You're missing a question here? Please report to us at our mailing list, and we will be happy to include your question (and the answer, of course) on this page. Please try to avoid adding your question directly here, since it's not guaranteed, then, that you get a fast answer...

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