Problems with Windows Live’s XMPP server

As you probably know (see here and there), it is possible to connect to MSN using the XMPP protocol with GNOME 3.4.

However, since last week, I think nobody can connect anymore. The reason is that MS server started using see-other-host, which is perfectly standard (part of XMPP CORE), but not implemented into telepathy-gabble. I can’t really blame them for this since they warned developers twice, and even then, it became effective much later than they announced.

The problem is described and patches are available in bug #51033, it should hit telepathy-gabble master soon. I’ll also consider backporting to stable branch, but patches are a bit intrusive…

There is a 2nd problem with WLM’s XMPP server that sometimes prevent us to connect. This time it is really a server issue out of our control. I’ve sent all needed logs and MS devs are actively working on the issue. However, retrying to connect multiple times (which we do by default) eventually succeed after some attempts.

Last but not least, it is possible to ADD (not REMOVE, wondering why their server does not accept that…) contacts in your MSN account. But WLM server uses a non-standard trick for that, to convert a Live account (e.g. to a jid (e.g. The non-standard iq are described here, and telepathy-gabble patches are available in bug #50341 to make it work.

I’m happy this is not useless work, since we have now over 10 000 monthly unique users connecting to MSN with XMPP through gnome-online-account (I’m app key owner, so I get usage stats).

Edit: telepathy-gabble 0.16.1 now released with a fix for the see-other-host issue.

4 thoughts on “Problems with Windows Live’s XMPP server”

  1. It would be interesting if you could share the usage stats for most of the empathy supported protocols or even gtalk vs msn.

  2. I have stats only for MSN and Facebook for those who connect through gnome-online-account. Facebook is currently at 5413 and MSN at 10829 monthly users. But competition is not fair because Facebook is not enabled in GOA upstream by default, only in fedora enabled it (not ubuntu LTS). However MSN is enabled by default upstream, fedora and ubuntu LTS.

  3. Is this directly related to a connection problem I’m having with Empathy, in two different setups?

    On this laptop on which I’m currently running Linux Mint 13 64-bit (Cinnamon edition), MSN works fine in Empathy. However, just a few hours ago and yesterday, Fedora 17 Live CD, Empathy failed to connect to MSN altogether, on this laptop,. My Arch Linux installation on my desktop, on which I installed GNOME Shell along with Empathy and telepathy (and AFAIK, Arch probably ships the most vanilla version of GNOME), also failed the same way (saying my status was “not online” or something like that, can’t recall the specifics at the moment, but the contact list never loaded and leaving the password field blank didn’t bring up a password challenge prompt).

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