Xubuntu Linux dumps open source Pidgin
Back in the days before Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and WhatsApp, we had other chat platforms such as AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), MSN Messenger, and ICQ to name a few. At first, everyone used the first-party apps for each platform, but eventually, many of us switched to third-party software that could connect to multiple chat platforms at once. The multi-chat apps were more convenient, but equally important, they were usually advertisement-free. AIM, for instance, had annoying ads.
One of the most popular such programs was Gaim, which was ultimately renamed to Pidgin. Believe it or not, Pidgin is still being developed to this day. The open source Pidgin is available on both Linux and Windows. Unfortunately, use of Pidgin has dipped dramatically over the last decade. Hell, I don't even remember the last time I used it. And now, in what is certainly a huge blow to Pidgin, the Ubuntu Linux-based Xubuntu is finally ditching it.
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In a blog post about the upcoming Xubuntu 21.10, the developers explain, "Pidgin is a multi-client chat program that has been included in Xubuntu since the beginning, when it was known as Gaim. In recent years, as chat services have moved to proprietary and locked down protocols, Pidgin has become less and less useful, leading to its removal in Xubuntu. If you want to install Pidgin on your system, it can be found on GNOME Software."
So, yes, Pidgin can still be installed on Xubuntu 21.10 -- it simply won't be included by default. And yes, Pidgin is still being actively developed. However, Xubuntu dumping Pidgin as a default app is the latest sign that the chat program is on borrowed time. Let's be honest, folks, it is the end of an era -- Pidgin just isn't necessary anymore. It will soon be time to just let it die.