For those not in #gnome-hackers tonight, the main subject of discussion has been talk.google.com, for some reason :) You can get through to it with gaim via google’s provided gaim instructions, which is pretty cool; I presume something similar works for gossip, though I have not tried it yet.
Apparently the voice component is google-only ATM, though they supposedly will both be documenting their spec and supporting SIP in the future.
The best part (IMHO) is their apparent committment to open standards. To quote:
Today, with instant communications, you can’t talk to your contacts or buddies in one service while using another service. We hope to change that. We want to work with other willing service providers to enable their users to communicate directly with Google Talk users. And while we hope many people will use and like the Google Talk client, we’re committed to making it as easy as possible for you to communicate with your friends using the client that you want–even if it doesn’t happen to be ours. That’s why we’re also supporting open standards and the same protocol that clients such as Trillian, GAIM and iChat do.
If google is successful in this, and can really turn IM from the current set of walled gardens into a truly open space like HTTP or SMTP, open source will be one of the great winners out of this- no more fighting with AOL or MSN about constant protocol changes, and no more having to go to third-party providers for accounts and information when we’ve already got perfectly good accounts and servers of our own. Yay.