View Full Version : Standalone Chat Client

06-28-2009, 01:05 PM
Hi there

I know this has been discussed on a few levels, for assorted platforms and all that, but really...

I'd like to see a standalone Steam Friends client (for the Windows operating system, with compatibility for 2000 and up).

Some (many) people would probably never use such a thing, but let me explain my situation. In my situation, this program makes a lot of sense.

I have two main computers, my desktop and my laptop.

AMD Sempron 2800, 1.6GHz, AMD64 capable but I use 32 bit XP
(800MHz hypertransport bus)
ECS 755-A2 motherboard
XFX GeForce 7600GS 512MB AGP8x
Western Digital WD1600JB 160GB 7200RPM ATA HDD

Dell Inspiron 630m (aka XPS M140)
Intel Pentium M 740, 1.7GHz (this is a single core 32bit CPU)
2GB DDR2-667 RAM
Intel Integrated 915 video (up to 128MB shared)
Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM ATA HDD

Now, of those two systems, which do you think I game on? Of course the desktop, Return to Castle Wolfenstein was the best thing the laptop could handle (not to slam RtCW, it's a great game, but not exactly demanding).

That said, which do you think I use more often? The laptop...it provides me the ability to go lay on the couch and stay in contact with people, browse the interwebs, all that good stuff. The Google, etc.

Problem: I have to install the full Steam client, the bloated laggy POS that it is, on my laptop. Why? So I can talk to people who are in game. I'm co-owner of a Gmod server that's going to be up soon, and even when I am not in game, there are people on Steam who are in-game who will want to run ideas by me (or vice versa), etc.

Furthermore, despite me not playing (and not being able to play) games on my laptop, I must download Steam updates when I'm not using 90% of the program at all. I'm sure if there was a chat only client, it wouldn't receive updates at all, since none would be needed...the updates seem to address all sorts of non-friends-related issues (which is good, but why do I need them if I don't use any other part of the program?).

The code to implement this chat client already exists...it is built into Steam and could EASILY be turned into an independent client. I don't understand why this has not been done...additional options for users with virtually no development cost? Seems like a no brainer to me...
(to be clear, I do understand a new program would have to be made which does involve coding/development, but the majority of the functional workings of it already exist inside the Steam code).

If you're totally unwilling, Valve, to make a Steam chat-only client, could you please cite a reason?

Better yet, why not release the chat protocol to the open source world so it can be integrated into a project like Pidgin?

Benefits to Valve of a chat-only client being available:
-Reduced network traffic, since fewer if any updates would be downloaded by these chat clients
-More widespread 'Steam' name recognition, as it would most likely start being used more often. I am NOT the only person who is using Steam on my laptop the way I currently do. The more people see it in use, the more people are likely to visit the site. If they visit the site, they see deals on games and think "hey, maybe I'll buy this game since I have an account now".
-Satisfied customers (when did this become something that has to be requested, anyway?)
-No more requests for a chat-only client.

Eh, well, I'm done. I'd appreciate commentary on my suggestion. Have I missed anything? Is there a clear and valid reason why this chat client does not exist?

Better yet, is anyone on the forums in the same or similar situation to me (using Steam only for chat/community purposes on a less powerful system)?

Edit: Do not criticize my hardware, there's nothing wrong with it. The fact that better EXISTS is not a reason to upgrade...when my computer becomes unable to play the games with decent performance it will be time to upgrade, but not a moment before that. Also note I have described STEAM as lagging, not my computer...BIG difference.

06-28-2009, 01:12 PM
Install Steam -> Use Friend system -> DONE!

Honestly I don't think Steam is your problem here but rather the PCs you use. When you don't use Steam it really doesn't do much. When you chat it just uses that part.

If you'd make a chat system only it would STILL use the same amount of power.

The other stuff just kicks in when you use them.

So if your PC lags when it uses Steam it might not really be Steams fault. Also a cheap new PC today wouldn't cost you that much.

06-28-2009, 01:24 PM
I hate to say this Zefar, but you are wrong.

Once upon a time in a world far far away, programs were coded so they would perform well on even the most crippled hardware.

Just because hardware exists that can run it 100* faster than my (perfectly competent, by the way) hardware, there is no excuse for slow code. However, my main point did not relate at all to performance...rather to the fact that if you are only using Steam for chat purposes, it uses more disk space than should ever be required. In fact, it uses more disk space than it should for any purpose.

The complaint in that paragraph is not that I'm running out of disk space...rather, it is that the PROGRAM IS LARGER THAN IT NEEDS TO BE. This is poor development.

I also did not say my PC lags when using Steam...I described Steam itself as being laggy. It is STEAM which lags, not my PC. This is the developers' fault if anything, seeing as neither of my computers can be defined as "slow". I don't care that newer exists...that desktop I've described gets between 40 and 90 FPS in Gmod except when I made a PCMod network with 40 computers on 10 subnets and it crashed the game...but that isn't the hardwares fault, that's the mods fault.

Another point I made which you failed to address is update downloading.
I do not care if the updates take 10 seconds on your (+5mbit, I presume, since you didn't address the topic) internet connection. Technological limitations in my area mean 512kbit is the highest it goes here...but that is not Steams fault, that is the local infrastructures fault.

That aside, we're in a world that is running out of internet resources...the studies are out, we're using it too much. Steam updates play a tiny role in this, but it's a valid point...in principle, Steam is contributing to the demise of the internet by sending updates to clients which do not need them.

I appreciate your comments, but I disagree entirely.

06-28-2009, 01:44 PM
Steam without the Steamapps folder take roughly 62 MB. So complaining about disk space is rather void. If you still download Steam games it's rather obvious it's going to use more. What would you expect? :/

Windows Live takes about 42 MB or so I think, I only checked the Windows Live folder.
Seeing that Steam takes just 20 Mb more makes me believe it doesn't use all of that MB to generate the chatting part. But rather a small part of it.

If Steam lags it's most likely your hardware that does it. Seeing you have a rather old PC and I have used a rather old PC myself. They are slow even when dealing with Internet browser.

Btw in what way does it lag?

If you complain about getting bad FPS when opening Steam ingame. Valve have said that on Single core system it is going to cause problems but once you are on Dual core or higher the problem shouldn't appear.
But you really wasn't that clear on this point as you kind of switched to talk about a PCMod network with 40 computers. Which I don't honestly get.

I don't really download updates in 10 seconds on Steam, even with my 10 mb connection.

But then again, you have a game and use it on a service which told you it would auto update your games to the newest version whether you like it or not.
If you have a bad broadband it's most of the time better to just get it retail.

That or you can turn off auto updates till you actually launch the game. Hopefully it will work for you.

06-28-2009, 02:46 PM
Windows Live Messenger is itself bloated...it's a poor comparison (but I admit I do use it).

I'll admit that Steam is not "too large", it is just larger than it needs to be...if we can make fully featured computer operating systems (Damn Small Linux) fit in a similar space however, that is evidence that the program could use some trimming.

I do not agree with, nor do I understand, your comments about my PC being old. A Pentium MMX 166 is old. A Celeron 266 is old. Neither of my computers are old. I would not describe either as being new. They are not, however, old. I have never experienced any issues with a slow internet browser or in fact any piece of software running slow. For a short while I used AutoCAD 2008 on my desktop without significant performance issues. My "Windows Experience Index" while running Vista Ultimate x64 for a short time was 4.0 (which is not bad at all). My laptop on the other hand would be much poorer in Vista (32 bit) on account of the miserable graphics card.

This is, however, not about performance.

When I refer to lag in Steam, I am referring to the actual GUI. I recognize that the time to initially load the program and open the main window takes time, and that is not Steams fault. However, when inside the interface itself, for example the Games page, opening context menus and properties dialogs takes longer than it should. This is still not an argument about Steam performance though...it is about making a separate chat client, which would be ridiculously easy to do...

I am not complaining about bad FPS at all...I find Steams in-game performance to be adequate.

BTW, PCMod is an addon for Garry's Mod. It allows you to place usable computer terminals around the map and interconnect them with cabling and routers. It automatically assigns IP addresses inside different subnets, and is therefore rather CPU (and game engine) intensive when you have 40 of these scripted computers talking to each other across a virtual network.

When I refer to updates, I am referring to Steam Client Updates, not game updates. Game updates tick me off as it is but I am not talking about them at all. I'm referring to Steam Client Updates, which cannot be disabled.

06-28-2009, 04:11 PM
Why would Windows Live be a bad comparison? It's a chat program with a lot of extra tools but just take 42 MB.

As for trimming it. Are you seriously telling Valve to trim down those 62 mb that Steam takes on the harddrive?

My first hard drive that I bought was at 17 GB it's now 8 or so years old. Even then Steams size is NOTHING. If your hard drive is THAT full of information maybe it's time to clear up a bit. Steam being 62 MB or trimmed down to 30 MB won't make a difference for you.

About your PC.

My by now 4 year old PC was a.

P4 3.4 GHz
Geforce 7600 GT 512 MB RAM (Upgraded from Geforce 6800 512 MB RAM I think or it might have been 256 MB RAM)
3 GB RAM (Upgraded from 1 GB RAM)

The GFX card is dead now thou.

Your PC is a Dual Core on 1.6 GHz which is pretty weak in my eyes. Unless now it's the 2.0 GHz version. But then it's still weak as my big brother had a Dual core on 2.1 GHz, that one was pretty bad and it had been around for some years. I even think during my time there already where such PCs around with the exception of that graphic card.

How long have you had the PC anyway? Might be a better question. Have you recently format it?

As for running the AutoCAD 2008 program. I don't think that's much of a feat.

System Requirements for AutoCAD 2008

The system requirements for 32-bit AutoCAD:
Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, 2.2 GHz Recommended
Microsoft® Windows Vista™, Windows® XP Home and Professional (SP2), Windows® 2000 (SP4)
512 MB RAM
750 MB free disk space for installation
1024x768 VGA with True Color

No Dual core needed. They might just be THAT good at coding the program.

So the Steam interface is a bit slow, well might be because Steam use Internet Explorer engine when rendering Community page and the store page. For the rest I honestly don't know why it's slow.

It's always been quick for me even on a old PC, that is switching between Store/Community/My Games/My Media/Tools.

As for it being really easy to do. But wouldn't it be better to just fix Steam instead to make it work smooth on your PC?

Well in my honest opinion it's just easier to use Steam as it is. Lately there have been like 15 topics within the past two months about making Steam into a chat client. Why now? :/

On the PCMod, ok but not sure if 40 PCs are even remotely good since I don't have any scales so I'll just skip this. But now I know what you meant at least.

Oh Steam updates, well those will always be mandatory because they might fix something serious. It's just something you'll have to live with.

For game updates, well you bought it on Steam, you get the stuff handed to you directly. I'm sure you would know about this.
Also people usually complain about the auto update feature when they buy it for Steam when they have a bad connection. I find this to be a rather bad move.

06-28-2009, 05:30 PM
I hate to do this, but please just drop everything...the focus of the thread is shifting. I will say though, as a correction, my CPU is a single core 1.6GHz chip. I didn't say it was dual core but you assumed it was.

My goal is to suggest that there should be a chat client which can connect to the Steam friends network.

I am NOT suggesting they:
-make the program smaller
-make the program faster
-reduce the number of updates
-make updates optional

If they do those things, it's an extra bonus, but it is not what I am asking for.

I disagree with you about it being "just easier to use Steam as it is". I think it's equally as easy...exactly the same. I would just like, as a matter of preference, the ability to install a chat-only client. I know other people who agree, and they know other people who agree. This is not just me talking, this is many people...people who've written emails to Valve and were ignored or told off rudely, or told there was no demand for it. There is demand for it, but they refuse to acknowledge valid customer concerns so nobody ever finds out there is demand. Once the company tells you it's hopeless, you tend to feel it would be wasted effort to post in the forums...I'm starting to feel that way now, but I won't give up, because giving up is why nobody else is posting about it despite wanting the same thing. I know other people ARE posting, but compared to the number of people who think it is hopeless and gave up, they are a tiny number.

As for fixing the existing Steam client, that could take weeks of intensive re-coding, rebuilding...it would pretty much mean starting over from scratch. I think it would be perfectly fine to use the existing code as a base for the chat client, even if it means the chat client will be bloated or slightly slow.

06-29-2009, 02:30 AM
I assumed your PC was a Dual core because it showed up as one when I googled after it. Also looks like the AMD Sempron 2800 was released 5 years ago so I'm just gonna class it as old.

The thing I don't get is. Making it to a chat program will fix ALL the delays issues for you but fixing Steam as it is will takes WEEKS? Due to all the recoding and making it from scratch. :/

I just don't get how you reason with that logic. Chat is still just going to use the same thing. If you run the chat, Steam will not try to run the server browser or try to verify the files.
If you run several things it will use those functions too.

As for demand, they got roughly around like 15 million or maybe it's up in 17 million users now or higher and there have just been a handful of people asking for it. So the demand is obviously very little.
Also there is around 1.7 million active users at peak time with Steam.

06-29-2009, 10:41 AM
Alright, fair enough on the dual core/single core thing. 5 years old is not old...10 years is old, but I suppose it's not important. FYI, I got the computer a couple months ago for $80...best $80 you can spend, seeing as it has no lag issues in any of the Source games up to EP2...haven't played it yet so I can't say for sure.

I did not say making it a chat program would eliminate delays.
Fixing Steam WOULD take weeks...but that was never my main point.
My point is they should make a chat client.

I do not, and never said I do, care if it is equally as crappy as the Steam client itself.

I just want a chat client...I don't care how it runs, I care that it exists, period. I never said otherwise. Please quote me if you feel I did.

Like I said about demand, Valve turns away customers who directly contact them about this kind of thing. I've had it happen, 4 friends have had it happen, and they say their friends have had it happen. This is a widespread issue with Valve ignoring customer requests.

As a result of Valve turning them down, they don't feel it is necessary to post here, since it would be 'pointless'.

If THAT MANY people *I* know have had this happen, it is NOT just "a handful"...this is potentially thousands of people who Valve has rejected directly via email who, since they've already been turned down, do not post on the forums.

I've never once been satisfied with Valve customer service, and from the stories I get from friends, none of them have been either. It's like the representative you speak with tells you what they believe and deletes the email after. THAT would explain why "only a handful" of people are posting about it.

07-01-2009, 10:58 PM
-bump, now on page 2 and therefore unlikely to be seen-
(I've read the rules, there are none against bumping)

Any further thoughts?

In addition, does anyone know what would be involved with making such a program? Obviously I can't ask for the process, since this is a Valve site, but a list of what's involved with it is fair game.

02-10-2010, 08:36 AM
For a skilled networking person, it would be trivial to "sniff" Steam's network traffic and replicate the login process and get a hold of the chat protocol.
I could probably do it myself, even if I'm not very experienced in protocol analysis.

It is, however, a severe breach of the EULA to log in to the Steam system with anything but the Steam client, and I'm not going to risk my account to find out if they can tell.


Anyway, yeah, I'd like to see this, too!
My wife tries to get a hold of me while I'm gaming and she's chilling on the couch with her notebook, and I'm virtually uncontactable :-P
It'd be awesome if she could poke me on Steam.
Oh my, aren't we lazy today?

03-08-2010, 12:44 AM
I'm searching for a solution too. I'm wishing for a chat client that can execute from a flash drive while I'm at work. To communicate and be reached is my goal. I've seen attempts to run games from an external drive or flash drive.
I don't want to play while at work and I don't agree with searching for solutions to circumvent school restrictions on playing games on their machines. That's just dumb.
I can understand why one persons attempt to recreate steam as a 'portable app' failed seeing as valve don't allow modifications to the steam client. That's just fair.
So a chat client with access to my steam friends list and launchable from my keyring... That's just awesome.

So what are the chances?

03-08-2010, 12:52 AM
DemmyDemon: People have tried that. They got lost and gave up when it came to the encryption.

I wouldn't mine a web-based client, for school/work/iPhone/etc.

03-08-2010, 02:07 AM
In the first versions of the game there was a stand-alone system of friends, named Tracker

Screen (http://www.csextreme.net/features/tracker/tracker1.jpg)

There were 2 versions of the tracker.
Integrated into the game and standalone.
Authorization was made in the tracker.

03-08-2010, 03:38 AM
Firebrand: what are the chances? Slim to none, since Valve doesn't like catering to the desires of their users. Prove me wrong Valve!

Mangr0v3: web-browser-based would be fine, sort of like an equivalent to MSN Web Messenger. However I think a dedicated program would provide a bandwidth benefit to the Steam network...if only a slight one.

fire64: interesting...I imagine Steam's protocols and authentication have changed over time though, meaning if anyone could find the old version of that program it wouldn't work.

But surely someone at Valve's dev team still has the source and could, if so inclined, make the necessary changes...

03-08-2010, 04:02 AM
It is very simple and very difficult.
You can easily recreate Tracker server and make it work Tracker client.

The problem is that modern Friend system is an integral part of the steam.
You can create a IM client based on the Friend system, but can not use it without the inclusion of steam

05-29-2010, 07:03 PM
Steam chat web browser integration please. Patiently waiting.

05-29-2010, 09:35 PM
Necromancer spotted.

Anyway, are you suggesting something like the MSN web messenger?

05-31-2010, 09:15 AM
Yes, correct.

I would truly prefer that the messaging protocol was "opened" so that it could be integrated into their party chat clients like Pidgin, among others, for example, but in the immediate time frame I would be satisfied with being able to log into a website and chat with my Steam friends.

05-31-2010, 09:51 AM
I'm with ExPilot. An exposed steam chat API that other clients could simply plug in to would be ideal.

06-07-2010, 05:01 PM
I'd love to see this as well, as sometimes we might want to talk to our friends who are gaming or we might only have their steam name but may be on a mobile device.

It should be implemented as a way of communication but not allow any sort of Steam game authentication.

06-08-2010, 12:56 AM
But what stops you from just using it the normal way? :/

Honestly, just install Steam and use the chat part. This would be petty work and Valve would have to deal with two versions of the program that they need to update at both times.

I also think there was a Steam for that iPhone and I think it was called Gears or something.

06-08-2010, 01:59 AM
I'm kind of liking this thread necromancy. It's really reassuring that I'm not the only one that wants a sane way to view friends and chat.

As far as reverse engineering the protocol goes, we only know that it probably uses stuff from crypto++. Valve would probably not have a problem with people writing alternative implementations if they were only related to the friends and chat stuff, they would only have a problem if you wrote an implementation that tried to register and decrypt game binaries. That would open up a can of worms that I don't know enough legalese to describe.

Besides, the really interesting stuff is already exposed. The current API isn't all that great but still has some usable info, it can be used with steamcommunity stuff by appending ?xml=1 to the URL. For example http://steamcommunity.com/id/foobar?xml=1 , there also might be a newer, perhaps more flexible API being implemented (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1160673).

Regarding the chat, what we really need is a better protocol (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1255673). This way we won't have to bother with pushing Valve to release specs to the current protocol, write a reusable implementation, and clients. We only need to bother them about switching to a sane protocol. :)

Zefar, I don't think you're understanding the problem. The official client doesn't work everywhere, people only want to see their friend's statuses and chat with them sometimes. Valve could avoid having to maintain another version of the program, and even their ad-hoc protocol implementation by using an open protocol.

06-08-2010, 06:50 PM
Very early work, but getting there.

06-09-2010, 01:49 AM
since Valve doesn't like catering to the desires of their users.

What?!?! Are you insane? Valve spend the most time on perfecting their games than ANY company. IMO theyre the best. Plus Steam is a software managment tool it was not primarily built for chat and to be honest if your computers struggle to run steam...? then you should probably think about stepping into the tweenty first century ^^

I do agree with the idea of having browser-based steam chat tho. That would be really sweet!

appologies if ive got the wrong idea on this post, alot of it i didnt read its too long xD

06-09-2010, 03:18 AM
A web chat would indeed be very very cool. As for a standalone chat client, what the heck is that good for? Just set Friends as your favorite window and you're done.

06-14-2010, 07:44 PM
I also would want to see a standalone Steam chat. I don't see why people are so against it; it seems like it would take like 5 minutes on Valves part.

06-15-2010, 01:50 AM
I also would want to see a standalone Steam chat. I don't see why people are so against it; it seems like it would take like 5 minutes on Valves part.It surely would not take 5 minutes. Did you ever code any piece of software by yourself?

06-15-2010, 02:35 AM
If you REALLY can't load Steam on your computer, (as I do on my netbook) you could get this http://www.hlsw.org/ ...

Point it at your server, put in rcon pass and talk to your players...

06-15-2010, 02:48 AM
HLSW != Steam Chat

06-15-2010, 02:55 AM
HLSW != Steam Chat

People on his server run things by him, HLSW is much more geared for this purpose rather than having to add all the players to your Steam friends list.

I didn't say it was.

06-15-2010, 07:29 PM
I just want to be able to send offline messages(to people who are offline, like windows live allows you to do) through Steam, am I missing something?

06-16-2010, 05:10 PM
I have not read all the posts, just the first few.
I think it would be good to have a standalone steam chat client, more people, even ones that aren't gamers, would be likely to use it. I have friends that aren't really gamers, and they don't use steam. It would be good if there was a way they can send me messages when i am ingame. Steam Offline messaging would be good as well :D

06-17-2010, 12:30 AM
They really can just install Steam. What's the pain in having it installed if you don't buy games? I also have some friends who don't play but they installed Steam and are happy with it's community functions.

Fuzz Bucket
06-17-2010, 12:39 AM
They really can just install Steam. What's the pain in having it installed if you don't buy games? I also have some friends who don't play but they installed Steam and are happy with it's community functions.

In my opinion, Steam, as a chat client, is terrible.

06-17-2010, 12:42 AM
Sure, it lacks offline messages, but a standalone chat client would lack them too.

Fuzz Bucket
06-17-2010, 12:44 AM
Sure, it lacks offline messages, but a standalone chat client would lack them too.

Personally, I could care less about offline messages. The interface and the behavior of the Steam client are the major killjoys for me.

06-22-2010, 06:35 PM
as i said again with no replies.
an independent steam chat client could support proxies! 111 I WOULD LOVE THIS PL0X :D

06-22-2010, 07:29 PM
Yesss, lets get a standalone chat client and have VALVe spend more money and time doing that rather than making Episode 3!

There are already TONS of other chat clients out there, just get your Steam friends to sign up for them.

06-29-2010, 12:03 PM
Hai Valve! How our web-based chat / chat api coming?

07-28-2010, 12:58 PM
How is progress one month later?! So excited.

07-28-2010, 02:21 PM
Well, same question as before: Why don't you just install Steam? Set Friends as your favorite window and viola, you don't have to ever look at anything else.

Fuzz Bucket
07-28-2010, 04:26 PM
Well, same question as before: Why don't you just install Steam? Set Friends as your favorite window and viola, you don't have to ever look at anything else.

For starters, you can't paste properly, it uses up awful quantities of system resources, you don't have any kind of useful control over notifications, and you don't have any kind of useful control over your "friends" list.

07-29-2010, 03:51 AM
The resource usage is not that much of an issue, the rest would exist in the standalone chat Steam aswell as in the main Steam.

07-29-2010, 08:00 AM
Well, I would say nah, because there`s a zillion chat programs you can use.

On the other hand, what`s the use of friends lists and a steam community if you can only post a message to the wall (ok, forum) ?

So a chat system would be nice if it were integrated and would also be usable for in-game. Either make it something linked to communities, or linked to in-game.
I guess it would become a chat app, with your communities as diffrent rooms, and your friends list as... well your friends list. :P

09-03-2010, 06:12 AM
We need this. Having steam friends on another computer is the only way I can communicate with them when I'm playing a non-steam-overlay game, or even a -gulp- non-steam game.

This other PC is a Netbook without Windows. Yes, that means I have to run bloaty Steam through slow Wine on a crappy computer. Which is not good, to say the least.

And the one-PC-per-account rule makes it even more difficult, as I have to connect/disconnect every time I want to play a non-steam-overlay game and still keep in touch with my friends.

Open protocol is the way to go, Valve.

Savage Alien
09-03-2010, 11:06 AM
I would like to see the PROTOCOL available for use in other IM programs. This way i can use a multi-chat app on my phone or something like Pidgin or Digsby on a machine that may be portable [netbook] or simply a computer of lesser capability, or other example.

09-03-2010, 11:19 AM
I'm a little surprised that steam doesn't incorporate other chat protocols, or that there's no way to use steam's protocol without using the entire steam program

09-03-2010, 11:53 AM
Including other protocols in a commercial product might produce legal issues.

09-04-2010, 01:47 AM
Not if it's licenced, or open-source.

09-04-2010, 02:09 AM
Not if it's licenced, or open-source.I doubt that ICQ or Live protocols are open in any sort. Ok, GMX have a multimessenger connecting to those protocols using Jabber transports, Valve maybe could do it the same way. Ok, those transports kinda suck as they can only transport text, no voice or video or files, but Steam's IM is extremely limited too so it wouldn't harm.

09-04-2010, 02:19 AM
XMPP + Extensions?

Savage Alien
09-04-2010, 03:54 AM
I'm a little surprised that steam doesn't incorporate other chat protocols, or that there's no way to use steam's protocol without using the entire steam program

Including other protocols into Steam? No thanks. Allowing developers (ex Pidgin) to use the Steam IM protocol [as in messaging from pidgin] Yes please.

12-13-2010, 12:57 PM
I don't understand the reasoning for not opening it up to others to develop for their platform have they learned nothing from facebook?

12-13-2010, 01:00 PM
Unlike facebook, there's alot of money involved. A real lot of money. So far, phishers are kinda hindered by the unabilty to chat unless you've spent money. With an open chat, there's no punishment for phishing at all as phishers have nothing to loose.

12-13-2010, 02:00 PM
The point of steam is to make it easier to play games and find people who play the same games.

Making a standalone chat client defeats the whole purpose of Steam.

12-26-2010, 03:06 PM
The point of steam is to make it easier to play games and find people who play the same games.

Making a standalone chat client defeats the whole purpose of Steam.

See I can't agree with that. If I'm on my laptop upstairs, I can't tell if my friends are online and ready to play. I would have to log off steam on my desktop.. login upstairs, oh look friends.. log off the laptop and log back in downstairs...

This is tedious as hell.

12-26-2010, 03:31 PM
Just set Friends as your favorite window. Problem solved.

killing lane
12-26-2010, 11:17 PM
couldn't you just use a custom steam skin to lower the requirements? iv never tried them before but they might be able to make steam run faster

12-27-2010, 05:29 AM
I tested it right now. Steam, with the Friends window open, eats around 30MB. It isn't much even if you're sitting on a netbook.

12-27-2010, 05:47 AM
I don't understand the reasoning for not opening it up to others to develop for their platform have they learned nothing from facebook?

Yes, Don't use it.

02-07-2011, 01:27 PM

I tested it right now. Steam, with the Friends window open, eats around 30MB. It isn't much even if you're sitting on a netbook.

But Amander, it's not always about the comsumption of RAM. Sometimes, we need an application or a web-client for chat because we cannot install Steam for various reasons. What don't you understand about that? It's a bloody great idea to have a standalone chat so we can use it at public terminals, such as an airport or schools.

02-07-2011, 01:30 PM
There is a 3rd party project that has just released a proof of concept chat client.

Not gonna link anything, but try searching for "Steam", "Vapor" and "Client", all together.

02-07-2011, 01:35 PM
But Amander, it's not always about the comsumption of RAM. Sometimes, we need an application or a web-client for chat because we cannot install Steam for various reasons. What don't you understand about that? It's a bloody great idea to have a standalone chat so we can use it at public terminals, such as an airport or schools.
So you mean a web chat? You know, "standalone" can mean everything, e.g. a program which is to install and run. Just make clear what you mean and we can agree. I for example would like a web chat.

04-21-2011, 01:04 PM
Just set Friends as your favorite window. Problem solved.


Hypothetically, I'm held up at work. I need to tell my competitive TF2 team that I'll be late to scrims tonight. My work PC doesn't block my internet access, but I can't install programs. Feeling rather uncomfortable with giving personal information to people that essentially amount to strangers, I don't have anyone on the team's phone number.

A web-based client would easily help me contact the team and let them know I'll be a half hour late. They could get a ringer and get a scrim in without me, or practice roll-outs. At a bare minimum we would all be spared the less than desireable situation of the rest of the team sitting around waiting for me, brooding, and getting more mad as every minute goes by.

It's a niche situation, but I would appreciate web-based chat.

04-21-2011, 02:34 PM
So how about a Steam Friends chat application for my phone?

04-21-2011, 04:11 PM
It's a niche situation, but I would appreciate web-based chat.I like web chats too. It's just that the thread doesn't look like it's about web chats ;)

08-10-2011, 03:45 AM
Try http://imo.im/ it isn't a program but the recent update has added steam chat support :D

01-12-2012, 12:07 PM
Try http://imo.im/ it isn't a program but the recent update has added steam chat support :D

I just wanted to jump in here and thank you for the link. I was doing a Google search for some standalone client and ran across your link. Thanks a whole bunch!

03-20-2014, 08:15 AM
This would be perfect to use on my laptop when I want to chat with my Steam buddies at work and while studying.

Come on, Gabe! This is a no-brainer. Just make a chat client that has access to the store and opens it in a new window.

Think about it from a perspective other than your own for once, man. You're at work, your buddy sends you a message about a flash sale and you don't have the Steam client installed on your laptop because you don't play games.

You people write software and didn't even consider this possibility? Shame on you! Shame on you all!

Walter Williams
03-20-2014, 08:57 AM
Here you go - http://steamcommunity.com/chat/