Tutorial for Psi 0.11
Welcome to Psi
Welcome to the Psi Jabber Client! Psi is different. It is easier to work with, it gives YOU more control and it follows all XMPP standards. Above it all, Psi is just cool. We love it and we are sure you will too.
This tutorial will get you up and running with Psi in no time.
About this Tutorial
This tutorial is intended for first time users of Psi/Jabber. People already comfortable with Jabber might want to go through this tutorial quickly just to get a feel of Psi.
The Psi screen shots in this tutorial might not look exactly like your Psi. This is because Psi is a multi platform application, running on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The only difference you will notice will be in the user interface design (the windows, buttons, lists, checkboxes). Everything else, including functionality, is kept the same on all platforms.
A little about Jabber
The power behind Psi comes from Jabber, an XML-based messaging protocol. The Jabber Instant Messaging system seems to have more in common with email than it does with IM - there are literally hundreds of Jabber servers around the world, and they are all interconnected. Unlike other IM systems that are controlled by single companies, if one Jabber server goes off the air, the rest of the network keeps on humming.
Getting started with Psi
Because installation is different from one platform to another, we have prepared a separate installation guide (click here).
Upon first start-up you will be faced with the account setup message box.
If you are new to Jabber and are yet to register an account click on Register New Account.
If you already have a JID, then click on Use Existing Account. You can jump to the Adding A Preexisting account section below.
Registering an account
This is probably a nice place for a quick explanation of Jabber servers and JIDs.
There are two parts to a Jabber ID, or JID. The first part is your username, and the second part is the server address. The JID is written like an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can choose any username that you want, but keep in mind that it might already be taken if you try to register it on a very popular server. You thus have to choose the Jabber Server you want.
There are a number of public servers available (see network list on jabber.org), but not all of them support all of Jabber's features. You might like to consider which Jabber services you'd like to use - such as groupchat or connection to legacy instant messaging like ICQ and MSN. All servers are interconnected, so you will be able to talk to your friends on other servers.
Please note that if you have a gmail.com email id then you already have a JID.
On clicking on Register New Account previously, a new Register Account window appears as below.
In the Register Account window, type the name of the server you have previously chosen. Click on the drop down arrow on the right of the input field will retrieve a list of Jabber Servers from xmpp.net automatically. You can then choose a server to your liking.
In most cases you won't need to specify the server/host manually. But if the automatic configuration doesn't work, you might want to specify the server manually. Check your Jabber Server's homepage for more.
Most of the settings should work fine by default. If you connect to the internet through a proxy, please click on Edit... to open the Proxy Manager.
Click on New to add a new proxy. Enter your proxy details appropriately.
If you entered your server correctly, then Psi will pop up a dialog asking you for a username and password.
Choose any username and password you want. Remember that the username and the server entered previously they combine to form your JID. If the selected username already exists on the server, Psi will pop an error. In such a case, you will need to specify a different username. If you really must have that certain special username, you may have to try a few different servers until you find it available.
After successfully registering an account, Psi adds the account to your roster automatically and you are good to go. Remember to tell your friends your JID so that they can find you.
If you don't want to add a pre-existing account, you can jump that section to get your Psi running and chatting. Remember to come back here when you have to add a pre-existing account.
Adding a pre-existing account
If you clicked on Use existing Account then you are faced with the following window,
Most of the options here are self explanatory. You are only required to enter your JabberID and its associated password in the Account Tab. You might also want to modify the settings right below it to suit your needs.
If you are behind a proxy, then you need to set up the proxy in the Connection Tab. Click on the Connection Tab and then click on edit next to Connection Proxy to open Proxy Manager. Then click on New and then give your proxy details or select a preexisting proxy.
If your Jabber Server is a non-standard one, then you might also have to manually specify the server and port for Psi to correctly work. This is found in the Connection Tab.
After successful adding an account to your roster, all you need to do is to go online! There is a little drop-down box at the bottom of the main Psi screen (called the Roster Window, below) that says "Offline".
Click on it and Select "Online", and you're ready to go! You should receive a welcome message from your Jabber server, but not always.
You should now enter some (information about yourself=link) to make it easier for people to find you later.
Personal Information - the vCard
You may have noticed that Psi keeps asking for your Personal details everytime you log on to the server. To make it easier for your friends to find and identify you later, you should publish some details about yourself. The information you enter is saved on your chosen jabber server. On many servers this information is retrievable by anyone (but the exact policy depends on your server).
The first thing to do is to open your vCard ("visiting card"), which contains your personal information. Click the Psi button as shown on the right, and select Account Setup. Highlight your account and click the Modify button. The Account Properties dialog will appear. Note that there are four tabs across the top. Click the Details tab. You will then see a button named Edit Personal Details, click it to open the vCard editor (shown below).
Everything in a vCard is OPTIONAL. You are not required to fill it out at all. We recommend that you enter your nickname so that Psi stops showing the vCard dialog on login. We also recommended that you at least enter some basic details about yourself, as it helps your friends to find you.
Go through all the tabs, and choose which details you wish to enter. When you are finished, click the Publish button to send your information to your Jabber server.
The internet is a very large place, and it's often hard to locate your friends without a little help. Thankfully, you can add your friends to your own contact list and see them online.
If you know your friend's Jabber ID (JID), then it's quite easy to add them to your roster. To add someone, open the Psi menu by clicking on the Psi icon at the bottom left as shown in the image. Then click on Add a Contact. If you have multiple accounts then you need to select the account which you want to add a contact too.
Type your friend's JID into the Jabber ID field. The example shows my friend's JID as myfriendfred@his_server.com. You will also see that I have typed his name into the Nickname field. This is entirely optional. If you don't type a nickname in there, Psi will show his JID in the roster. You are able to change the JID to a nickname later, if you wish. You can also select a group you want to add the Contact to here. More about groups later.
If you want to be able to see your friend when they're online, you should Request authorization when adding. The next option - Close window after adding - closes the Add User window after you've added one friend. If you want to add another friend immediately after this one, uncheck the box.
Putting Contacts into Groups
Being the most popular person on the planet, you will soon have a large list of contacts that will become very hard to manage pretty quick. Fear not! Jabber supports dividing your friends up into groups for ease of finding them on a very long roster.
To do this, just right-click on any contact in your roster and then select the Group submenu. Choose a pre-existing group or click on Create New. Any contact you put in hidden group will be automatically hidden from your eyes.
So you're now a Jabber user, with all your contacts in groups, but you're still having trouble converting some of your friends to the brave new world of Instant Messaging? Because Jabber can connect to other Instant Messaging networks, you can still communicate with your friends from other services. Since they're not native Jabber users, adding your friends from ICQ, AOL et al takes a few more steps.
Signing up with a Transport
If you haven't managed to convert all your friends to the wonderful world of Jabber, never fear! You are still able to talk to them... using a Jabber server feature called Transports. In Psi, all such addon features are called services.
Most people will probably want to add people from ICQ, so this example will demonstrate how to register with the ICQ Transport and add friends from ICQ. Registration with other Transports is basically the same. Note: Psi can't register a ICQ/Yahoo!/MSN account for you. You need to have a valid userid in these servers before you can use them with Jabber.
To find out the services being offered by a server you need to do Service Discovery. Click on Service Discovery from the Psi menu. As done for adding a contact, First click on the little Psi icon at the bottom left of the Psi window and then click on Service Discovery. This will open the Service Browser.
Note that the example shows the services on the Jabber server - jabber.org.au. When you open the services browser, it will show the services on your Jabber server instead. You can enter any server want to find out the services offered by that specific server.
Note: Not all Jabber servers have transports installed! If your Jabber server doesn't have a certain transport, it will not be shown in your Services Browser!
To register with the ICQ transport, right-click its name in the Service Browser, and click on Register. The registration form should appear, as shown below.
ICQ Registration: To register an ICQ account, type your ICQ User Identification Number (UIN) into the Username field. To register with AIM, type your Screenname instead. Enter your password, and click the Register button. You should immediately receive an Authorisation Request from the ICQ Transport. Authorise it, and it will be added to your roster under the Agents / Transports group.
From here, you probably want to add your friends who use the Service you just registered with. As before click on Add Contact. Now choose an appropriate service in the drop down list at the top. Enter your friend's Screenname or User Identification Number (UIN) into the Screenname field, and click the Get Jabber ID button. The details will be transferred to the fields below, in a format understood by Jabber.
An often requested feature is the ability is to show the currently listening track to friends. The XMPP Standards Foundation has an XEP on this, titled PEP. Essentially, instead of you wasting your status message with a line of what you are listening, PEP allows you to display your currently listening song and your mood and lots more. To publish your currently listening tune using Psi, you will need to have a Jabber account on a server with PEP support (note that GTalk , as of writing, does NOT support PEP). Now all you have to do is to write the songs you are listening to in the format specified in the Publish_Tune in the$PSIDATADIR/tune file and that will be automatically shown as your current track. Clients doing this automatically in Windows and Linux are currently under development.
Messaging and Chat
Just like some other Instant Messaging systems you may have used in the past, Jabber has two methods of talking to your friends - Messages and Chat.
If you want to carry on a conversation for a while, using a Chat window is a great idea. It stores the history of your conversation right there in front of you. If you have Chat as the default, double-clicking a friend's name in your roster will bring up a Chat Window. If Chat isn't your default, right-click on their name and select Open Chat Window.
As seen above the chat dialog consists of the following:
- To: This is the identity of the person to whom you are chatting.
- Word Count: The number of words typed by you in the entry pane is displayed here.
- Current Account: Your current Account name is shown here.
- Emoticon List: You can choose emoticons from here.
- Actions List: Click here to get an assorted list of Actions you can perform. You can view the chat history as well as retrive your friend's vCard.
- Chat Pane: Your current conversation is shown here. Your ramblings are coloured red, and your friend's musings are coloured blue.
- Entry Pane: Click in this pane and begin typing. Press the Enter key to send it to your friend.
- Encryption Icon: You can encrypt this chat by clicking this icon. Note that the icon will only be active if you have enabled encryption in your account preferences, and so has your friend.
- Your friend's image is also shown (if published).
To close a Chat Window, press the Escape key on your keyboard.
Psi also supports tabbed chats. To enable this option, click on the Psi menu and click on option. Go to the Options pane and then check the Open Chats in tabbed mode checkbox. After this, if you open two chat windows at the same time, they will be open as tabs in the same window. You can click on the buttons at the leftmost of the tabs list to manage the tabs.
This is the best type to use if you want to simply dash off a quick message to someone. If Message is your default event, double-clicking a friend's name in your roster will bring up the regular message window, shown on the right. If Message is not your default, right-click on their name and select Send Message. The different parts of the window are described below.
- To: This is the person to whom you wish to send a message.
- Identity List: Your current Jabber Account is shown in the Identity list. You can change this if you want your message to appear to come from another account.
- Subject Line: Like email, you can type a subject line. It's entirely optional.
- Message Body: This is where you type your message.
- Send Button: After typing your message, press this button to send it away into the Jabber network. Alternatively, you can press Control-Enter.
- URL Button: If you want to attach a URL with your message, press the little world icon to attach it. You can still type URLs directly into your message body.
- User Info: Clicking this icon will bring up your friend's User Information, also called a vCard.
- History: You can get details on previous conversations with this icon.
Multi User Chat (Groupchat)
You might also want to go through the options.xml file in the $PSIDATADIR to get a feel of all the options of Psi. We can assure you, you will be surprised.