Miranda NG (Next Generation) is a successor of a popular multi-protocol instant messaging client for Windows – Miranda IM. Miranda NG is distributed under GNU General Public License.
Supported operating systems
Windows 2003 / XP SP3 / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10.
In spring 2012 the development of Miranda IM reached a deadlock.
- The existing (up to the present) model of Miranda development proved to be totally unsustainable for the following reasons:
- It usually took over a year for changes in the core to be taken up by the plugin developers and to be finally brought to end users.
- Plugins' source code was scattered about dozens of repositories, many plugins had no current source code available. Thus, code monitoring by the team was limited, if not to say impossible. As a result some plugins contained unusable, inefficient or buggy code, and no one could fix it.
- There were lots of compatibility issues between different versions of Miranda core or even between versions of some plugins. This was especially true for implementation of Unicode support which hadn't been finished in Miranda IM.
- There was a conflict between George Hazan (ghazan) and Boris Krasnovskiy (borkra), the most active Miranda developers at the time. When Boris reverted a fix for his error because the commentary to commit contained the term borkred – which had been invented by one of the coders to denote Miranda parts broken by Boris – that was the last straw for George.
In April 2012, George Hazan decided to leave Miranda IM project despite many obvious directions for Miranda development. However, during the negotiations between the various parties it was decided to found a new project led by George.
On May 15, 2012 the source code of Miranda core was uploaded to a separate repository and later over a hundred plugins were added. Plugins to port were chosen on the basis of usage frequency and popularity on www.miranda-vi.org. Plugins without actual source code have been left out. After that the source code has undergone more than a thousand changes and the first stable build of Miranda NG was released on August 30, 2012.
By autumn 2012 fifteen members joined the project, at least half of them are actively involved in the development.
- The project includes the core and all the plugins, so that any member of the team can check (and fix if necessary) the code of any plugin.
- Every next Miranda NG version is compatible only with itself (i. e., all plugins of the same build are compatible with each other while two adjacent builds can be completely incompatible). This makes it possible to get rid of bulky code in many parts of Miranda core and offers great opportunity for global optimization of both the core and the plugins.
- ANSI is not supported anymore. Compiling with Visual Studio 2010 and 2013 is supported.
- All the team members have different access rights: some can commit to any code, some can commit only to the plugins' code, some are engaged in the bugtracker and wiki.
Miranda NG advantages
- Plugins can be loaded/unloaded dynamically ("on the fly") without having to restart the program.
- The speed of program startup and operation was increased.
- The consumption of system resources (GDI and RAM) was significantly reduced. This was achieved through extracting unused parts of the core to separate modules (those were placed into Core folder).
- All plugins are gathered in a single repository, any changes required are applied to them immediately without waiting for the plugin developers' response (which could take months for Miranda IM).
- A great deal of work on unification was done – lots of features implemented in several plugins independently were moved to the core.
- Getting rid of old bugs and "crutches" improves the overall stability of the program.
- Some coders who abandoned the development of Miranda IM plugins for various reasons now return to Miranda NG development.
Features and differences from Miranda IM
- Due to major changes in the core, Miranda NG is not compatible with plugins for Miranda IM.
- The standard Miranda NG core modules were extracted to Core folder in the root of the program. These modules are not loaded into memory if their "substitutes" are found in Plugins folder. Also, they are automatically loaded when the "substitutes" are being disabled. It saves memory and reduces the load time of the program. (Miranda IM keeps in memory unnecessary modules together with their "substitutes".)
- ANSI is no longer supported. The core and all the plugins support Unicode completely.
- The multiple toolbars implemented in each contact list plugin in their own way were replaced with TopToolBar plugin which had undergone great changes.
- Dbtool became a plugin. Now database checking and compression are performed by database drivers. (Miranda IM has to have a special dbtool for each database format.) Thus, DbChecker and Import plugins just run the appropriate driver and there is no need to have a special tool for each driver.
- There is PluginUpdater – plugin to keep your Miranda NG up-to-date.
- ExtraIcons plugin was moved into the core.