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libpurple

libpurple is a development library that is used as the core of an IM program. When using libpurple, developers basically write a user interface (UI) for this core code. Developers can write a program in C or C++ that provides all the windows and dialogs and any thing that the user will interact with. The program would use the libpurple library to connect to the IM networks and manage accounts and preferences. Several IM clients use libpurple including Adium, Apollo IM, Finch, Instantbird, Meebo, and Pidgin. May also be referred to as Pidgin libpurple.

See "A Quick Reference to Consumer Instant Messaging" in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.
See also "Internet-based Communications" in the Did You Know... section of Webopedia
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