if you pay attention to my sidebar you'll have seen that i'm reading up on java in an attempt to teach myself. i've been using Sun's tutorials to get a good handle on the underlying concepts. the osx for java geeks book is simply steering me on my platform of choice.
i've also begun reading the programming jabber book to get a good handle on the jabber protocols and server architecture. osx's address book application has a place-setting for jabber addresses, but i'm not holding my breath for jabber integration with iChat. best that can be done is make an iChat-clone until Apple gets on board. of course, i'm not sure it's in Apple's best interest to play around with Jabber. AOL might have an exclusive agreement for the iChat client. Or maybe Jabber just doesn't have the critical mass at this point to warrant the development effort. it's a shame i didn't get into jabber when i was still with HQ, i could've whipped up a dilly of a support-bot.
and this morning at 6am, before i went to bed for the evening, i came across the leaked screenshots of Apple's next OS release codenamed Panther (templink). i'm very intrigued by the Expose feature, which uses some Quartz magic to show you scaled-down and geographically-placed versions of all your windows so you can see what you've got open. the new metallic Finder also looks pretty interesting, although not many people seem to like it.
Folder actions are back, though as they were an OS 9 feature, I've never used them before. The basic idea is that you can associate a script with a folder. Say, "every item in this folder, ftp to my web server," and you've got an instant drag-and-drop scripted addition to the OS. Seems pretty slick. Labels are also back, but I don't think I'll make much use of the feature.
A new version of iChat is also on the horizon, but I don't think Jobs will announce ICQ compatibility this Monday. Since the Panther release isn't slated until September, there's plenty of time to implement the protocol, especially if AOL cooperates. Hope springs eternal.