Chats between MSN via a web interface and Pidgin times out after just 60 seconds

Martin Roth captain_rage at
Mon Mar 1 08:52:01 EST 2010

As great as Pidgin is, I've now ran across a game-breaking issue.
The story:
I signed up for a project which requires you to be logged into MSN with an asigned account, in which people contact you anonymously via a web interface. 
After adding my new account on Pidgin, people started writing to me, and we could chat. However, if 60 seconds of idle time passes (nobody sends or is typing a message), you get a timeout, which is unnoticable unless you try to send a message in which you get an error returned.

This is very problematic, because it makes keeping a normal paced chat impossible, and makes me lose contact when the person in question (and I can't just reopen the chat window since they are logged in using an anonymous ID).

The problem seems to be specific to Pidgin, as I've tried using Empathy IM between the web interface chat, which is working as it should.
I've also tried to upgrading Pidgin from 2.6.2 to 2.6.6, although the behaviour persists.

Also, I discovered the that the Pidgin changelog says:
"Timeout switchboard connections aggressively (60 seconds).
What does this change mean..? Is there an option for disabling timeouts on MSN?

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