[icq-devel] Regarding Message Capturing

Remy Lebeau gambit47 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 11 04:52:29 CEST 2002

--- Rajan Vijayaraghavan <rajan at ittc.ku.edu> wrote:

> Can we capture the messages from a instant
> messaging conversation assuming the person
> allows to capture the messages.

Not from the IM programs themselves, no.  No IM
service (that I know of) actively provides for that.

> Capturing in the sense writing a program which
> runs in the background and captures the messages.

I once wrote such a program for ICQ, though I never
got it to a point where I could release it to the
public yet.  I still have it, though, should I ever
decide to go bck into it, update it, and finally
release it someday.

The key to implementing a catcher is in using system
hooks provided by the OS itself, to intercept when
windows are created and shown and such, then determine
whether each window is a message window for a
supported IM service or not (every one is different,
so the program has to be written to specifically
support each service that it is interested in
capturing), and if it is a message window then extract
the necessary information from it.

The hooks and such are the most involved to implement.
 Extracting information from a particular window, once
you determine that you even want to, is very simple to
implement by comparison, only requireing a few lines
of code, depending on the type of information being

> ANother question does the IMs viz yahoo, MSN
> allow such back ground applications to capture
> the messages ?

Not directly or offically, no.  But they can't prevent
external programs from simply using the Windows API
directly (as my ICQ message capturer does) and
extracting information manually.


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