'Instant Messenger' applications are by design text applications but most are large, GUI heavy (and ugly), ¬†feature bloated, insecure, unstable resource hogs (for what they actually do)....
The text mode nature and use of the application suggests by design that a console mode 'IM' client would be one of the most obvious ways to streamline the application, reduce features to most commonly used essentials, and offer something that's a real resource sipper you can leave running on your system 24/7 without giving it a second thought.
Linux has many text mode 'IM' clients, one mature example called mICQ also has rough, buggy, and poorly documented Windows ports available, but at least shows what's possible in the way of a clean, easy and functional text interface.
Miranda is a very popular, open source, multiple protocol, 'IM' client that's very light weight, and offers a plug-in architecture so only user chosen features and functions need be installed. ¬† As the Miranda Source is mature, open, and free; it would I imagine (I'm not a programmer) offer a reasonable starting point for quickly building a simple text mode 'IM' client.
A 'Console Mode' Miranda compatable client would offer several compelling advantages in addition to those already mentioned including:
¬∑ all the core features are already coded
¬∑ a console mode Miranda compatible client could use many Miranda plug-ins
¬∑ code is already very mature and very 'light weight'
¬∑ program is compatable with all popular 'IM' protocols
¬∑ plenty of attention & enthusiasm for the Programmer from the Miranda community
There are many open source, multi-protocol 'IM' client projects; I've just suggested Miranda because it's popular, mature, well documented, and because it's one of the smallest 'IM' clients available.
¬∑ Miranda Instant Messenger Home Page
¬∑ Miranda Source Code Download
¬∑ Miranda @ SourceForge
¬∑ Miranda CVS Browser
¬∑ Miranda Developers Journal
¬∑ mICQ Home Page
¬∑ mICQ Linux Source
¬∑ mICQ CVS Archives
¬∑ mICQ @ SourceForge
I love Windows CMD Console text mode applications for their clean, lean form that follows function interface and utility; I ¬†wish Windows had a fraction of the offering of console mode applications that Linux/UNIX systems offer and appreciate any new links anyone can offer to useful Windows text mode applications...