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ECF is a framework for building distributed servers, applications, and tools. The elements in this framework were used to build the user tools that you will find in this manual. The ECF components can also be used to build new user level tools. Please see the ECF Integrators Guide if you want to learn more about the ECF components.

From an end-user's perspective, ECF provides three major areas of communication which are Person to Person Communication, Collaboration and Utilities. Let's take a look at these three different area's and the see what the ECF has available for you.

Person to Person Communication
You are able to login to an IRC server to join IRC chatrooms. Eclipse committers operate many rooms on the Freenode server. They are happy to help you answer questions. You are also able to setup your own room, for example to host your companies helpdesk.
The XMPP and XMPPS protocol started its life as the Jabber protocol but is since renamed to XMPP, the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. This open protocol is in use by many applications, most notably Jabber and Google Talk.
MSN (originally the Microsoft Network) is the protocol for the chat service provided by Microsoft. ECF provides a client to connect to people on the MSN network.
Every Eclipse Bugzilla user is hooked up to the Eclipse IM (XMPP) server. Use this to connect to the Eclipse community.
The ECF framework is used to create a Twitter client, called Tweethub.
In addition to real-time chat clients, ECF also Provides the NNTP or Network News Transfer Protocol together with a basic news client named Salvo.
Use ECF to share workspaces and editors for remote pair programming sessions using real-time collaborative editing.
ECF Provides capabilities to share files by using XMPP and the BitTorrent protocol.

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