Gtalk is still dying!
But I've managed to set up an XMPP server on the vds, and soon you will be able to create your very own GOOD SIRS XMPP ACCOUNT, which should federate nicely with every other XMPP service provider including (for now) Google Talk.
Since most of you use the hideous OS that is Windows and Pidgin looks a bit repulsive on Windows I've looked into like six different XMPP clients, my conclusion being that Gajim looks relatively nice with the right preferences. It includes basically everything you got out of Gtalk. Of course, Gajim is just an XMPP client while Pidgin can log in to basically anything...
I'm positing, of course, that XMPP is probably our best bet for a stable chat solution in the brave post-Gtalk world. It's basically one of the largest and best supported solutions, and Gtalk used it anyway so there won't be many surprises in the transition. (Except perhaps that group conversations were always a thing in XMPP and google talk just didn't include them.)
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