Now that Leopard is finally here, I've been able to see for myself whether Chax for iChat 4 is feasible. Apple has indeed made Input Managers more secure, although they have yet to close it off entirely. Thanks to an updated SIMBL and the newly-released PlugSuit, loading into other applications is still possible. That being said, iChat 4 is drastically different from iChat 3 in 10.4, and getting Chax working at the same level that it was previously will take some time. Fortunately, it appears that Apple has put the two-and-a-half years since 10.4 to good use. A number of features that Chax supplied in 10.4 are now built-in to iChat in 10.5. I don't think a feature-by-feature comparison with iChat 3 with Chax versus iChat 4 is necessary, but it is obvious that iChat 4 is still missing some features that I know I'd like to have.
One of the biggest things I missed moving up to iChat 4 is Growl notifications. This isn't something I would expect Apple to include in the system by default, but they did provide a way to get our own notifications fairly easily â€“Â AppleScript support. I threw together an AppleScript that will display a Growl message each time a message is received. AppleScript events can be set in the Alerts preferences, as shown in this video. You may also notice that there's a few scripts provided by Apple, including auto-accept. If you set the Auto Accept script to run on a Text Invitation event, you'll no longer be bothered by the floating notifier window, just as Chax did in iChat 3.
So where does this leave Chax? As of right now, right here. I'd like to have the contact list customization settings, log viewer, activity log, and Growl support returned first. I don't have a timeframe for this happening, but I'll be posting previews soon.