Over the last couple I have been able to get direct connection working from at least client versions 5.0 to 3.5, and the buddy icons system at least partly working, the icon will have to be set here on the webpage but it will at least be found and used by the client now. still no progress on group chat, its workings elude me..
I have also heavily refactored the server source code to increase its efficiency and make it much easier for myself to manage and debug.
these changes will be applied at the next server patch.
root@Timmy64:~# apt-get install bacon