Summary: Use run-with-idle-timer because bitlbee needs some time to start up
It turned out to be trivial to download and install Bitlbee from source. Then I used bitlbee.el to start it from within Emacs instead of trying to have it run all the time. In fact, the following seems to work just fine:
(autoload 'bitlbee-start "bitlbee" t) (setq bitlbee-executable "/usr/local/sbin/bitlbee") (global-set-key (kbd "C-c e") (lambda () (interactive) (bitlbee-start); needs time to start up (run-with-idle-timer 1 nil 'rcirc nil)))
Don’t forget to add an appropriate entry to rcirc-server-alist and rcirc-authinfo.
Quick setup for myself:
account add oscar "kensanata" "*secret*" account add oscar "98129982" "*secret*" account add jabber "firstname.lastname@example.org" "*secret*" account set jabber/ssl true account set jabber/server talk.google.com account set jabber/port 5223 save account on
Using account set was new to me. And having to use port 5223 instead of 5222 was weird, too. But now it seems to work. Yeah! I ended up not using ELIM and jabber.el, which is why I wanted to give Bitlbee another try.