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2007

Asterisk-IM: It's Alive!

Posted by greg Mar 30, 2007

!http://www.asterisk.org/themes/asterisk/images/logo.png!There have been a lot of questions about Asterisk-IM since the new voice features were added to Spark and Openfire. I'm happy to report that there are now four interested developers who are going to be stabilizing Asterisk-IM, adding new features and making sure those features work well with the other voice-related functionality in Spark and Openfire. There is plenty to do at the moment, but I wanted to find out what everyone wants to see from the plugin.

 

What would you like to see from the Asterisk-IM plugin once the existing features have been stabilized?

Google Summer of Code 2007

Posted by greg Mar 21, 2007

!http://code.google.com/images/code_sm.png!We're excited to be participating again this year as one of the mentor organizations under the XSF for Google's Summer of Code 2007. We have several project ideas and mentors ready to offer advice on getting the projects done. The ideas we've created:

 

  • Asterisk-IM: Asterisk and Openfire Integration

  • Link-Local Messaging ( XEP-0174) support

  • File transfers for gateways

  • Jingle Voicemail

  • Group Chat for Gateways

  • G722 Codec for JMF

 

If you are interested in one of these projects or in proposing your own, we suggest sending an email to "greg at jivesoftware.com". The more we can get to know about you and your expertise before the official application process through Google's site, the more that will help during the selection process.

Spark Goodies

Posted by ddman Mar 19, 2007

We are getting closer and closer to the final release of Spark 2.5, and I thought I would give a little insight on some of the stuff that's new, stuff that's coming, and stuff that's hidden. It doesn't do anyone any good when we have features within the client that no one knows about.  So why don't we begin...

 

The New Stuff

  1. Jingle VOIP Calls: This is the one big feature that we have been working on for quite some time, and it's really starting to kick some serious booty. Besides being one of the only, if not the only client using Jingle right now, we are coming up with all sorts of ideas. From conferences to just better interaction with others, it's just a blast to finally get to talk with some of the people who we have been chatting with daily.  Give it a try, you can make a call from either the roster or inside any of the chat rooms. Basically anyone using Spark 2.5.0 Beta 4 should be able to talk with one another.

  2. Recent Conversations: Try ctrl+e inside of the Contact List, this allows you to see the last 10 users you have chatted with. I use it all the time.

  3. My Favorites: Try ctrl+t inside of the Contact List, you can see the most "Popular" people related to you. Now granted, it may be a person that you just have to put up with constantly, but I like to be optimistic about it.

  4. Copy To and Move To: I actually added this because I'm still having troubles scrolling down the contact list using drag and drop mechansims. This feature allows you to do mass move or copies of contacts into other contact groups.

The Hidden Stuff

  1. Task List: Using ctrl+F5, you can add tasks that are persisted directly onto your server, so they are mobile. This feature, as is the next one, have been in the product forever, but yet, no one seems to know about them.

  2. Notes: Using  ctrl+F6, allows a simple notepad that is persisted directory onto your server. I use it for daily reminders, etc.

Still Brewing (But should get in the release)

  1. I have a shiny new Mac on my desk in order to get the OSX build up to snuff.  So, two things that I'm going to be jamming on. The first one being better growl notification. The second one being better dock notifications via text and animated icons.

  2. Jingle  Discovery - we need to see who can actually talk.

I hope you find this helpful. Always fun to discover new things

 

Cheers,

Derek

Matt Tucker

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Mar 16, 2007

!http://www.igniterealtime.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/guinness-pour.jpg! Pouring a pint of Guinness is a sacred art -- get it wrong and the creamy goodness just won't be the same. So in honor of St. Patrick's Day, our resident design expert Ryan created a guide (below) to creating the perfect Guiness pint.

 

One thing we never realized is that actually getting a Guinness keg hooked up can be a huge PITA. However, after four store visits (parts), an overnight package delivery (tap handle), and courier service (correct nitro gauge), the Jive office is very happy.

 

Matt Tucker

Openfire Name Launched

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Mar 15, 2007

  Today we re-launched Wildfire using the Openfire name. Along with the name change, we also have a great new logo. I wanted to provide some details about how the name change is being implemented to decrease confusion.

 

First, you'll notice that all website content has been updated to Openfire. There may be a few broken links still, so if you notice anything please let us know. We're also reaching out to external sites that still use the old Wildfire name and asking them  to make updates.

 

The product releases will work as follows:

  • 3.2.x series: these releases will continue to use the Wildfire name so that critical bug fixes can be delivered with minimal hassle to existing users. In fact, we're releasing 3.2.3 today.

  • 3.3.x series: starting with 3.3.0, the server is called Openfire. There will be a small amount of upgrade pain associated with this release since configuration files like wildfire.xml will now be openfire.xml, etc. We'll be releasing 3.3.0 beta early next week, with a final release following as soon as we can ensure the upgrade process is as smooth as possible.

Again, my deep thanks to everyone for all the support you've given us during the name change process. A lot of the hard work is already out of the way at this point, so now it's time to spread the word as much as possible!

 

Matt Tucker

Ring Ring!

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Mar 13, 2007

With today's releases of Spark 2.5.0 Beta 4 and Smack 3.0.0 Beta 3, support for Jingle VoIP has officially landed. We're pretty excited about the progress so far (and perhaps Thiago can start to get more sleep after numerous all-nighters). Some highlights:

  • We've tested NAT traversal in a wide variety of environments, in one case punching through three layers of NATs.

  • Voice quality is sounding great on Windows and Mac. Note that we haven't had a chance to test on Linux testing yet, so support there is probably broken at the moment.

Of course, there's a ton of work still: more NAT traversal and media proxy tests, UI refinements, entity capabilities detection (so we know when to show the call button), Linux testing, options to use more than just the GSM codec, etc. We're working towards a final 2.5.0 release of Spark in the next several weeks, with a final Smack 3.0 release at roughly the same time.

 

NAT traversal isn't an easy problem to solve, but we've come up with some innovative twists to standard ICE techniques that we believe are superior. In essence, we've found a way to bypass the limitations of SIP (which doesn't have reliable signaling like XMPP) and therefore don't require STUN and TURN support. For those of you that don't read pages and pages of VoIP RFC's in your spare time, this probably all sounds like gobbledygook -- my apologies. Some specifics of our proposal are already being discussed in the XMPP standards list. We're now hard at work fully documenting the protocol and then will submit it for review (which will be a controversial process). Will we as the XMPP community have the courage to break from the SIP mold and standardize better and simpler techniques for NAT traversal?

 

Jingle: Too late or Perfect Timing?

 

All this Jingle work has made me reflect on the market realities of VoIP in XMPP. After a lot of hype last year, discussion of Jingle had quieted down a lot. Jingle excitement seems to be building again recently, but can we truly make an impact against SIP? Two things make me hopeful:

  • NAT traversal through open standards is not a solved problem yet. ICE, STUN and TURN are still draft standards and not many SIP stacks have deployed all these new protocols yet. That makes me believe that we have a window of opportunity to establish mindshare for Jingle as the best NAT traversal VoIP protocol.

  • SIP federation just doesn't exist in any useful way yet. Instead, SIP is generally deployed in isolated islands. On the other hand, XMPP federation is vibrant and growing at a huge rate. That may give Jingle a leg up.

Greg and I are heading to the VON conference next week. We're printing a huge sign to put up in the booth:

It will be interesting to see how people react. If you're going to be at the conference, be sure to stop by the booth and say hi!

 

The voice conferences we've attended this year have been a mixed bag for Jingle. We saw good interest in the protocol at E-Tel, although many bristled at the notion that XMPP could solve any problems better than SIP/SIMPLE. On the other hand,  those I talked to at the Internet Telephony  conference generally hadn't even heard of XMPP, much less Jingle.

 

For Jingle to succeed, a few things need to happen:

  1. We need to clearly articulate where Jingle fits into the VoIP puzzle and make sure we offer some clear advantages over SIP for those puzzle pieces (note that it's never been a goal of Jingle to replace SIP in all cases).

  2. Interoperable Jingle implementations need to start appearing as soon as possible.

I find it all to be an exciting challenge and I can't wait to see where Jingle is a year from now.

 

For all you Flex developers and Flash fans looking to create XMPP-enabled applications with Actionscript 3, an updated (and clean) version of the XIFF 3 Beta code can now be found in the XIFF Subversion repository.  Once we finish testing, working on the documentation, and cleaning up a few odds and ends, we plan to have an official public beta release.  Currently, the new code has been tested on both jabberd and Openfire and works great.

 

Due to the sheer magnitude of the refactoring involved in converting all the code to use E4X, we are keeping the existing XML parsing architecture.  This is good news for any developers familiar with XIFF's extension support, because it essentially works the same as before and parsing is still plenty fast.  Plus, the great thing about Actionscript 3 and AVM2 is the new binary socket, which means no more clunky server workarounds to support socket connections from Flash.

 

Nick, Greg and the rest of the team at Lymabean have been working hard on this port to Actionscript 3 over the last few months.  A big thanks to them for making a Flex-compatible version of XIFF a reality.

 

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