This weekend I jumped back into development of SparkWeb to reacquaint myself with the list of outstanding issues/bugs in order to set a course for fixes and improvements. As a result, I have updated SparkWeb's roadmap in its issue tracker, adding a handful of bugs to be smashed in the weeks ahead for the 1.0 release (and also closed a lot of outdated ones). Clearly the next release will be focused on bugfixes and stabilizations. However, let's look into the void a bit further and see what new features and enhancements are on the horizon.

 

 

Dynamic Theming and Skinning

 

After developing on and using SparkWeb for nearly a year now, I have grown tired of its current skin and icon theme. In the code we are actually hardcoding a lot of color values and of course hardcoding the skin images themselves. This is not ideal in the least. Let's work towards a skinnable SparkWeb with updated icons. What I have in mind is something less "heavy" on the eyes, something like Yahoo's Flex skin they released under the BSD license:

 

http://www.yswfblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/yskin_401x235shkl.jpg

 

 

As for the icons, they should also be themable. Imagine SparkWeb with a beatifully clean flex skin matched with the IM-related icons from KDE's Oxygen icon theme. I would like to see that, myself.

 

 

TLS Support

Secure communications over XMPP. Enough said, right? I am sure a lot of you would like this feature.

 

 

Plugin Framework

Easy extendabilitiy with the option to disable/enable certain functions would be great. I am sure a lot of you saw Dele's manipulations of SparkWeb adding Audio/Video communications. That is an obvious use case of such a framework, and I image his code would serve as a good guide for determining "plug points" in the code to implement it.

 

 

Stay tuned, and don't be shy to report bugs and submit patches of course.

 

--Armando