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2008

We've released the first beta of Smack 3.1.0. Although it's been about a year since the last release, this version is jam-packed with great new features and bug fixes. Check out the changelog for full details.

 

We expect the beta process on the release to be relatively quick, but much will depend on the stability feedback we get. There are also a few last changes that we're looking to get in before the final release.

Matt Tucker

What We're Working On

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Oct 30, 2008

Gato and I are sitting together drinking beers and hacking on Ignite code. After a hiatus (too long), we're both back to working on Smack and Openfire weekly. As I'm writing this, Gato is doing some super low level Java debugging to figure out a strange XML parsing error that we're seeing when running the Smack test cases. Assuming we get to the bottom of the problem, we plan to package up and release a new beta release of Smack. It includes lots of great improvements, but I'll leave the details for the next blog post. We have several goals around our weekly hackathons:

 

  1. Jump start software releases -- it's time to get more regular releases of all the projects going again.
  2. Recruit and empower community leaders -- there's already a large number of people in the Ignite community doing some amazing work on the code. Now it's time to equip them with the tools to be as effective as possible and to let them take on more explicit leadership roles.
  3. Have some fun -- hence the beer

 

We're looking forward to demonstrating progress and to keeping the Ignite projects at the forefront of the XMPP world.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41lJkkJ-t6L._SL500_BO2,204,203,200_AA219_PIsitb-sticker-dp-arrow,TopRight,-24,-23_SH20_OU01_.jpgA great book about installing and administering Openfire has been released: Openfire Administration, by Mayank Sharma (a contributing editor at Linux.com). Some of the topics covered:

 

  • Installing Openfire
  • Administration of server settings and users
  • Integration with Active Directory and LDAP
  • Tuning Openfire for large numbers of users and high performance
  • Enterprise features like logging and auditing
  • Much more...

 

So far, I've only just started reading through the book in detail. The writing seems to be clear and detailed, while keeping a light-hearted tone. I also love the fact that the author includes lots of pictures -- it makes understanding some of the administration tasks much simpler.

 

We're thrilled to see the first book about an Igniterealtime Open Source project. If you get a chance to check it out, please let us know what you think.

I use Openfire and SparkWeb everyday and recently starting evaluating Clearspace to power the community I am building for my wife's education consultancy (www.inspiredfutures.co.uk). As I had limited computing power and memory to work with on my hosted server, it became expedient that I needed to integrate all three products under the same web server and Java JVM.

 

The first thing I did was to make an openfire plugin out of Clearspace

The next thing I did was to enable SparkWeb display an HTML page from its chat container

http://red5.4ng.net/gtms/Image14.jpg

 

The result is what you see above and I am very pleased with it (chuffed as we say in the UK). The benefits of integrating Openfire and Clearspace has already been mentioned here . Adding SparkWeb to that combination in order to have realtime messaging, desktop sharing, Red5 audio/video calling and a SIP phone makes a compelling case for me to use Clearspace

 

I have reservations about real-time integration with web applications that use the MVC model based on Stuts like Clearspace or even PHP applications like SugarCRM. Even Salesforce.com also falls into the same group because they all build their UI on the server and everytime the user does anything that requires a server fetch, the screen goes all blank while you wait for the whole page to be rebuilt from server-side Java code.

 

Putting a softphone or an IM client as a widget in these applications requires constant connect/disconnect cycles as the user moves from page to page. It reminds me of my attempt to build a real-time application on an Apple iPhone and a softphone in Salesforce.com. What we need is to be able to keep our widgets UI resident on the client as well as the user session in the plugin on the server. I am curious to see how Jive Software implements the realtime widgets in Clearspace.

 

In the meantime, I am happy to make SparkWeb my container for real-time web applications as I am getting biased towards Adobe's open-source Flex as my de-facto web client application development platform. I learnt a lot from studying the SparkWeb code and I am planing on developing some Clearspace widgets that use SparkWeb's features through the Javascript External Interface to make the integration complete.

 

If you want to use SparkWeb as a container for your web applications as I have done, pick up the latest version of the Red5 plugin from here. Copy and edit index.html. Change the httpLabel and httpURL parameters to your preference.

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