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2016

Lately, I have stared to use Spark client again alongside Skype for Business which I use daily for my professional work. My renewed interest in Spark came initially to have a look at the hard work wroot, guus and the rest of the igniterealtime community had put into Spark 2.8.1 and also to access the chat rooms at igniterealtime, especially the IRF.

 

I use Openfire Meetings myself from time to time and had developed a basic plugin for Spark that allows users to join audio and video conferences hosted by Openfire Meetings. See the documentation for more details. It provides a button from a Multi User Chat (MUC) room or chat window within the Spark client, to open a Chrome window using the same URL as the Jitsi Meet web client. It therefore assumes you have Chrome installed and configured as your default browser. It works, but the user experience is not ideal.

 

I had done some work with Java Chrome Embedded  Framework (java-cef) a while back and decided to use it directly instead of depending on Chrome installed and configured as the default browser. I spent my weekend working on it and this what I have to show for my effort

 

sparkmeet.png

It is a much better user experience than opening a Chrome browser window out of context somewhere else. Like everything in life, there is a price to pay. It does not do screen sharing and does not work on OSX. (don't know how to configure java-cef for OSX). I have tested it at home on my windows win32 desktop and will test it tomorrow at work on my win64 desktop. I would appreciate any feedback from Linux users.

 

The source code is on the Ignite Realtime GitHub repo and PRs are welcome especially to make it work on Macs (OSX)

 

Update

I have given up on java-cef. The lack of current pre-built binaries and missing features like screen share makes it difficult to work with. Our UI expert at work suggested I tried Electron Atom instead. It proved to be very good advice. Whole screen sharing is now available. Desktop sharing and remote control to come later. You will need Openfire Meetings 0.3.28 and above to use it and the pre-built Electron run-time files are available for Windows, Linux and OSX unlike java-cef.. Spark will take a take a minute or two to start after the plugin is deployed. Any feedback on OSX and Linux will be appreciated.

 

I am going to miss the potential of I could do with the tight Java integration, but with Chromedriver, a new world of JavaScript API development with Spark beckons.

A few months ago, I wrote about the relocation of our community. The bits and bolts that power our community have since been migrated, and all is running wel. During that progress, we had a couple of awkward moments along the lines of: "to whom will Jive transfer ownership of the DNS records for Ignite?" We started discussing that topic, and concluded that it would be good to have a legal entity to represent our community.

 

We've been working on a plan ever since, that today, I'd like to share with you. We're planning to start a foundation, the Ignite Realtime Foundation. Its objective: to promote, support and advance development of software in the Ignite Realtime Open Source community.

 

If you're interested in this effort, have questions, or want to contribute in effort or resources, please reach out. We've set up a new chat room at irf@conference.igniterealtime.org that we use for discussions on the subject.

wroot

Spark 2.8.1 Released

Posted by wroot Champion Oct 1, 2016

The Ignite Realtime community has just released Spark 2.8.1 and it can be downloaded from Ignite Realtime: Downloads .

 

This is a bugfix release for 2.8.0, which has introduced a huge overhaul and created a few new issues. Many users had problems with login after upgrading to 2.8.0. This won't change with 2.8.1. It is not a bug, but rather an incorrect setup. Admittedly, this was introduced because of lack of security check in older Spark\Smack versions. But we can't leave Spark blind to bad or forged certificates (in the age of security breaches and moving all the web to TLS). So, if you have this problems, please read Login issues since Spark 2.8.0 . 2.8.1 is introducing an option "Disable certificate hostname verification (not recommended)" in the Advanced settings of the Login screen. If you can't fix your setup or want a temporary workaround, you can use it. But be warned, that you will make yourself (or your users) less secure. 2.8.0 also introduced new setting "Accept all certificates" in the same place. It was enabled by default for those upgrading from 2.7.7. It automatically accepts self-signed and some other incorrect certificates (expired, etc.). This was done to make 2.8.0 backwards compatible, if you were using self-signed certificates provided by Openfire. This setting will stay enabled after 2.8.1 update. But there is a plan to make it disabled by default for new installations in 2.8.2 version.

 

For a complete list of changes please check Spark Changelog

 

As usually we encourage new developers to join Spark project and provide patches. Those familiar with Smack can join the development easier, as we are now using the latest version. Patches can be attached in the forums or submitted as PRs on GitHub.

 

Here are the contributors to this release (besides myself):

nicoben (Nico Ben) · GitHub  updated Italian translation

speedy  added option to login with not matching certificate's hostname, fixed showing incorrect errors when logging in and empty profile fields issue

Alexander198961 (Aleksander Kovtunenko) · GitHub  fixed links opening in KDE environment

Guus der Kinderen  fixed various parts of Spark to behave correctly or log errors

 

Important information for SSO (Single Sign On) users, if they are using SRV records: SSO (Single Sign On) configuration changes since Spark 2.8.0

[SIP phone] SIP plugin is not working since the Smack 4 update.

[Voice Chat] Jingle (PC to PC) calls are not working at this point.

[Linux] Flashing plugin is not working on Linux systems.

 

Here are sha1 checksums for the downloads:

7ab1df8764529b8bfc070b259878470ccbd7640c spark_2_8_1.dmg

bbd029caeb12fc4d9ea6e87b37a5f0377c6a1c29  spark_2_8_1.exe

41b485146393a38966b2eecb832c795b0f0915a8  spark_2_8_1_online.exe

6c68f083d2e6e303e679b614f10536e4563d272c  spark_2_8_1.tar.gz

751721d241d880d9b7772038ec030230b4ccbb38  spark-2.8.1.rpm

c264ccb4e16b401a1814c43342f31a0a3cf36cc6  spark-2.8.1.src.rpm

91a6dfaaf63ca96a5c69b4eb825d2539adffc1b1  spark_2.8.1.deb

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