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43 Posts authored by: Matt Tucker Champion
Matt Tucker

Announcing Jive SBS 3.0

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Mar 9, 2009

The Igniterealtime.org community is always part of the beta process for new Jive software releases. The beta feedback we've gotten from community members over the past several weeks has been great. During the beta, some sharp-eyed community members (including wroot) noticed that the "powered by" message that appears at the bottom of every community page had changed from Clearspace to Jive SBS. Not wanting to let the cat out of the bag, we quickly hacked back in a "Powered by Clearspace 3.0" message. Now it's official: Clearspace has been re-named and we're officially announcing Jive SBS 3.0! The release is packed full of great new features that I hope you've all been enjoying during the beta. A couple of the improvements that I think are especially great for Ignite: searching is now up to ten times faster and we use image sprites so that pages load faster.

 

For full details on the release, check out the announcement. And for a look at what Jive is all about lately, check out our manifesto. Thanks again for all your feedback during the beta!

This Sunday, igniterealtime.org will move to a new server. The time window for moving the site is 12:00pm - 4:00pm (PST), but the expected downtime is fairly short. The server move will let us more rapidly respond to server issues and also to more easily roll out new services.

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'm happy to announce that we're making most of Openfire Enterprise Open Source! First, a bit of context: for the past couple of years, one way that we (Jive Software) have monetized our Open Source work on Openfire and the other projects on igniterealtime.org has been through Openfire Enterprise. Openfire Enterprise addresses the Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) market by adding rich reporting, archiving, and control features on top of Openfire. Since we released Clearspace last year, Jive has become super-focused on social collaboration and communities. That's pretty different than the EIM market and it's become increasingly difficult for us to serve both markets with our limited resources. Instead, we want to focus our Openfire work on real-time social and collaborative features and monetize our Open Source efforts through Clearspace integrations.

 

Existing Customers

 

Discontinuing a commercial product is always a difficult decision and one of our biggest concerns is not leaving existing customers in a lurch. We'll continue to provide support for Openfire Enterprise through existing support contracts and believe that making the Enterprise components Open Source is the best possible outcome for customers given the options. We remain strongly committed to the Openfire project and are pretty excited about what's coming in the future.

 

A Few Details

 

Gato will have a follow-up blog post with a lot more details about what we're releasing as Open Source and how, but I wanted to highlight two items. Sparkweb is our flex-based web client based on XIFF and will become Open Source. The client is already very feature rich and polished, and we're actively making many code improvements to it, as it's a shared code base with the real-time client features we're building into Clearspace. Second, the clustering functionality in Enterprise will not be made Open Source. Part of the reason for this is that we use a third-party commercial library for clustering  that can't be Open-sourced.

 

Let's Go Get 'em

 

One of our hopes with this move is that the last possible objection to deploying XMPP-based instant messaging at every organization in the world is now removed. Now, everyone will have access to an open standards solution that satisfies all the needs of IT departments... for free. We think that's great news for the community and getting our technology deployed even more widely is good for Jive Software as well. We hope you'll join us in spreading the word.

Matt Tucker

Happy New Year!

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Jan 3, 2008

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and had a great New Year. Welcome to 2008! Believe it or not, it was just about one year ago that we launched igniterealtime.org. There's been an amazing amount of growth in the community since then and a huge number of product releases and accomplishments. To list out a few:

 

  • The super popular gateway plugin was released

  • First Sparkweb released and much progress since then

  • Clustering support in Openfire Enterprise

  • Smack 3.0

  • Numerous Spark releases

  • Many, many improvements to Openfire including huge scalability gains and leading support for XMPP secure certificates

 

Those of you that track Jive Software know that 2007 was our first year of Clearspace. Clearspace has been hugely successful and has let us grow rapidly.

 

What's in store this year? There's lots more exciting product work, including a big focus around bringing Openfire and Clearspace closer together. Many thanks to everyone that's been a part of igniterealtime.org community. We're looking forward to working with you throughout the year.

Matt Tucker

Our Client Strategy

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Oct 31, 2007

So, what's up with Spark? Many of you have commented on the fact that the pace of development has slowed and that Derek is less present in the community. Now that a major new version of SparkWeb is out, it seems like a good time to provide a more detailed status report on everything happening around client development.

 

First up, an announcement: Derek has taken a new position (Sales Engineer) inside of Jive. So far he seems to be loving it, but I'll let him comment on this blog post with further details. Unfortunately, that means that Spark has lost its lead developer. For the time being, other team members have stepped in to help out. We're committed to providing bug fixes and minor new fixes to Spark for the foreseeable future. It remains one of the best cross-platform XMPP clients available.

 

Since Spark development is slowing down, what's next? Most of Jive's XMPP client efforts are now focused on the web via the SparkWeb Flash client. We're using the same technology base to add real-time features to Clearspace. Further, the upcoming Adobe Air technology offers the intriguing possibility of building a new desktop client using Flash. To us, it all seems like the perfect triple play -- a single code base that can be used for Sparkweb, Clearspace features and a new Spark desktop client. Only Sparkweb is ready so far, but you'll see new real-time features in Clearspace soon and we'll keep everyone updated on a desktop client based on Adobe Air.

 

Change isn't always easy and I'm sure that some of you will be disappointed to hear that our approach to how we build Spark is changing. There may be some rough spots as we move from one technology to another, but we're pretty excited about where things are headed.

We're planning on migrating the community back-end for Igniterealtime.org from Jive Forums to Clearspace on Wednesday. I'm pretty excited about the change, but it will require a couple of hours of downtime on the site. I'll post a more specific outage estimate in the forums as Wednesday approaches. If you're interested in getting a preview of what the updated site will look like, check out http://beta.igniterealtime.org.

 

Update: The migration has been completed, beta.igniterealtime.org has been removed.

Matt Tucker

Jingle: Cutting Edge VoIP

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Jul 27, 2007

OSCON 2007 is wrapping up and it was a great conference. Yesterday I gave a talk about Jingle, an extension to XMPP (Jabber) that's primarily used for VoIP. The slides are available on Slideshare (including a link to download the Powerpoint).

 

At the beginning of the week, we participated in the XMPP Devcon event. Peter provided details about the topics of discussion from day one and day two on his blog.

 

Matt Tucker

New Community Area Beta

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion Jul 19, 2007

We're making progress on the migration of the community from forums to Clearspace X. A beta version of the Ignite site using the new platform is available at beta.igniterealtime.org. Clearspace carries forward the discussion functionality, while also giving us blogging and wiki document features. The beta site is using a copy of the forums data from a couple of weeks back. Please poke around and feel free to post test data, then give us your feedback. When we do the final migration, it will be using the most recent real content.

 

Matt Tucker

Eating Our Own Dog Food

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion May 30, 2007

We (Jive Software) launched Clearspace X just about one month ago, our external community software product that combines discussions, wiki documents and blogging. [As an aside, we provide free Clearspace X licenses to Open Source projects.] So, why aren't we using it here on igniterealtime.org yet? There's lots of good excuses, but we've been hard at work on the migration and it will happen soon. What will the change to Clearspace X mean?

  • The same discussions functionality we have with Jive Forums, but with an updated UI.

  • Migration of the blog engine to the Clearspace platform (this will be fairly transparent).

  • A rich new set of functionality around wiki documents. We're already planning lots of great content.

We're looking forward to the new features and to getting your feedback on them. I'll post more migration details in the forums soon.

 

You may remember me asking for everyone's help a few months back to vote for Openfire. We're entered in the Enterprise Open Source Reader???s Choice Award in the "Best Open Source Product" category. The deadline for voting is May 31, which is just one week away. If you haven't already voted, please visit the site to cast your vote. Note that the voting process started before the rename of the server, which is why you'll see the old Wildfire name.

 

The good news is that we're in the lead position with 198 votes. But other projects aren't far behind and I'd be thrilled to solidify our lead and hit at least 250 votes. Thanks for your help!

 

Matt Tucker

XMPP Server Popularity

Posted by Matt Tucker Champion May 3, 2007

I don't usually get annoyed by other blog entries in the XMPP blogosphere, but this one got my goat a bit: the claim that ejabberd is the most popular XMPP server (according to ohloh). Not only that, but their previous blog entry crowed about passing the 120,000 download mark. So, I thought it was time to set the record straight:

  • Openfire is now the most popular XMPP server according to ohloh. Why the sudden change? Easy; I read the ohloh FAQ, which states that popularity is based on Yahoo page ranking. The Openfire project page on ohloh linked to a deep page in the ignite site (something that people would never link to). I simply copied ejabberd and made the page link be the main website. Sure enough, we're now the top server listing.

  • Openfire just passed 827,753 downloads.

  • The igniterealtime.org discussion forums have 53,348 messages, compared to 4025 on the ejabberd site.

Anyway, my apologies for the pissing match, but we have to be willing to step up when directly called out. I do think it's a great thing that there seems to be such vitality in the XMPP world.

 

Late last week we (Jive Software) released version 1.1 of Clearspace, our commercial community and team collaboration product which includes blogging, discussions and wiki documents. As an aside, we offer free Clearspace licenses to Open Source projects and it's also free for teams of up to five people.

 

!http://www.igniterealtime.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/avatars.gif!This release builds on the Openfire integration that shipped with version 1.0. One great new feature is the ability to see real-time presence information for users (pictured on the right).

 

On the back-end, Clearspace connects to Openfire using the external component protocol, then is able to query for presence data using a set of[ ad-hoc commands|http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0050.html]. Although we're still polishing up a lot of things about the way the integration works, Clearspace serves as a great model for how a web application can leverage XMPP for presence and messaging.

 

The unification of Openfire and Clearspace is a trend you'll see us continue strongly for two reasons:

  1. Real-time features will be an important way that we differentiate Clearspace from competitors (the "secret sauce"). We believe it should be easy and seamless for a user to move between real-time and non real-time collaboration and have many innovative features planned to make that possible.

  2. Unification is an important way to leverage the Open Source investments we've made in Openfire and Spark. Yes, we still believe that a hybrid Open Source strategy is good for both business and the community (see our philosophy). One of our not so secret hopes is that our commitment to Open Source and open standards will be enough to convince you to try out Clearspace at your company as an alternative to Microsoft's clumsy Sharepoint product. Or, consider Clearspace as a replacement for the wiki that started with good intentions but quickly grew into an unmanageable rat's nest. You know it's gotten bad when the engineers are frustrated and the business folks won't touch it with a ten-foot pole.

Ok, enough advertising. But we're pretty proud of the release and it's hard for me to reign in my enthusiasm.

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