SparkWeb: Next Generation

Blog Post created by DavidSmith Champion on Oct 31, 2007

One of the new things other than clustering in Openfire Enterprise 3.4 is a new release of SparkWeb. This marks a number of major transitions for it:


Simplified Installation


First, it's now built into Openfire Enterprise. No more downloading a separate plugin, and no configuration required. You'll find it in a new sidebar item in the "enterprise" tab of the admin console.


Moving to Flash

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Second is that it's entirely new code. As we worked on the original SparkWeb, we ran into many limitations of the "ajax" (html + CSS + javascript + xmlhttprequest) platform, including browser compatibility issues, difficulty with localization, and the inability to support any sort of richer collaboration experience like voice or video. As a result, Derek DeMoro wrote a prototype of a web based XMPP client in Flash, using XIFF and Adobe's new Flex API. The new SparkWeb is descended from that, rather than from the previous version.




Work In Progress


There's good and (temporary) bad with this transition. The new code supports vcards and avatars, and is significantly smaller, resulting in quicker page loading. There's also a revamped UI, including contact list filtering much like Spark has. On the other hand, group chat support and secure connections are not quite ready in the new code, and are planned for the next minor Openfire Enterprise release.


If you have any questions or problems, feel free to post them in the Openfire Enterprise Support forum