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2008

We are very pleased to announce the release of Openfire 3.6.0!  It has been a long time coming and may well include the highest number of bug fixes and improvements we've ever had in a single release.  Don't quote me on that, but it's certainly the largest number I recall seeing.  =)  While the bulk of them are bug fixes, there are a couple of big improvements I would like to highlight!

 

Clearspace Integration Improvements

We've improved upon the integration between Openfire and Clearspace quite a bit.  Most are bug fixes and performance improvements, but also some new backend features that further solidify the bond if it is set up.  Openfire now includes a Clearspace tab when integration is enabled so help make sure the link is performing properly.  On top of that, there are a lot of features in place in preparation for the addition of real time chat support in Clearspace.  More information will come on that at a later date.  We've also renamed the tables Openfire uses to make it easier to install it alongside other products in the same database, if you so choose.  The automatic upgrade procedures will take care of all of the hard work for you, so you shouldn't need to give it a second though.

 

LDAP Support Improvements

Openfire's LDAP support had some holes in it here and there that should be filled now.  Altbasedn, for example, was not used everywhere.  There is now support for alias following (or rather, turning it off), paged results (to make sure to get all of the available results instead of a subset), and a number of bug fixes for existing functionality.  Internally, a lot of the code has been cleaned up.  I still have a couple of things up my sleeve here and there for a future release, but I'm quite pleased with how this is looking now.

 

Multiple Conference Services

Every wished you could have more than one conference service set up with different rules?  Maybe you wanted one for public access with no room creation rules and restrictions, but also wanted an internal "protected" service that abided by strict rules.  Maybe you just wanted to set up some sort of specialized set.  Maybe you never wanted -any- conference services and just wanted to delete them.  Whatever the reason you might have, you can now set up as many or as little as you want.  In some cases, plugins may even be able to take advantage of a specialized service setup.

 

BOSH (HTTP Binding) Improvements

With many thanks to our Google Summer of Code student, Safa Sofuoglu, we now have updated BOSH 1.6 support, and a ton of misc bug fixes and improvements.  Improvements in this area were also performed on the connection managers!  I encourage you all to read about it in his report:

GSoC 2008 Report: Openfire and SparkWeb

 

More Configuration in Database

The openfire.xml config file was getting bloated and a lot of the configuration in it could easily have been moved into the database.  As a result, we've moved just about everything that doesn't fall into a category of:

  • how to connect to the database itself
  • config info specific to host itself

 

Why you might ask?  In a clustered environment, it makes it so you can set Openfire up once and now have to reconfigure the providers and such for each cluster member individually.  It also paves the way for support for things like, admins stored in the database, which means you can update the admin list on the fly, instead of having to edit openfire.xml and then restart the server.

 

Plugin Updates

It's important to update the following plugins to account for changes in the 3.6.0 API:

  • User Search
  • IM Gateway
  • Fastpath
  • Monitoring

 

Where Do I Get It?

 

You can download Openfire 3.6.0 here.

You can see the entire changelog here.

You can view the documentation for 3.6.0 here.

Plugins can be downloaded from the admin console or here.

I am proud to announce that I have successfully completed my Google Summer of Code Project. As we hit the official pencils down date, I thought it might be good to publish results and final toughts.

 

I started the project in time and completed it 3 working days later than planned, though it could require more effort if we didn't change our goals. I cooperated with Tomas and Tobias to fix the flaws I couldn't notice during development. Changes I made to Openfire and XIFF are listed here and here. All changes have been imported into trunk and hopefully be included in next releases.

 

It was a wonderful experience to work on Openfire and SparkWeb, especially with my mentor Gaston. Even if my GSoC project is complete, I feel there'll always be something to do for me with Jabber. I am having fun with Jabber, and planning to continue working on Jabber development as a community contributor.

 

I would like to thank Google for giving me such a great opportunity. I also thank David Smith and Peter Saint-Andre for their excellent support.

 

See you around!

Welcome to Clearspace 2.5!

Posted by jadestorm Champion Aug 19, 2008

As you most likely already know, we upgraded Ignite Realtime to use the latest Clearspace pending release, version 2.5!  We also upgraded a few things on the rest of the site, but they were primarily backend things.  I'm very excited to finally get Ignite Realtime up to a recent version!  I've been using this for a while internally and also on one of my own sites, and have been eagerly awaiting it's arrival at Ignite!  So with the new site, I wanted to go over some of the new features of Clearspace 2.5, and also a few plans we have coming up!  First of all, 2.5 has a number of cool new features that I wanted to go over, those are as follows:

 

Social Groups

Ever wished you could set up arbitrarily groups of community members who share a similar interest?  Maybe you wanted to coordinate on a project or just have a little space to chat about something you all find interesting?  With the new Social Groups feature, you can create whatever groups you want, complete with their own discussion spaces, documents, etc!  You can browse all of the available groups under Browse -> Groups in your user toolbar, join ones you find interesting, create new ones from the New menu.  It's completely up to you what you might want to put together!  It's all separate from the primary spaces so you won't interfere with anything going on in the primary site.  I'm highly interested to see what you all come up with!  Want to create a group that no one knows about but you and other members?  You can also set up private groups!

 

 

Custom Views

Don't like the layout we've chosen for the main page?  Tired of our layout dictatorship?    Well with this version you can set up your very own "Your View".  You'll see a tab for this when you go to the main Community page, and from there can customize to your heart's content!  Completely messed up your view?  Please post in the forums so we can laugh at you!  Kidding.    Seriously, there's a "Default" button you can press to return yourself to the original setup.  Plus at any time you can view the regular view by simply selecting the All Content tab.

 

 

Rich Text Editor

The new version boasts a rich text editor that actually works great!  We received a number of complaints about the previous rich text editor and it's numerous issues and made sure to provide something that folk can actually use!  Part of the problem with the previous editor was trying to support both rich text and wiki markup and plain text and... you get the picture.. you end up having to cobble together things that aren't meant to work that way.  The rich text editor wanted to do regular HTML in the background, but that conflicted with wiki macro.  Now, I know a few of you have brought up wanting some of the wiki macros back, and I have relayed this back to the developers of the editor, so stay tuned!  I will say this though, I thought I would never like a rich text editor, I always felt they messed something up for me, and this one is the first one I've actually enjoyed using.  There's a couple of kinks we are still working out though, so please bear with us!

 

 

 

Regular Updates

Since we are now running the latest code, we can start performing regular updates again!  That means faster fixes for issues you all report and hopefully a lot of cool improvements along the way!  We are effectively running a beta right now, so updates will be fairly often for now.  Your reports will be invaluable in helping make sure this community runs super smooth!  And since we're not running a release right now, bugs should get fixed quite soon after being reported! 

 

 

 

So That's Great, What's Coming Up

One of the things we've been working on heavily lately has been integrating real time chat wih Clearspace.  In the near future, we will be adding the chat plugin to Ignite Realtime, which will provide a number of cool things such as real time chat in spaces and social groups, automatic chat transcript recording, and scheduled chat events (similar to our weekly developer chat that you are probably familiar with).  In fact, we may be migrating the weekly chat to a room provided by the plugin!  Does this mean you can't connect from an external server?  Of course not!  The JID might just be different.  =)  Gato been making a lot of posts about the new functionality in the Jivespace community, you can read more about them in the following posts:

 

 

 

I Found A Bug, What Do I Do?

Your help in reporting bugs you find in the new site is invaluable!  I am monitoring site bug reports regularly and am passing any feedback back to the Clearspace developers.  Please report any bugs, concerns, or thoughts in the Jive Lounge, or even as a comment here if you'd like.  I want to thank all of you for your assistance in helping not only Ignite Realtime be the best it can be, but Clearspace as well!  Don't be afraid to nitpick.  We'd love to hear anything at all that you have to say!  I can't guarantee that every single issue will be taken care of, but we'll sure consider anything we hear!  Also if you don't feel comfortable with posting publically, you are welcome to private message me directly.  Thanks everyone!

Roadmap updates for SparkWeb.

Posted by ajagucki Aug 17, 2008

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

Hey all.

 

I have been selected as the new project lead for both the SparkWeb and XIFF projects here at the Ignite Realtime community. For about half a year David and I were the only developers contributing code to those projects on a full-time basis -- before SparkWeb's source was even opened up. I added initial support for shared groups, group chat invitations, kick/ban/nick-change announcements in group chat, various bug fixes, and a bunch of other little features here and there. With my previous work on SparkWeb I have seen first hand how its code has matured over the year. I think it is in a 'good' state right now, but clearly there is always room for improvements.

 

David has made a lot of necessary refactorings in the past that have improved its performance and Safa is currently ensuring SparkWeb is fully compatable with BOSH 1.6. Also, we have various other patches containing excellent improvements from other people in the community that will be included in an upcoming release. These two projects now have a decent amount of activity from outside of Jive, which is great.

 

From some recent conversations in the weekly chats it is clear to us that people feel comfortable with Openfire, the server -- and that what they are expecting to see is a client evolve to the same degree. I would like to hear more about this perspective so I can focus to make it happen in SparkWeb's use-case.

 

Interested in getting involved yourself? Well, what are you waiting for? This is an open source community after all... grab the source and join the fun. Send any of your code contributions, ideas, or feedback to me and let's make the most excellent XMPP web app/lib out there!

 

--Armando

I have updated the XIFF library to be compatible with BOSH 1.6. As SparkWeb is based on XIFF, most of the information here also applies to SparkWeb. Main good news are:

  • Login phase and communication using BOSH is noticeably faster thanks to new overactivity rules of 1.6.
  • BOSH connection is tested and working with Openfire, Tigase and ejabberd.

 

Additional Work

 

  • Added logging support to XIFF using Flex logging API (mx.logging).
  • Moved SASL logic from XMPPBOSHConnection to XMPPConnection, so now both connection types (BOSH and socket) share the same authentication code. Previously, socket connection was using non-SASL authentication.
  • Cleaned up some dead code and made BOSH connection class more configurable.
  • Fixed a few Openfire BOSH issues that appeared when testing XIFF.

 

Known Issues

 

This updated version of XIFF will be fully compatible with the updated Openfire and Openfire's BOSH update will be included in version 3.6.x. However,  there is an issue with Openfire versions released before the update.

 

According to XEP-0206, after a successful authentication, clients should send a body with xmpp:restart attribute set to true. But older Openfire versions do not recognize xmpp:restart, handling the request as if it was a polling request. Thus, it responds to the client after 30 seconds.

 

If you use the updated version of XIFF or SparkWeb with a version of Openfire that does not support BOSH 1.6 (i.e. lower than 3.6), please be aware that you will be experiencing a latency of 30 seconds during logins.

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