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openfire and spark: cool stuff

ignite_dl_openfire.gifToday I spent some time tinkering with Openfire and Spark, and they're both pretty cool.

I've been using GAIM (ok, ok, Pidgin) at home on my PC but the last few days it decided to start crashing when connecting to Yahoo. Great. Back to Trillian, but, oh, wait, even though Trillian tickles me the fact that it looks like an app from 1992 drives me bananas. (Gaim ain't that great either). Is it so hard to spend a bit of time on look and feel? Icons? UI matters!

Anyway. So Russ had mentioned recently I should give jabberd a try, but hey, I'm a Java guy, so off I go and I get Openfire. Simple install: check. Embedded Jetty for built-in web configuration: check. Easy way to add IM gateway: err... slightly convoluted, but yeah. Check.

ignite_dl_spark.gifNow for Spark: still in beta, so expect some clunkiness, but the UI is surprisingly clean, and its Synth L&F implementation (at least that's what I think it's using) is also pretty good. Bonus: it doesn't crash.

An advantage of this setup is that I can connect from anywhere to my account on the Openfire server over a TLS channel (something that you can require) and all my IM connections are encrypted, at least to the server. This means I can use IM from open WiFi hotspots without (much) fear of snooping if it was necessary--something impossible if you're logging in directly to Yahoo, MSN, et. al.

Overall, pretty good! My half-hour of weekly free time is over now though :-), so I'll have to wait until next week to tinker with it more.

Posted by diego on May 20 2007 at 6:25 PM

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