Weekly Meeting: October 17, 2011

Weekly meetings are held every Monday at 4pm UTC (that’s 6pm for people in France, and 9am for people in San Francisco) in #instantbird on irc.mozilla.org.

The second weekly meeting discussed some final details for the 1.1 release, which happened on October 18, 2011!  Read the blog post about the release. In addition, some plans for Instantbird 1.2 were discussed.

Development Issues Discussed:

  • Instantbird 1.1:
    • SSL Issues with GTalk
    • Focus issues on the buddy list
    • Release candidates for all localization prepared
  • Instantbird 1.2:
    • Check in the backlog patches that have been reviewed
    • Update to Mozilla 8 or Mozilla 9
    • Integrate JavaScript protocols: clokep’s JS-IRC and XMPP from our GSoC  student
    • Strive toward making libpurple optional

Non-Development Issues Discussed:

Ways to Help Out:

  • A QA/testing team would help to find regressions and bugs quickly
  • Help is needed in organizing the localization effort and keeping them up to date with information

Stop by at our next meeting on October 24, 2011 at 6:00 PM France time.  Oh, and try out Instantbird 1.1 if you haven’t (and tell your friends)!

(Full chat logs are available, as well as the Etherpad timelime.)

Instantbird 1.1 released!

Exactly 4 years after the very early 0.1 preview, Instantbird 1.1 has just been released today in 13 locales (Swedish and Estonian are new)!

In addition to several stability fixes and a dramatic reduction of resource consumption in some cases, this new release will make Twitter and IRC much more usable in Instantbird:

  • On Twitter, it’s now possible from the context menu to retweet, to reply to a tweet (or simply double click on the tweet to start a reply). The context menu also lets you follow or unfollow the author of the tweet.
  • Tab completion of usernames (starting with an @ character on twitter) or nicknames (in IRC channels) will also be very appreciated.

All these changes have been commonly requested, so no surprise here. But there’s one last feature I would like to talk about before offering you a download link: Instantbird 1.1 brings support for putting conversation on hold. This means you can now close conversation tabs without leaving the conversation, the conversation will sit at the top of the Contacts window until you reopen it or someone talks to you. While this may seem like a small change, it’s exceptionally useful for IRC users who tend to idle in lots of channels because they want to “be there just in case” but don’t interact much with the conversation.

Enough talk! Time to go download Instantbird 1.1 (or read the more detailed release notes).

As always, your feedback is welcome! And if you like Instantbird, maybe you will want to share the good news with your friends on Facebook or twitter?

The Interruptions Manager

For Instantbird 1.1, which will be released soon, we realized a weak spot in our API was the ability to control whether events should be shown to a user or cancelled under certain conditions.  This fits in as part of our mission about giving control of instant messaging to the user: the user should only be interrupted by events that deserve their attention.  If you’re wondering how this is useful; extensions now have great control over how Instantbird is allowed to interact with the user.  For example, extensions could: keep conversations from opening (i.e. spam guards), quiet sounds during a full screen video, or even stop new conversations from opening if the user has set their status as Unavailable.

Extensions are able to simply register themselves with the interruptions manager and they will automatically be notified if certain events happen, including when Instantbird wants to: get your attention (e.g. flash the task bar), open a new conversation, play a sound or show a message notification.

The API is really easy to use and we’ve created some example add-ons that use it!  We have created an an add-on to not allow the NickServ from IRC accounts to open (source), an update of NickServKiller.  Additionally there is an add-on to force auto-joined chats to be held on the buddy list (source), allowing you to give them your attention when you want to.  Another example of a great add-on is the Do Not Disturb add-on, which does not allow Instantbird to disturb the user while their status is set to Unavailable, really allowing you to concentrate on something more important (source).

There’s also a skeleton for an anti-spam add-on (an often requested feature!) that is just waiting to be finished!  Contact us on #instantbird on irc.mozilla.org if you’re interested in helping out.  And don’t worry, these extensions will be available on addons.instantbird.org soon!

We think this is a great addition for add-on developers working on Instantbird and can’t wait to see what exciting ideas people come up with!

Weekly Meeting: October 10, 2011

Weekly meetings are held every Monday at 4pm UTC (that’s 6pm for people in France, and 9am for people in San Francisco.)

The first weekly status meeting, which everyone is encouraged to attend, was held on #instantbird (irc.mozilla.org) and flo, clokep and aleth lead the discussions. (Full chat logs are available, as well as the Etherpad timelime.)

The meeting’s primary focus was about the pending 1.1 release (if you’re reading this before 1.1 goes gold, nightlies are available at http://ftp.instantbird.com/instantbird/nightly/latest-trunk/ and testing is always appreciated!)

Development Issues Discussed:

  • SSL issue. Fixed
  • Translations not yet 1.1 compliant. Fixed

Non-Development Issues Discussed:

  • Establishment of the non-profit foundation to support Instantbird
    • Specifically the creation of a bank account for funds and starting ideas to generate capital
    • We are still seeking suggestions for good web-based systems to let the non-profit receive donations (ideally with minimal transaction charges and must be accepting of most international currencies)
    • Thinking about ways to get more people to use Instantbird’s Amazon-affiliate code when making purchases
  • New WordPress-powered blog is launched, letting more Instantbird developers share in the blog’s upkeep and helping to expand its audience
  • Florian Quèze will be attending the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit, so say hi if you are attending

If you read this full post, here is an extra sneak peak for you: Check out the full list of new features in 1.1! More details on them are on the way, that’s why this is just a sneak peek.