Status Update: February 25, 2012

We’ve been awful at posting updates to our blog about what has been going on! It’s too late now to even blame it on the holidays, but we owe you all an update about what’s been happening and here it is!  We do, generally, still have status meetings on Monday’s at 6:00 PM Paris time (that’s noon EST) in #instantbird on  Feel free to stop by and tell us what you love or what you hate or anything else!

What’s New?

  • Tab completion is now smarter: “active” nicknames are now favored in completions and your own nickname is avoided in completions unless it’s the only match.
  • The JavaScript XMPP protocol implementation developed by Varuna JAYASIRI for Google Summer of Code 2011 is now used for Facebook Chat and Google Talk accounts. It can’t yet fully replace the libpurple implementation until DNS SRV is supported.
  • You can now scroll to the first unread message after opening a conversation that was on hold by pressing Alt+Page Up (you can also scroll to the top of the conversation by pressing Alt+Page Up again after that)!
  • When opening a conversation on hold, the UI is now updated asynchronously if there are a lot of messages to restore. You may notice a progress bar has replaced the UI freeze we used to have in this situation.
  • Conversations are now logged in a JSON format to allow more information than the old plaintext logs.
  • You can now delete Twitter messages.
  • Passwords are now stored in the Mozilla password manager! Previous saved passwords will be migrated to the password manager automatically, but the old saved password in the preference system is not yet deleted.  This will be handled in a future update.
  • Buddy authorization requests have been rewritten to remove the (awful) modal dialogue!
  • Mozilla was updated to 9.0.1 and libpurple was updated to 2.10.1.
  • Various crashers have been fixed.
  • Additionally, a lot of code reorganization has occurred for ongoing work of sharing code with Thunderbird.

What’s Coming Soon / Being Worked On?

  • Our JavaScript implementation of IRC should be landing in the nightly builds soon, which should have feature parity to the libpurple implementation.  Please test this out!  You can find more information in bug 507.
  • Integrate SIPE (bug 976).
  • Add a reading position marker to quickly find the last read message in a conversation, bug 860.
  • Upgrade to Mozilla 10.

What’s up with Instantbird 1.2?

We were hoping to release Instantbird 1.2 near the end of January, 2012.  Unfortunately there are a few blockers / regressions that have been found, causing us to be unable to release.  Everything slated as wanted or blocking Instantbird 1.2 can be seen on our Bugzilla.

  • The l10n scripts need to be updated and translations need to be updated.
  • Decide whether to drop QQ (we need to support showing captchas to keep it): bug 1021.
  • Finish the JavaScript XMPP work (not all of these necessarily need to be done for Instantbird 1.2):
    • Handle setting a user’s icon.
    • Allow adding/removing tags from a buddy.
    • DNS SRV (not required for Facebook Chat or Google Talk): Mozilla bug 14328.
    • Receiving formatted messages (bug 1231).
    • Sending private messages to MUC participants.
    • MUC topics need to be supported.
  • Currently a contact will disappear and not reappear when their name changes for some reason, bug 1178.
  • Conversations should show the history in new windows, bug 958.
  • All message styles (not just Bubbles) should support context messages, bug 1074.

Again, please accept our sincerest apologies for not providing any updates in the past couple of months about the progress we’ve made with Instantbird.  We’re really excited about Instantbird 1.2 and can hopefully get it out to everyone as soon as possible!  As always, Instantbird is made great by the community and we’d love to have more help in working on it!  If you have any ideas (or no ideas, but some free time!) stop by #instantbird on and we can have some discussions or point you to ways to help you!