Annoyance when Somone IM's you

We run OpenFire as our instant messaging server and use Spark as our client. We used to use OpenFire coupled with Pandion (another free/open-source client program) and had great successs, however I found it was missing a lot of features such as file transfer, spell check, etc.

I like Spark a lot more, however the biggest annoyance i have with it is when someone IM’s you, your cursor focus changes to the orange blinking notification window instead of staying on whatever you were working on . For example, I can be typing an email and someone IM’s me, I dont notice and keep typing. I eventually look up and see that i have not been typing my email since the notification has jumped the “focus” over to it instead.

How can i change this behavior? I have looked through the settings but can’t seem to find any on the client side. This is becoming such a big problem (annoyance) that i’m starting to get pressure to move us back to Pandion instead of Spark. There has to be a way to get around this annoying behavior… does anyone have any suggestions?

OpenFire version: 3.7.0

Spark version: 2.6.0

thank you!

Anyone any ideas? Do you need additional information? This is really a problem for us and I can’t imagine the creators of Spark/Openfire having done this intentionally…



also learn to search and post in appropriate subforums, this has nothing to do with openfire

Thank you for the bug report Wolf_P… i didn’t see it before… however i’m a little disturbed that this bug report is from 2004? thats 7 years ago. And the other Spark bugs you linked too are old as well, both with no resolution… seriously?

If there is no fix for this then I can see why more people dont adopt Spark… i think its a wonderful IM client that has a lot of nice features (Spell check, file share, screen shot share, etc)… however it deciding for me which window has the focus is not ok. Like I mentioned before… I can be typing something and look up and nothing has been typed because someone IM’ed me… very annoying and a severe hurt to the flow of business. If there is no fix or workaround we will, sadly, have to migrate to some other client software… as this is completely unexeptable behavior.

Doe anyone have any work arounds available? there is a work around listed in that bug report but it seems (from the submitters post) that it is not a real fix… I know I can’t be the only person with this issue!

this is a Java bug, nothing we can do about it until Java7

For 7 years? I would think someone would be able to figure out some workaround? How come other Java-based IM clients dont have the same issue? It probably stems from some code in Spark… making it incompatible with some other codes that would normally avert this issue. It saddens me that in 7 years the creators of Spark could not rewrite their code to work better… really… 7 years.

We are migrating away from spark now. Chalka another one up, lost to bugs… way to go Ignite!

In 7 years someone could of started a brand new career and made something of themselves… graduated from college and graduate school… built a house from scratch… so many things can be done in 7 years…

… 7 years… 7… seven… 7 years.

First, that old ticket is about “bring window to front” option issue (applying to 2.5.8 version) and is not related to the recent focus stealing issue, which wasn’t present in 2.5.8 version. And the latest ticket is only a half year old. Spark is only about 5 years old. So i see no point in “7 years whine” at all. You should point it on Sun/Oracle.

Second, Spark is an Open Source project for some time and it started as a proprietary one. And it was filled with proprietary code, which had to be removed and replaced with open source alternatives. Lots of code has been rewritten. There are some other issues related to that. That’s the price of going open source. But there was no choice. Jive has dropped Spark project as they have dropped Openfire and other stuff. Though we are thankful, that they have open sourced them before. So the community could continue working on them. Spark is now a community driven project. We don’t have full time developers. Actually for a few years the project was almost in a complete stale. Now it is getting some pace thanks to 3 guys from Germany. They are volunteers. And i don’t think such posts encourage them to continue their work.

So, third, i hate such posts like yours. For many years i have seen many such posts, when newcomers start to ask, demand, growl, etc. If you think this can be done better, then code it better! Make a patch, contribute it and we will be grateful. Here, someone is trying to make a patch or a workaround for this Although his patch is so far only working with java7. Wolf has already tried a few proposed alternatives and nothing works so far. He is working on Spark for a few months only, so he can’t know all the inners of Spark. And this issue is not just a one line of code rewrite. This is related to the framework how Spark is drawing its interfaces, windows (Swing i believe). Rewrite whole Spark base? So simple yeah? Comparing other java based clients to Spark wouldn’t be fare without comparing their sources and classes, libraries, techniques being used. Spark had to be rewritten once and it is mostly using standard java functions now and it hits the java bug now. We can only wait for a patch (if it is possible, latest proposed workarounds had ugly flashing side effects) or wait for java7.

So, either contribute or be happy with some other im client and let others live

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besides, why dont you invest into Spark to make it better instead of complaining?

The fact remains Wroot that Spark and OpenFire are not ready for Enterprise. This is extremely sad since it def. has potential of being great… but such a silly problem and for so long? Even for being a community driven project (many other IM clients are btw! and they dont have this problem), more than 1 year and more than 1 release later is not exceptable. It is a MAJOR issue for not only our business, but others. I have been chatting with my tech buddies and they concur… Spark is not, and can not cut it in Enterprise because of this bug. You have to remember, Spark is supposed to be a client program that anyone (read: non-technical staffers who are already scared of using a computer in the first place) can use with ease; and this is where Spark fails.

If i had java programming experience I would happily jump in there and start coding… but alas I do not, and from teh sound of it neither does most of the world if only 3 people are working on this project. I would call that a dead project and it should not be advertised as a fully working program for business use. Open-source means sharing the concept of building the program and communty developement, not crap software.

Java7 is set to be released on the 2nd week of July. If there is no fix shortly afterward (no we will not wait 7 more years for a fix) then I can attest to 3 businesses that will ditch spark all-together. I have no beef with OpenFire so far, just Spark and its poor coding.

Wroot. your bug report was indeed submitted to Oracle/Sun 7 years ago. I’ll refresh your memory.

If this was a known bug 7 years ago, can you explain to me why Spark, which you have mentioned has been rebuilt several times, has not been able to work around this issue when so many other Java based programs have? I’m waiting on your explanation…

I was suspecting that you are referring to that “Enterprise” slogan on the main page. This site is the legacy of Jive Software and there is no easy way to change texts on that site (no easy TVS or something) all text are buried in jsp code and someone has to be really careful editing them for not to brake all the site. I’m constantly proposing to ditch that bulky site with all the Enterprise nonsense and make just a simple plain page with a few texts and download links. But i have no access or enough knowledge, and others are too busy with their lives and jobs. You are living in an ideal open source world where every project has hundreds of developers and bugs being fixed in a minute. But in reality many open source projects doesnt have enough developers, some projects are dead. And even such huge players like Sun can’t fix their bugs for 7 years. Also, i have to mention that Openfire doesn’t have an active developer since the last release and it has several major issues (server to server, issues with UTF characters). So i propose not to wait till java7 and start searching now if you are Enterprise. Openfire and Spark are not ready for enterprise just because we don’t have enterprise class development and support power (not talking about a budget). Actually i don’t think there are many open source (and freeware) projects at all which can be called Enterprise.

If you think this issue is silly, then propose a simple fix. If you are not a coder, then ask your fellow programmer and bring the solution here. As i said, we will be glad to apply it. We are not blocking all the developers of the world to look into this, you know, just they are not interested in Spark.

Here’s a short history:

Jive drops Spark and open source it

After some time some UK student comes and starts fixing some issues and rewriting some parts, then he quits

After some time another guy comes and starts rewriting some other parts, he is still sometimes active, but not much

Somewhere between those rewrites a java bug shows up. This means, window drawing was probably controlled by some proprietary code or library or class (i’m not a coder myself), and probably this library had a workaround for this issue (paid developers do their job better), and now this library has been removed and we can’t know how exactly it was done. Maybe it was in the Substance skin framework, which we are not allowed to use anymore.

Then there was a few years gap of development silence.

Few months ago Wolf and others came and are now trying to make Spark better, fix some long standing issues. For free. I can assure they were looking for the solution (i’m watching this process for some time), and not only they. Probably fixing this without waiting for java7 or using some ugly workarounds will take a huge rewrite of code and probably changing how the Spark looks and works. I think they can’t afford that (just in their free time). So we wait now for java7 or some patch from the outside.

You can call it a dead project, from your perspective. I can’t. Especially after they have done so much in a few months. So many issues fixed and features added. Honestly, i won’t switch to 2.5.8 for any money and i can cope with focus issue for now for all the new useful features i get.

I can’t give you any other explanation. But can you give an example of another Java project, which is using the same classes/libraries like Spark, which had this issue and have found a clean workaround without altering the base GUI code?

For starters here’s a Java based IM program from the creators themselves

and guess what? no focus issues.

here’s another:

and another:

so yes… Wroot… they are out there in the wild…

and yes, there are many, many open-source Enterprise grade softwares out there in teh wild too. May i point you to Xen (not Citrix’s Xenserver, although that is technically open-source as well), CentOS ditro is open-source and id classify it as Enterprise grade. What about other softwares like Zimbra (email) or LiveZilla (live website chat)?

If Spark isn’t ready for the Enterprise level then it should not be touted as such. It sounds like you are on the same page with me here.

You sound pretty technically adept Wroot… but you are forgetting the typical user of Spark is not in the slightest bit. A minor “annoyance” to you and me is a show-stopping problem for someone who already doesn’t know what they are doing on a pc. Having the focus change windows and consequently send your typing/text to cyberspace is show-stopping for several people at my business… people I have to report to. Shouldn’t Spark be made to be as simple as possible? I thought that was the whole idea… simplicity while offering features other IM cleints do not. At least thats what got my attention in the first place.

Now we’re getting away from teh probem at hand. How is it so many other IM clients are able to pull this off without redirecting focus away from your active window? It doesn’t even pull the focus all the way to the new IM message… it just dumps your focus into cyberspace… It should either grab the focus all the way or not at all. Again, i’m not a programmer (more of a networking guy), however this does not seem like an issue that should take years to fix, especially if multiple parties have worked on the project like you claim.

I have no doubt the volunteers are working hard… God knows they all deserve large paychecks! I have no beef with the work they have already done… it is, may i remind you, what drew me to Spark in the first place. Screen Shot sharing, file transfer, spell check to name a few. My beef is with the priorities of fixing bugs. If this bug has been “known” in one way or another for 7 years then i would expect there to be a fix or workaround for such an In-Your-Face bug. I dont like seeing new features added to something thats broken already. Its like dressing up a turd and hoping it wont stink. If the core of Spark isn’t ironed out… then how do all these new nifty featuers benefit us when we can’t even use the damn thing?

I can’t download Sun’s IM app without registering, can’t compare it to Spark, though i can do this only visually, not on a source level. I believe that they know their bugs and not using buggy classes in their own software. I believe there can be some kind of workaround, as 2.5.8 had, but only a very tech savvy (who knows the whole Spark’s source code person and how Spark works) can answer how much work will it take to rewrite the code using new techniques. Maybe it will take longer than a wait for java7.

Pandion is written in C++ i believe and Trillian is also a windows only app, so probably no java under the hood (and GUI looks like native).

If you want Spark to take the focus all the way, then enable “bring window to the front” option. Though, if people are typing without looking on the screen, probably it won’t help much.

I don’t know why it takes 7 years for Sun to fix this bug (and probably they have lots of developers) and why they are pushing it to java7 and cant fix it in java6 update. Maybe not so simple. I don’t know why at least 4-5 people here with java skills can’t find a solution. We can’t attract more developers here.

Java 7 is here and a new update for spark has just come out the other day… I’m still having the same issue on my dev machine (now the only machine running spark anymore in favor of Pandion). Is this issue just being ignored and swept under the rug? I thought Java 7 was the answer to all of our prayers?

I still WANT to like spark… i really do. it has potential. and a lot of nice features. But all the best features in the world don’t amount to anything impressive if such an “In Your Face” bug still presists.

Please… Please pay attention to the problems in Spark instead of just covering them up wtih new features…

Check the 9th message. Currently it looks like you have to replace the built-in jre folder inside of the Spark’s installation folder with the java7 one. Usually it is enough to remove that folder for Spark to use the external java. Probably something is different with java7. Anyway. When java7 is officially out, then i hope soon new version of Spark will be released with java7 bundled and this issue will be gone.