So, what’s up with Spark? Many of you have commented on the fact that the pace of development has slowed and that Derek is less present in the community. Now that a major new version of SparkWeb is out, it seems like a good time to provide a more detailed status report on everything happening around client development.
First up, an announcement: Derek has taken a new position (Sales Engineer) inside of Jive. So far he seems to be loving it, but I’ll let him comment on this blog post with further details. Unfortunately, that means that Spark has lost its lead developer. For the time being, other team members have stepped in to help out. We’re committed to providing bug fixes and minor new fixes to Spark for the foreseeable future. It remains one of the best cross-platform XMPP clients available.
Since Spark development is slowing down, what’s next? Most of Jive’s XMPP client efforts are now focused on the web via the SparkWeb Flash client. We’re using the same technology base to add real-time features to Clearspace. Further, the upcoming Adobe Air technology offers the intriguing possibility of building a new desktop client using Flash. To us, it all seems like the perfect triple play – a single code base that can be used for Sparkweb, Clearspace features and a new Spark desktop client. Only Sparkweb is ready so far, but you’ll see new real-time features in Clearspace soon and we’ll keep everyone updated on a desktop client based on Adobe Air.
Change isn’t always easy and I’m sure that some of you will be disappointed to hear that our approach to how we build Spark is changing. There may be some rough spots as we move from one technology to another, but we’re pretty excited about where things are headed.