Hello everyone. It’s been quite a few years at this point since I first started Kraken. At that time I was developing PyAIMt and PyICQt and a Jive Software employee approached me about writing a plugin specifically for Openfire (Wildfire at the time). At first I balked at it, not wanting to develop something that was locked into a single server. However, I looked at the availability of libraries out there under Java and also the opportunity to really dive into a project in Java, a language I had mostly ignored in the past, and decided that sounded interesting to me. Plus it gave me an opportunity to explore some alternative methods of handling things I hated about PyAIMt and PyICQt. So I bid farewell to the Py transports, put them out there for someone else to take over, and dove into the IM Gateway plugin. Years later, after Openfire no longer appeared to be a priority for Jive, I decided to pull away the plugin and develop it separately, as Kraken.
My original goal was to set up Kraken to communicate with any server out there and yet still maintain the same functionality I could embrace as a plugin for Openfire. I never got to work on that. Over time the libraries I depended on lost their developers and languished under lack of development, leaving me to have to fix my own issues with the libraries. This was ok for a while but to be frank, it has gotten old. On top of that I rarely get any form of useful patches or help, so I find myself not enjoying working on Kraken at all anymore. I’m no longer interested in being a one man show.
Over the years, I’d had a number of folk ask me why I don’t develop a Kraken like project based on libpurple. Well the answer was always — that’s not what Kraken is, but why don’t you consider firing one up! I saw many of those attempts come and go. However then I heard about Spectrum. While I was pretty stoked to see it being developed I wasn’t expecting much. But a couple of weeks ago I checked in on the status of Spectrum and it’s still going very strong.
After giving it some thought I talked to the lead developer of Spectrum about the possibility of joining forces on Spectrum. With it’s use of libpurple, I shouldn’t have to spend much time with the individual protocol support and can focus on actual functionality of Spectrum itself. It’s already got a lot of the functionality I wanted Kraken to have, including file transfer and integration with ‘all servers’. It lacks patches/plugins for Tigase and Openfire but I intend to fix that. All in all it’s where I want to be — working together with someone else and able to tap into the excellent work of the Pidgin folk.
So.. what’s going to become of Kraken? Well, the whole thing feels like breaking up with someone to me. It’s not easy to part ways with Kraken. That said it’s the right thing to do for my sanity. After talking with the folk over at igniterealtime.org, we decided we move Kraken back to igniterealtime.org, where it can be with it’s target audience and where it grew up so to speak. While there is no developer lined up to ‘take over’ for me so to speak, the code will be right there in case the Openfire devs need to update it for compatibility, or want to put some serious work into it. I’m going to attempt to restore my JIRA instance enough to pull the outstanding issues out of there and put them into the tracker at igniterealtime.org and the source base will be moved to their SVN tree. I’ll shut down kraken.blathersource.org and probably have it redirect over to igniterealtime.org. I’m sure we’ll get a forum or something set up over there for people to chat amongst themselves. All in all it should make for a pretty smooth handoff and I’m a lot happier knowing it’ll have a real home instead of just floating about in the sourceforge project graveyard.
It’ll probably be a few days or weeks before this all falls into place. I’ll post again when things are finalized with some links to where things are now. This blog will remain and who knows, maybe I’ll get my butt in gear posting to it more often again. lol =)
Thanks for everyone’s interest in Kraken over the years!