Spark is an Open Source, cross-platform IM client optimized for businesses and organizations. It features built-in support for group chat, telephony integration, and strong security. It also offers a great end-user experience with features like in-line spell checking, group chat room bookmarks, and tabbed conversations.
Combined with the Openfire server, Spark is the easiest and best alternative to using un-secure public IM networks.
This is a minor thing. But i wanted to share with the community, that after a few days of back and forth with reviewers i've managed to get my article about Spark submitted (with some remarks) to Wikipedia. Openfire had its page for a few years already (i'm not the original author, but i update it occasionally). So i thought it is not fare for Spark not to be represented as well Also, i have found a few articles in other languages, which were either outdated or very short (linked them to this article), so i thought Spark needed a better source of information.
Feel free to improve the article (Openfire's also), update linked articles in your language or add more languages. Spread the word
The Ignite Realtime community has released Spark 2.7.1 for general availability and it can be downloaded from Ignite Realtime: Downloads (Note: there are no working Mac OS X installer as our current build environment has no working setup for Mac, also Spark has lots of issues on the current Mac OS versions and the community has no active Mac OS developers willing to step in).
This release contains much less changes comparing to the previous version (12 tickets with a minor changes and fixes). The plan is to do minor releases with a few changes, so it would be easier to find a culprit if regression happens. But there won't be a new version every other day. We don't want system admins to get mad at us
This is the complete list of changes in this version (official changelog):
SPARK-864 - Printing conversation margin cuts off characters from lines that wrap
SPARK-1512 - ***<user> is online at message does not always show in chat room
SPARK-1513 - After receiving XML data as a message Spark stops displaying history
SPARK-1604 - Buzz and stale settings overlap in the Preferences window
SPARK-1588 - Update French translation
SPARK-1607 - Show JID as contact name if instead an empty string would have been shown
SPARK-1609 - Default resource should be "Spark" without a version number
SPARK-1611 - Update Lithuanian translation
SPARK-1617 - Fix loading of Spellchecker's IgnoreUppercase setting
SPARK-979 - Add an option to disable graying out and italic for idle contacts
SPARK-1503 - Option to use hostname as a resource
SPARK-1584 - Update bundled JRE with the latest version
This release is bundled with the latest and last Java 7 update (7u80). Next releases will be bundled with Java 8 (most probably). Printing GUI has been replaced with the modern Java based version.
There is still no Project Lead developer for Spark (no active developers at all actually). So there won't be a regular schedule of releases. But you can always share your patches on the GitHub. If you find new issues, you can report them in the forums and we will at least file them in the bug tracker for the future developers to tackle.
Here are checksums for the downloads:
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df9b8510e8619d09920416e14a680d4ef003700ac7d3c1f90be51c725f551b26515ba02c74bdb7f0 123f2651c7710f9cc09c561b180166eec9b05ded35c559da spark_2_7_1.deb
0bc80508774ed5f8a2c85d73fa93b38d7ba2a7fa4c340c83df0d7080fb7b8dd8dea99dbf656469bc cc2a707a8bfe57260e9053f0fbd83cc38c45756a541dc86f spark_2_7_1.exe
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The Ignite Realtime community has released Spark 2.7.0 for general availability and it can be downloaded from Ignite Realtime: Downloads (Note: there are no working Mac OS X installer as our current build environment has no working setup for Mac, also Spark has lots of issues on the current Mac OS versions and the community has no active Mac OS developers willing to step in).
This release is a mandatory one to use with the recently released Openfire 3.10.0. As 2.6.3 version has issues connecting to the new server version. Though there is a not recommended workaround to revert to using Old SSL setting, which is less secure than TLS. The community strongly advises to upgrade to 2.7.0 version. Even if you are not planning to update to 3.10.0 release of Openfire yet. Spark hasn't seen a release in almost 3 years, but it was constantly evolving. Many fixes and improvements have been applied to the code since the last release. Some users have it deployed in the production environment for years and find it more stable than 2.6.3 version (as myself with 200+ user base).
We are sad that currently Spark has no Project Lead and there are no active contributors to this project. So, fixes and new features may not come up quickly. We hope open source community will embrace and improve this project in the future. You can start sharing your patches on the GitHub. If you find new issues, you can report them in the forums and we will at least file them in the bug tracker for the future developers to tackle.
Here's a list of some important fixes/changes:
[SPARK-1397] Fix the displaying of system tray icons - Jive Software Open Source (minor one, but not for such a picky person as i am, Spark icon now looks much nicer)
[SPARK-1525] Update smack - Jive Software Open Source (huge update for Spark and this is probably the cause why 2.6.3 can't connect to newer Openfire as it uses older Smack library)
[SPARK-1546] Spark visually shows that a message is not sent - Jive Software Open Source (one of the most annoying bugs in 2.6.3)
Also the Conversation history dialog has been completely reworked and should load faster and should be easier to navigate. Java has been updated to the recent 1.7.0 version, which should fix issues with some timezones. There are also numerous memory leak fixes. You can find the full changelog here: Spark Changelog
There are also some open issues. Like the still broken voice chat module. One of the past Spark maintainers cstux has started a work on fixing this, but it is moving slowly. File transfers may not work between 2.6.3 and 2.7.0 versions because of many changes to this functionality in 2.7.0. This is a somewhat frightening list of open issues (though many are minor) Spark - Jive Software Open Source So, again, we encourage Java developers to move this project forward.
Here are sha1sums for the downloads:
The Igniterealtime community and Jitsi.org is proud to release the Jitsi Videobridge plugin for Openfire version 1.3.0 with Openfire 3.9.2. The new version has the latest code from the Jitsi project, fixes a number of issues and implements some requests made from the community
To run the ofmeet video conference application, point your browser at https://your_server:7443/jitsi/apps/ofmeet
To run the Candy web application with multi-user video, point your browser at https://your_server:7443/jitsi/apps/candy
To download the Spark plugin, point your browser at https://your_server:7443/jitsi/apps/spark/jitsivideobridge-plugin.jar
To run the jitmeet video conference application, point your browser at https://your_server:7443/jitsi/apps/jitmeet
You will need Google Chrome as your default browser to use the Spark plugin
Although jitmeet (Jitsi Meet) and ofmeet (Openfire Meetings) look similar, they are different underneath and are heading in different directions.
Jitsi Meet is for generic XMPP servers and aimed at public internet facing conferencing using services like prezi.org and etherpad.org while Openfire Meetings is for private in-house conferencing where all collaboration applications are integrated into Openfire. For example, Ofmeet uses a PDF viewer which supports in-house corporate powerpoint presentations, while Jitmeet uses prezi.org.
A new version of the Jappix plugin for Openfire is available with support for WebRTC restored back. It only supports Chrome version 26+ and is compatible with the WebRTC plugin for Spark. It uses The Openfire JingleNodes plugin for media relaying via Openfire server when WebRTC peers can connect directly with each other.
Group Video Chat
Click on the webcam icon to share video in an active chat/groupchat.
With chats, the other party receives a prompt to share their audio/video.
Groupchat does not prompt and auto shares audio and video with all participants.