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Archive for 2007

Your Day of Crash-on-Launch is over

Monday, August 13th, 2007

I just took 1.1 and the minimumSystemVersion elements out of our update feeds. This means that you’ll no longer be able to Sparkle-update to 1.1, but you also won’t crash on your update check.

Coming later tonight: 1.0.6 (for Panther users) and 1.1.1 (for Tiger users), at the same time.

What caused the crash?

First, a moment of context: The 1.1 series requires Tiger. We dropped Panther to make it easier for ourselves and our GSoC students to work on Adium; each OS upgrade brings with it new tools for us to use that we can’t use if we continue to support previous versions. So at some point, we drop one of the old OS versions so we can use new yum that the latest one has introduced.

So 1.1 won’t run on Panther. This is a problem for our Panther users; the latest version they can run is 1.0.5 (1.0.6, soon), but the update feed was promising 1.1. So Evan added some code to the update feeds to state that 1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later; our updater is smart enough to not bother you about an update if it can’t run it, but only if the feed tells it the version that the update requires.

So far, so good. But Evan added the information as an attribute, and it’s supposed to be an element. (Don’t worry about the difference.) The result of this was that our Sparkle updater did not notice the minimum system version, because it was in the wrong place.

So, early this morning, I fixed the appcast, moving the minimum system version to an element, as it’s supposed to be.

That’s when it broke.

It turns out that our Sparkle Plus updater had a bug that caused it to crash when there’s a minimumSystemVersion element. When it was an attribute, it didn’t even see it (it doesn’t look there for that), so there was no crash. When it wasn’t in the appcast at all, there was no crash. But once it was put in properly, it revealed the crash.

This had been fixed in Sparkle, but somehow, the fix never made it to Sparkle Plus.

What now?

I’ve fixed the bug for 1.0.6 and 1.1.1. 1.0.6 is for Panther users, and 1.1.1 is for Tiger users.

We’re also changing the feed URL with these versions, in order to not break older versions of Adium (Zac points out that 12.4% of you are still using 1.0.4!).

I have good news

Monday, August 13th, 2007

First, I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO.

Second, I believe I’ve found the problem that makes the updater crash. If I’m right, it was a pretty simple should’ve-retained-that bug in Sparkle. If the fix works, we’ll have a 1.1.1 out sometime soon—if all goes well, within the hour.

Sorry about all this, people. But those of you who came to the IRC channel to help us find the problem, thank you very much.

Adium 1.1 crash on launch

Monday, August 13th, 2007

For many people, Adium 1.1 is crashing on launch (specifically, at the moment where it automatically updates). We’ve had a few reports of this happening to 1.0.5 people as well, but almost all the reports now are from people who are fresh off of 1.0.5, on their first launch of 1.1.

We have a ticket on this: it’s #7542. This bug is already confirmed. We do not need more tickets nor any statements that you have the bug too. What we do need is help tracking down the bug.

We know that the problem is with our automatic updater, but we need help from people who are able to reproduce this issue in order to track it down precisely.

Right now, as I write this, I’m compiling a debug version of Adium that we’ll distribute to a few people on the IRC channel. If you have programmer skills and a working installation of Xcode 2.4.x, we invite you to drop in and help us step up to the bug. We have no reason to believe that this version is fixed; this is a debugging version. If you don’t have programmer skills, using the debug version will not help anything—we certainly hope that it still has the bug, so that we can find the bug and fix it.

So if you fit the above criteria, please come by and help us out. We would appreciate it.

Adium 1.1

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

The last release of Adium was about a month ago, so you might think that Adium 1.1 has been in development just that long. You might also think that ice cream is better without caramel. You’d be wrong on both counts. Adium 1.1 development started over a year ago, and the ducky fruits of that labor are now yours to enjoy 😀

Adium 1.1, now available, includes one of the student projects from the Google Summer of Code 2006. That project — new, tastier tabs, using PSMTabBarControl — provides a number of benefits:

  • You can arrange your tabs on any side of the message view, not just the bottom. Tabs are arranged vertically when you put them on the left or right edge of the window and horizontally when you put them on the top or bottom.
  • Tabs handle overflow better by presenting a chevron (») menu, just like toolbars do.
  • Tabs are now spring-loaded, so that if you drag something to a tab that isn’t active, it will activate, so that you can position the thing you’re dragging precisely within the inputline.
  • You can have each tab display the number of unread messages, if any.
  • More! Play around and find out.

Adium 1.1 brings other fresh yum besides the new tabs:

  • Prettier
  • Faster
  • Changes in the contact list, such as people coming online and going offline, animate smoothly.
  • The contact list’s ability to hide like the Dock at the edge of the screen has been improved.
  • A new type of AdiumXtra, the menu bar icon xtra, has been created to let you customize the appearance of Adiumy in your menu bar; you can download AdiumMenuBarIcons packs from AdiumXtras.com.
  • Buzz on Yahoo! and nudge on MSN are now fully supported.
  • AIM DirectConnect should be more reliable and less memory intensive; it is now automatically initiated as needed.
  • You can now import accounts and chat transcripts from iChat.
  • Adium now warns you if you run Adium from the disk image. This will especially benefit new Mac users who aren’t accustomed to working with disk images.
  • Right-to-left text is handled property on MSN.

You can read the full, extensive, exhaustive, and complete list of changes on our version history page.

Be sure to see Contributing to Adium for how you can submit patches and code, help hunt down bugs, and otherwise contribute to development. If you don’t code and want to support the project, please consider donating!

Thanks as always for the continued support of our excellent site and code host NetworkRedux and our download host CacheFly!

Adium mentioned in BusinessWeek

Friday, August 10th, 2007

On :

What’s left? Microsoft Messenger, but most Mac users eschew it in favor of iChat, which supports both AOL’s instant messenger and GoogleTalk, or AdiumX, which supports more or less every instant-messaging scheme under the sun, including Microsoft’s. …

OK, it’s in passing, but it’s still cool. ☺

Thanks to Dan Weeks for the heads-up!

SoC: iCal integration with Adium

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

There was a ticket #7483 that was asking for iCal integration with Adium. The AppleScript support for Adium has advanced to the point of being able to do this. The script is available here. Simply attach it to iCal events, and Adium’s status will change when the event is fired. Very handy.

Mentor Peter Hosey adds: This will only work when Matt’s Summer of Code work arrives in a release Adium. That will be 1.2, at the earliest.

SoC: XMPP XEP Published!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

A rather unusual result of this year’s Summer of Code is a new XMPP extension I created:

XEP-0224: Attention
The basic idea behind it is to send someone an “attention grabbing” message. This is known on other protocols as buzz or nudge. In Adium, it will probably let the window send ripples like dropped widgets in in Dashboard in version 1.2, if somebody can fix the bugs this feature currently has.
I guess I’ll get cursed for this extension, since it’s a rather annoying feature. However, my implementation in Adium can be disabled from the account settings!

SoC: Bonjour Messaging Updates

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

I am pleased to tell everyone that file transfer receiving now works with Bonjour messaging!

Microsoft censors your messages

Saturday, August 4th, 2007

From time to time, a user emails our feedback address reporting that he tried to send a message and got this error:

Could not send; a connection error occurred.

And I never had an answer for those users, because it’s quite an empty error message (“a connection error”? What kind of connection error?) and I never heard anything from the other developers about it. So I always wondered what caused that error message.

Now I’ve found out.

A user on the IRC channel mentioned that he had received that error message. Specifically, he started out asking whether there was a way to “fix sending of URLs through MSN”. I asked for more info, and he revealed that he got the same error message when attempting to send a URL that had a .info domain. I tried a couple such URLs myself, with David‘s help, and confirmed his report—even http://growl.info/ doesn’t work.

The reason MSN gives for this censorship is that it’s to protect users from exploits that use certain URLs. The problem with this reason is that any URL could be an exploit URL; filtering by keyword just isn’t enough, because the attackers can always invent new filenames. The correct solution is simply to fix the exploits.

There’s nothing we can do about this because it’s done on the server. This also means that all clients are affected, not just Adium.

We now have a page on our wiki titled MSN Censorship which contains a (probably incomplete) list of strings that are known to get a message blocked. If you include one of these strings in your message, the message will not arrive and you’ll get the “connection error occurred” error message in your chat window.

If you’d like to not have these problems anymore, we suggest switching to Google Talk or Jabber. If you’re using Gmail/Google Mail, you already have a GTalk account; you need only set it up in Adium and get all your friends to switch. (And yes, as a couple of comments point out, you also have the option of using OTR encryption—but that only works if the contact you’re talking to is also capable of OTR. If they’re running Adium or Pidgin, then they are, but not if they’re using some other client, such as the official MSN client.)

(Sources include and . Joost de Valk is the user I mentioned above. If you use Digg, please .)

Forum move

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Folks,

Currently we are in the process of moving forum hosting from the generous hosting of James Cox to Network Redux.

As some of you may or may not know, we actually had a bunch of projects on the forums, called Cocoaforge. It was a concept that James went along with us on, he came up with some parts of the idea. Overall it’s been a great experiment, with users from one application learning about others, and everyone helping everyone else out.

The move to Network Redux is due to a time constraint issue placed on James. Also, the donated servers he was using are now no longer free to use, so there is a cost issue. Finally, we here at the Adium team would like to experiment with providing more shared services between projects, so this move enables us to look at our options for that.

We do not have an ETA for how long the forum move will take.