Blog

Archive for 2008

Summer of Code Students Chosen

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

This year, Adium has accepted three student proposals for Google Summer of Code. One will add a valuable new feature, while two relate to automated testing, which will both improve Adium’s reliability and allow us to spend more time working on new features and less time fixing regressions. Why two projects related to testing? Part of it is just that both students were pretty amazing, but there are strategic reasons as well.

Branton’s project will take the relatively conservative path of extending our existing testing infrastructure; this may include creating Mock Objects for much of Adium’s internals. A difficult task, but one that will almost certainly be beneficial. At the same time as extending our test system, Branton will also be documenting our code, which should make it more accessible to new contributors and easier for us to work with.

Contrasting with this, Arcadio intends to take a different approach; creating a brand new testing framework implementing the Behavior Driven Development approach, and applying it to Adium. If successful, it will give us and other Mac software projects an entirely new set of tools to approach testing with, but it is a somewhat riskier project.

For our only non-testing related project this year, Geoffrey plans to create a framework implementing something similar to Apple’s data detectors feature in Leopard. This will do textual analysis of all messages and use that information to provide contextually relevant actions you can do. Even better, the plan is to make this framework usable in other apps, so this functionality should begin showing up all over the place.

Big thanks to Ian Baird!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

We’d like to give a big shout out to Ian Baird from Skorpiostech, Inc. for generously donating licenses for Changes.app to the project. It’s a great application for viewing changes to files and folders. If you write code, you need to check it out.

Head on over to the website and give it a try!

Adium, application security, and your keychain

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

As of Adium 1.2.4, the Adium binary is signed. This means that our cryptographic signature is embedded in official releases of the application, and that any changes to that bundle will invalidate the signature and thereby alert your system (assuming it is running Mac OS X 10.5 or later) that the integrity of the program is compromised. One of the most obvious advantages of this besides basic security is that you should no longer be prompted to allow new versions to access your keychain items; the security layer can tell with confidence that Adium 1.2.5 is signed by the same folks who signed Adium 1.2.4 and that it should be allowed without question.

If you mess with the Adium binary in any way, you will invalidate the signature, and access to secure resources — specifically keychain items where your passwords are stored — will be disallowed by Mac OS X. Don’t do that.

A prime example (seen in our IRC support channel recently) are the programs such as Monolingual designed to “slim down” Universal Binary (a.k.a. “fat binary”) programs which have both PPC and Intel code. Removing part of the code invalidates the signature. This leads to warning messages.

Apple is encouraging all developers to sign their applications; this won’t be a (non-)problem restricted to Adium. Since only copies of Adium built by the Adium team in our super-secret underground lab are signed, you can of course make your own build and change it however you want — this includes removing one architecture or the other.

While you’re at it, get involved in development! 🙂

Vote for Adium!

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

The nominations are in for About.com’s IM Best awards and your favorite green duck has managed to snag a spot in 3 different categories.

We are nominated for:
-Best Mac Instant Messenger (Yahoo is currently in the lead…)
-Best Third-Party IM
-Best IM Developer(s) of the Year

Be sure to head on over to IM Best Awards 2008 to cast your vote. Voting ends at Noon EST on Saturday April 19th.

Google Summer of Code: Time extended!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

As phatmonkey commented on Evan’s post (so swiftly that s/he posted that comment before I had even opened up the New Post window!), Google just extended the student application deadline for Google Summer of Code by one week.

The new deadline is 2008-04-07. If you want to be a student in GSoC this year, you need to have your application in by that date.

Remember, you can apply with any idea you want—you aren’t limited to our list of ideas. We encourage original ideas that we never thought of.

Last call for Google Summer of Code!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

The deadline for Google Summer of Code proposals is today at 1700 Pacific (12:00 AM UTC 1 April, 2008). This is a great opportunity for students to get involved in open source through a paid summer internship sponsored by Google. Do you want to know more?

Adium 1.2.4

Monday, March 31st, 2008

We released Adium 1.2.4 today. This is a minor release including improvements to several IM services (AIM direct connect, Yahoo! file transfer, Google Talk buddy icons, ICQ status notes, and MSN contact visibility), as well as crash fixes, visual improvements, and the long-requested ability to make the contact list completely transparent. The full change list is, as always, available on our support wiki.

It must be award season

Monday, March 24th, 2008

In addition to the CNET award that Adium was nominated for, I was also contacted by about.com’s IM guru to tell us that they were now accepting nominations for the 2008 IM Best Awards.

He writes:

One of the most frequently asked questions I get as guide to Instant Messaging at About.com just so happens to be “Which Instant Messenger is the Best?”

Well, this year, I have decided to allow the readers to answer for themselves through our 2008 IM Best Awards, delivering top honors to all our favorite instant messengers, new developments and the developers themselves.

Now through noon EST, on Friday, March 28, 2008, we are accepting nominations for this honor in all the following categories:

*Best Instant Messenger Experience, measuring overall user experience;
*Most Improved Instant Messenger, based on back-to-back client releases;
*Best Mac Instant Messenger, based on overall user experience;
*Best Third-Party IM
*Best IM Feature
*and Best IM Developer(s) of the Year.

Winners in each category will be given featured Essentials placement for one year on http://im.about.com, in addition to all the bragging rights among the IM community.

If you’d like to show us some love drop Brandon an email and tell him what you think!

Summer of Code: Atomic Ninja Edition

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Once again, Adium has been invited to participate in Google Summer of Code. We’ll be accepting applications from talented student programmers to work on a variety of interesting projects; Students can either pick an idea from our list or propose an idea of their own (creativity is encouraged!).

For those unfamiliar with Summer of Code, each summer Google sponsors hundreds of open source organizations to mentor students as they work for a summer on a project associated with their organization of choice. Students receive $4,500 USD, a T-shirt, a prestigious item to put on their resumé, and a huge learning opportunity in exchange for 3 months of working on fun open source projects. If that sounds like a great deal to you, get your application(s) in!

In prior years we’ve had successful student projects improving XMPP support, accessibility, group chat, contact list organization, AppleScript, Bonjour IM, and tabbed chatting. In fact, a large percentage of the improvements in Adium 1.1 and 1.2 are the direct result of student work as part of Summer of Code.

CNET 2008 Webaware 100 Awards

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Adium is a finalist in the CNET 2008 Webware 100 Awards in the communications category. Voting doesn’t require any registration so just takes a moment; please consider casting a vote for your favorite duck-themed instant messaging client!