Archive for the ‘awesome’ Category

Apple will discontinue the iPhone NDA

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Apple has announced on
its iPhone Developer Program page that they will drop the NDA covering the iPhone APIs. This means that we should, at some point, be able to start work on an iPhone version of Adium.

Some important points:

  • Apple has not dropped the NDA yet. The announcement says that Apple will distribute a new developer agreement “within a week or so”. Until they do, the NDA is still in effect.
  • We don’t yet know what the new developer agreement will say. It’s always possible that the new agreement will include some other clause that prevents open-source software. We won’t know until we see it.
  • An iPhone version of Adium will not happen immediately, nor soon. From the little public information that Apple released (and the many tidbits that iPhone developers leaked in defiance of the NDA), we know that the iPhone development interfaces are significantly different from those on the Mac. We will need to rewrite almost the entire application. The Adium for iPhone page has more information.

This is a long-overdue step by Apple, and we’re glad they’ve taken it. We look forward to one day writing and using the iPhone version of Adium.

Thank you, Apple.

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.

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.