Cool new features in Spark 2.6.3 and the Kraken Openfire plugin

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the Spark Java IM client – after Jive Software officially withdraw support and development resources for it I’ve tended to use other clients such as Pidgin, as Spark development had all but seemed to have ceased.

It was a nice surprise then to see that in the year or so since I last looked Spark has had at least a couple of community-developed releases, most recently version 2.6.3. There are a substantial amount of new features available, from OTR support, to a cute built-in language translator and an array of skins – my fave being the MS Office 2K7 lookalike:

Spark preferences and skins

Also neat is that the previous IM Gateway plugin for Openfire now lives on in a community-developed variant called Kraken:

http://kraken.blathersource.org/

Once installed in Openfire via the easy web admin BUI, one can control client connections to an array of consumer IM networks. I’ve been trying the v1.1.3 beta 3 release with Google Talk and Facebook users, and it works very well.

Spark with Facebook and Google Talk users

There is no Spark release available for OpenIndiana, but that is something I hope to address in the near future.

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