Requirements for the new chatWe set ourselves a number of basic requirements for the new chat:
- Must work for people with really nasty firewalls/proxies (only CONNECT on port 443, or worse, only HTTP)
- Must have a log of what has been said, kept for a few days
- Must work with tkchat and its commonly used features
- Must allow the irc.freenode.net#Tcl chatters to join us
- Preferably have a web interface from day one
- It should allow us to extend tkchat to do interesting things, like the World-wide whiteboard, without visual noise for other chatters.
- Scale better: during the 2004 Tcl Conference, the chat almost died from having 30 chatters at the same time.
Why Jabber?We chose jabber for a number of reasons. The obvious other choice would have been IRC, but jabber seemed to match our requirements better.Reasons (in no particular order):
- Network admins are not as hostile to jabber as they are to IRC; a lot more firewalls let jabber pass through.
- The jabber protocols are IETF standards (yes, IRC too)
- jabberd/mu-conference has built in chat logging capabilities
- jabber allows us to keep nick coloring
- the jabber protocol allows messages of arbitrary length (IRC is line oriented)
What about the IRC people?You come next - we have ijchain, which is similar to irc/azbridge, we will be running this from day 1. The next step is to make jabber users appear as true IRC users and vice-versa. We have some ideas, it will be done. Nobody will come second in the Tcl community! Jabber and IRC are a much closer match to one and another than chat.cgi and IRC were, so we can solve this rather elegantly.DG If ijchain is found to "not cut it", I can help with a new xmpp->IRC gateway using my irc_engine client extension for my XiRCON-II client.