Hello Spectrum

For some time now Spectrum made itself a name for being a fast and reliable transport between XMPP and “legacy networks”. After moving from ejabberd to Prosody XMPP-wise, switching away from the python based transport has been a task on our to-do list for far too long.

The most visible differences for end-users will be another domain being used and more choice in regard to supported protocols. Namely aim gg icq irc msn qq simple xmpp and yahoo. The current transports located at “im.thiessen.it” will be available under “thiessen.im” along with the new ones in the future. The necessary changes in your roster are being done automatically and should not result in more than a short disconnect.

Update: The migration has been completed successfully. In some cases users may ended up with the wrong encoding for their country. If you should experience problems please contact us in support@rooms.thiessen.im (webchat).

Update 2: We currently experience a problem where the transport suddenly stops reacting. Spectrum’s development team has been informed and we expect a fix by the end of the week. If you notice connection problems, please use the chatroom mentioned above to let us know.

Unexpected downtime Feb. 19th at 3am

Last night we experienced an unexpected crash of Prosody. The service wasn’t available for about two hours from 3am. Unfortunately the Prosody team couldn’t find the cause yet which is why we are going to restart the deamon in debug mode tonight. That will hopefully give us more information in case it happens again. The expected downtime is less than a minute.

Update: The issue has been identified and a fix is being worked on.

Happy Birthday Prosody

Prosody turned 1 today. Congratulations to the development team and everyone involved making Prosody the favorite XMPP Server for many people.

On Nov. 25th the 0.6 branch was released and brought a bunch of interesting new features
such as multi-session support in MUC, stream compression, encryption for server-to-server connections and per-host SSL/TLS certificates.
About a week later the 0.7 release seems to be just around the corner. Next to several bug-fixes it will add support for libevent, XEP-0065 (known as proxy65) and SASL SCRAM.

The Prosody team summarized the project’s history and published some graphs showing commit activity, lines of code and so on. Keep up the good work.

Planned maintenance work

The provider hosting our machines recently informed us about planned maintenance work. We expect they won’t be reachable a couple of times during late night hours CET (UTC +1).

Tonight this will affect de2.xmpp.thiessen.org which is currently hosting:

  • thiessen.im and its conference
  • thiessen.org
  • conference.spectrum.im

On sunday, november 1st de1.xmpp.thiessen.org will be affected which is currently hosting:

  • thiessen.it and its subdomains jabber.thiessen.it and im.thiessen.it
  • icq.im.thiessen.it
  • msn.im.thiessen.it

We are sorry for the inconvinience.

Privacy Lists are available now, Prosody 0.6 soon will be

Today we enabled a module (mod_privacy) which implements XEP-0016 in Prosody.

This specification defines an XMPP protocol extension for enabling or disabling communication with other entities on a network. The protocol, which was first standardized in Section 10 of RFC 3921, can be used to block communication with unknown or undesirable entities. Blocking can be based on Jabber Identifier, subscription state, or roster group. The blocked stanzas can be messages, IQs, inbound or outbound presence stanzas, or all stanzas. The protocol also enables an entity to create, modify, or delete its privacy lists, apply different lists to different connected resources, define a default list, and decline the use of any privacy list during a particular communications session.

We thank Thilo Cestonaro for his work, he is currently working on mod_proxy65 (implementing XEP-0065, supposed to ease filetransfers), which is likely to be followed by a logging plugin. It will enable MUC owners to enable logging for their room.

But not only are there more and more plugins contributed by the growing Prosody community, Prosody itself is close to a release candidate of version 0.6.
As always it will include a lot of bug fixes as well as major new features, this time including S2S TLS support.

Planned downtime on Saturday, August 29 (Server Migration)

On Saturday, August 29 between 11:00 pm and 12:00 midnight (CEST) we will switch from ejabberd to Prosody.
We are also upgrading the host system from Debian Etch to Debian Lenny.

During this window, the domains thiessen.it, im.thiessen.it and jabber.thiessen.it won’t be available.

If you have any questions or encounter problems after the migration process
please join our support channel.

Update: Please login using your username in lowercase. Fixed, thanks Tobias Markmann.

Sort of … “what’s next?”

This is a list of tasks that are planned for the next couple of weeks/months:

  • Migrate thiessen.it domains to Prosody done
  • Add a third xmpp-server to our network
  • Cluster thiessen.org and thiessen.it domains across those servers

Our long time goal is to have nodes not only in europe, but maybe on each continent. If you think this is worth contributing, consider a donation.

We will keep this post up to date and/or send notifications in case we expect a service outage. If that’s necessary it’s hopefully the last short downtime thanks to the clustered setup afterwards.

Update: Waqas Hussain, one of the Prosody developers, finished the migration script that allows us to switch to Prosody. He’s now working on completing Prosody’s MUC implementation after which we will start the migration process.