July 7th, 2001


Integrated Jabber support within LiveJournal!

As some of you know, for the longest time, I've advocated that we should work with the fine people over at Jabber to integrate their open source chat features into LiveJournal. I emailed Jabber and floated the idea awhile back, but never heard anything...

Well, out of the blue, we've heard from Ryan, the head of the Perl team at Jabber, who has been assigned the project of integrating Jabber support into LiveJournal!

This is big news! Like LiveJournal, Jabber is a truly important open source project that deserves our support. Jabber is also a real business with real customers. It really says a lot about LiveJournal and how far we've come that they are interested in working with us. LiveJournal and Jabber have a lot to offer each other. We can provide them with a large, rapidly expanding user base for their software. They can provide us with an even more integrated, enjoyable online experience for our users.

The possibilities of what can be done with this kind of integration are very exciting! We will be able to connect to Jabber using our LiveJournal logins and passwords, for instance, and Jabber will even provide LiveJournal with conferencing servers we can use for both groups and general use. There are even plans in the works for providing automated LiveJournal updates to online Jabber users. (Have you ever wanted a friends list that updated in real time? This kind of thing can be done with Jabber integration...)

Ryan has set up an account with us as reatmon and will post to lj_dev later to introduce himself and tell us more about this really exciting project! He isn't the only Jabber developer using LiveJournal, either... there's also eliot and temas, who have both been using LiveJournal for awhile now. Please welcome them all into our humble little group here and make them feel at home!
  • jnala

O'Reilly Open Source Conference

bradfitz, evan, insomnia, and I are going to be at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in San Diego, July 23-27.

We haven't figured out accomodations yet. The hotels all cost over $150/night. So, like, if you're going to this thing, and you have a hotel room with spare floor space for one or more, let us know. :-) Or if you live someplace nearby (the conference hotel is right by the airport) and have crash space, that'd work too.

Aside from the issue of where to sleep, it'd be cool to meet up with people, so if you'll be around, leave a comment and say so. :-)
  • mart

Journal Import Facility

Recently, since online journalling is becoming 'old hat' to many people, they have been reconsidering their choice of journal service and looking for a way to make a clean switch.

It would be nice if LiveJournal could be the first service to produce transition tools from services like Blogger and the other one I've forgotten the name of.

All it really requires is that we define a generic XML DTD (ie just the entries: no usernames etc) which all services could theoretically produce documents in. Blogger's template system can easily be set to produce XML, so there's no problem there. All we need is the XML format and the import tools.

Here's what I think the XML stuff could look like:

<subject>Optional Subject</subject>
<body><![CDATA[ Blah blah blah body text I write
 drivellous stuff and post it online for people to
 read hahahaha. ]]></body>
<meta type="current" name="mood">happy</meta>
<meta type="current" name="music">Frank The Goat -
LiveJournal Boogie</meta>

Obviously there aren't currently any other services which would export metadata we also support. If we define metadata for our stuff and make it possible to export in this "Generic WebLog Markup Language" (GWLML? heh) from LiveJournal, we can then just ignore any metadata we can't handle. Blogger doesn't do a 'subject' at all, so we'd omit that when exporting from blogger.

We could get accounts on these other services and find out how to create a style which would output conformant XML with this DTD (I've already done it with Blogger - they actually document making XML output) and then offer migration instructions on our site.

The difficult part is the import tool. I could easily write one in perl using expat, but that wouldn't be very useful to our 'normal users' who probably don't even have perl installed. Therefore we need someone (who isn't me - I suck at Windows programming) to write a cool Windows client which accepts the URL of an XML document or a path to a local file, and then posts a bunch of posts (marked backdated) to LiveJournal based on the data. We could also have a web-based version which does similarly, although that might cause bother as users get impatient waiting and start pounding reload and getting several copies of their entries. We also need someone to make a DTD up defining the format, since I don't know enough about XML to do it and while I could look it up, it seems better to let someone who is already an expert do it. As a side note, I did take another look at AlanJ's DTD for LJ entries that he posted some time back and thought that it was too LJ-specific for this purpose.

I know I'm not saying anything particularly revolutionary here, but I just wanted to start a discussion on this feature which will be potentially very useful. Not so good for LiveJournal the business, but good for LiveJournal the friendly bunch of people, would be that this would enable the reverse to happen... and other services would probably start offering this pretty quickly after we did. I do wonder how many people would jump ship if we allowed them to take all of their entries with them easily...


New Mac Client

As I accidently hinted at a few posts ago, I released a new Classic Mac client today. I was wondering if some of you wonderful administrators could put a link to the client under the download page, along with a link to the community.

The Link to the client is: http://homepage.mac.com/thorshammer/aaweekly/phoenix.sit

The Link to the community is: http://www.livejournal.com/~phoenix_lj

Thanks a lot!

P.S. I heard a little while back that we were considering turning Version Tracking back on for User Profiles, do you know if we ever did?