We’re very pleased to announce that the Spark instant messaging client is being released as Open Source. The press release discusses some of the reasons for the license change, but I wanted to provide additional perspective.
In the almost two years since we made Wildfire (formerly called Jive Messenger) Open Source, we’ve seen tremendous excitement and growth around the server. There’s a huge community of peers answering one another’s questions, and an active pool of developers contributing integration code, plugins, and performance optimizations. The combination of Open Source with an open standard (XMPP) is powerfully different in the EIM space; we wanted Spark to be a part of that platform. Spark and Wildfire already work great together, and that will only improve now that they’re on the same Open Source footing.
Obviously, Jive Software is a company and there’s a business model behind our efforts. We believe that a strong Open Source platform with innovative commercial extensions is the best approach for our customers. In the next several weeks, we’ll announce the counterpart to Spark going Open Source — a commercial solution to address many of the features that enterprise customers tell us they need.
Finally, a note about the actual release process of the Spark source code: if possible, we’d release it all right now. Unfortunately, there’s a long to-do list before that can happen such as removing commercial library dependencies, changing source code headers, etc. The whole process took us about six weeks when making Wildfire Open Source, but we’re hoping Spark will go a bit faster. We’ll keep everyone up to date on our progress in the Spark forum.