It has been almost a year since the release of Gajim 1.1.3. A year of developing new features, cleaning up old code, and bug fixing. This month it is finally the time for a first beta release of Gajim 1.2. Highlights are (amongst others): improved group chat system, completely rewritten network code, and a new account creation assistant. But there is much more to discover. If you have suggestions on how this Beta can be improved, please let us know. Your feedback is welcome.
Let’s start with a vital part of many instant messengers: group chats. Until now, group chat related actions, such as changing your nickname or inviting people were shown in separate dialogs. In Gajim 1.2, all of these dialogs have been reorganized into group chat ‘pages’ overlaying the chat. In addition to that, it is now also possible to view an info page for each group chat, containing the chat’s settings, description, topic, and so on (see November’s Development News). Inviting people has become a lot easier with the new invite page, where you can search and filter your contacts. It is now also possible to invite someone from your contact list by drag and drop. Furthermore, each group chat window now features an updated participants list, which fixes some nasty display bugs from the past. In case of an error (chat destroyed, service gone), Gajim will now offer to remove a faulty group chat permanently.
But how do you create a group chat? This wasn’t obvious in past versions, but now Gajim features a new group chat creation window, available through Gajim > ‘Create Group Chat’. It allows you to create both private and public group chats and applies sane default settings. Additionally, you can set a name and a description.
Rewriting the network connection code of Gajim has been a major task for the past few months. These changes enable Gajim to establish connections faster (especially when running under Windows) and also to recover from network connection loss or other connection related problems. Proxy handling has been improved and WebSocket (RFC 7395 as a replacement for BOSH) is now supported as well. In the near future (probably with the release of 1.2), Gajim’s Plugin Installer and URL Image Preview will also be able to honor the proxy settings your specified for your account. This proxy will also be used for file transfers via HTTP File Upload. March’s Development News cover most of the changes.
To get an insight into connection details, the Server Info window now lists transport protocol, transport security, and connection proxy. If needed, you can also inspect the server’s certificate. Contact addresses published by the server (e.g. for troubleshooting) are listed as well.
Account Creation Assistant
We would like to introduce Gajim’s completely rewritten account creation wizard. It features server suggestions, links to the conversations.im compliance tester, and server auto completion, which should help in the process of registering a new account. Input errors will be marked inline without disrupting error dialogs. Last but not least, the data form widget (server provided inputs for username, password, captcha, etc.) has been significantly improved. The underlying assistant window is also used to guide users through account removal and password changes.
- Many bug fixes and improvements for Gajim’s Flatpak version
- Default avatars are now generated for every contact using Consistent Color Generation (XEP-0392) and the contact’s initial letter
- It is now possible to paste an image from the clipboard to send it
- File transfers via HTTP File Upload will now display filename, upload speed and remaining time
- Maximum allowed file size for HTTP File Upload is shown in the Server Info window
- It is now possible to drop a file on a contact to start a file transfer
- In addition to viewing an OMEMO encrypted file, it is now also possible to open the folder containing it
- Improved Theme Manager
- Contrast and color improvements for both light and dark themes
- Better icon for Message Delivery Receipts
- Delivery errors are now shown in the tooltip of the corresponding message icon
- Gajim’s logs database (which stores chat history amongst others) received some performance tweaks
- Improved Audio/Video source selection in preferences (plus video preview)
- Contact list tooltip cleanup
- Many text strings have been revised (e.g. consistent use of terms like ‘Group Chat’, easier language)
- Keyboard shortcuts for moving tabs have been added
- New XML console features (filter XML stream by account, search within stream)
- Global menu (appmenu) has been moved back to the menubar (GNOME)
- ‘Invisible’ status has been removed
- Chat: FuzzyClock feature has been removed
- And much more: Have a look at the full changelog
- Zeroconf (serverless messaging) does not work yet
- Client certificate setup is not possible yet
- Anonymous login has not been re-implemented yet
- Some work has been done to get Audio/Video calls working again, however, this feature is highly experimental at the moment
If you decide to give this new beta a try, your feedback would be appreciated. Don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or open an issue on our Gitlab.