Thursday, October 08, 2009

Back to the Beta

Marty McFly: Doc, we better back up. We don't have enough road to get up to 88.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.

I'm happy to announce the first major step towards a more reliable, stable, and feature-rich Partychat: Partychapp β.

For the past few weeks, a rogue group of friends have been dedicating their spare time to porting PartyChat over to Google AppEngine. We'd talked about doing this for a long time, but the recently added XMPP support was the missing piece needed to make the whole thing run.

As with the old Partychat, Partychapp is open source and you can track its development through the associated Google Code feeds.

What makes Partychapp better? 95% of Partychat's issues were the result of our Jabber connection -- rate limiting, federation issues, etc. Because Partychapp uses AppEngine's XMPP bridge, jabber connectivity is vastly improved with Partychapp. And those remaining 5% of issues with Partychat? They generally had to do with data persistence, which again AppEngine deals with much more effectively.

Why beta? There are a number of features missing and bugs we need to fix. To track them (and add more!) see: Partychapp Issues. Also AppEngine XMPP doesn't (yet) support custom domains so we can't move over.

So check out Partychapp β. Instructions on how to set up a room (including a web-based invites system!) can be found at

Big, giant, overwhelming thanks go out to Neil, Jason, Kushal, and David who are the people responsible for making Partychapp happen. A special shout out to mpd who added XMPP support to AppEngine, making this all possible.