New Java Bot Sample Code

We will constantly update sample code and projects instead of just waiting for SDK or Web API releases. In the past couple of days we posted on the developer website a full fledge bot written in Java. The bot is capable of communicating with LDAP, MySql, Oracle and Google SOAP API. There are two versions of the program, one which includes access to Google SOAP API for search and spell capabilities and the other which does not include that because apparently if you don’t have an API key now, you may not be able to get one (Google SOAP API). This bot uses an Open AIM development key, and takes advantage of the AIM SDK API. This may be the best example of how to write a bot I have seen for AIM, that is fully documented.

Here is a screen shots of the bot in action:

You can view the entire bot summary here. You can view all our source code here.

The Mashup Camp Redux

Back in the Valley of Computer Geeks, and I am not ready to see some great innovation this week at MashupCamp 6. As always this camp is at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. With over 400 people expected to attend, the competition for the best mashup should be fierce. If you are going to be around on Monday, check out Lucas McGregor’s talk on Online Storage in an Open Source Community. Lucas is a great advocate and evangelist for XDrive.

I am going to make my first public talk about the changes we made for Open AIM last week on Wednesday at 10:30AM. The talk will deep dive into the code we released and all the improvements we made to make your life as a developer easier when integrating AIM into your own application. I will have the presentation up online afterwards.

I may even have my own mashup to enter in the competition. 😉

Bebo and ILoveIM

Continuing the momentum of last weeks Open AIM announcement and the AIM on iPhone announcement, this week we shared with the world, the purchase of Bebo. After spending time in the UK and Ireland late last year and seeing all the Bebo users over there I am really excited to welcome them into the family.

One clear thing we hear from our users is that they want ways to do synchronous communication via tools other than the AIM client. Anonymous IM via the Wimzi widget and online presence are very important to users of social networks.

This provides a nice segue to This web messenger application incorporates Open AIM and provides a tab interface for different services. They are actively working on building more AIM services into the application.

Back from SXSW

The weekend in Austin was truly fantastic My favorite moments from this year at SXSW:

  • Kevin dyeing his hair blue for International Day of Awesomeness
  • Leah Culver from Pownce saying that secure authentication is unnecessary and slow during the Developer Friendly Web APIs talk on Sunday was comical. Not having SSL auth devalues your site, but more importantly your users, especially sites that screen scrape address books etc.
  • Seeing 300 geeks bowl was truly amazing. The Mapquest team bowled 5 foot bouncers down the lane while other teams bowled in full costume.
  • Learning that teens realize that websites need advertisements to make money was refreshing; but having them view ads that they could care less about is wasteful for all of the web industry. For example, a 16 year old viewing an ad for Miller Lite on in between videos is pointless for both Miller and NBA Interactive.
  • Doing an interview with the Download Squad on Open AIM was really great; Grant and team do a fantastic job.
  • RockBand was definitely the game of choice at SXSW, as everyone was rocking out on the trade show floor.
  • Seeing Kal Penn, John Cho, and Neil Patrick Harris talking about Harold and Kumar was hysterical

Will I go back next year? Is there any doubt, SXSWi is truly one of the best weekends of the year, now I just need to find a way to stay for the music.

Bowling For Geeks

Yesterday was a really exciting day at SXSW. We saw some movie stars, AOL won a prestigious web award, and we took on a bunch of other geeks in a ho-down at the bowling alley. A few years ago, Arrested Development was my favorite show on TV (old episodes can be found on, and without a doubt that show launched the career of Michael Cera from Superbad and Juno, and it also reinforced the fact that Jeffery Tambour was one of the best comedic actors around. Today he was at SXSW and it was very cool to meet him.

This evening, Kevin Lawver‘s Ficlets which was nominated for two web awards at SXSW, won the award for site with best CSS. Congrats to Kevin and all the folks who worked on it. For those who do not know, Ficlets is a community short story fiction writing site where stories can be strung together and shared with others.

As the web awards were going on, the Open AIM group here attending the conference went to Bowling For Geeks. In a competition between 50 teams bowling two games each, we came in toward the bottom, but had a lot of fun. The folks here in Austin have been awesome this year in getting out and supporting a lot of causes and organizations (of course free food and drinks never hurt).

Mapping the world at SXSW

API releases are becoming the norm these days from AOL and today we continued the trend with our friends at Mapquest. The Mapquest platform offers free and flexible APIs that allow developers to build rich multi-media applications using a variety of supported programming languages and environments, including JS, AS3, Flash under JS and XML (FUJAX), Java, C++, .net. Here are a few more details, and make sure to check out the Mapquest development blog for updates:

  • A Rich Mapping Interface for creating Rich Internet Applications with our JavaScript, AS3, or FUJAX APIs:
    • Aerial Imagery and Hybrid Views – Satellite imagery and aerial photography.
    • Smart Rollovers – Rollover windows that adapt their size and positioning on the map based on the content placed in the window.
    • Smooth Zoom – Animated transitions between zoom levels.
    • Globe View – A map of the world presented as an interactive globe.
    • “Flickable” Maps – Maps that continue to pan based on speed and friction settings.
    • Advanced Shape Overlays – Build apps that allow users to create and interact with a variety of overlays on maps.
    • Advanced Map Marker Features – With “declutter mode,” automatically move collided markers (POIs) to alternate positions on the map with a customizable leader line pointing back to their original location.
  • Unlimited Maps – Worldwide: Standard or Tiled.
  • Unlimited Geocoding – Multi-line and Single-line Geocoding, Real-time Batch Geocoding, Reverse Geocoding, Postal Code and Town Geocoding.
  • Unlimited Routing – Point-to-Point, Multi-point or Optimized.
  • Simplified Data Management – MapQuest offers access to simple tools to upload and manage location information to help keep websites accurate and relevant.

After using the Mapquest APIs for a couple of years now with out location services in AIM, I am thrilled by this announcement. Congrats to all the great engineers and product folks at Mapquest that released the most flexible mapping APIs out there.

Early Impressions At SXSW

So far SXSW has lived up to its billing as the most fun and diverse conference out there. Austin provides a great backdrop for all of the action with great music, films and of course interactive discussions. Listening to teens talking about what they want from their online experiences to hearing from Kal Penn, John Cho, and Neil Patrick Harris about what it was like to make Harold and Kumar Go To Guantanamo Bay. Two interesting tidbits to take away from these talks. First, teens do not like advertisements that are not targeted to them, for example, one of the panelists shares he goes to to watch videos, and in between clips he sees ads for Miller Lite, he is 16 years old. For Kal and John they talked about how they were surprised that they were casted as leads in a movie like the first Harold and Kumar, basically sharing how much racism there is in Hollywood, but that since Harold and Kumar that they are seeing it change slightly. Seeing a panel debate on which social networking campaign was the biggest flop (HP in my opinion) was enlightening. Overall, SXSW has been as consistent as ever, and you can continue to follow along by tuning into the blog and checking my twitter feed.

A Twitter Plugin for SXSW

A year ago at SouthBySouthwest (SXSW) Twitter became mainstream in the developer community. The amount of traffic that Twitter experienced over the one week conference was incredible as it seemed that everyone announced their plans each evening via the service. With SXSW, starting this weekend and the Open AIM announcement this week, I thought I would release the latest version of the Twitter plugin for Windows. The plugin supports AIM 6.5+ or AIM Lite.

This plugin will update your status message on Twitter when your status message on AIM changes. The first time your status message on AIM changes, you will be prompted for your Twitter username and password. You can prevent this from happening by installing the plugin, signing on to the AIM client, choosing the Actions button at the bottom of the Buddy List, and selecting “Set Your Status.” Enter in your Twitter credentials, and you will be all set to go.

You can follow along my twitter feed and all the happenings at SXSW and beyond here.

AIM on the iPhone

Backing up yesterday’s major Open AIM announcement, today during the iPhone SDK press conference, we announced an AIM application for the iPhone. The demo at the press conference is a prototype, and we are very excited to be working with Apple on this. A quick quote from the press conference:

Switch between active chats by swiping left and right (applause), status update panel (“Playing Spore!”, giggles), choosing photos from your iPhone photo library as your AIM buddy pic.

Here are a few pics, thanks to my fellow AOL/TWX employees at Engadget.

Stats for Your Open AIM Apps

In the launch post of Open AIM, I mentioned one of the major improvements was a facelift to the Open AIM Developer Web site. Previously developers had no idea what kind of usage their web app, plugin, client or bot had, unless they built it themselves.

We have corrected this problem. Now client and web app keys will see peak simultaneous users, cumulative sessions, IMs sent and IMs received. Developers of plugins will be able to see stats for peak simultaneous usage and cumulative session count. Developers already with keys in the Open AIM program will start seeing their stats being collected.

By having these stats available any time the owner of the key loads their key management page, they can get a great idea of how users are using the application. Stats are available only to the key owner, and are protected by the identity and password of the key owner. Remember that all keys are now unlimited, so there is no need to recompile applications with a deployment key prior to release. If you already have keys set up for your applications, they have automatically been made unlimited. Here is a screenshot of the key managment page.