Open ICQ Xtraz

Back in August, ICQ launched a new developer program called ICQ Open Xtraz.  Xtraz have been a part of the ICQ client for many years but have been limited to partners and internal customers.  Xtraz are web applications that extend and embrace part of the functionality of the ICQ client.  ICQ Xtraz can easily be shared between buddies (similar to the AIM Modules we released in June) and can be uploaded to the ICQ Xtraz gallery.

Making an ICQ Xtraz is really simple thanks to a developer tool and template creator.  These tools make it easy to develop and test your Xtra before uploading it to the gallery.  We have tons of documentation and samples.  Also, make sure you have the latest ICQ 6.5 client, available here.

Check out the development site here.

Check out the gallery here.

Off To Tel Aviv

I am headed back to ICQ tonight for the week, to work with the team in Tel Aviv. I did want to share an update with Zune support in AIM MusicLink. I found on Dan Fernandez’s blog info that Zune does have a basic API, via the ZuneDBApi.dll found in your Zune install folder. The API is a COM based API, but cannot be registered in the COM registry. The interfaces can be viewed in the object viewer in Visual Studio 2005 but I cannot successfully implement the interfaces in MusicLink.

I am hoping Microsoft churns out some real documentation for the Zune API, so I can add support for the player in MusicLink.

Weekend Tidbits…

I am off to Tel Aviv and ICQ tonight so there will be only sporadic updates next week. Before I go though, one of my loyal readers mentioned that with the number of plugins available now, the Actions menu is getting crowded. We have been supporting multiple plugin command entry points for a while, but the latest AIM client built off of the Open AIM platform supports the following actions (to read all about plugin commands here is the documentation):

Now we also support flyout commands, via IAccCommand::put_Property(AccCommandProp_ParentId, …); For example here is the code from AIM MusicLink that could do the submenu support…

// Create Flyout Command Placeholder
CComPtr <IAccCommand> spiCommand;
piPluginInfo->AddCommand(kCommandId, &spiCommand);
CString menuCommand3;
menuCommand3.LoadString(IDS_ML_MENU_ITEM);
spiCommand->put_Property(AccCommandProp_Text, CComVariant(menuCommand3));
spiCommand->put_Property(AccCommandProp_Flags, CComVariant(AccCommandFlags_ActionsUi));

// add submenu by passing in the command ID of the above command

CComPtr <IAccCommand> spiSubCommand;
piPluginInfo->AddCommand(kShowLogCommandId, &spiSubCommand);
CString menuCommand;
menuCommand.LoadString(IDS_ML_SHOWLOG);
spiSubCommand->put_Property(AccCommandProp_Text, CComVariant(menuCommand));
spiSubCommand->put_Property(AccCommandProp_Flags, CComVariant(AccCommandFlags_ActionsUi));
spiSubCommand->put_Property(AccCommandProp_ParentId, CComVariant(kCommandId));

So as you can see we can easily manage the menus and keep them clean. I actually need to update a few of my plugins to take advantage of the flyout. As always keep the questions coming.

AIM Gallery and Profile Questions

A few weeks ago we launched AIM Gallery. This site is the repository where you can find all the OpenAIM plugins, clients, bot, mashups that 3rd party developers are building. Instead of hosting my stuff on my blog, I can now push it to the Gallery. Of course we built a feedback mechanism into the Gallery so you can rank and comment.

I have been reading the feedback on the profile problems that have been reported. I need a little bit more follow up to understand what is happening. For the person who signs on at work and loses the profile from home, are both clients AIM 6.5? We made a change to the way profiles are handled by the client and how they interact with the AIM Cloud. Profiles now are stored on the host so when you sign offline the profile is still accessible via your AIM Page, etc. In old AIM clients, this was not the case. I am getting our QA to just sanity check a few things, during development there was a bug similar to what you guys are describing. We have discovered one issue, where if you sign on with AIM 6.5 and set a profile, sign off and then sign on, say at work with AIM 5.9, sign off, then sign on with AIM 6.5 back at home, if you view your profile it will still be there, but if you edit your profile it may be blank. As we get more details I will let you know. :-)

Tomorrow I am off across the Atlantic to see ICQ in Tel Aviv. I will post a few pictures on the blog. Until then, have a good start to the weekend.