I was just forwarded a link to the blog of Mobile Chat’s company Twenty08’s. You can view it here – twenty08.
There is some interesting information that was just posted today. Information that a lot of people have been looking for over the last little while after purchasing the Mobile Chat iPhone Application on Apples Application Store.
The two recent posts go in depth into some of the problems with the Mobile Chat Application on the iPhone, a new version being released and how they’re trying to fix the problems everyone is experiencing.
Yes, Mobile Chat crashes and has many major problems like not connecting all the time to any IM service. However this will change and this is how.
What’s going on? Why is MobileChat still not working?
There are a lot of reasons for this. I’ll attempt to cover as many as I can; however, there are a lot of things that we don’t have the answers to yet.
1. The iPhone app is just way too buggy. The 3.0 version of MobileChat has a lot of minor connection bugs that collectively make MobileChat useless at times (most times). This along with the absurd number of memory leaks has rendered it useless on many devices. Your ability to connect is based on the pure chance of whether the application “decides” to work or not. These problems exist only due to our inexperience with the iPhone SDK. Two weeks and hundreds of bug reports later, we’ve learned a tremendous amount more about the inner workings of the iPhone platform and how we could of utilized resources in a much more efficient matter. Our consultants have taught us an extensive amount as well and we are carrying this knowledge into MobileChat as well as into our other products.
2. If by chance you are able to attempt a connection, our servers aren’t keeping up with the demand. Everyone hates this line, and I’ve had many people tell me that this is the worst excuse in the book; however, it’s the absolute truth. In order to understand why, let me explain how our platform is setup: The iPhone application connects to our server platform and “checks in” with the server. It then tells the server what accounts it wants connected and what status to set. The server performs the requested operations and sends back the status to the iPhone. If the iPhone goes offline or suddenly shuts off, the server continues to hold onto the session and keeps the requested accounts logged in. All of the communication is done using XML messages back and forth between the server and the client (iPhone). On the server side, the messages are processed and actions are performed based on what the client wants done. The libpurple library is used to connect these accounts to the specified protocols. Now, many of you might not know what libpurple is. In short, libpurple powers just about every third party IM service/software out there. Adium, Pidgin, Meebo…etc. They all use libpurple as a foundation for their connections with the IM protocols.
As you can see, they seem to know what they’re doing and publicly letting people know. This is good! There is much more information in the post, you should definitively give it a read.
The other tidbit of information is in regards to their Mobile Chat Server 2.0 which they have just started rolling out.
I just thought I’d give you guys a bit of info on the new server, however, I’m going to keep this as brief as possible as Saverio already gave you guys a thesis to read.
The original server was based on the open source libpurple, and as Saverio mentioned, it didn’t play well in a threaded environment. We hired some of the brightest programmers available to help fix it, and ultimately we reached the conclusion that if we wanted stability, this wasn’t the way to go.
Ultimately, we rewrote the entire server application from the ground up. The new server is based around the enterprise grade OpenFire XMPP server that can support hundreds of thousands of users.
There’s still a ton of work to be done to improve the server, but right now we feel the version we have is easily a million times better than what we were previously using.
Two very big posts that are going to make a lot of people excited next week. Unfortunately now we can only wait and see what happens.