!http://jivesoftware.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/Spark1.1Logo.gif!A major new release of the free Spark instant messaging client will available this Thursday, Feb. 9. Spark 1.1 introduces a powerful framework for creating plugins (called Sparkplugs). The entire Jive Software engineering team participated in Sparkplug Day to test out the new API and to develop some interesting sample plugins. Highlights include a translation engine, a multi-player Reversi (Othello) game, and enhanced security for file transfers. Check out the full report on Sparkplug Day, which includes screenshots of the plugins.
Other major changes in this release include support for Linux and many improvements to the Mac version. One new feature I'm particularly excited about is enhanced file transfer. Most IM clients get file transfer wrong with confusing UI's and by simply not working reliably behind firewalls. We've worked hard to create file transfer that "just works" and that's a pleasure to use. You can read details about these changes in the enhanced file transfer article.