GSOC Chat log storage: My thoughts

Ka-Hing Cheung khc at
Thu Apr 25 12:03:09 EDT 2013

On Thu, 2013-04-25 at 12:15 +0200, Tomasz Wasilczyk wrote:
> I think, that your idea fits better into "XMPP prpl improvements"
> project. Most users won't setup its own IMAP server for logs, so -
> generally - the main beneficent will be xmpp-gtalk prpl user.
> Unfortunately, this may depend on the result of this project, so it
> may not be doable within another gsoc project this year.

Many users have access to IMAP servers, they just may not know it. Many
(most) free webmail services offer IMAP access. I think doing just the
IMAP logging part is non-trivial already, and I don't want a student to
be over-ambitious.

> IMAP storage can be implemented as another backend, but I prefer not
> to mark this as /required/ part of project. Anyway, it would be
> desired, because it would enforce good API, good enough for remote
> logging. But not the most important part.

Yes, but a IMAP logging backend is very much a valid GSoC project :-)

> I have some objections to your good-applicant-requirements:
> 1) After a glance, I see remote logging branch relies on mysql
> storage. I don't think this should be the /important/ part of project,
> because its harder to setup mysql database than - let's say - IMAP
> capable account. But looking into this branch could provide some
> useful ideas, not necessarily by merging it at first.

The mysql part is of course not part of the scope of this proposal.

> 2) I can think of four: all data like message time or related account
> have to be de-serializable; stored logs should be readable by common
> mail reader; we should be aware, that stored messages can be somehow
> altered (by mail hosting or user); all additional data, like inline
> images, also have to be stored.

Stop doing the work for them already :-P There are more, they are not
all non-trivial, I just don't want a student to copy and paste my email
and think that's a good enough application. Students who only include
Tomasz's 4 points should expand on them and suggest ways to resolve

> 3) As I raised above, IMAP storage shouldn't be the most important
> part of this project, so I think that students can prove their coding
> skills in other way. But that's general recommendation for all gsoc
> projects: any contribution to Pidgin/libpurple would be nice
> demonstration, links to other open source projects are also fine.

If this project is about IMAP logging, IMAP storage is certainly a very
important part of the project.


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