Google Summer of Code 2022 at XSF: Converse.js - Mid Term Evaluation Update

It’s been a month since I wrote my last blog. For those of you who have been following my blogs, thanks a lot for taking the time to read them. In this blog, I will give the updates post mid-term evaluation and the challenges that I have been facing and how I overcame some of them.

The Mid-Term Evaluation

For those of you who don’t know much about GSoC, a mid-term evaluation was scheduled, where as a contributor you have to fill out a form which had some questions related to your experience with your mentor and the organization administrator so far and the project itself. It barely took me 5-10 minutes to complete the form so there’s that.

Project Updates & Challenges Faced

I have been working on the jingle message retraction feature and the jingle chat history feature. Let me explain:

If you have gone through XEP-0353, you might be knowing about the retraction feature. If not, then the below two diagrams are my best attempts to explain it, and to be honest it is pretty simple.


Ok, now, let me show you another diagram which took me around 2 weeks to visualize:


This is what confused me the most and took a lot of my time. If you look at the way I have written my code (and I won’t link it, since I believe that the link might break in the future due to the constant changes in the codebase that are yet to come):

    // Responder's Side Parser
    function parseJingleMessage(stanza, attrs) {
    const jingle_propose_type = getJingleProposeType(stanza);
    return { ...attrs, ...{ 'jingle_propose': jingle_propose_type, 'jingle_retraction_id': getJingleRetractionID(stanza), 'template_hook': (attrs['template_hook']) ? 'getJingleTemplate' : undefined, 'jingle_status': attrs['jingle_status'] }

    // Initiator's Side
    function retractCall(context) {
    const initiator_message = context.model.messages.findWhere({ 'media': 'audio' });
    const propose_id = initiator_message.attributes.propose_id;
    const message_id = u.getUniqueId();
            'from': _converse.bare_jid,
            'to': context.jid,
            'type': 'chat',
            id: message_id
            }).c('retract', { 'xmlns': Strophe.NS.JINGLEMESSAGE, 'id': propose_id })
            .c('reason', { 'xmlns': Strophe.NS.JINGLE })
            .c('cancel', {}).up()
            .c('store', { 'xmlns': Strophe.NS.HINTS })
        const attrs = {
            'from': _converse.bare_jid,
            'to': context.jid,
            'type': 'chat',
            'jingle_retraction_id': propose_id, 
            'msg_id': message_id,
            'jingle_status': context.model.get('jingle_status'),
            'template_hook': 'getJingleTemplate'

I borrowed this code from a single file called “utils.js” which as the name suggests contains all the miscellaneous functions of a plugin that are needed for it to function. It doesn’t take much thinking to realize how big the problem becomes once the codebase is large enough. I must say it’s thanks to my mentor, I was able to differentiate the two sides, and i am now able to move on. Though, I still get confused but fortunately, I feel like its becoming more infrequent.

Ohh, and by the way, the create function creates an instance of the message model, and if you didn’t understand this statement, I highly recommend going through the backbone.js documentation.

So, lessons to learn:

  • Comment or possibly document your code from day one.
  • Don’t keep random variable names.
  • Speak up to your mentor!! Period. I can assure you a lot of JC’s time could have been saved had I spoken up about my thought process sooner.

Ahemmm….. let’s move on now.

Message Chat History Rendering for Jingle

Now, when you get a missed call, you usually get a timestamp. It is no different in a jingle call, but I do need to have a discussion regarding it’s actual implementation with JC. The actual message content should be pretty straightforward and if you want to see how I implemented/am implementing it, I will straight up point towards JC’s explanation of it.

Non-Technical Corner of this blog

Hmmmm enough about the project, now for some unnecessary life updates. I will be leaving for my master’s program in a week’s time. My schedule is packed with various things right now. Going to a new country on your own is scary for the first time, especially when you know that there is no one who can help you there but GSoC seems like a perfect distraction from the nervousness. JC seems to be doing fine, speaking of whom, did I mention he took a hiatus last week? I really hope he enjoyed his time off. There were nights in the last week, which made me wonder if I did actually stress him out or something, but I am pretty sure I am just overthinking it. I value his patience out of all things and I am not joking when I say he has a lot of it. I mean, if I as a mentor would meet another PawBud, I would have probably quit by now and to be honest, that’s one of the million reasons why I am not a mentor right now. I feel so embarrassed about the little things JC has to repeat every time because I was distracted or too lazy to note them down. I hate inconsistency and love to be direct about things, so if you have made it this far, I would like to say that there is a good chance that this project might end with the implementation of XEP-0353 given my slow pace.

I do know that there are many people who are expecting this feature to be implemented, but yeah it is what it is. JC has somehow motivated me, to do what I do perfectly and I couldn’t agree more. Let’s see what the future holds now, I am giving it everything, and I will try to implement it as much as I can effectively.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Regards, PawBud