Jaxl 2.0 Core classes, available methods and directory structure

In this blog post we will dig deep into the core of Jaxl 2.0 – An XMPP framework written in PHP. Specifically, we will go through Jaxl core directory structure. Towards the end we will get familiar with various core classes and their available methods (e.g. $jaxl->sendMessage()), that developers can use in their XMPP applications.

Core Directory Structure
Now that you have the source code, lets get familiar with the Jaxl directory structure. Downloaded source code consists of following 5 directories:

  • xmpp: Contain core stack which implements XMPP rfc’s. All files follow naming convention like xmpp.*.php
  • core: Contains core stack which manages the library workflow. Also provides an xpath based XML parser, an event mechanism and various other utilities to the framework. All files follow naming convention like jaxl.*.php
  • xep: Contains implemented XMPP extensions (XEP’s). All files follow naming convention like jaxl.XEP-NUMBER.php
  • env: Contains Jaxl main() file jaxl.php, Jaxl core configuration file jaxl.conf and application environment setup file jaxl.ini. For bosh application developers jaxl.js is a must include from this directory.
  • app: Contains example applications which comes packed with Jaxl library

Core Classes and Available Methods
Below is a detailed list of all the core classes and available methods in developer land space:

This class is located inside core/jaxl.class.php and extends base XMPP class. Following is a list of methods available:

  • __construct($config=array()) : Constructor accepts following configuration parameters. Passed parameters will overwrite corresponding jaxl.ini values:
    $config = array(
        'user'=>'', // JAXL_USER_NAME
        'pass'=>'', // JAXL_USER_PASS
        'host'=>'', // JAXL_HOST_NAME
        'port'=>'', // JAXL_HOST_PORT
        'domain'=>'', // JAXL_HOST_DOMAIN
        'component'=>'', // JAXL_COMPONENT_HOST
        'logPath'=>'', // JAXL_LOG_PATH
        'logRotate'=>'', // false or second in which to rotate log
        'logLevel'=>'', // JAXL_LOG_LEVEL
        'pidPath'=>'', // JAXL_PID_PATH
        'boshHost'=>'', // JAXL_BOSH_HOST
        'boshPort'=>'', // JAXL_BOSH_PORT
        'boshSuffix'=>'', // JAXL_BOSH_SUFFIX
        'resource'=>'', // connecting user resource identifier
        'streamTimeout'=>'', // connecting stream timeout
        'sigh'=>'', // boolean to forcible enable/disable sigh term
        'dumpStat'=>'', // false or numeric specifying second after which to dump stat
  • auth($type) : Performs authentication with the jabber server. DIGEST-MD5, PLAIN, X-FACEBOOK-PLATFORM and ANONYMOUS are the supported auth $type
  • setStatus($status=FALSE, $show=FALSE, $priority=FALSE, $caps=FALSE) : Update the status of connected jabber user. Pass $caps=TRUE for sending entity capability information while setting connected user status.
  • subscribe($toJid)
  • subscribed($toJid)
  • unsubscribe($toJid)
  • unsubscribed($toJid)
  • getRosterList($callback=FALSE) : Fetch roster list for the connected user. See example usage inside echobot application.
  • addRoster($jid, $group, $name=FALSE)
  • updateRoster($jid, $group, $name=FALSE, $subscription=FALSE)
  • deleteRoster($jid)
  • sendMessage($to, $message, $from=FALSE, $type=’chat’)
  • sendMessages($to, $from, $child, $type)
  • sendPresence($to, $from, $child, $type)
  • $jaxl->requires($class) : It is an alternative for jaxl_require($class, $jaxl).
  • $jaxl->xml->xmlize($xml) : Use this method to convert raw XML string into an array.
  • $jaxl->log($log, $level) : Use this method for logging purposes

This class is located inside core/jaxl.plugin.php. Following is a list of methods available:

  • add($hook, $callback, $priority=10) : Register callback on available hooks
  • remove($hook, $callback) : Un-register callback on a previously registered hooks using add method

This class is located inside core/jaxl.cron.php. Use this call methods to run periodic background jobs. Following is a list of methods available:

  • add($callback, $interval) : $callback methods is called every $interval second
  • delete($callback, $interval) : Removes a previously registered cron job

This class is located inside core/jaxl.util.php. Following is a list of methods available:

  • isWin() : Window OS detection, return bool
  • getTime()
  • getBareJid($jid)
  • splitJid($jid)
  • curl($url, $type=’GET’, $headers=FALSE, $data=FALSE, $user=FALSE, $pass=FALSE)

More methods might get added in future and will be updated here.

Using available XEP methods
Once have included required XEP class inside your application code, either by using jaxl_require('JAXLxxxx', $jaxl) or by calling $jaxl->requires('JAXLxxxx'), you can start using the available methods inside included XEP class as follows:

$jaxl->JAXLxxxx('methodName', $param1, $param2, ....);

e.g. If you want to call joinRoom methods of Multi-User Chat XEP-0045, you can do so by calling

$jaxl->JAXL0045('joinRoom', $jid, $roomJid.'/'.$nick, $history, $seconds)

. DO-NOT call the method like JAXL0045::joinRoom(…)

Writing a command line XMPP bot (echobot) using Jaxl 2.0

In this blog post, we will write a sample XMPP bot (echobot) using Jaxl 2.0. In turn we will introduce ourselves to some of the basic functionality we can do using Jaxl e.g. fetching roster list, subscribing and unsubscribing to a user presence, etc. We will also focus on how to use XMPP extensions (XEP’s) inside our echobot code. Specifically, we will make use of XEP-0085 (chat state notification), XEP-0203 (delayed delivery) and XEP-0092 (software version) in our sample echobot application.

Echobot source code:
This sample echobot application comes packaged with Jaxl 2.0. If you have already read Installation, Usage guide and Running example apps, you might have even run this sample application.

Alternately, browse and download the sample source code from github echobot app files

Coding with Jaxl 2.0:
Every XMPP application developed using Jaxl 2.0, MUST have a jaxl.ini environment setup file inside your project directory. For example, packaged echobot sample application contains jaxl.ini which setup necessary Jaxl environment for our echobot application.

If you are developing an application from scratch, copy sample packaged jaxl.ini into your project folder:

cp /usr/share/php/jaxl/env/jaxl.ini /my/app/directory/jaxl.ini

and update JAXL_BASE_PATH and JAXL_APP_BASE_PATH with Jaxl installation path and your application directory path respectively.

Before we go on to write our echobot application code logic, lets see how an XMPP application code written using Jaxl 2.0 will generally look like:


        // Initialize Jaxl Library (#1)
        $jaxl = new JAXL();

        // Include required XEP's (#2)
                'JAXL0085', // Chat State Notification
                'JAXL0092', // Software Version
                'JAXL0203'  // Delayed Delivery
        ), $jaxl);

        // Sample Echobot class (#3)
        class echobot {
                function startStream() {}
                function doAuth($mechanism) {}
                function postAuth() {}
                function getMessage($payloads) {}
                function getPresence($payloads) {}
        $echobot = new echobot();

        // Add callbacks on various xmpp events (#4)
        JAXLPlugin::add('jaxl_post_connect', array($echobot, 'startStream'));
        JAXLPlugin::add('jaxl_get_auth_mech', array($echobot, 'doAuth'));
        JAXLPlugin::add('jaxl_post_auth', array($echobot, 'postAuth'));
        JAXLPlugin::add('jaxl_get_message', array($echobot, 'getMessage'));
        JAXLPlugin::add('jaxl_get_presence', array($echobot, 'getPresence'));


Lets break down the above applications code structure (note the #1, #2, #3, #4 markers in the above code)

  • #1 – Create a new Jaxl instance inside your application. By doing so Jaxl core functionality and other utilities are made available inside your application code. You can also pass parameters while initializing Jaxl instance
    $jaxl = new JAXL(array(
            'user'    =>    'username',
            'pass'    =>    'password',
            'host'    =>    'talk.google.com',
            'domain' =>    'gmail.com',
            'port'    =>    5222

    Passed parameters will overwrite the values specified inside jaxl.ini file

  • #2 – Include required XMPP extensions (XEP’s) inside your application code. jaxl_require is a special method which makes sure that no Jaxl core class loads twice inside a running Jaxl instance.

    To include an implemented XEP inside your application code simply use:

    jaxl_require('JAXL0203', $jaxl);

    where 0203 is the XEP number for Delayed Delivery extension, which will help our echobot know if an incoming message is an offline message. If you wish to include more than one XEP inside your application code, simply pass the list of XEP’s as an array:

    ), $jaxl);

    where 0085 is xep number for Chat state notification extension and 0092 is the xep number for Software Version extension.

    Since version 2.1.0, jaxl_require MANDOTORY accepts Jaxl instance which require core classes, in this case $jaxl. It helps Jaxl core to keep a track of required core classes for every Jaxl instances in a multiple-instance application.

  • #3 – Now that we have Jaxl core and required XEP’s in our application environment, it’s time to write our application code logic. Application code MUST have methods which are called back by the Jaxl core when specific xmpp events occur during your application run time. Optionally, Jaxl core can pass parameters to these methods during callbacks.
  • #4 – In the final step, we will register callbacks for necessary xmpp events using JAXLPlugin class add() method inside our application logic. Syntax:
    JAXLPlugin::add($hook, $callback);

    In this example, we want to receive callbacks in our application code for following available hooks and events:

    1. jaxl_post_connect: After Jaxl has opened stream socket to the jabber server
    2. jaxl_get_auth_mech: When Jaxl have information about supported auth mechanisms by the jabber server
    3. jaxl_post_auth: After Jaxl finish authenticating the bot with the jabber server
    4. jaxl_get_message: When a new message stanza is received by Jaxl
    5. jaxl_get_presence: When a new presence stanza is received by Jaxl

Writing application logic:
Till now we have the registered callbacks for various xmpp events, it’s time to catch these callbacks inside our echobot class and implement the required functionality of our application. Below is an explanation for some of the important pieces inside echobot class:

  • startStream() method is called when jaxl_post_connect event occurs. For our application we will simply send XMPP start stream by calling $jaxl->startStream()
  • doAuth($mechanism) method is called when jaxl_get_auth_mech event occurs in Jaxl core. Jaxl core passes list of supported auth mechanism by the jabber server. Proceed with a preferred auth type by calling $jaxl->auth() method
  • postAuth() is called after Jaxl library has finished authenticating our application bot with the jabber server
  • getMessage($payloads) gets all new messages as they are received by Jaxl core
  • getPresence($payloads) gets all new presence as they are received by Jaxl core

Running Echobot:
Enter your application directory (/usr/share/php/jaxl/echobot). It MUST contain jaxl.ini, open and edit connecting echobot username, password and jabber host. Then from command line run echobot as follows:

[email protected]:/usr/share/pear/jaxl/app/echobot# jaxl echobot.php
== 5617 == [[2010-08-03 10:37:21]] Socket opened to the jabber host jaxl.im:5222 ...
== 5617 == [[2010-08-03 10:37:22]] Performing Auth type: DIGEST-MD5
== 5617 == [[2010-08-03 10:37:28]] Auth completed...

Jaxl 2.0 – Installation, Usage guide and Example apps

This blog post provides detailed instructions on how to download and setup Jaxl 2.0 for quick XMPP application development using PHP. We will also see how to run XMPP bots using Jaxl command line utility (now available by just typing jaxl on the terminal).

Get the source code
Jaxl 2.0 development version source code is available at github.

  • For better experience download latest stable tarball from google code
  • The development version of Jaxl is hosted here at Github, have fun cloning the source code with Git. If you are not familar with Git just use the download button to get a tarball.
    [email protected]:~/git# git clone git://github.com/abhinavsingh/JAXL.git

Warning: the development source code is only intended for people that want to develop Jaxl or absolutely need the latest features still not available on the stable releases.

Installation on *nix Systems
Extract the downloaded tarball and enter source directory. The available build.sh file will help us installing Jaxl library at a preferred location on our system. Type ./build.sh help to view help instructions:

[email protected]:~/git# cd JAXL
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# ./build.sh help

Build file will default install Jaxl library core under /usr/share/php/jaxl and Jaxl command line at /usr/bin/jaxl. Open build script, edit PACKAGE_INSTALL_PATH and PACKAGE_BIN_PATH to configure installation paths.

Issue following commands to setup Jaxl library core and Jaxl command line utility:

[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# mkdir /usr/share/php/jaxl
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# ./build.sh
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# ./build.sh install
uninstalling old package...
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# touch /var/log/jaxl.log
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# chown www-data /var/log/jaxl.log
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# touch /var/run/jaxl.pid
[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# chown www-data /var/run/jaxl.pid

/var/log/jaxl.log is default log file for Jaxl applications and /var/run/jaxl.pid saves the process id (pid) of running Jaxl instances.

Usage guide
Now that we have setup Jaxl on our system, lets verify package installation by firing jaxl command line utility on the terminal:

[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# jaxl
Missing ini file...

If you get “Missing ini file” message, you have successfully verified package installation. This message is shown when current working directory doesn’t have jaxl.ini file, which is required by Jaxl cli utility before it can connects to a jabber server.

Running sample applications
Build script installs a sample application under /usr/share/php/jaxl/app/echobot directory. This directory contains two files namely:

  • echobot.php: Contains our echobot application code
  • jaxl.ini: It is application specific Jaxl configuration file

Open and update the following section inside jaxl.ini:

        // Connecting bot details
        define('JAXL_USER_NAME', 'username');
        define('JAXL_USER_PASS', 'password');

        // Connecting jabber server details
        define('JAXL_HOST_NAME', 'jabber.org');
        define('JAXL_HOST_PORT', 5222);
        define('JAXL_HOST_DOMAIN', 'jabber.org');

Now run the echobot from using jaxl cli utility:

[email protected]:/usr/share/php/jaxl/app/echobot# jaxl echobot.php
== 2946 == [[2010-08-02 14:37:53]] Socket opened to the jabber host jabber.org:5222 ...
== 2946 == [[2010-08-02 14:37:57]] Performing Auth type: DIGEST-MD5
== 2946 == [[2010-08-02 14:38:02]] Auth completed...

2946 is the process id of current running Jaxl instance. Same value can be found inside /var/run/jaxl.pid. Also tail the Jaxl log file for debug information:

[email protected]:~/git/JAXL# tail -f /var/log/jaxl.log
== 2946 == [[2010-08-02 14:38:02]] [[XMPPSend]] 123
chatOnline using Jaxl (Jabber XMPP Library in PHP)1

[[XMPPSend]] tells us that following XMPP packet was send by the Jaxl instance running with pid 2946. Also, total 123 bytes were transmitted over the socket.

Proceed to Writing your first command line bot using Jaxl for detailed explanation of the sample echobot application or if you are interested in building real-time web applications read Setup and Demo of Jaxl boshchat application

Releasing Jaxl 2.0 – Object oriented XMPP framework in PHP

After months of restructuring the Jaxl library, I am pleased to announce Jaxl 2.0, an object oriented XMPP framework in PHP for developing real time applications for browsers, desktops and hand held devices.

What’s new in Jaxl 2.0?

  • A lot of structural changes has been done from the previous version to make it more scalable, robust, flexible and easy to use
  • Library now provides an event mechanism, allowing developers to register callbacks for various xmpp events in their application code
  • Use integrated BOSH support to write real time web applications in minutes
  • More than 10 new implemented XMPP extensions (XEP’s) added
  • Development hosting moves to github, stable releases available at google code

Documentation for Jaxl users
Below is a list of getting started documentation for XMPP app developers:

Implemented XEP’s
A lot of new XEP’s has been implemented and packaged with Jaxl 2.0. Developers can use Jaxl event mechanism to implement new XEP’s without knowing the working of other core parts of the library.

Below is a list of released implemented XEP with Jaxl 2.0:

Documentation for project contributors
For developers interested in contributing to the Jaxl project, here is a list of insight documentation to get you started:

  • Jaxl core workflow and architecture (coming soon)
  • How to implement new XMPP extensions using Jaxl (coming soon)

Useful Links
For live help and discussion join [email protected] chat room

Introducing WP-Chat :: XMPP Chat plugin for WordPress

WP-Chat plugin embeds Jaxl IM (Instant Messenger for the web) for wordpress blogs. It runs across all major browsers and built upon XMPP protocol. It is a hosted solution from Jaxl.im empowering real time communication between you and your site visitors. It expects no software or hardware pre-requisites from your site servers or users. Above all it’s free!


  • Supports for all major browser including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE
  • Embeddable on all blogs, forums, personal, social and enterprise sites
  • Built using XMPP protocol (backbone for facebook and google chats)
  • Hosted dashboard for site admins and IM users
  • Pluggable and Skinnable using developer api
  • Connect with you desktop IM clients (e.g. Pidgin, PSI, …)

In two of my previous post (Introducing MemChat and Jaxl BOSH Demo), I discussed and demoed a very early version of WP Chat plugin. In past 3 months, work has been done to make WP Chat generic enough so that it can be embedded across all kind of blogs, forums, social, personal and enterprise level websites. As of today, the product is named as “Jaxl IM (Instant Messenger for the web)” and made available as “WP-Chat” for the wordpress users.

Writing your first facebook chat bot in PHP using Jaxl library

Today facebook officially announced availability of it’s chat through jabber/xmpp clients. This is a big win for XMPP, with almost 400 million new probable users adding into XMPP club. In this post, I will demonstrate how to connect to facebook chat servers using Jaxl client library in PHP. It can further be used to make custom chat bots for facebook.

Creating your first facebook chat bot:
Follow the steps to successfully run a facebook chat bot:

  1. Download Jaxl or checkout latest from trunk
    svn checkout http://jaxl.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ jaxl-read-only
  2. Edit the configuration file config.ini.php as follows:
      // Set an enviornment
      $env = "prod";
      $key = array("prod"=>array("user"=>"facebook_username",
  3. Run from command line:
    [email protected]:/jaxl$ sudo php index.php
    OSType: Linux, Registering shutdown for SIGINT and SIGTERM
    OpenSSL: Enabled for CLI
    Attempting DIGEST-MD5 Authentication...
    Starting Session...
    Requesting Feature List...
    Requesting Roster List...
    Setting Status...

Try to send a message to your running chat bot and you shall receive a default message back from the bot saying “Hi, Thanks for your message”.

See further sample codes and explaination on how to build a full fledged gaming chat bots under xmpp category.

Get real time system & server load notification on any IM using PHP and XMPP

There are various system and server related information which server administrators always need to have as soon as possible, infact I must say in real time. There are several open and closed source softwares in the market which can generate almost real time notifications for you. Most famous one being Nagios. In this blog post I will discuss, how to generate real time system notifications using PHP and XMPP. Specifically, I will present sample script using Jaxl (Jabber XMPP Client Library) for generating real time system load notifications, which can be received using any Instant Messengers.

We will be using system /proc/loadavg file to get real time system load information. If you are unaware about this file, here is in brief how this file is helpful to us:

sabhinav:~# cat /proc/loadavg
0.22 0.12 0.09 1/68 12621

where first three columns measure the CPU and IO utilization of last one, five and 10 minute periods. The fourth column shows the number of currently running processes and the total number of processes. The last column displays the last process ID used.

We will be using Jaxl PHP client library for handling the XMPP part. jaxl4serveradmins.class.php is an extension to Jaxl, providing various server administration helper function. Below is the code for server administration extension:


  define('JAXL_SERVER_ADMIN', [email protected]');

  class JAXL extends XMPP {

    function eventMessage($fromJid, $content, $offline = FALSE) {

    function eventPresence($fromJid, $status, $photo) {

    function eventNewEMail($total,$thread,$url,$participation,$messages,$date,$senders,$labels,$subject,$snippet) {
      // Not used here. See jaxl4gmail.class.php for it's use case

    function setStatus() {
      // Set a custom status or use $this->status
      print "Setting Status...n";
      print "Donen";

      $this->addJob(JAXL_SERVER_LOAD_POLL_INTERVAL, array($this, 'parseServerLoad'));

    function parseServerLoad() {
      $loadavg = file_get_contents('/proc/loadavg');
      $this->sendMessage(JAXL_SERVER_ADMIN, $loadavg);


I have utilized addJob() method provided by Jaxl library, using which you can specify a callback to be called after every N seconds (in short a periodic cron). Here we add a periodic job to be runned every JAXL_SERVER_LOAD_POLL_INTERVAL seconds. parseServerLoad() method is called as the callback function.

$this->addJob(JAXL_SERVER_LOAD_POLL_INTERVAL, array($this, 'parseServerLoad'));

To keep the demo simple, I am simply sending the content of /proc/loadavg file as a message to server admins.

    function parseServerLoad() {
      $loadavg = file_get_contents('/proc/loadavg');
      $this->sendMessage(JAXL_SERVER_ADMIN, $loadavg);

Running it for your servers:
Follow the following steps to get this started on your server (only Unix, no Windows):

  • Checkout from Jaxl trunk
    sabhinav:~# sudo svn checkout http://jaxl.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ jaxl-read-only
  • Enter checked out directory
    sabhinav:~# cd jaxl-read-only
  • Enter your server admin IM contact details
    sabhinav:~# sudo vim config.ini.php
    define('JAXL_SERVER_ADMIN', [email protected]');
  • Enable server administration extension
    sabhinav:~# sudo vim index.php
    include_once("jaxl4serveradmins.class.php"); // include_once("jaxl.class.php");
  • Wroom Wroom, start Jaxl
    sabhinav:~# sudo php index.php
    Starting TLS Encryption...
    Attempting PLAIN Authentication...
    Starting Session...
    Requesting Feature List...
    Requesting Roster List...
    Setting Status...

Tail the jaxl log file in case you are facing any difficulties in the setup.

sabhinav:~# tail -f log/logger.log

You should also consider adding /proc/ directory under open_basedir in php.ini file.

Is it working?
If all is well configured server admins will start getting notifications every 10 seconds which is default value for JAXL_SERVER_LOAD_POLL_INTERVAL.
Jaxl4serveradmins.class.php example screenshot for system load

Writing custom notifications
Above I demonstrate how we can use XMPP and PHP to generate real time system notification. However, you may want to modify parseServerLoad() method to send notifications only when the server load exceeds a certain value. You may also want to add other methods which can notify you of various System and Server level parameters in a similar fashion. Below are a few useful system administration commands:

sabhinav:~# free -m
sabhinav:~# vmstat 1 20

Is it really real time?
Since, parseServerLoad() method polls for /proc/loadavg file every 10 seconds, this is not exactly real time. However you can configure JAXL_SERVER_LOAD_POLL_INTERVAL to make it poll faster. You can also use libevent extension in PHP to make it real time in real sense.

Do let me know if you write any interesting functionality, I will be more than happy to include it as a part of current extension.

Get lyrics for any song using XMPP and PHP right into your IM – Add [email protected]

XMPP is soon finding it’s way into real time applications other than just chat. I have combined JAXL (Jabber XMPP client library written in PHP) and the API from lyricsfly.com to build a real time chat bot which can assist you with lyrics for any song. You can start using it by simply adding [email protected] to your IM account (e.g. Gtalk, Jabber etc). In this blog post, I will explain in brief the working of lyricsfly bot and how you can integrate XMPP into your own application.

Try out [email protected]
Follow the following steps to get the bot working for you:

  • Login to your gtalk account using any of the IM available
  • Press Add Contact
  • Add [email protected] as your chat buddy
  • Send a chat message in following format “Song Title – Song Artist” e.g. “one – metallica”
  • You should see something like this: lyricsfly@gtalkbots.com Demo for "one-metallica"

Working of [email protected] with Jaxl
Here is in brief the working of lyricsfly bot using Jaxl client library:

  • When someone sends a message like “one – metallica” to the bot, eventMessage() method is called inside jaxl.class.php
  • eventMessage then extracts the song title and artist name from the message using PHP explode. Filter the title and artist names for allowed characters.
  • eventMessage also calls lyricsfly API and fetch the lyrics. Finally it sends the lyrics as message to requester.
  • eventMessage also uses memcached to cache the lyrics. It decreases both response time and load on lyricsfly servers
  • Bot also keeps a count of number of queries from a particular user. Since it is still under development, currently there is a limit on number of lyrics you can fetch in a single day.

Making your own custom bot

  • Checkout latest from the trunk
    sabhinav$ svn checkout http://jaxl.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ jaxl-read-only
  • Edit config file with your bot username, password and jabber servers
  • Run from command like
    php index.php
  • To customize the bot modify eventMessage and eventPresence methods of Jaxl class inside jaxl.class.php

For a full fledged running bot example code, edit index.php and include jaxl4dzone.class.php instead of jaxl.class.php and re-run the bot.

Have fun and enjoy singing songs along with the lyrics.

Introducing MemChat: Open source group chat framework in PHP supporting Memcached, APC, SQLite, Flat Files and MySQL

MemChat is an open source group chat framework for personal and enterprise level websites. Written in PHP, MemChat can be configured to run with Memcached, APC, SQLite, Flat files and MySQL as it’s storage engine. With memcached, APC and Flat files serving as temporary storages and MySQL, SQLites being permanent storage engines.

MemChat uses MemBurger API for storing all the incoming messages in the storage engine. MemBurger is an open source PHP wrapper for all the storage engines mentioned above providing Collapsed Forwarding and Stale-While-Revalidate functionality.

MemChat can also be configured to notify the site owners at various event handlers provided. e.g. In case of a wordpress blog, site owner might want to get notified when someone post a new message on one of the blog post. Infact developers can write plugins for custom event handlers. MemChat provides two kind of notification methods. By default, MemChat uses XMPP protocol to notify blog owners. For these kind of notifications, JAXL an open source Jabber XMPP Client Library is used to send instant messages as notifications. MemChat can also be configured to send notifications using SMTP protocol a.k.a EMail.

MemChat also comes with a profanity word filter using PHProfane library i.e. one can configure MemChat to block all spam messages posted in the chat rooms. Developers can write a plugin to add custom spam words in the profanity filter.

MemChat Flow Diagram:
Below is a flow diagram showing how all the above components are clubbed in as MemChat:
MemChat Workflow Diagram

MemChat use cases:
MemChat framework requires a unique alphanumeric id for each group you want to create. For example, WordPress blog makes a good environment to setup MemChat since every blog post have a unique id. Hence to setup MemChat on a wordpress blog all we need to do is, call

$memchat_ui_html = memchat_init($memchat_group_id);

method, where $memchat_group_id = Blog post id.

Similarly MemChat can be setup on a number of places as listed below:

  1. Forums: Since each forum have a unique id per discussion thread, MemChat suits well here. Forum owners can setup MemChat for allowing current viewing users of the thread to chat in real time. If using temporary storage engines (since they scale up well), forum owners can easily write event handlers to save chat messages asynchronously so that interesting discussions can be made a part of actual discussion thread.
  2. Social Networking Websites: A social network will generally have group pages, fan pages, event pages and application pages. Since all pages will have a unique id associated with them, MemChat is a good fit here. Simply pass $blog_id = “group-1234”, for setting up a chat room on group page having id 1234. Similarly for fan, event and application pages.
  3. Blogs: A blog as discussed above is a perfect place for setting up MemChat. WordPress blog owners will be able to setup MemChat on their blog using WP-Chat plugin.

Setting up MemChat in 3 steps:
MemChat can be setup in 3 simple steps:

  1. Download: MemChat is hosted on Google Code.
  2. Update Configuration: Update MemChat config file to setup various default behavior and actions.
  3. Initialize: Include MemChat class file in your PHP template.

    Next simply initialize MemChat

    $memchat_ui_html = memchat_init($memchat_group_id);

    which will return the user interface HTML code. Finally append it to your template and MemChat group is ready to serve.

The ease of setup can be imagine from the fact that, WP-Chat wordpress plugin development required only the above 3 steps. I was able to develop the plugin within 5 minutes.

MemChat Performance Benchmark
Initial benchmarking results show, On a single apache and single storage instance MemChat is capable of handling over 250 (MySQL) incoming chat messages per second. Capacity reaches in thousands when configured with Memcached or APC cache. Again Memcached configuration and APC no stat feature makes a difference in performance results.

Why still in alpha?
Yes, MemChat is still in alpha release. I want to test all MemChat features on a live traffic and hence I chose my blog for its testing. I have installed MemChat on my blog which is currently using APC cache as storage medium. Over two weeks or so I will configure MemChat with various other storage engines to have a final round of test. Also the event handler and PHProfane plugin feature is still under development. MemBurger API also requires a more modular design pattern so that extending it for any other storage types become trivial.

Try out MemChat on my blog, can be seen as a facebook type chat bar below. This will be soon available as WP-Chat plugin for wordpress blogs. WP-Chat user interface is customizable just like wordpress themes.

Let me know your views and suggestions for improvement.

How to use JAXL (Jabber XMPP Library in PHP) to import Gtalk contacts of any user

JAXL is an open source Jabber XMPP Client library written in PHP. It provides a self titled class JAXL which implements XMPP protocol. It can be extended to write custom event handler for every message or presence received. Developers are using JAXL for developing real time applications. Checkout 5 exciting gaming bots you can make using JAXL.

However one thing which goes un-noticed is that JAXL can also be used to import Gtalk contacts of any user. This is infact one of the very first thing which JAXL class do, after successful authentication with the Gtalk servers i.e. import the authenticated user contact list. In this blog post I will demo a sample script to import any user contact list from google servers.

Importing Gtalk contacts using JAXL

  1. Download and extract jaxl-1.0.4.rar
  2. Edit config.ini.php and update credentials of the user whose contact list we are trying to import:
      $key = array("prod"=>array("user"=>"mailsforabhinav",
  3. Open jaxl.class.php and modify the code as below:
        function setStatus() {
          // Set a custom status or use $this->status
          print "Setting Status...n";
          print_r($this->rosterlist); // Print the contact list on the console
          print "Donen";
  4. Finally run from command line to retrieve gtalk contacts of the authenticated user.
    php index.php

One can easily modify the above code to save user contacts in a database.
Also one can echo json_encode($this->rosterlist) in response to an Ajax call from the browser.

Enjoy and leave your comments.