For a recent mobile project we used XMPP. It worked really well and I’m keen to use it again. But, in the process I learnt quite a lot about it. To start with, getting a working Android client was… interesting.

Android is a fascinating and interesting development environment. It may say Java on the tin, but it ain’t Java inside. And due to this, the otherwise great XMPP library Smack doesn’t work on Android. Instead you have to use the aSmack library. Which is actually a collection of patches and a build script. Compiled output is not to be found on the Internet. Additionally, the build script doesn’t work on Mac OS X. I built it on an Ubuntu Vagrant box. Here’s how.

  1. Install Vagrant and VirtualBox.
  2. mkdir asmack && cd asmack
  3. vagrant box add lucid32 http://files.vagrantup.com/lucid32.box
  4. vagrant init lucid32
  5. vagrant ssh
  6. sudo apt-get update
  7. sudo apt-get install git-core openjdk-6-jdk curl vim subversion ant advancecomp
  8. curl -O http://dl.google.com/android/android-sdk_r21.1-linux.tgz
  9. tar -xzvf android-sdk_r21.1-linux.tgz
  10. cd android-sdk-linux/
  11. tools/android update sdk --no-ui
  12. cd ..
  13. git clone https://github.com/Flowdalic/asmack.git
  14. cd asmack/
  15. echo "sdk-location=/home/vagrant/android-sdk-linux" > local.properties
  16. Edit build.xml. Remove the check-android-exists dependency from the compile-android target.
  17. ./build.bash
  18. cp build/asmack-android-17.jar /vagrant
  19. exit

And you will now have asmack-android-17.jar sitting in your current directory.