BuddySpace2, a cross-platform Java implementation of a new kind of instant messaging program, became available for public download today. BuddySpace is an instant messaging program with a difference: it enables users to visualise the online/offline status of colleagues and friends using customised maps, logical layouts such as building schematics and even project and course-schedule timelines.
Unlike FirstClass Chat and other chat programs, instant messaging is based on the concept of alerts that come to you rather than you having to seek them out, and has become popularised worldwide by the tens of millions of users taking advantage of services provided by AOL/ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo.
BuddySpace adds four innovations to the instant messaging approach: the server can automatically construct your contact list or buddy list according to which work group or tutorial group you are in; the client can display locations automatically on a map, at a suitably coarse-grained level that your privacy is not violated; it can provide a desktop radar screen that alerts you to people or items of interest to you; and the project as a whole aims to enhance the notion of presence to be much more than simply online/offline/busy, for example to include information about which projects, tasks, or even documents are of interest to you.
BuddySpace2 was implemented by Jiri Komzak, and is part of a series of Enhanced Presence Management projects involving Martin Dzbor and Marc Eisenstadt.