Volley is an online community application, featuring basic services such as chat rooms and file sharing, with an open-ended architecture that allows for a wide variety of add-ons such as multiplayer games and virtual meeting tools.

Volley consists of two applications:

Server - The Volley Server enables you to host your own online community or virtual meeting space. It features a user accounts database, with permission settings specified by each service - chat, files, news, etc - all based on an open, expandable design. File transfers will be handled by a built-in HTTP server, and governed by a global download manager that will enforce download queues and speed restrictions.

Client - Friends, coworkers, or customers (depending on the purpose of a particular server) use the Volley Client to connect to servers and interact with each other by chatting, sharing files, and whatever other services the server has installed. The client supports connections to multiple servers, and includes a server configuration interface for remote administration.

Other Spiffy Features

Protocol adapters - In addition to adding new services, server plug-ins can add support for other protocols, enabling users to access the server using other applications such as a web browser or Hotline client.

Unicode support - Every place that text is used, be it chatting or even user names and passwords, Volley fully supports Unicode text on the server and the client side. That means users can chat in Japanese or Chinese, and use non-ASCII characters without worrying about different text encodings on different platforms.

Zero-Configuration Networking - Using the Zeroconf standard, Volley clients automatically detect servers that are running on the local network. No more manually typing in IP addresses.

Open-Source Development
Volley is an open-source project (under the BSD license) hosted by SourceForge. It is intended to be cross-platform; currently, all development has been for the Mac OS X version (though a large portion should be easily portable). If you are interested in contributing, or just curious about the implementation, feel free to check out the project page and explore the source code.

For more technical details, see the overview or the protocol description.

Current Status
Volley is currently in the public alpha stage, meaning not all features are implemented and there are bugs, but you can download it and get a feel for what the future will bring.

See the Volley wiki for details on implementation and plans, and feel free to sign up and contribute. Alternately, you can join the discussion at the Uncommonplace Forums.

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