[JDEV] Solutions to the AOL Problem

Adam Theo adamtheo at theoretic.com
Wed Jan 9 08:05:23 CST 2002

OK, after some thinking, here's what I have to say:

First, I've been working on a fairly long post to Kuro5hin this last
night. Hopefully it or it's revision will be out in the next few hours.

OK, Temas & others: I repect your decision to say to your AIM/ICQ
friends "convert or I'll say bye", but this is not a feasible option for
many of us. For one, my dealings with people in other Theoretic projects
(such as Ransom, GiftNet, etc) force me to need AIM access if I want to
communicate effectively. Also, there are some friends who refuse to
convert yet can't be treated like a disposable commodity, my best friend
for one. I love her and all, but she's as stubborn as a mule when it
comes to her choice in IM'ing networks. Oh, and if I "left her", she'd
have my head off my shoulders, and you guys wouldn't want that, right?

Now, after some thought, I do agree with Temas & others that trying to
constantly circumvent AOL's wishes and the blocks would not only be a
bad choice ethically, but it would waste precious time which we could
otherwise spend improving Jabber. If it's chase AOL or make Jabber the
best in the biz, I choose the second, hands down. Therefore that
"OpenAIM" idea I floated earlier would be a waste of effort and would
only worsen matters. And trying to re-engineer Jabber and it's clients
to fit around the OSCAR protocol would be a shame. Not only would we be
wasting time, but we would be dumbing down Jabber to conform with AOL's
inferior technologies.

However, in face of these two contradictions, what can be done? Nothing.
Yep, I've realized the only thing I and hopefully others can do is just
accept the increasing number of blockings, the hassle of dealing with
AOL, and the frustration of converting users. Believe me, of all people
it's not easy for me to say this. Remember I'm the one who just lost a
good server to AOL. Yeah, I still have the *server*, but half the
functionality just disappeared in one afternoon. I have accepted that I
must sit with the status quo , and I hope everyone else does, too. For

The point of holding off any hostile actions now is not to let AOL wash
over us, but to put our strength where it's needed. There will be a
showdown, believe me. It will come sooner than any of us really want, so
instead of spending our energy biting AOL's tail, let's use it making
Jabber into a leaner, meaner pit bull dog than AOL could ever come up

That doesn't mean Jabber will loose it's AIM/ICQ functionality. The
number of good public Jabber servers will grow faster than AOL blocks
them, that's for sure. the AIM-T will always be there, thanks to Temas.
The only thing required is for the popular servers like my own to take a
few beatings now in order to help win the war ahead.

Understand? :-)

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