[jdev] Re: The State of Our Code-bases

Ryan Eatmon reatmon at jabber.org
Tue Aug 31 06:50:52 CDT 2004

Bart van Bragt wrote:

> Tijl Houtbeckers wrote:
> In short: A reference client/server is a very good idea if we have the 
> resources to burn but IMO we don't.

But that is exactly the problem.  The JSF does not have resources to 
burn.  Unlike the Apache project which seems to have a lot of developers 
contributing to one code base, we have a handful of developers 
contributing to individual projects.

The end result is that the many small projects are all incomplete, or 
the projects that are well written and have a large user base are 
written in a language that is not as widely accepted and so does not get 
a lot of contributions.  If those developers would all work on one 
client then the chances of that one client becoming what everyone wants 
is better.  At least, that's the hope.

In talking with the other leaders of the Apache, Mozilla, and RedHat 
projects it seems that our "rotten"ness is based in the fact that we do 
not have a central project that is well documented and easy to get in 
and code on.

And by well documented, I don't just mean JabberDoc type docs.  I mean 
documented source code, code guides to help explain things like NADs, 
stream object models, karma, etc...  All of those are unique ideas, but 
if you actually try to use them, you can easily bog down and waste time 
trying to figure them out.

You can also make the argument that we should just focus on existing 
projects.  Which I'm all for.  The only problem is that for five years 
the jabberd v1.4 server has been open, and very few people have pitched 
in changes.  It entered maintenance mode when Jer stopped working on it, 
and hasn't left yet.  That was the purpose of jabberd v2.0.  But now Rob 
has backed off.

The end result are two servers that have problems.  But in reality, most 
people aren't looking for the power of 2.0 (larger number of 
connections), nor do they want the buginess of 1.4.  They want a simple 
server, that they can hack on, and extend.  They want it to support 
maybe 100 or so connections, and that they want it to be easy to install 
and get running (minimum configuration).

The only answer we can think given the track record of jabberd, is that 
jabberd is not the project to base this on.  So start a new one, and 
write it in a currently popular language.  With the main goal not being 
scalability/performance, but rather showcasing Jabber and XMPP.

That's been our thoughts anyway...  Part of the reason we are floating 
the idea instead of dictating requirements, is that in the end that 
won't work.  Apache, Mozilla, and RedHat all agreed that the JSF just 
needs to be here to foster the community.  You all are volunteers.  We 
cannot dictate to you terms or tasks.  We can only offer suggestions and 

But something needs to change if Jabber is to grow and draw in other 
Open Source programmers.

Ryan Eatmon
reatmon at jabber.org

More information about the JDev mailing list