[jdev] Jabber Certification Program

Justin Karneges justin-keyword-jabber.093179 at affinix.com
Thu Jun 17 16:48:02 CDT 2004

Yes, there is definitely a problem, but I don't I agree with your solution.

Clients are "behind" because nearly all of them are hobby projects.  I think I 
can speak for most of us in saying that we are working as fast as we can 
within our available time, and throwing a certification weight on our 
shoulders wouldn't speed anything up.

In addition, many of the features you mention just plain aren't ready in 
specification form.  Avatars?  XHTML-IM?  Voice chat?  These are all 
Experimental.  Maybe we should start certifying Jabber Council members, to 
motivate them to approve some JEPs?  (and speaking of which, my "jep-secure" 
has beat the record of the longest time from submission to publication, and 
is still counting.)

Regarding the jabber.org client list:  Yes, it is a zoo, but I think we 
decided awhile ago that jabber.org should always contain a complete listing, 
and if we wanted a smaller list (ie, just the "user oriented" software) then 
that listing, along with reviews, etc, would take place on an end-user site, 
such as "jabbercentral" (whenever it gets back...) or the theoretical 

That said, certification is a neat idea.  I'm not necessarily against it.  It 
would allow some of us to have "bragging rights".  I just don't think it will 
have the impact that you're shooting for.


On Thursday 17 June 2004 1:48 pm, Rachel Blackman wrote:
> So, Jabber has been around for a while now.  It's a great architecture,
> we've all drunk the Kool-Aid as it were... but I've recently found a
> lot of frustration in one area, and I know from discussion in the jdev
> chatroom that I am far from the only one.
> The thing is, there are all these very cool Jabber featuresets out
> there, but lots of them are not necessarily supported.  Nor (other than
> peer pressure) is there much incentive for people to implement certain
> things.  I can look at Jabber and go 'wow, pubsub is a cool backend
> system, Stream Initiation will let me do a lot of really cool things
> down the line' and be excited, but your average IM user (for instance,
> my mother or father) will look at Jabber and go 'why can't I set a nice
> little picture like under MSN?  And why can't I use bold in my
> messages?' and so on.  Jabber is, architecturally, probably the most
> advanced IM protocol out there, and it's a godsend to developers... but
> to end-users, it doesn't really replace the AIM featureset or whatever.
> XHTML-IM has been a JEP for a rather long time, and few clients
> implement it (and moreover, some of them implement it in a nonstandard
> and wacky way!), and it's a fairly basic feature many IM end users look
> for.  And there's no real incentive (other than peer pressure, as I
> said) for a client author to implement XHTML, so it ends up getting
> pushed further and further down TODO lists and suchnot.
> So there was discussion in the chatroom today about a compliance and
> certification program, with varying levels of certification and
> differing requirements for the levels.  Only certified clients would be
> on jabber.org's client list, certified clients would get the right to
> use a little 'certified' banner on their websites and in their
> documentation or whatever, and it would ensure featuresets /do/ get
> implemented for end-users.
> I am writing up a quick proposal about how to do this.  If enough folks
> like it (and there's not too much ensuing flamethrower usage in my
> direction), I will write it up in JEP format and submit it.
> Each certification would have a year attached to it.  For instance,
> 'Jabber Basic Certified 2004' for a banner on a site.  A certification
> only lasts until the end of a calendar year, and then you have to
> re-apply for certification; having a certification for a given year is
> not a guarantee you will have it next year.  Certifications can have
> required features, and recommended features (i.e. 'MUST' and 'SHOULD').
> The certification requirements for a calendar year would be set by a
> Jabber Certification Board, presumably appointed by the Council.  The
> requirements for a given year would be decided on in July of the
> previous year, giving individuals six months to implement the features
> (and apply for certification ahead of time).  For instance, if this
> program were in effect, next month the Certification Board would have
> to issue the certification requirements for 2005, giving all the
> developers time to implement the features and apply for certification
> before the end of 2004 (and thus the expiration of their existing
> certification).
> To be certified, you would need to get a copy of the software in
> question to the Board to use, and they'd run it against some kind of
> validation suite.  Presumably they'd have a process for testing, either
> certain automated things they could point to or a script for
> hand-testing it all.  You could apply for more than one certification.
> A couple examples of certification types are shown below.  These are
> NOT actual proposals, just examples of what a certification list might
> be.  You'd actually want much longer and more detailed certification
> criteria, of course.
> Jabber Client Minimal
>    - suitable for mobile or embedded clients
>    - required   : roster management
>    - required   : jid-to-jid chatting
>    - recommended: groupchat-1.0
> Jabber Client Intermediate
>    - Suitable as a 'generic' client
>    - required   : all of Jabber Client Minimal
>    - required   : file transfer
>    - required   : disco
>    - required   : caps
>    - recommended: XHTML-IM
>    - recommended: avatars
> Jabber Client Extended
>    - Glitzier clients
>    - required   : all of Jabber Client Intermediate
>    - required   : xdata
>    - required   : MU-C
>    - recommended: pubsub
> ...and so on.  There would be certifications for servers, and you could
> even add usability guidelines as recommended things to the Client
> specifications, and so on.
> Any thoughts?
> 	--Rachel
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