[jdev] Re: Jabber Certification Program

Rachel Blackman rcb at ceruleanstudios.com
Fri Jun 18 13:09:31 CDT 2004

> <anecdotal-evidence>When talking to users of non-Jabber IM systems, 
> what I usually hear is that Jabber is too geeky, initial configuration 
> (including the concept of having to find a server) is too difficult, 
> etc. In other words, it just does not target the same user audience as 
> IM services like iChat, AIM, or MSN Messenger.</anecdotal-evidence>

Yeah.  I'd hope someday that I can talk my parents -- diehard MSN users 
-- into using Jabber, without having to walk them through it (I didn't 
have to walk them through MSN Messenger) other than maybe handing them 
a URL to download.

> That's also why I don't think "recommended" features in a 
> certification are such a good idea. If a Jabber application has 
> achieved a certain level of certification, the user should not be 
> required to check further resources to see whether "recommended" 
> features are in that product, after all.

Required features were more a way to drive JEP adoption for draft or 
final JEPs, and suchnot.

Recommended features were an attempt to drive JEP development and 
finalization of experimental ones; sort a 'these may be requirements 
for next year's certification, so you might want to keep an eye on them 
and think about implementing them.'  They weren't so much intended for 
the end-user as for the developer side.

Maybe the terminology needs to be changed in my original writeup.

> If the certification program would (eventually) work towards that end, 
> it's a superb idea and definitely worth supporting. If, however, it's 
> for bragging rights only, then I doubt its value. Especially if this 
> should turn out to be a for-a-fee program, since purely hobbyist 
> Jabber coders would probably not be able, let alone willing, to shed 
> over money for certification if they give their Jabber software away 
> for free.

I don't think it should be a for-fee certification.

The comment about "bragging rights" was more intended in response to 
the strong opposition I got about 'forcing' client authors to adhere to 
the certification.  I meant it in terms of that if you don't have a 
certification, all you lose is bragging rights (and presumably a place 
on the 'certified clients' list, which I think should be the default 
download list from Jabber.org).

Right now, if you choose to go do your own thing, your client still 
connects to Jabber, any interoperability issues that exist at present 
are still there, etc.  Saying 'you do not have certification' does not 
change your situation; if you don't care about 'bragging rights' and do 
not want to put major effort into interoperability, then you don't need 
to.  Your client stays out there, still does its thing, but if it 
doesn't play nice with other clients, it doesn't get certified and 
doesn't go on the main jabber.org client listing for download or link 

But a lot of people /do/ seem to be into bragging rights -- the ability 
to put nifty little buttons and banners on your site saying 'W3C 
Compliant' or whatever -- and so while interoperability is the main 
goal, in theory we're aiming for interoperability right now anyway.  
Holding out a carrot, a little badge to get and a place on the official 
'certified clients' list, might encourage a little more effort towards 
it.  If that makes any sense?

Anyway, I think I will step back from this post for a little while 
instead of trying to reply to almost every post.  I suspect I've 
written enough wordage to at least give folks something to think about. 

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