[jdev] confusion over user at domain JIDs and email addresses?

Mario Salzer xmilky at gmail.com
Mon Jul 25 10:24:12 CDT 2005

The user at domain identifiers Jabber uses, look pretty much like email
addresses. But how many people / web users are really confused by this
syntax similarity?
Has anybody ever tried to produce some statistic, how many people in
fact ever errornously treated JIDs as email addresses and therefore
had a bad experience with their email apps?

A lot of assumptions surround this topic. One of that being that many
users (AOL) were dumber than email harvesters, and a majority would
never grok the difference between user at jabber.org and real email
addresses (even if for example labeled that way on your typical web

This may or may not be proved by analyzing what rebounds on port 25
on typical Jabber servers (if it wasn't that this is 99.99% spam). Has
anybody here ever attempted to spot out how much of the SMTP posts to
user at jabber.org addresses have been real emails sent by novice users?

Or exist any other estimations or surveys which back the dumb-as-bread-
users assumption, or the opposite?

Of course, it's too late to change it anyhow - but theoretical: If
user at domain JIDs were really more trouble for users (because of poor
experiences with email clients) than its semantics are worth, would
anybody here want -from todays point of view- to drop it in favour of
DNS-only names or lengthy URIs?

How stout is the "@" still bound to SMTP since the rise of Jabber/XMPP
as 'official' Internet protocol?

Why I'm asking:
I recently tried to advocate a similar user at example.com syntax as
shortcut for Web URLs (as replacement for less user-friendly OpenID
homepage addresses). But because of the fear for AOL users, this was
quickly dismissed there with "Jabber also got this wrong".

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