[jdev] The future of Jabber/XMPP?

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Sat Jul 10 22:27:24 CDT 2010

On 7/10/10 4:54 PM, Matthew Wild wrote:
> On 10 July 2010 22:39, Yves Goergen <nospam.list at unclassified.de> wrote:
>> Hi there,
>> Today I noticed that there hasn't been an update to the Openfire Jabber
>> server in more than 14 months, where 2007 and 2008 have been very active
>> years. There's still a lot of open issues in the project. In the past
>> years, a few Jabber projects (like legacy IM gateways or PHP libraries)
>> have fallen asleep for indefinite time. The Psi developers push
>> long-desired features further and further into the future while the
>> Linux package downloads fall behind in versions. (Currently their
>> website it only half available.)
> In the land of open-source, projects always have their ups and downs,
> projects are always dying, or going into auto-pilot, but new projects
> are always starting. You can have a hand in each of these :)

I've been involved with the Jabber/XMPP community since 1999 and I can't
tell you how many projects and people I've seen come and go. That kind
of turnover is natural.

>> Sometime in the last decade I saw a more or less great momentum towards
>> open IM standards, with Google Talk and GMX/web.de introducing XMPP
>> services or Apple iChat supporting the protocol. Recently, Facebook also
>> joined the club (without s2s AFAIK), but I have the vague impression
>> that the whole thing slowly falls asleep. There hasn't been real great
>> leaps in the near past, or did I just miss them?
> I think you missed them. XMPP seems to me stronger than ever, in the
> IM space, but it is also doing surprisingly well in the non-IM
> use-cases, where XMPP has turned out to be a very viable platform on
> which to build all kinds of realtime data-pushing apps.
> I started the Prosody project a year or two back, and we now have a
> strong community, growing all the time. People are joining us all the
> time, whether from other inactive servers, from non-XMPP IM platforms
> or because they are looking to build new services powered by XMPP.
> Depending on where you're viewing from, progress can look slow or
> inexistent. However such is always the way, XMPP was never going to
> take over the world overnight (though I never stop believing it may,
> it helps :) ). It takes time for people already accustomed to the
> "old" ways to invest development time and effort into implementing or
> switching existing infrastructure to use XMPP - so take-up always
> appears to be slow.

XMPP technologies have always grown organically without any major buzz,
and they are still growing. But they've also matured and they're no
longer a new thing, so you find more energy right now in things like
social networking. That said, there are still plenty of applications
that need real-time interactivity and data delivery, and plenty of
people working with XMPP to build and deploy those applications.

> Anyway, as I said further up... whether and how well XMPP continues to
> meet its goals is up to you, me, and everyone else on this list. If
> you're a developer, find a project and get contributing, if you aren't
> then there are still other ways to help in the mission, see the
> relatively new communications team for example:
> http://xmpp.org/xsf/teams/communication/

Yep, there is always plenty to do -- specs, howtos, translations,
support, bug reports, code patches, you name it.


Peter Saint-Andre

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