[Juser] to our users at jabber.org

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Sun Jan 24 10:33:04 CST 2010

First, my apologies. The jabber.org IM server is run by a small team of
volunteers, but that is no excuse for the poor level of service you have
experienced lately.

Our failures have been many:

1. We thought that migrating to new server software would alleviate some
of the problems we had in the past. Clearly the new software we’ve been
trying has been even less reliable so far, resulting in frequent
outages, random disconnections, the inability to log in, and other
problems. I think that most or all of the problems are transitional and
related to the difficulty of migrating a large service to new software,
but the fact remains that the user experience has been horrible over the
last week.

2. We have made our share of mistakes (unrelated to the software we use)
regarding data backups, software deployment, service monitoring, and
other best practices for a large public IM server.

3. We have failed to communicate clearly and regularly regarding the
status of the server.

These failures are unacceptable for our users and embarrassing for the
jabber.org team. We need to do better. In particular, we commit to:

1. Deploying software that works. We are collaborating with the
developers of the software we’re currently using (the M-Link product
from Isode Ltd.) regarding some bugs in their code. Although we don’t
blame them for the bugs (all software has bugs, and the jabber.org
service receives a lot of strange and unpredictable traffic from XMPP
clients and servers that connect to our service), the bugs need to be
fixed and the crashes need to stop. Much as we like and respect our
colleagues at Isode, we have also looked into alternative software
solutions because our first commitment must be to our users. I think
we’ll be able to successfully complete the migration to M-Link, but at
the same time it would be irresponsible of us to not consider other
possible options in case they become necessary.

2. We are instituting improvements in our processes and procedures so
that we can prevent problems from arising in the future, and so that we
can respond more quickly when problems do occur.

3. We shall post a daily status update at www.jabber.org for the
foreseeable future to keep our users informed.

We have been offering free IM accounts at jabber.org since 1999, and we
want to provide a service we can be proud of. Lately there has been very
little pride on the jabber.org team.

Because I am ultimately responsible for the jabber.org server, I am
personally embarrassed by the poor service we have been providing, and I
shall do whatever it takes to ensure that you, our users, will receive
much better service in the future.

Peter Saint-Andre

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