[Juser] impromptu meeting log

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Wed Jan 27 12:06:08 CST 2010

We had an impromptu meeting in the jabber at conference.jabber.org chatroom
just now. Here is the log...

*** 2010-01-27
[09:50:10] <taft44905> but it seems that this M-Link software is full of
[09:52:22] <taft44905> [..used around the world in] "Aviation, Military"
[...]..how I love these 'oh-so-stable'-buzzwords
[09:52:46] <taft44905> http://www.isode.com/company/index.html
[09:52:55] <PaulFertser> taft44905: and we're guinea pigs here for that
debugging :|
[09:54:28] <PaulFertser> taft44905: well, probably isode offered to hire
one of the jabber.org devs and free support in exchange of this
extensive testing and nobody else offered to actually support such a
complex setup for free.
[09:54:55] <taft44905> yeah idd..although I really appreciate their
commitment to this free IM service
[09:54:58] <PaulFertser> But no public information is available, fucking
business/whatever shit considerations :(((
[09:55:42] <taft44905> I'd like to hear more about the motivation to
switch the server software
[09:56:20] <PaulFertser> taft44905: i've asked several times already.
But that's "business secret" of all the parties involved.
[09:58:25] <taft44905> maybe Isode has something to do with Cisco who
bought Jabber? dunno
[09:59:41] <taft44905> can just say it actually sucks big time :(
[09:59:43] <PaulFertser> I'm sure Kev knows everything but here fucking
money involved so his mouth needs to stay closed.
[10:01:38] <stpeter> PaulFertser: watch your language, please
[10:02:24] <MattJ> +1
[10:02:29] <PaulFertser> stpeter hm, i'm unsure if "swear" words can be
more offensive than the meaning or not.
[10:02:46] <MattJ> PaulFertser, if unsure, err on the side of caution
[10:02:50] <stpeter> PaulFertser: I asked you to watch your language,
and I am the owner of this room, so please do so
[10:02:56] <stpeter> now
[10:02:58] <stpeter> about the issues
[10:03:00] <PaulFertser> Do you mean it's ok what i'm saying but it's
not ok how i do it?
[10:03:04] <stpeter> and conspiracy theories
[10:03:18] <PaulFertser> Ok, i'll avoid what you call "language", hope
we both have the same list in mind.
[10:03:36] <PaulFertser> "7 dirty words", hehe
[10:04:10] <stpeter> a long time ago, jabber.org was an open source
project and this IM service was the testbed for the jabberd 1.x codebase
[10:04:16] <stpeter> in 2006 we switched to ejabberd
[10:04:22] <stpeter> without any public input or comment
[10:04:28] <stpeter> we just decided to do it
[10:04:43] <stpeter> "we" at that time being mainly me and Peter Millard
[10:04:54] <stpeter> with a few other less-involved admins
[10:04:59] <stpeter> who, by the way, are all volunteers
[10:05:07] <stpeter> so thank you for appreciating all the time we put
into this
[10:05:28] <stpeter> over time, people wondered why we didn't have an
open process for "bidding" to run the service
[10:05:39] <stpeter> so we decided to do that last year
[10:05:43] <PaulFertser> In fact i really do appreciate all the efforts
to keep the biggest and the most known xmpp server on the net, i really do.
[10:05:48] <stpeter> we received two responses to our call for proposals
[10:05:56] <stpeter> one was from Isode
[10:06:00] <stpeter> one was from Tigase
[10:06:07] <stpeter> the ejabberd folks did not submit a proposal
[10:06:35] <stpeter> based on the responses, the team reluctantly
decided to choose Isode because we would prefer to use open-source software
[10:07:06] <stpeter> but the Isode proposal was far superior at that
time -- I can't vouch for Tigase directly because I have not run their
[10:07:14] <stpeter> yes, the migration has been rocky
[10:07:42] <stpeter> the same was true BTW of our migration from
ejabberd 1 to ejabberd 2, when a huge number of accounts were corrupted
and it took us a long time to recover from that
[10:07:50] <stpeter> migration simply is not easy
[10:08:03] <stpeter> it turns out that M-Link has some bugs and other issues
[10:08:13] <stpeter> that is true of all software, last I checked
[10:08:19] <stpeter> do I wish that were not the case?
[10:08:19] <stpeter> sure
[10:08:29] <stpeter> do I wish that we had no crashes from day 1
[10:08:32] <stpeter> you bet I do
[10:08:54] <stpeter> could we have been more transparent?
[10:08:54] <stpeter> yes
[10:09:01] <stpeter> we've worked on that with regular updates
[10:09:18] <stpeter> so we're working through things as best we can
[10:09:22] <Bloody Rose> can you name the reasons you switched to m-link?
[10:09:36] <PaulFertser> And those are simply great, i can say nothing
but to thank you (and all the team) again for those regular updates.
[10:09:38] <stpeter> it is true that Kev is a long-time jabber.org admin
and now works for Isode (although he didn't back then)
[10:09:56] <stpeter> Bloody Rose: their proposal was much better than
the other proposal we received
[10:10:05] <stpeter> when you receive only two proposals, it can be
difficult to choose
[10:10:15] <stpeter> but their level of support and interest was higher
[10:10:29] <stpeter> which I understand, because Tigase is a small
project and Artur is very busy with many customers
[10:10:39] <stpeter> it wasn't an easy decision, but that's the decision
we made
[10:10:40] <stpeter> now
[10:10:42] <stpeter> with that context
[10:10:48] <stpeter> what are the questions and issues you guys have?
[10:10:51] <Bloody Rose> I got that. what's made you want to replace
ejabberd with something else?
[10:10:57] <PaulFertser> Indeed. From your explanation it's still
unclear to what level the ejabberd team was involved during all the
years you used their software and what were the reasons they couldn't
actually fix the software.
[10:10:59] <stpeter> and perhaps it would be nice to hold a user meeting
to gather more feedback?
[10:11:08] <stpeter> ah
[10:11:10] <stpeter> well
[10:11:22] <stpeter> some of that is private information that I shall
not share
[10:11:32] <stpeter> because it's nobody's business
[10:11:59] <stpeter> we had regular crashes with ejabberd, if you recall
[10:12:05] <stpeter> typically a few each day
[10:12:14] <MattJ> ejabberd was crashing more than daily - that's a huge
reason to switch
[10:12:19] <stpeter> and wanted to overcome those problems
[10:12:36] <PaulFertser> I somehow thought ejabberd were involved and
tried to fix the technical issues.
[10:12:38] <stpeter> we also were never able to deploy some features we
care about, such as PEP
[10:12:58] <stpeter> sure, we provided crash dumps
[10:12:58] <MattJ> PaulFertser, they knew about the issues, we sent them
crash dumps, etc. - the issues remained
[10:13:39] <stpeter> at this point I am more interested in the path
forward than in rehashing the history, although I can do that if desired
[10:13:45] <MattJ> +1
[10:13:46] <PaulFertser> MattJ well, so it looks quite similar to what i
speculated: ejabberd devs didn't want to support you for free or
moderate enough payment while isode does.
[10:13:55] <stpeter> ok
[10:13:59] <stpeter> now let's talk about money
[10:14:09] <stpeter> there's no money involved, in fact
[10:14:16] <MattJ> PaulFertser, possibly - but that's speculation - they
would presumably have submitted a proposal if they wanted to
[10:14:31] <stpeter> in the past, the jabber.org server was associated
with xmpp.org and the XSF
[10:14:51] <stpeter> and so we provided an in-kind sponsorship for
ProcessOne, which is the primary maintainer of ejabberd
[10:15:11] <stpeter> however, we severed the link between jabber.org and
the XSF about 18 months ago
[10:15:16] <stpeter> (I don't recall the exact date)
[10:15:21] <stpeter> because it seemed unhealthy
[10:15:41] <stpeter> and we have long worked to make distinctions
between "Jabber" and "XMPP"
[10:15:51] <stpeter> as you know if you've been involved with our community
[10:16:02] <stpeter> that was a big political issue for many years
[10:16:11] <stpeter> at least while Jabber Inc. existed
[10:16:20] <stpeter> now that Cisco has bought Jabber Inc. it's less of
an issue
[10:16:36] <stpeter> and full disclosure: I worked for Jabber Inc. for
many years and now work for Cisco
[10:16:46] <stpeter> however
[10:16:59] <stpeter> Isode doesn't pay jabber.org anything
[10:17:12] <stpeter> and ProcessOne never did either
[10:17:35] <stpeter> who would want to pay for the privilege of running
the jabber.org service and receiving abuse from the community? it's a
thankless job
[10:17:41] <stpeter> you can't win
[10:17:53] <stpeter> if your software has issues, they are exposed in a
very public way
[10:18:15] <stpeter> if your software is perfect (is yours perfect?),
then people still complain because they think you're paying someone off
[10:18:21] <stpeter> it's a no-win situation
[10:18:36] <stpeter> I'm just appreciative of the fact that anyone wants
to help us run jabber.org
[10:18:42] <PaulFertser> Well, so it looks like i was completely right
about it: Isode benefits from large-scale testing, you benefit from free
[10:18:44] <stpeter> we're not Google or some big company here
[10:19:17] <stpeter> PaulFertser: yes, I would say both sides benefit --
isn't that the point of human relations, that each party benefits the other?
[10:19:19] <PaulFertser> Of course.
[10:19:31] <stpeter> would  you prefer that someone not benefit?
[10:20:02] <PaulFertser> stpeter: i'm sorry for not being clear enough,
let me rephrase.
[10:20:15] <stpeter> I'd be happier if no users even noticed the migration
[10:20:22] <PaulFertser> No doubt
[10:20:35] <PaulFertser> There's no doubt in your and other team
members' good intentions.
[10:20:37] <stpeter> and my buddy list was corrupted over the weekend,
which didn't exactly make me happy
[10:21:37] <Scoundrel> Oh!  I thought you were mad at me  lol!
[10:21:54] <stpeter> :)
[10:22:08] <taft44905> thanks for the comments so far peter
[10:22:25] <stpeter> yes, I was mad at all 2546 people in my buddy list ;-)
[10:22:36] <Scoundrel> I would only contact yOU if it was really
important, so I thought you were just cleaning out the silent ones..  ;)
[10:22:53] <PaulFertser> I mean i personally and probably many other
folks would agree to suffer bugs that we all experienced during the
migration provided that it would help to improve some free software. But
if users' suffering is beneficial to some proprietary software it
somehow becomes questionable. Once you explained that it's in fact the
best deal you could make (because basically ejabberd folks didn't want
or couldn't support you for free), the reasoning becomes clearer and
more acceptable to the free software "zealots".
[10:22:56] <stpeter> Scoundrel: haven't had time to blog about it, sorry
[10:23:07] <Scoundrel> Understandable.
[10:23:21] <stpeter> PaulFertser: I see your perspective
[10:23:42] <Bloody Rose> will jabber.org users notice any difference in
the way the service works after the migration?
[10:24:19] <PaulFertser> Also i want to say sorry for my tone or choice
of words, i'm not a native speaker, i hope that makes me an excuse or
[10:24:25] <stpeter> PaulFertser: and even though I am not a free
software zealot, I tend to agree with you -- it would be better for the
broader community to benefit via an improved open-source project
[10:25:41] <stpeter> really I would love it if every XMPP server
codebase could run jabber.org for a while because it is a great way to
learn how to improve your software
[10:26:35] <stpeter> Bloody Rose: I sure hope so -- the intent was to
have a more stable service, with more features like PEP and so on -- but
I am not thinking about new features right now (in fact we have PEP now
but might disable it temporarily here soon for testing purposes)
[10:27:15] <stpeter> and I think we'll get there, but it might take a
little while longer
[10:27:27] <Scoundrel> Keeping it up and running for a whole hour at a
time would be nice ;)
[10:27:28] <stpeter> we are working through the issues as quickly as
possible, as is Isode
[10:27:32] <PaulFertser> OTOH it seems like my harsh words and
unintelligent expressions motivated you to go more open about the
details a nice outcome (imho) ;)
[10:27:49] <stpeter> Scoundrel: now, that's not quite right -- we're
down to about as many crashes a day as ejabberd had in the old days :P
[10:27:55] <Bloody Rose> what does PEP give to a regular user? could you
name some of the other features as well?
[10:28:17] <Scoundrel> Yeah. Im pulling your leg.
[10:28:18] <stpeter> PaulFertser: we're working as fast as we can, and
have not communicated the whole story because it takes a long time to
write it all up
[10:28:37] <MattJ> PEP allows client that support it to publish
information like what music you are listening to, what mood you are in,
and what you are doing
[10:28:39] <stpeter> Bloody Rose: many newer features are based on PEP
-- lots of social networking things
[10:28:46] <PaulFertser> stpeter big thanks for your time and patience.
[10:29:20] <naw> Bloody Rose: pep enables you to broadcast the song you
are listening to, your mood, location........
[10:29:25] <stpeter> Bloody Rose: and also some security features that
we're working on -- sharing public keys so that we can build reliable
end-to-end encryption without PGP keys (since few people have those)
[10:29:40] <naw> oh, MattJ was faster
[10:29:47] <Bloody Rose> that's just awesome.
[10:30:43] <stpeter> also things like microblogging
[10:30:45] <stpeter> anyway
[10:30:55] <stpeter> those are incremenetal improvements / enhancements
[10:31:01] <stpeter> "nice to have"
[10:31:16] <stpeter> first we need to make sure the service is stable
(although we have PEP now)
[10:32:16] <stpeter> other features I'd like to see are BOSH / http
connections, a web client, etc.
[10:32:28] <taft44905> to publish information about music there need to
be an interface to the media player too, doesnt it?
[10:32:40] <stpeter> taft44905: sure, there is work that needs to happen
on the client side
[10:32:56] <stpeter> e.g., your IM client can pull that information out
of xmms or whatever player you're using
[10:33:18] <stpeter> but client developers don't want to add the feature
until there is support on the servre
[10:33:19] <stpeter> servrer
[10:33:23] <stpeter> server :)
[10:33:28] <taft44905> fine..yes sure :-)
[10:33:28] <stpeter> it's a chicken-and-egg problem
[10:33:34] <stpeter> which is why we've wanted PEP at jabber.org
[10:33:47] <taft44905> easy end-to-end encryption sounds fine too
[10:34:05] <stpeter> taft44905: for sure -- you don't trust the server
admins, do you? ;-)
[10:34:19] <taft44905> erhm :-)
[10:34:26] <Scoundrel> Did Hal get banned or something?
[10:34:36] <Bloody Rose> look at you, Peter. lol
[10:34:38] <stpeter> I mean we're all being paid off by Cisco and Isode
to read your conversations :_
[10:34:59] <MattJ> Scoundrel, HAL is here
[10:35:10] <MattJ> Scoundrel, though not an admin - he hasn't been for
some time
[10:36:03] <dwd> stpeter, To be fair, I *am* reading this one. :-)
[10:36:22] <stpeter> nice, I just received my copy of Jack Moffitt's book
[10:36:25] <dwd> ALbeit I've only just caught up.
[10:36:39] <stpeter> dwd: sure, and we need to get room archiving back, no?
[10:36:40] <stpeter> anyway
[10:36:43] <stpeter> anything else?
[10:36:49] <dwd> stpeter, I have a couple, too. I'm keen to find the
link between racing and XMPP. :-)
[10:37:03] <MattJ> Heh
[10:37:13] <stpeter> I need to complete a bunch of tasks here today and
run a conference call about royalty-free codecs that I need to prepare
for, etc.
[10:37:30] <stpeter> a bit overloaded at the moment :)
[10:38:43] <Bloody Rose> thanks for your responses and for making some
things clear, Peter.
[10:39:37] <stpeter> I really am sorry about all the problems -- it
doesn't make me happy, believe me
[10:40:12] <stpeter> on the other hand, when I joined the jabber team in
1999 I never thought I'd be running a service for 300,000+ users :)
[10:40:22] <stpeter> it was just a little open-source project back then
[10:40:33] <stpeter> with 300 users, not 300,000 :)
[10:40:46] <dwd> FWIW, so am I. The entire team is working flat out,
pretty much around the clock, to solve these problems, and we're not
helped by the fact we can't duplicate a lot of what goes on with
jabber.org in the lab.
[10:42:48] <stpeter> yes, dwd works for Isode on the XMPP codebase :)
[10:43:17] <dwd> Ah, yes, should have made that clear. I'm the team lead
of the M-Link project, in fact.
[10:43:24] <stpeter> right, jabber.org experiences a lot of "unique" traffic
[10:43:48] <stpeter> e.g., just today we found someone whose account
logged in and out 400+ times in 30 minutes
[10:44:12] <stpeter> and domains that try to connect 500,000 times in a
day but never start a stream
[10:44:31] <stpeter> and other stuff that is either really dumb or
actively abusive
[10:44:59] *ermine afraids she missed many interesting words here
[10:45:05] <dwd> We found one client attempting to pipeline two
<starttls> requests, for instance.
[10:45:08] <stpeter> ermine: indeed you did
[10:46:59] <stpeter> brb
[10:47:05] <stpeter> I think I'm typed out :)
[10:47:19] <taft44905> thanks again and good luck
[10:47:39] <ermine> stpeter: aleksey asks for chatlogs :)
[10:50:10] <stpeter> ermine: yeah, we need that feature back
[10:59:27] <PaulFertser> ermine: fyi the log of the interesting stuff
happened here today:
[10:59:45] <stpeter> I'll just send it to the juser at jabber.org list
[10:59:49] <stpeter> for posterity


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