[Foundation] Jabber DevZone News - JabberCon Report

Jabber DevZone webmaster at jabber.org
Thu Aug 23 17:25:13 CDT 2001

JabberCon Report

The following was posted by stpeter at jabber.org via the Jabber DevZone web site (http://dev.jabber.org/):

Wow! JabberCon was a smashing success! From the opening keynote by Tim
O'Reilly on Monday morning until the closing discussions on Tuesday,
JabberCon provided non-stop, in-depth exploration of Jabber
technology. With over 60 organizations represented and almost 150
participants involved, the gathering gave those in attendance a
perfect opportunity to find out what others are doing with Jabber and
learn about the cutting edge of Jabber development.

While I'm sure that each participant had their own highlights, I think
most Jabberites would agree that things reached their peak during a
working session led by independent software developer Dave Winer of
Userland Software. Dave is best known as the creator of XML-RPC and as
a leader of the weblog "movement". The night before the working
session, he and Craig Burton had challenged some of the core Jabber
developers to create a bridge between Jabber and Blogger via XML-RPC.
Right away, dizzyd and temas set to work, coding late into the night
on just such a bridge. By the time the working session rolled around
they weren't quite done, but they continued their work while the rest
of the participants hashed out some of the architectural and protocol
issues involved with sending XML-RPC over Jabber. As we neared
completion of a simple protocol for the new namespace "jabber:iq:rpc"
(soon to be reported in more detail by DJ Adams on the mailing list
for the XML-RPC JIG), temas sent the first test message from his
Jabber client to Blogger, and flashed the result up on the projector.
It was a powerful demonstration of the importance of working together
with other development communities, not to mention the dedication of
Jabber developers to making interoperability a reality.

The crucial value of interoperability was stressed also by Tim
O'Reilly in his keynote, who pointed out that interoperability was one
of the key motivations behind the creation of Jabber. But
interoperability goes way beyond Jabber's transports to other IM
systems: it includes things like bridges to XML-RPC, SOAP, SMTP, SMS,
wireless networks, a wide variety of data storage mechanisms, and the
universe of applications and services both within organizations and
out there on the net. This is part of Jabber's core strength. In his
"State of the Bulb" address, Jeremie too noted how important it is
that Jabber is (and will remain) "protocol-agnostic" with respect to
other systems.

Part of what makes interoperability a reality in Jabber is the
existence of a modular architecture in which developers can create
their own server modules. That task has just been made much easier by
the release of the Jabber External Component Libraries (JECL). These
libraries, developed at Jabber, Inc. mainly by Dave "DizzyD" Smith,
provide a strong foundation for external component development in C++
by giving programmers consistent methods for handling socket
connections to Jabber servers, managing threads pools, and
manipulating XML data structures. You can find these libraries at
jabber.tigris.com, the new home for code that is open-sourced by
Jabber, Inc. A win32 port of these libraries will likely emerge at
that site, as will language bindings or re-writes for other languages
such as Python and Java.

JabberCon also witnessed a fruitful exchange of ideas between the
Jabber community and representatives of the Apache community. Most
significantly, Jeremie demonstrated a working prototype of mod_jabber,
a module that can be plugged into Apache2 for basic Jabber
functionality within Apache (check CVS for the code). In addition, a
number of Jabber developers committed to exploring ways that Jabber
can be integrated into Apache's Jakarta project.

Michael Bauer's report on the Jabber Foundation included several
announcements. First, the Board of Directors has been finalized, and
the Foundation's bylaws have been ratified by the Board, paving the
way for formal incorporation of the Foundation. In addition, Michael
pointed out that the Jabber Grant Program has begun; the first two
projects are integration of Jabber functionality into SourceCast and
the addition of whiteboarding to Jabberzilla (more grant proposals are
welcome, so keep those cards and letters coming!). Finally, thanks to
a grant of support to the Foundation by IBM, jabber.org will soon be
receiving several new servers, including a dedicated development
machine. As always, detailed information about the Foundation is
located at foundation.jabber.org.

Unfortunately a short news story can't capture the depth and breadth
of the exciting developments at JabberCon. The presence and active
participation of industry leaders such as Tim O'Reilly, Dave Winer,
Craig Burton, Doc Searls, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, and others certainly
added to the productive atmostphere, as did working sessions by the
Security and Standards JIGs. Demonstrations of non-IM applications of
Jabber by DJ Adams and Piers Harding (Jabber, XML-RPC, and SAP),
Michael Appelbaum of VitalConnect (workflow processing), and Tony
Viola of Oracom (network management) got participants thinking about
how they could apply Jabber in new and different ways. Julie Stewart
of Swisscom, Max Seguineau of Antepo, and the folks at Aether Systems
showed some fascinating extensions of Jabber into the wireless world.
And all this doesn't include the countless spontaneous discussions
that sprang up between sessions or over a beer in the evening. The
confluence of factors of such as these is what caused many
participants to report that this was the most beneficial industry
convention they had attended in years.

So thanks to the folks at Jabber, Inc. for putting JabberCon together,
and here's to JabberCon 2002!



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