[Foundation] I wish there was no Foundation

Iain Shigeoka iainshigeoka at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 29 10:50:49 CDT 2001


Howdy all,

The title (and not the thread) strikes a chord with me.  For me there are 
two opposing forces at work that wants and doesn't want a Foundation.  Now 
the reasons "against" are a bit late to have any relevance but I wondered 
if anyone else shares my worry...

For

Hey, Jabber obviously needs some mechanism for allowing the community to be 
involved in defining Jabber.  There has also been an organizational problem 
with standards being far outpaced by implementation.  The core people who 
should be preventing the two from falling too far out of sync are 
understandably too busy to properly deal with the current explosion 
(implosion?).

The foundation clearly provides some structure to this chaotic situation 
and hopefully will help us all work together to craft something bigger and 
better.

Against

The reason I wish there was no Foundation is the risk (I think HUGE risk) 
that the Foundation's bureaucracy is going to hamstring Jabber innovation 
just at the time when Jabber must be the most fluid and quick to 
react.  Now is the time for a strong dictator to make hard decisions 
quickly and concisely.  I have a feeling that this kind of leadership is 
going to be impossible with the Foundation.

For example, what if we decide that some critical advancement requires 
completely restructuring major parts of the Jabber protocol?  These changes 
are necessary for moving forward.  With the Foundation, it must go to a 
JEP, get a JIG, get discussed, have a reference implementation built, get 
voted on, etc etc.  These delays can add up if several changes must occur 
at once but the Foundation process requires them to occur in series (for 
proper discussion and exploration of consequences).

And how flexible will the foundation process be in allowing such major 
rewrites?  As an example, I have been thinking about the current JID 
format.  Every way I turn it, there does not seem to be any reason to have 
a JID address that contains resource information.  The function it is 
trying to serve (multiple devices for a single logical "user") does not 
seem to warrant having the resource in the JID... except perhaps in the way 
that the current jabberd server implementation uses this information for 
internal routing.  But this implementation issue should be kept clear from 
the standard... If I submit a JEP to remove the resource from the JID how 
quickly can I get this through (if ever)?  What if one member of the 
council that loves the idea of the resource in the JID sits on a -1 for a 
few weeks while trying to turn around public opinion (e.g. politics)?

I think eventually the Foundation will eventually work things out and the 
"best" decisions will be made.  My worry is simply how much of a delay is 
this going to incur.

I don't want this to be a complaint or a suggestion that things are 
wrong.  Just a nagging worry... Anyone else with this worry?

-iain


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