[Foundation] I wish there was no Foundation

Rich Braman - Audiencebank Rich at audiencebank.com
Fri Jun 29 15:14:36 CDT 2001

There's an ancient proverb about bureaucracy.... Where there is an abundance
of ceremony, there is bound to be deceit.  What we need to do to keep Iain's
worries from becoming a reality is to keep the ceremony to a bare minimum.
That is, decisions must be made quickly, with any excessive delays from
political processes.  

What we all need to remember is that we are a part of a development
community that is interested in Jabber.  I don't believe that any one
company, or individual can horde all of the benefits potentially realized
from using jabber.  Obviously, there will be some companies and individuals
who will more successful than others based on the merits of their business,
and what they accomplish. The marketplace ultimately determines which
products and services win and loose. If you cant compete, your'e better off
not being in business.

There isn't anything sinister about Jabber.com being interested in the
Foundation, nor developing a different Jabber 'server' that is meant to be
marketed as a high scale solution, nor is there anything wrong with them
deciding to keep it proprietary.  Jabber.com would be remiss if it were not
interested in the foundation, nor in profiting from its investments in
Jabber. I trust that Jabber.com will continue to contribute to the open
source product, and they too deserve to benefit, directly and indirectly,
from their contributions. Along the way they may benefit from the
contributions others have made too. I hope that my company benefits from
these contributions and developments as well.

I think Iain's email struck the right chord in nothing that they main things
that jabber's custodians must be vigilant about is making sure that the
development moves along as fast as possible in the right direction. All of
the other conspiracy theories and power plays should hopefully go away, and
those of us involved with the foundation should put our trust in the council
members, directors, and officers to do the right thing.  Remember, these
people are fiduciaries and owe the foundation membership the duty to do
what's in the best interest of the foundation.  Breeching a fiducairy dity
is illegal, and can result in personal financial liability.  It can also
earn the disrespect of your peers, and bring shame and guilt to the
perpetrator.  The foundation membership serves as a check and balance to
those who have been entrusted with the custodianship of Jabber.

Lets all try to keep our mind on the ball, work on getting Jabber
incorporated into our software architectures and technical strategies and
continue developing Jabber so that it can be very benefial to those who make
it happen.  If you feel the need to be a prick and spout off, so be it.  But
if it going to come down to whining about how Jabber.com has an unfair
advantage in the marketplace for one reason or another, write a letter to
judge penfield-jackson, and see if you can get him to start an antitrust
lawsuit against them. If you get sick of getting laughed at, start thinking
about how youre going to profit from jabber  

Richard Braman

-----Original Message-----
From: Iain Shigeoka [mailto:iainshigeoka at yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 11:51 AM
To: members at jabber.org
Subject: RE: [Foundation] I wish there was no Foundation

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...


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 

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


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?


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