[Foundation] Jabber (tm)

Iain Shigeoka iainshigeoka at yahoo.com
Mon May 21 10:11:42 CDT 2001

At 11:34 AM 5/21/2001 -0500, you wrote:

>I didn't get much response the last time I mentioned this, so maybe I'm 
>way off.  Please tell me if I'm wrong.
>"Jabber" == Name of protocol && Name of Whole Idea we're talking about
>"Jabber" == Trademark OWNED by Jabber.com
>If I am correct, am I the only one who sees this as a problem?  It's quite 
>possible I'm overreacting.  Can I get some feedback?

I will also agree that it is a bit disturbing.  I don't mind it if the name 
is owned by a standards organization such ANSI, W3C, etc but this setup is 
a bit unsettling.  I am practical though.  If j.c is committed to this 
route (it seems they are) then I see two ways it will fall out (my personal 

1) j.c makes it worth our time/effort to deal with this hassle.  For 
example, they pour a lot of resources into improving the protocols, 
enforcing them (compatibility tests), educating people about them, 
marketing jabber, providing documentation, etc.  If so, it will be worth it 
to deal with these restrictions, use a "Jabber compatibility" mark and make 
sure not to infringe the jabber tm.  I would consider Sun's handling of 
Java to fall into this category.  It's a pain to deal properly with Java tm 
issues.  However, Sun has made it well worth the effort of doing this as 
the documentation, developer support, improvements, marketing, etc etc is 

2) j.c provide very little "value add".  The Jabber name is cool but its 
not that cool.  And the protocols can be rewritten.  So, if the whole thing 
turns out to just be a pain or a philosophical problem, I think people will 
create another version of jabber that's not-jabber.  I have already seen 
some people on the lists that don't like the current turn of events from a 
philosophical/ethics standpoint and have already left (or at least said 
farewell).  I imagine you'll get the same from other people as the issue is 
worked out and as we see the policy put into effect (for example, I see the 
first time j.c actually trying to enforce this in court causing a whole 
crowd to pack up and leave).

I believe it will be j.c's challenge to accomplish option #1.  Doing it 
strongly enough will result in a satisfied user community. Those that are 
philosophically opposed will create free clones rather than completely 
forking off different versions.  Unfortunately for j.c, they're small so I 
think it is questionable if they can deliver fast enough for the 
community's satisfaction while still also addressing their own business 
concerns.  I'm taking a "wait and see" approach.  What's your opinion on this?


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