[Foundation] Recent confusion about the JSF, JINC and the IETF

Jeremie jeremie at jabber.org
Thu Aug 1 11:48:46 CDT 2002

>  - The JSF membership, in general, understands the role of the JSF to be
>    an overseer of management and development of the protocol. What this
>    means, for most people, is that the JSF effectively "owns" the
>    protocol.

>  - The core Jabber protocols (XMPP) have been offered to the IETF.
>    However, the membership was not formally informed of that submission,
>    nor were they necessarily in agreeance with it.

> The confusion has been furthered by a couple of lines in section 6 of
> the minutes of the IETF BOF minutes (available at
> http://www.jabber.org/ietf/bof-minutes.txt):

I was there, so I can correct some things that seem to have gotten blended
together in the minutes confusingly.  I don't think it was, but it'd be
nice if the BOF was recorded, I guess with the number of attendees there
shouldn't be a problem clarifying anything if needed :)

The answers from Joe about having full approval of Jabber, Inc. were in
response to questions about any potential IPR claims, such as
copyrights/patents/etc.  Of course his first and correct response was that
the protocol and everything in the draft pre-dated JInc's existence, so it
wasn't even possible.  But as I recall the question was rephrased and
asked again and his response was clearly that JInc had no protocol
IPR/control and this fact has "sign off at the highest levels".

> 1. Who (JSF or JINC) offered the protocol to the IETF?

Some clarifications again... the first point to make clear is that there
is no objective "IETF" entity, the IETF is a set of policies and
procedures around which many individuals openly participate.

Based on that, the involvement thus far with the IETF process has
consisted of individuals, myself, psa, joe, mrose, etc.  Our involvement
has been an evolution of events that have been ongoing since Jabber itself
started, resulting in the publicized draft submission earlier this year,
and from that recomendations from experienced IETF veterans to re-submit
the drafts and properly create a BOF to discuss them with others involved
in the IETF.

Representative of this process of evolution is that it is named XMPP and
consists of only the core aspects of the protocol(s), two things intended
to both reduce the confusion around what "Jabber" means (to me, the name
ultimately represents us, the community working towards common goals, not 
a protocol) and to clearly elucidate the base protocols that underlay our
community today and haven't been thus far.

An important point to all of this is that it's a process, it can change or
evolve again at any point and involve anyone that wants to be a part of
it, and ultimately the only thing that's happened so far is that we have
some decent documentation started and additional involvement from more
experienced protocol veterans.  If the IESG/IAB decides to recommend a WG,
then it is up to us as a community to use that opportunity to standardize
those relevant parts of the protocol.

As always, Jabber on :)


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