[Foundation] Council Questions

Thomas Muldowney temas at box5.net
Wed Aug 7 03:06:30 CDT 2002

> 1. What do you think is working and not working with regard to the JEP
> process? What suggestions do you have for improvement?

While I do often moan and groan about the process the system has worked
very well so far.  Much better than I most of us originally imagined. 
There has been talk again about using majority voting and possibly other
changes to the voting system, and I think these need to be considered
carefully.  Personally I favor a yes/no system, with a majority vote,
but I can definately see the benefit of the -1/0/+1 system.  We'll have
to see how the next group handles the voting.

> 2. From a purely technical standpoint, what differentiates Jabber from
> SIP, SIMPLE, and related technologies? Why (or why not) is XMPP a better
> choice for many applications than transporting XML/MIME payloads via SIP?

Honestly, I don't feel I know enough SIP or SIMPLE to make a fair call
here.  I have read much of the SIMPLE specs, but the SIP one just scares
me.  So I feel my honesty is a better answer than an uneducated one.

> 3. Why do you think it is necessary to develop a pub/sub protocol for
> Jabber? Please provide specific examples. In particular, it seems that
> there should be some useful synergy among pub/sub, message queueing, and
> presence. How do you see this fleshing out in specific applications?

I've long wanted to get the GNOME community more involved in the Jabber
world domination.  I've felt one way I could attempt to do this, was to
take one of the existing GNOME apps and jabberize it in some way.  The
one I had selected was the GNOME time tracker.  A fairly simple app that
tracks how long you've been working on projects and tasks.  The idea was
to create a component so that in your tracker you could see how other
members of the team were doing as well.  It was the first time that I
really realized that pubsub would save me a whole lot of headaches.  I
did some playing with DJs work, and everything just clicked really
quickly.  If things are clicking that well, then you are definately
looking down the right path.

For the followup, I think pubsub is very highly related to presence, in
fact presence could almost be replaced by pubsub.  Currently, presence,
is just a super simplified pubsub, type, system.

> 4. How do you think ownership of the trademark on the Jabber term should
> be handled?
Well, saying I believe strongly in it happening one way is counter
productive.  Jabber, Inc. owns it currently, and there is no denying
that.  So, we need to continue to work carefully with them to find a
plan that can best accomodate everyone's needs.  When people continue to
take a hardline in one direction it just causes tempers to flare and
talks to degrade.  Careful, calm work, and we'll continue see it unfold.

> 5. How do we establish trust between servers on an Internet scale?
Wow, well, wow =)  It's not what I would say is downright doable in a
general sense.  We have to have someone we can trust, but even then I'm
still wary.  Maybe it's just me, I've always been a skeptic when it
comes to internet trust levels, but even with a group like the JSF
having a cert repository or other 3rd party trust mechanism I would
still be concerned.  Are the certs on the repository fully controlled
and safe?  I have no way of knowing, I can be connected to the servers
through the net, but I have no physical access.  Alas, I'm on a
tangent.  I feel we would have to, at least, start by agreeing on some
of the semantics we would use to negotiate trust on connections,
communictations, and other things like that.  After that we may find we
need a common CA or other third party system.

> 6. Do you think we should build a mechanism for in-band transport of large
> payloads within Jabber? If not and you think an out-of-band transport is
> sufficent, how do you see that as different from SIP?
I'm personally in favor of finding a good solution to in band data.  A
good balance between in band and oob data would be absolutely amazing,
and truly allow the protocol to stretch into new areas.

> 7. How can the growing complexity and functionality of the Jabber protocol
> be balanced with simplicity and developer-friendliness?
This question feels a bit odd to me.  Yes we are growing, and because
the new JEPs are bigger, and newer we tend to think of them as complex,
but the semantics stay very straight forward.  A long standing train of
thought in our Jabber community has been to create succinct and
thoughtful XML.  We don't need to over complicate the situation and have
a ton of attributes to flag every tiny little side case, rather, we
solve the problem we have at hand in a direct manner.  When a new
situation is found we either create another simple system, or find
simple ways to mend the existing systems.  By continuing to follows
these ideas in our XML the protocol should stay close to the level of
simplicity and developer-friendliness found in our current system. 
Plus, it won't hurt to continue our work for more documentation ;-)

> 8. How can the JSF and the Jabber technical community best work with other
> standards organizations, specifically the IETF and any possible Working
> Group the IETF forms to to pursue standardization of the core Jabber
> protocol?
To me the IETF is a necessary step in the future of Jabber as a real
internet platform.  I'm not sure I was mentally prepared for it to
happen so fast, but now we have to find ways to work with it.  One way
to me is to continue with the JSF, so that we are always working on the
new namespaces and protocol pieces that really make Jabber what it is. 
If the working groups (which we need to fully participate in) deem
something stable, and ready, then these pieces could easily be
incorporated into the XMPP IETF specs.  It's easy to forget that Jabber
is made up of many namespaces riding on a simple core.  The core can
easily be standardized while leaving us freedom to grow and create.

Well, these are my raw, real answers.  The original intent of the debate
was to get the answers on the spur of the moment, to get the raw feeling
from the canidates.  So, I've left these largely uneditted and straight
from my head.  Sorry, if I left in a lot of typos and grammatical errors

Thanks for your time everyone.


More information about the Members mailing list