[Foundation] name change proposal

Tony Bamonti tbamonti at jabber.com
Wed Jul 9 16:00:58 CDT 2003

Some thoughts on the name change proposal:

What confuses me the most about this proposal is the assertion that the
JSF's role is restricted to only management and extension of the protocol.
The JSF has ALWAYS represented a central hub and formal advocacy body for
the Jabber community.....this includes many activities beyond just protocol
management and extensions, it includes education on XMPP/Jabber
technologies, capabilities and assistance in getting started as a Jabber
user or developer; it includes information on where to find open source and
commercial client/server products and development tools, news on
developments in the community, innovations in the use of the technology,
statistics on community activity, perspectives on how the technology and
community is positioned and perceived by the market, hosting of a publicly
accessible open source Jabber server and promotion of the open IM movement
and philosopy.  

This proposal is not just a referrendum to change the JSF's name, but also
its overriding role and charter.   It implies that the JSF should no longer
be involved in anything but management and extension of XMPP.  From my
perspective, this is a pretty radical shift and one that may well result in
an unraveling of the Jabber community's identity and momentum.

>"The Jabber brand will never be acceptable to the commercial developer
>because it will always be bound to Jabber Inc. Many companies and
organizations are
>simply unwilling to use the term "Jabber" since it promotes a competitor's
>Further, they are much less likely to join the JSF and contribute their
time and money to
>it as long as they perceive the organization to be tilted in favor of a
single company."

I've heard this argument several times....but aside from the four companies
that have signed this proposal, I haven't seen any empirical evidence put
forth that companies are unwilling to participate or contribute to the JSF
simply because it includes the Jabber name.   In fact, I've seen more
evidence of companies (involved with XMPP/Jabber) willing to use the Jabber
brand than not.   Including three of the four companies backing this

>"The Jabber brand also poses problems for compliance certification, where
the JSF would
>like compliant implementations to prominently display a compliance logo.
Having to
>display "Jabber IM Basic 1.0 Compliant"..."

Having Jabber in the Foundation name does not inexorably tie it to the
compliance/certification labels.  Its not unreasonable to propose that the
official names of the compliance protocols/levels do not include "Jabber" in
the name if there are some in the community that are uncomfortable with
representing it on their site or literature.   These programs are still
under development and, to the best of my knowledge, have not been
formalized.   I doubt if many members would have issue with proposing
alternative compliance program names that excluded "Jabber".

>"Reuse of the Jabber brand across these extremely different concepts has
led to much confusion."

I've seen no compelling evidence to back up the contention that there is
"much confusion" or that there is any residual damage incurred because the
Jabber brand has multiple associations. Yes, the Jabber brand has been used
to represent Open IM technology, an open source movement, an open IM and
presence protocol and a commercial company........and that's because Jabber
IS all of these things.......Jabber is more a concept and a philosphy and
that's part of what has made it so appealing (not to mention its just a damn
good name for this space).  

The risks of changing the JSF name far outweigh any potential rewards based
on the evidence put forth.  However, it is important to acknowledge the
strong opinions of some very active and valuable  JSF and community members.
With that in mind, I'd like to propose consideration of a compromise
approach that has already been suggested by a couple of other members.  That
is, to form a sister organization (or sub-organization) called XMPP.ORG (or
something equivalent) that would take on the primary charter and activities
around standardization and evolution of the protocol.   The JSF and XMPP.ORG
would work under a common incorporation, board and membership structure and
shared infrastructure.   But XMPP.ORG would have its own web site (and
domain obviously) and sponsorships and associated donations could be
dedicated to that part of the foundation by companies that are hesitant to
support the Jabber movement.   This would allow the JSF to retain its
community identity and role in education, promotion and advocacy of Jabber
and still retain a close association with protocol standardization while
also accommodating those that for whatever reason are disinclined to
leverage the Jabber brand.



Tony Bamonti

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Saint-Andre [mailto:stpeter at jabber.org]
> Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 1:15 PM
> To: members at jabber.org
> Subject: [Foundation] name change proposal
> That said, the proposal is located here:
> http://www.jabber.org/members/jsf-name-proposal.pdf
> Please review it, and let the conversation begin.
> Thanks.
> Peter
> -- 
> Peter Saint-Andre
> Jabber Software Foundation
> http://www.jabber.org/people/stpeter.php
> _______________________________________________
> Members mailing list
> Members at jabber.org
> http://mailman.jabber.org/listinfo/members

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