[Foundation] name change proposal

Ben Schumacher ben at blahr.com
Wed Jul 9 17:34:59 CDT 2003

Tony Bamonti said:
> 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".

I agree with this completely. I see no particular reason that names
couldn't be proposed that excluded the name "Jabber." As I recall,
however, the reason the use of the name was originally proposed was to
avoid confusion on the distinction between the protocol known to the IETF
as XMPP, and the extensions beyond this protocol that have been developed
by the JSF. Frankly, I think we could call the compliance suite anything
we want, and it won't make a difference to anybody when they can't find it
cause it appears to no longer be called, or related to, Jabber.

> 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
> 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.

I strongly agree with Tony that the risks far outweigh the benefits.
Establishing the Jabber name has been a hard fought battle for a number of
years. Raising the name, and the protocol, to the awareness of the general
public hasn't been easy, and only now are we beginning to be able to break
into more mainstream news coverage. A change now would only lead to
confusion, and a huge cost to the momentum of the community and the brand.
I do understand the concerns of some commercial operations with using a
name that may be confused with a competitor of theirs, but I think Tony's
XMPP.ORG idea may be a step in a better direction. I completely disagree
with the assertion in the proposals that the JSF is only a standards
organization. While that process currently is central to the community, I
believe it was created with the intention of being an organization to
bring together all things Jabber, including the sponsorship of developers
and development of various open-source projects.

I hope that this proposal will be voted down, and I hope that the
community can finally put this issue to rest, and move on to more
important issues. Our fight is not yet finished, and there are more
important battles to be waged with people outside our small community.
Must we continue to fight this skirmishes within our ranks? I understand
that this is an important and troubling issue to all parties, but surely
there is a solution that can be found that doesn't require us to rip the
Jabber identity away from the community, the software, the projects and
the protocol that have made Jabber Software Foundation what it is today.

My $0.02.


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