[Foundation] name change proposal

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Wed Jul 9 18:08:08 CDT 2003


Tony,

> 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.  

It's very true that the JSF does play a number of different roles. But, 
if you look at the work effort expended by the JSF I think that at least 
95% of it is around the protocol. The JSF is about the IETF and the JEP 
processes at its core, not maintaining list of libraries, clients, etc. 
I'm not saying that stuff isn't useful, it truly is. It's just that it's 
not core to the purpose of the JSF and doesn't take all that much of its 
time. I think the one big exception is probably the jdev mailing list -- 
lots of community members discuss things other than the protocol such as 
how to admin jabberd, discussions about clients, etc. However, that list 
still doesn't fit into the core of what the JSF does, it's just one of 
the great services is happens to run and that some JSF members 
participate in.

> 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.

I think the JSF has been moving more and more into a protocol group over 
time already. If you look at the page http://www.jabber.org/jsf/ it 
emphasizes protocol work as our main focus. Let's even take a look at 
the latest board minutes: 
http://www.jabber.org/board/meetings/minutes-2003-06-17.php

Item 2: "Discussed status of the JabberStudio website. The site is not 
actually run by the JSF, although it is currently hosted on the JSF 
servers. Need to clarify this in communications with sponsors and the 
general public."

Item 3: "End-User Portal -- Discussed the conversation occurring in the 
Jabber community regarding the desirability of an end-user-oriented 
portal website and IM server. Consensus that this is not within the 
JSF's mission. Another candidate for an affiliates program."

Even with all of that, what the JSF does is only my personal opinion. In 
terms of the proposal -- please read read through it carefully. We *do 
not* suggest changing anything about the JSF or its charter besides its 
name. Voting yes for this proposal will not change the current 
activitives of the JSF in any way.

> 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
> proposal.

Quite simply, the majority of JSF sponsors (and other companies too) 
have signed the proposal to indicate that we believe there critically 
needs to be change. The only company that I've seen advocate against the 
change is Jabber Inc. I think that's a pretty clear mandate from the 
current marketplace.

> I doubt if many members would have issue with proposing
> alternative compliance program names that excluded "Jabber".

Then what is the problem with changing the name of the organization as 
well? We need to be consistent. You seem to acknowledge that 
organizations may have a problem using "Jabber" in the protocol 
compliance program and that the workaround is to not use Jabber in those 
compliance program. I think the same holds true for the JSF's name as 
well (including sponsorship). For example, we (Jive Software) would like 
to promote the fact that we are a sponsor of the JSF but doing so 
implicitly promotes a competing company because of the name of the JSF.

> The risks of changing the JSF name far outweigh any potential rewards based
> on the evidence put forth. 

What risks? You didn't really outline any. On the other hand, not 
implemeting the proposal is filled with plenty of risks as outlined in 
the letter/proposal.

> 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. 

I'd have no problem whatsoever with having two organizations and think 
it's a god idea -- one that's about servicing the community and one that 
is about developing and promoting the xmpp protocol. However, it makes 
no sense to have these two organizations share a membership, board, etc 
since the purpose and roles or the organizations would be extremely 
different.

Honestly, I think that if you take away the protocol work and advocacy 
from the JSF then you're pretty much left with the jdev mailing list and 
the lists of clients/servers. I understand the desire that people have 
for a community organization that does more than that, but that's really 
not what the JSF is at the moment in my opinion. Good evidence of this 
was the big membership discussion we had recently. Although there was 
much strife, the membership eventually ratified a set of proposals that 
essentially mandates that you have to do protocol work or advocacy to 
continue to be a member. Those that are just "Jabber users" or 
"community members" likely won't continue to be JSF members.

 From my perspective, it makes more sense to rename the JSF so that the 
protocol work can be continued and expanded in a fair, commercially 
neutral way as we outlined in the proposal. A separate organizaiton 
could then be created for general community building and support. That 
solution just seems to reflect reality a bit better.

Regards,
Matt




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