[Foundation] thoughts from another commercial player

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Thu Jul 10 12:23:36 CDT 2003


I think your own website provides good evidence on this subject. On your 
protocol support page:


XMPP is mentioned many times, but "Jabber" does not appear on that page 
once. In all fairness, your homepage does refer to "Jabber/XMPP", but I 
think you would agree that it's more appropriate to refer to the 
protocol as XMPP.

No matter how you slice it, the core protocol *is* already called XMPP 
and that terminology will be very important as it's what going through 
IETF and as evidenced by the numerous recent press articles (all about 
XMPP with no mention of Jabber).

Despite what many have said or implied, our proposal does not seek to 
rename the general community. If the community wants to use the Jabber 
terminology, who are we to stop them? Our proposal is much more narrow 
-- that the protocol standards body around XMPP should not have a 
commercially encumbered name.

On a personal note, I think all the statements on the current glory of 
Jabber are a bit delusional. Yes, we have something great going. But no, 
we haven't already won -- very few outside the developer/hacker 
community have any idea what XMPP/Jabber is. SIP/SIMPLE has won backing 
by two of the largest software companies, IBM and Microsoft (Antepo 
obviously sees the value in SIP/SIMPLE as it's a major part of their 
product). I see our potential "tipping point" as being XMPP through the 
IETF and not the current Jabber movement. Further, I think we've 
provided enough evidence around the fact that most commercial 
organizations and many non-commercial ones will not be attracted to a 
protocol strongly associated with a single company, espcially when there 
are alternatives on the table.

There has been a lot of debate about what the JSF is. It's quite obvious 
that a lot of people think that the JSF should be doing more community 
things than just the protocol work of creating/extending XMPP. That 
could mean that there needs to be two seperate orgs as some have 
proposed, which I see no problem with. Howevever, I still maintain that 
it makes the most sense to rename the JSF and to create a new community 
organization, as the JSF is currently primarily focused on protocol and 
not community activities.


Don Bergal /EXC/NOA wrote:

> I felt it was time to bring the new perspective of another commercial 
> player in the community to the debate on the name change.  
> As a marketer, and as an executive for a software developer that has no 
> relationship or alliance with JINC whatsoever, I believe that the 
> proposed change is based on misguided assumptions and represents a 
> serious mistake that would take years (if ever) for the community to 
> recover from. 
> Two fundamental arguments, presented as facts, appearing in the proposal 
> and in subsequent posts are absolutely incorrect.   First, I can tell 
> you that Antepo does not share the opinion of the proposal:
>     "The Jabber brand will never be acceptable to the commercial 
> developer marketplace...Many companies are ... unwilling     to use the 
> term Jabber".
> The fact is that the Jabber community - however you measure it 
> (standards traction, market awareness, development participation, 
> commercial adoption) - has tremendous momentum today.  Independent 
> commercial developers absolutely benefit from the association with the 
> community, and the overlap of the name with Jabber, Inc.  has not 
> presented any serious issues for Antepo in terms of sales, marketing, or 
> corporate identity.    Losing the ability to connect with the many 
> aspects of the Jabber movement, through use of a name with 
> universal awareness, would hurt, not help, a commercial developer.   As 
> an alternative player, I would much rather be a member of a well known 
> thriving marketplace and differentiate based on real software 
> advantages, than to eliminate the critical mass that that the name 
> brings as means of hiding from competition.   If one objective is truly 
> to foster a healthy alternative commercial sector in Jabber oriented 
> technology, the name change is a terrible mistake.  
> The proposal to transfer the Jabber trademark from JINC to the JSF has 
> not had much visibility in recent months, and its progress appears to be 
> stalled.   I suggest that an action far more beneficial to healthy 
> competition is to fully execute on that proposal and promote more 
> association with the name Jabber - not less.   What can be done to 
> accelerate this? 
> Secondly, there have been many mis-informed statements about the true 
> cost of executing the name change.    How much would it cost to 
> re-establish the goodwill and market awareness currently enjoyed by the 
> name "Jabber"?    Not millions, but *tens of millions* of dollars.    As 
> an internet advertiser who tracks the results, I know that the brand 
> "Jabber" is increasing its reach with thousands views every day.   What 
> could replace it now?    It would take two years or more, and untold 
> millions of advertising and PR (that the JSF does not have) to recreate 
> the word-of-mouth on the 'net that Jabber, in all senses of the word has 
> fostered.   
> Last year's bestselling book "The Tipping Factor" documented social 
> phenomena that spiral up and influence the world in ways far beyond 
> rational expectations or resources applied to them.    I submit that 
> Jabber has "tipped", or is on the verge of it.    Now is not the time to 
> blink!
> ____________________
> Don Bergal
> Vice-President, Business Development
> Antepo, Inc.  (www.antepo.com <http://www.antepo.com/>)
> mobile 646-251-4499
> direct 720 482 7900
> fax 805-926-3569
> don.bergal at antepo.com

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