[Foundation] thoughts from another commercial player

Constantin Nickonov Nickonov at jabber.com
Fri Jul 11 15:57:35 CDT 2003


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt Tucker [mailto:matt at jivesoftware.com]
> Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 2:51 PM
> To: members at jabber.org
> Subject: Re: [Foundation] thoughts from another commercial player
> 
> 
> Ben,
> 
> > Then take the example of WebDAV. It is a set of protocol 
> extensions to
> > HTTP that provide the ability to do web-based distributed 
> authoring and
> > versioning. In the same way, Jabber is a set of protocol 
> extensions to
> > XMPP that create, what you have called, a "full-featured IM 
> system." Both
> > HTTP and XMPP are complete and usable protocols without the 
> addition of
> > WebDAV and Jabber, and there is nothing preventing any 
> users from taking
> > them and using them as is.
> 
> I think WebDAV is actually a pretty bad example. Although it 
> is built on 
> top of HTTP, it's purpose is significantly different. On the 
> other hand, 
> XMPP and "Jabber" (as you're defining it) essentially do the 
> exact same 
> thing with a few minor feature differences. The criteria it 
> makes sense 
> to apply is: do the systems have the same purpose? If the 
> answer is yes, 
> then it makes most sense to have a unified naming approach. Since the 
> protocol is already called XMPP in the IETF, we should stick 
> with that.
> 
> > There is certainly nothing preventing folks who feel that 
> they cannot
> > promote the Jabber terminology from creating their out 
> community, and
> > their own set of enhancements to XMPP. Microsoft has often 
> taken broadly
> > used protocols, and extended them to serve their purposes 
> better. I hope,
> > however, that in the interest of broader compatibility across all
> > "full-feature IM systems" based on XMPP, that those folks 
> choose not to do
> > so.
> 
> Yikes, this is exactly what we want to try to prevent. We 
> think there is 
> a real danger of this as long as the Jabber name is used, 
> which is part 
> of the reason we've made this proposal. Let's use 
> vendor-neutral naming 
> so that nobody is ever encouraged or forced to take XMPP protocol 
> extension work outside of the JSF.
> 
>  > as Tony said, there has been no evidence presented that makes
>  > me believe that I couldn't clearly communicate that what I do
>  > is related to an open protocol, as opposed to a corporate entity
>  > that does similar work with a similar name.
> 
> Our experience has been the exact same as Barry's. There is 
> the implicit 
> assumption that "Jabber" means Jabber Inc by our customers. As a more 
> specific example, we have a product in development that is 
> built on top 
> of XMPP (much like WebDAV is built on top of HTTP). We made 
> the mistake 
> of using the Jabber terminology with a potential customer of the 
> product. Even though Jabber Inc. has no products even 
> remotely similar 
> to this one, the reaction of the customer was "Hey, I just got a 
> brochure from Jabber Inc. If it's 'Jabber' that you guys are 
> doing, then 
> why shouldn't we be using their server instead?" Of course, I 
> was able 
> to explain the difference, but I shouldn't have to. At that 
> instant in 
> time I knew we'd never use the Jabber name ever again to describe our 
> products. :)
> 
> Jabber Inc.'s own homepage doesn't do much to help with the issue. 
> Here's how they define Jabber at the top of their website:
> 
> "Jabber is a software platform for moving your ideas forward - in 
> real-time. Deploy secure, scalable, business-class instant messaging. 
> Extend presence into workflow, supply chain, and knowledge management 
> systems. Integrate a real-time communications channel into 
> existing web 
> sites and customer service portals. And do so with ease using 
> Jabber's 
> open, XML-based, natively interoperable architecture."
> 
> If you dig into the site, you can find a page that further 
> defines what 
> Jabber is and it at least mentions that it's an open protocol (but 
> without mention of XMPP) -- again, not much clearer.
> 
> How can this situation not harm the adoption and ubiquity of the 
> protocol extensions we're developing in the JSF as long as those 
> extensions are called Jabber?
> 
> Regards,
> Matt
> 
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