[Foundation] Old Timer POV - No replies please

Ryan Eatmon reatmon at jabber.org
Sun Jul 13 18:15:12 CDT 2003

 From reading all of the emails, and talking to various people I think I 
finally see what this discussion boils down to.  I'll get to that point 
towards the end of this message.  First, I'd like to state that this is 
a point of view email and thus does not warrant or desire responses.  
Second, this is also just my opinion not that of any other person 
(unless they happen to agree).

I'd like to start out with some history.  For those of us that have 
worked on Jabber the whole time, we don't see Jabber as being related to 
Jabber, Inc.  We see it as a community project that was started by 
Jeremie Miller and is a 100% open and free IM solution.  We see it as a 
project that we have devoted close to four years of our lives on 
promoting and supporting.  We view it as a labor of love for a project 
and a concept that at the time was not even being considered on the 
scope that Jabber was taking on.

AFTER this open project called Jabber got going, a company was formed 
that had the name Jabber in it.  This company sold IM solutions using 
that open protocol.  Several people (including some currently at JInc.) 
agree that it was a bad idea for Jabber, Inc. to pick that name.  Be 
that as it may, they did it.  They were there first to the commercial 
table.  They bought the trademark to help cutdown on pollution of the 
name Jabber and save for reference to an IM system.

A trademark that is currently on the verge of being transferred to the 
Jabber Software Foundation at the request of the membership of the 
Jabber Software Foundation.  A move that *should* make most of you 
happy, but does not seem to be working.

Then a bit of time after JInc. was started some others saw the potential 
of Jabber and decided they too wanted to start a company that used 
Jabber in their products including selling IM solutions.  Now, Jabber is 
free to use and freely documented.  There is nothing that prevents you 
from creating a program that speaks Jabber, unlike some of the file 
formats that MS provides.  JInc does not control the protocol.  They 
cannot change it on you just to cut down on competition.  They just 
happen to have the name Jabber in their name, and happen to have gotten 
a head start.

I just did a Google search, and lo the Jabber Software Foundation is the 
first in the list.  Maybe we need to put some verbage on the front page 
at the top that the JSF is not JInc.  If it is truly causing people that 
level of confusion, maybe we (the JSF) are not doing that good of a job 
at telling people what Jabber is.

Going back to the beginning of this history, Jabber existed BEFORE 
Jabber, Inc. ever did.  Which is why so many people in the community 
hear Jabber and think of an IM system, and NOT a company.  If people 
outside of the community are confused, that is our fault.

In my opinion, the entire name change discussion boils down to this point:

Some commercial companies feel, or are finding, that it is hard to 
compete with Jabber, Inc. because when "people" hear the word Jabber, 
they immediatly think of Jabber, Inc.

The solution that these "injured" parties propose to to step in and 
force everyone else who works on and believes in Jabber to stop using 
the word Jabber and instead refer to it as something else more neutral 
for all companies.

I've got news for you.  There is nothing that will stop me from forming 
an XMPP, Inc. company selling IM solutions and beating you in a 
marketing game.  There are no international business rules that prevent 
this, and then you are back in the same boat as you are now.

Why not try to compete on quality of software/service, instead of a 
name?  Make sure that people know that Jabber is an open standard and 
that you provide a much better solution than any of the other companies.

Right now the JSF and the Jabber protocol is owned and maintained by an 
open group made up of volunteers most of whom have been here from the 
beginning or close to it.  Speaking as one of those old timers, I find 
it exteremly offensive that anyone would step in after the fact and tell 
me that something that I have helped build.  Something that I have spent 
time away from my family to create.  Something that I believe so 
strongly in that I *still* am willing to work on even though people are 
telling me that what I call it is wrong and should be changed.

I will not participate in a group/project that forces me to change the 
way I think just because some people are finding it hard to compete in 
an open marketplace.  It is NOT the responsibility of the Jabber 
Software Foundation to make your job easier to do, or increase the sales 
of your products.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I am not interested in responses to 
counter points to this email.  This is simply my point of view and you 
are not going to convince me that that I'm wrong and should think like 
you do.  Just read and absorb the content and try to understand it 
before pusing forward with this plan.

I'm sorry that Jabber being called Jabber is causing you pain, but deal 
with it or go create your own protocol and stop bothering us.


Ryan Eatmon                   reatmon at jabber.org 
Jabber.org - Perl Team    jid:reatmon at jabber.org

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