Reply to 'No Replies Please' Post (was Re: [Foundation] Old Timer POV - No replies please)

Dave Smith dizzyd at
Sun Jul 13 23:49:54 CDT 2003

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On Sunday, Jul 13, 2003, at 20:03 America/Denver, Evan Prodromou wrote:

> * Leaving aside brand recognition, which I recognize is a serious
>   cost, how important is the name 'Jabber' to Jabber? If you took all
>   the good parts of Jabber -- the design, the ethic, the community,
>   the history -- and called it by another name, would it still be
>   worth the emotional investment?
> * In October 2004 (one year after proposed name-change vote), when
>   we're all working on Parley or Splutter*, will you really care that
>   it's not called "Jabber" anymore?

Uh, yeah. My name has been "Dave" for as long as I can remember -- I 
would care very much if someone forced me to change it. Names are 
critically important, to people, communities, countries, and companies. 
Changing the name of something is never done lightly or glibly. It 
affects the nature and viewpoint of the entity involved. It _is_ an 
emotional, subjective thing that can not be quantified.

> * Can we be sure that the people requesting a name change for Jabber
>   and the JSF are really just 'bad eggs' trying to ruin everything for
>   the rest of us? I don't know any of them personally, and I don't
>   have any experience off-list with any. But it doesn't seem to me
>   like any of them are acting in bad faith. There were an awful lot of
>   signatories to the proposal. I wonder if it might be worthwhile to
>   consider their point -- that commercial entities might have a hard
>   time participating in the JSF if it has the name of their competitor
>   in it -- at face falue.

In all honesty, I don't think that anyone is acting in bad faith. 
Unfortunately, good intentions do not always equate with the correct 
course of action.

> * If the name 'Jabber' inhibits some commercial entities from joining
>   in and helping out with Jabber, is it pretty much tough beans for
>   them? How important is it to have commercial entities -- both
>   current and future -- participate in the JSF and in the Jabber
>   community?

I find it curious that it is such a large problem for companies like 
Jive and Winfessor, while Antepo doesn't seem to have any issues. 
Additionally,  from a competitive standpoint, JINC has competed with 
Antepo in the past, while we have yet to encounter the other 
signatories. It is odd to me that a primary competitor to JINC (and 
hence, the "Jabber" name) would NOT be pushing this proposal. At the 
very least, it indicates that there is a way to deal with the "problem" 
of the Jabber name, other than forcing an entire community to change 
their name.

> * If the problem were big enough that some players or potential
>   players went over to The Dark Side (muahahaha -- cue thunderbolt),
>   rather than considering Jabber, would that be worrisome? Are we in a
>   sufficient position of strength that we can tell any possible
>   commercial partners to just go scratch themselves?

We have yet to encounter this possibility, except in flights of fancy. 
Indeed, there are at least three companies (Jive, Winfessor, Antepo) 
that have chosen to _enter_ the community, even with the name 
"problem". If I were a business person, and the name issue was really 
that critical, I would have never tried to start a company if I had any 
concerns about naming conflicts with other players in the space. On the 
other hand, if I was relatively confident that I could exist in an 
environment where there was a naming issue, I would go ahead and enter 
the space -- since my core values would not be derived from the 
community name.

> * The proposal undercuts some of the brand recognition for Jabber,
>   Inc. Jabber, Inc. has been very friendly and positive towards this
>   community, and in a way this proposal would be a rebuff to them. Is
>   that unfair to them? What loyalty does the Jabber community owe
>   Jabber, Inc.?

I can not comment on this with any sort of objectivity -- so I will 
not. Put yourself in their shoes.

> I have to be honest: I have great emotional attachment to the name
> 'Jabber' and I'm unconvinced by arguments that we _must_ change it or
> die like bugs. But at the same time, from an objective POV, I see a
> positive benefit to having commercial entities in the JSF, and
> increasing their presence. I'd miss the name 'Jabber', but I think if
> a new name that pleases everyone is found, well, that'd be boss.

I, too, have an emotional attachment to the name Jabber -- and I always 
will. Should the JSF membership decide to change their name (and it 
still is questionable to me that the membership has such power), I will 
likely leave the JSF and continue my work on Jabber elsewhere. It would 
deeply sadden me, but I believe that such action would signal the wane 
of value of this formalized Jabber community. Already, we spend more 
time talking than producing meaningful results.

I have thought long and hard about this issue. I remain convinced that 
changing the name is a foolish action. However, I am also convinced 
that there is no swaying the other side -- we are at an impasse. As 
such, I will not comment further on this issue, but will vote to keep 
our name when the time comes. I will participate in this community as a 
contributing (dare I say, founding) citizen and will take whatever 
actions are moral, just, and fair to protect the health of the 

Let us have this vote, and speak no more of the matter. The discussions 
have long since run in circles.

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