[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Matt Mankins mankins at media.mit.edu
Thu May 22 16:19:23 CDT 2003

> XMPP *will* be the term that everybody uses (does anyone feel 
> differenty?). With that in mind, it seems like we should be crafting our 
> message around that name rather than Jabber.

Re: XMPP/Jabber.  

"Everybody" is a matter of audience.

Technically, the protocol is XMPP.  The technical people of the world
(might) talk of this program or that containing XMPP support, just as they
speak of an application containing SMTP, HTTP, etc.  Acronyms are
commonplace in our discipline and XMPP is not an anomaly however ugly it
might look.  I can't see XMPP taking off on a much wider audience 
however--which is the goal of the JSF.

On the other hand, "Jabber" was born for a broad audience.  Both users and
technical people alike feel comfortable talking about Jabber, just as they
might feel comfortable talking about "email" or the "web".  It's a
friendly, well chosen term.  It would be foolish to blanket the world with 
XMPP when it already has Jabber.  Also note that Jabber encompasses more 
than XMPP: it's a fuzzy conceptual class, just as "email" and "web", and 
this is not a weakness, but its strength.

As far as the Jabber.com trademark issue, I believe lawyers would classify
"jabber" as a weak trademark, as it's both a dictionary word and a trade
word before the company existed (I believe).  While officially they
(Jabber.com) may own the trademark, what really matters is
defendability--and if pressed, it's unclear to this observer at least if
they would retain that mark.  Contrast this to "Kodak"  which is
considered a strong trademark. ... of course this is no reason to view 
jabber.com as adversaries--I see them as partners advocating "jabber".  
(perhaps lowercase j for the general term?)

It's great that we are having this discussion, because I believe it gets
at the ultimate point of the JSF: to promote the path from XMPP -> Jabber
--to advance an idea from technical possibility to socially impactful
reality.  Jabber may have started out as "open IM", but it has the
potential to move far beyond that, to be a term that encompasses a class 
of technologies that are a hybrid of synchronous and asynchronous 
communications like the world has never seen before.


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