[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Thu May 22 21:55:01 CDT 2003


>> Now, which term do you think has a better chance at being adopted by 
>> the larger internet community and by other commercial companies? This 
>> is really the thinking that we need to apply to the JSF since 99.9% of 
>> the world hasn't heard of XMPP/Jabber (the protocol) and we hope to 
>> introduce it to them.
> Sorry but your company not being comfortable with using the term 
> "Jabber" and because of that you want us to remove it from our name 
> seems selfish and counterproductive to me.

Is there selfish motivation in arguing for a name change? Yes, although 
I think it's selfish in a good way. Counterprodutive? No -- I think it's 
the opposite since it will broaden the appeal of the JSF to a much 
larger set of companies.

> Most people know the technology as "Jabber" not XMPP the relatively new 
> term to arrive,

I simply don't believe this is true, and perhaps it's because I am newer 
to the community than many others. Ever since IM has gotten "hot", the 
press has used the term XMPP. I also pointed out some links in a 
previous email detailing the strange perceptions people have about 
Jabber as the company vs the open protocol. Finally, I think it's simply 
a fact that all companies outside of JInc will be using the term XMPP 
and not Jabber once there is an IETF standard. We need to adjust to this 
reality. "Jabber Basic IM 1.0" compliance has much less chance of being 
advertised on companies' websites vs a term that doesn't refer to a 

> plus there is the fact that Jabber != XMPP protocol 
> wise, XMPP is the basic protocol and Jabber is XMPP + all the extras on 
> top. Removing Jabber from our name will create much more confusion that 
> what there might be now IMO.

XMPP is indeed the base protocol and there is obviously a lot more that 
the JSF defines on top of it. I don't have the perfect answer for what 
we might call that collection of extensions, but I'm just suggesting 
that it not be called "Jabber". Let's come up with terminology that 
makes it clear that this is the standard set of XMPP extensions defined 
by the XMPP community. That will give them a MUCH better chance of 
getting adopted by everyone that implements XMPP. However untrue it 
might be, I think that the natural perception of the JSF without a name 
change will be:

  XMPP == open IETF standard
  Jabber == proprietary extensions built on top of XMPP led by a company 
called Jabber Inc.

Let's not let that happen.

> I think its fine to change the name to "Jabber Standards Foundation" 
> since that will minimize the collateral confusion your suggestion 
> creates (the acronym even stays the same), changing Software to 
> Standards is perfectly adequate to more than clearly show our true focus.
> Do we really want to throw all the work we have done already promoting 
> "Jabber" (in terms of the name of the higher level protocol) ???

I agree that Jabber Standards Foundation is better than Jabber Software 
Foundation. However, I think that the community would never accpet two 
name changes, which is why I'm proposing the more radical shift to get 
rid of "Jabber" now.

It's a bit scary sounding to adopt a totally new name, but now is the 
perfect oppurtunity. As XMPP becomes an IETF standard, the crucial 
debates will be had over which IM standards everyone should use. With 
the word "Jabber" in our name, I think the JSF's position in that debate 
will be very weakened. Let's take the bigger risk of a more radical name 
change, as I think the reward would be a truly fair, open community that 
can attract a large internet audience.


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