[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Gregory Leblanc gleblanc at linuxweasel.com
Fri May 23 01:19:45 CDT 2003

This thread is getting rather long and convuluded, so I guess I'll just
reply to the very latest mail, having read all of them, and not being
able to remember which had points that I wanted to address.

On Thu, 2003-05-22 at 22:35, Matt Tucker wrote:
> Dave,
> > Honestly, I would take all of these arguments for getting rid of the 
> > word "Jabber" a lot more seriously if they weren't only coming from 
> > solely commercial sources. 

I'm certainly a non-commercial member of the JSF, and the community. 
I'm (at least partly) convinced that there is some confusion between
Jabber as a protocol, and Jabber as a company.  What to do about it is
still another matter. 

> Yes, those of us that are commercial have a lot more at stake. I also 
> work on an Open Source XMPP client library, and if that was my only 
> involvement in the community then I probably wouldn't care as much about 
> this debate.
> However, I think it *should* be an important issue for non-commercial 
> community members since I truly believe that a name change would be 
> beneficial for the organization and the protocol.

Can we all agree that, at least in the very short term, a name change is
only going to INCREASE confusion, and demand that we write some
documentation (webpages, probably) about the name change.  Jabber was
certainly formed as a community for developing a 'streaming XML'
protocol, and the first use that most folks thought of was to use it for
IM.  I would personally be happiest of we could keep the name Jabber to
refer to XMPP + extensions defined in the JEPs.  On the other hand, I
don't think that getting Jabber, Inc. to change their name is terribly
likely.  Getting the JSF to change it's name is a lot easier, I'll bet. 
There -is- harm in the name confusion between Jabber protocol and Jabber
Inc.  How much harm is (as far as I'm concerned) still undetermined.

> > These arguments that "the community will grow 
> > if we call ourselves the [insert your word here] Software Foundation" 
> > fall short of inspiration. I agree that naming is important - -- but 
> > getting rid of the name of the COMMUNITY that built this phenomenon 
> > seems unwise.
> Let's be clear -- Jabber is the name of a company and the JSF is the 
> name of the community. The "phenomenon" is a core protocol that is now 

Well, I don't know about that, actually.  There are almost certainly
people who aren't JSF memebers working on Jabber (JEP type) things.  For
the folks who have been around since before the JSF existed, it's always
been "the Jabber community", not "the JSF community".  The JSF is around
to support the Jabber community, not to -be- the community.

> known as XMPP and extensions through JEP's. It's time for the community 
> to continue to evolve past the company name and into a truly open body.

Ah, but here XMPP is being extended by way of "Jabber Enhancement
Proposals".  That can't possibly be right, if you want to give up on the
Jabber name, and leave it to Jinc.

> There are issues of fairness and confusion that simply haven't been 
> addressed by those arguing to keep Jabber in the name.

"Fair" arguments doesn't hold water with me.  I think there is some
confusion.  Changing the name of the JSF (and thus pushing the community
to call itself something else) is one possible solution.  It is clearly
NOT a great solution, but it's the only one that I've seen well proposed
so far.

> > Any person who has ever tried to build a community will 
> > tell you that changing from an established, known name to something else 
> > _will_ hurt community recognition (and likely growth/adoption).
> Yes, it's not a trivial change. However, a shift to XMPP as the dominant 
> terminology isn't exactly radical. It's been happening gradually ever 
> since the IETF efforts started. These days, everyone agrees that the 
> core protocol is called "XMPP" and not "Jabber", whereas it was a pretty 
> different story one year ago. Now it's important that we continue that 
> shift. I really doubt that any momentum in the community would be lost.

I agree that there has been some change in the use of terminology as the
IETF process has progressed.  And clearly the only thing to call what
the IETF is working on is XMPP, since that's what they're calling it. 
But that doesn't address what to call XMPP + Extensions.  

> > Of course, I suppose I'm a "bad guy", given that I work for JINC, so 
> > what do I know?
> Nope, being from JInc doesn't make you a "bad guy" whatsoever. I hope 
> that I've been clear on this point throughout my emails -- I've always 
> been extremely impressed with JInc's commitment to this community and to 
> open standards.
> However, the community and protocol needs to evolve past Jabber the 
> company. A very good way to do that is by changing the name of the JSF.

Jabber the company is based on the Jabber community, not the other way
around.  I would like to see the Jabber name confusion cleared up.  At
the same time, I'd really hate to see the Jabber community change it's

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