[Foundation] Name change summary

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Fri May 23 08:53:26 CDT 2003


Hey all,

I realize that there has been so much discussion on the name change 
issue that it's probably very hard for everyone to follow. I wanted to 
summarize some of the points as best I as I could so that we can 
continue to move forward.

---------------------------------
Arguments *against* removing Jabber from our name:

  * The community and protocol is well-known as Jabber by the rest of 
the world. It would be foolish to abandon all this momentum.

  * The term Jabber is integral to the very nature of the community and 
without it the community would be damaged or lessened.

  * The core protocol is called XMPP, but any extensions we define 
should be called Jabber.


-----------------------------------
Arguments *for* removing Jabber from our name:

  * Using Jabber as the term for our protocol and community name isn't 
nearly as valuable as others assert. Many of us have found that people 
are very confused about the difference between the protocol and the 
company (I sent some specific links about this before and related a 
customer story). Many people already know "XMPP", especially since 
that's the term getting used by journalists these days.

  * Jabber is the name of a company. When we promote that name, it 
greatly decreases our effectiveness at promoting an open standard, since:

  1) Other companies and non-commercial users have less incentive to 
participate in an organization whose very name promotes a competitor.
  2) Many people will adopt XMPP as a standard once it comes out of the 
IETF. However, there is a danger that they will ignore whatever 
extensions we define when we use the term "Jabber". What company would 
seriously advertise "Jabber Basic IM 1.0" compliance? We need to have a 
name and terminology that lets our extensions gain market acceptance.
  3) There are already many companies (including sponsors of the JSF) 
and non-commercial users that have no affiliation to Jabber Inc. Out of 
fairness to them and to create a level playing field, the name should be 
changed.

  * The term "Jabber" is not the strength of this community -- the 
protocol and its users are. Therefore, a name change will not damage the 
community, and will only strengthen it by making it a more open, 
effective body.

  * The fact that XMPP is about to become an IETF standard presents a 
unique oppurtunity for us. Very soon, the entire rest of the world will 
be using the word XMPP instead of Jabber. Now is the time to harness 
that change and energy.


-----------------------------------
Open questions:

  * What would actually be a better organization name? Several people 
like "XMPP Foundation", but it's not clear the IETF would look kindly on 
this. It would be very helpful if someone "in the know" could comment on 
this. The other choice would be a more generic name like "Open IM 
Foundation", but feedback is that this would be less desirable.

  * What do we call the extensions to the core XMPP protocol that we 
develop?


-----------------------------------
Next steps:

So far, we've only heard from a relatively small number of JSF members 
on this issue. If you have an opinion, please make it known so that it 
can be considered in the discussion. However, please avoid statements 
like "I like 'Jabber'" or "I hate 'Jabber'" as your only justfication 
for or against a name change. ;-) What will form consenus is reasoned 
arguments.


Regards,
Matt




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