[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Tue May 27 18:08:48 CDT 2003


Ralph,

> Having reference implementation for protocols is probably a good thing. The
> question is whether we will make the writing/releasing a JSF effort or that
> we choose to endorse the (required) open source implementation of such
> a protocol. Maybe something else?

Having software for compliance testing and reference purposes from the 
JSF certainly seems to make sense, and Open Source is the obvious way to 
go for that.

> Back to the original topic. As I said early on, I don't view the JSF as a
> purely standards body. We also promote the Jabber platform by being present on
> conferences, etc (marketing-jig). We provide documentation apart from the
> protocol specifications. We provide lists of Jabber software, and provide
> JabberStudio to house projects (with or without the source). In short
> we are the hub where all things Jabber comes together.

Agreed, although I would say that our primary purpose is to extend the 
XMPP protocol. Promoting the use of the protocol through all our other 
efforts is certainly important though.

> On having Jabber in our name. I followed the whole discussion but am far from
> convinced we should remove that from our name. Jabber (as a noun) exactly
> represents what Jabber (the platform) is about. XMPP is yet another acronym,
> good for the IETF, etc, but nothing to make T-shirts about. I have been
> around for a long time, and love Jabber, the lightbulb and the community.

Most of us that are JSF members have a certain fondness for the Jabber 
name and image. After all, they've been around ever since Jabber was an 
Open Source project (long before there were any commercial Jabber 
efforts). However, there's a different perception from the outside 
world, which is that the Jabber name and image belong primarily to a 
single commercial entity, Jabber Inc. It's a bummer for the community 
that this has happened, but it's a reality. I think we all care a lot 
more about the open standard than the name. If we truly care about 
seeing the open standard succeed then we need to drop the name and logo 
of a single commercial company.

> The argument that having to promote the name Jabber hurts your business because
> it endorses Jabber, Inc. is an odd one. I will probably step on toes here, but
> if you cannot explain the difference between Jabber, Inc., the JSF, a protocol
> suite called 'Jabber IM Basic', your company and its products... Well I think
> than maybe you should have tried harder. Today I told a relatively Jabber newby
> (a co-worker in a major research lab) about the whole discussion. He couldn't
> see the problem either.

With all due respect to you and your co-worker, I think that you'd get a 
very different answer from any business person. In fact, my company has 
already had a bad experience with the Jabber name even though our XMPP 
product has only been on the market for a very short time and in many 
ways doesn't directly compete with Jabber Inc's products.

Why should we have to "try harder" to explain the difference between 
Jabber the company and Jabber the protocol? Why should non-commercial 
users have to live under the umbrella of a single commercial entity? 
This just doesn't make sense and isn't what an open standards body 
should be about.

> If you make a product and can't explain why it is good and in what kind of
> marketplace it is, you don't have your act together. If you make good stuff,
> people will want it. If you make enough of it, Jabber, Inc. might even become
> less relevant and become just another company making Jabber products.

I think you're missing the point. Commercial companies and many 
non-commercial projects will simply ignore the proprietary Jabber 
terminology and just use the term XMPP. That's fine in general, and it 
*is* what's going to happen. But, without a name change, that leaves the 
JSF out in the cold -- companies and orgs will be much less likely to 
join us and may ignore our protocol extensions as long as they are 
branded with a competitor's name.

> One interesting thing about the whole comparison to HTTP and the web. Jabber
> (by that name) will hopefully become as obiquitous as the web

No, this is quite simply impossible. XMPP has already won as the 
dominant terminology that will be used by the marketplace -- check out 
all recent press activity if you don't agree with me. It's time to 
adjust to this reality.

Regards,
Matt




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