[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Wed May 28 11:46:55 CDT 2003


> <emotion type="frustration">
> For all of this discussion, I still don't see how renaming the 
> Foundation and refraining from using the word "Jabber" in official 
> documents will ease/remove the time we all have to spend explaining what 
> Jabber is, what XMPP is, what JSF is, etc.

Heh, how is that? Changing the name makes for incredibly clear distinctions.

XMPP = core open XML messaging protocol.

JSF (under new name) =  open group that promotes use of XMPP and
develops extensions to it (extensions still to be named).

Jabber = name of commercial company, name of various Open Source projects.

Maybe if the IETF had accepted Jabber as the name of the standard, 
things would be different. But, they rejected a commercially encumbered 
term and I can't see how you don't expect us to as well.

> It's a complex community, with many faucets -- changing the name doesn't 
 > change that.

Do you mean facets? :) In any case, yes, there is a broad community of 
people that use this protocol and they deserve to be able to use a name 
and image that isn't directly associated with a single company.

> The fact of 
> the matter is that people use the term "Jabber" as often as they use 
> XMPP. Yes, I know there are press releases that talk only about XMPP, 
> but "Jabber" is a term which crops up whenever I've ever heard anyone 
> discuss XMPP.

Can you point to any specific examples where someone outside of the 
community has used the term Jabber over XMPP recently? I haven't seen 
it, and this is despite the fact that XMPP isn't even an official IETF 
spec yet. That's fairly significant I think. You also haven't responded 
to the fact many of the companies participating in the JSF have come out 
and said that we simply can't and won't use the Jabber terminology and 
that we've already adopted XMPP.

> Honestly, I have a lot of emotion wrapped up in this whole thread 
> (obviously). I can't help but wonder where we were you guys in 1999 when 
> the Jabber project got started? Where you helping build the first, 
> second, and third servers? Did you help shape the protocol, stay up late 
> nights discussing the merits and disadvantages of using a 
> document-per-packet? Where were you when the JSF was founded -- did you 
> contribute to the structure or put thought into the organization to 
> ensure that no one company had all the control (not even JINC)? What 
> JEPs have you submitted that are in everyday use? What right do you have 
> to come into this gathering and say "Let's throw out this "Jabber" name 
> -- it's got too much baggage"?!

Ahh, the heart of the issue. To be clear, you're referring to me 
specifically and not to the broad cross-section of JSF members that have 
publically emailed the list in support of a name change. For example, 
Iain Shigeoka has been a member of this community long before he worked 
for a commercial XMPP company and has served as both the marketing and 
compliance leader. He (and others) have been calling for a fix for the 
name for several years.

So, let's be quite honest. You and the others from the Open Source 
Jabber days sold out when you decided to form Jabber Inc. Personally, I 
see nothing wrong with this as it's perfectly legitmate to move from the 
Open Source world to the commercial world and back (I work on an Open 
Source XMPP client lib and a commercial server). However, you can't have 
your cake and eat it too -- ie, you can't form a company and still 
pretend to be an Open Source community and to represent their interests. 
Now that you have taken the Jabber name as your own for your company and 
products, it is unrealistic to expect that the rest of the world can 
continue on its merry way. If we could have Jabber Inc change it's name, 
that would be fine too and the rest of the community could have its open 
terminology back. But, that obviously isn't realistic so we're not 
proposing it.

> Open Source projects are meritocracies. From my standpoint, no merit has 
> been earned by those who wish to change the name, and as such, I have 
> difficulty viewing them as anything more than persons interested in 
> doing a power grab. 

To be clear:

  1) We're not proposing leadership or structural changes to the JSF. We 
all admire the leadership that you and other JInc employees have 
provided and will continue to provide. Accusing us of a power grab is 
without merit.
  2) Our proposal is about removing use of commercially encumbered 
branding to create a *more* open community, not a less open one. This is 
fundamentally more in-line with Open Source principles.
  3) The JSF is not an Open Source project. Open Source members and 
commercial members both play a very important role in the community.
  4) Those advocating the change represent a broad, important 
cross-section of the JSF. We *have* earned the right to bring this 
proposal to the membership through our technical contributions, 
sponsorships, open source projects, etc.

> Participating in this community requires people to 
> contribute something meaningful before they can start to have a say in 
> the direction and future of our community.

Wow, this is quite simply very popmpous. Any idea brought before the 
membership deserves to be evaluated based on its merits. We've pointed 
out some specific ways to:

  * Make the JSF more open.
  * Disassociate the JSF from a single commercial entity.
  * Create an environment where commercial and non-commercial orgs will 
have much more incentive to contribute to the JSF and adopt its protocol 

What we haven't done is try to make a "power grab".

> People are passionate about Jabber -- and rightfully so, I believe. 
> Changing the name of a community is a Big Deal, recommending that people 
> prefer the term XMPP over Jabber is a Big Deal.

Yes, it is a big deal, and it's very important that we make the change.

> I want the community to continue to grow -- I always have. I want to see 
> new companies participating and contributing extensions. I _want_ more 
> competitors to JINC; bring it on! I (and quite a few others who _have_ 
> earned merit in this project) are just not convinced that a name change 
> will do that.

You assert this, but you haven't taken any actions to prove it. We've 
presented quite a few specific points and the logical reasoning to back 
them up and have only gotten back emotional responses.

> I do not say any of this lightly. I realize my discourse is loaded with 
> flames -- however I just need to get that off my chest and summarize 
> where I stand on the matter. I apologize if I have deeply offended 
> anyone, but as a good friend said to me the other day, "Thick skin is a 
> necessity in the online world".

I'm not offended at all. I think there's an emotional side to this 
debate and a practical one. You obviously care very deeply about the 
Jabber name, but I think the majority of the JSF members care a lot more 
about the vision for an open protocol that truly succeeds in the 

I think it stacks up like this:

  * If you care more about the Jabber name, vote to keep it when the 
time comes.
  * If you care more about the protocol, seeing it succeed, and having a 
truly open community for non-commercial and commercial participants, 
vote to change the name when the time comes.

> Matt & Co: can we please just see the proposal you keep alluding to? And 
> can we please just get down to voting on it? This thread is getting old.

Rest assured that we'll present it to the membership as soon as it's 
ready. However, we reserve the right to continue the conversation on the 
members list, especially as new points of conversation are brought up. :)


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