[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Wed May 28 12:39:54 CDT 2003


> Defining an absolute, concise definition of "Jabber" is almost as difficult
> as defining a concise definition of "the Web".   That's because Jabber is so
> much more than just a protocol specification and so much more than just an
> extension to XMPP. 

Yes, this is true. It's also the name of a commercial company and its 
products and various Open Source projects. Is there anything else I'm 
leaving out?

However, for the purposes of the JSF specifically, I think there is 
already agreement on the current definition of "Jabber" in that context, 
which is primarily the protocol extensions, while XMPP is the term for 
the main protocol.

> However, the assertion that it is an overwhelming task
> for the JSF, JINC and the Jabber Community to articulate the differences
> between JINC and Jabber is a gross exaggeration. It will be far more
> difficult to explain, promote, administer and propogate a name change for
> the entire Jabber movement than it will be to clarify the differences
> between the movement and a single member of that movement.

The name change has already been articulated and accepted. Everyone, 
including Jabber Inc. is calling the core protocol XMPP. The entire 
press uses the term and ignores our current "Jabber" extensions. In any 
case, we're not interested in trying to change the name of the "Jabber 
movement". Instead, we want to rename the standards body that creates 
and extends the XMPP protocol. This is a narrow change that has clear 
benefits for everyone.

> Changing the
> name of the JSF will fracture and divide the Jabber Community and is far
> more risky than the chance that some commercial companies will choose not to
> participate as long as there is a company that has Jabber in its name.   

The exact opposite is true. Our community is currently heading towards 
fragmentation under the following scenario:

  * The IETF will approve XMPP, which means that it will be widely 
adopted by a huge variety of non-commercial and commercial organizations 
that have no knowledge of "Jabber".
  * Those organizations will be making a choice about whether to 
participate in the JSF and if they should adopt our protocol extensions. 
  Based on our own experiences, we believe that many of the 
organizations will choose to not participate in the JSF or adopt the 
extensions because of the Jabber branding. Would Sun have joined the 
Microsoft-led web services group if it was called "Microsoft Services"?

What is your scenario for fragmentation in the case that there is a name 
change? We're proposing to make the JSF more open, not less open -- less 
proprietary instead of more proprietary. It's hard to imagine anyone 
truly leaving over this. As I mentioned in my last email, each person 
will need to decide if they care more about the Jabber name or the 
protocol and the JSF's goals.

> Commercial companies will adopt the best technical solutions available to
> meet their needs, and if the JSF does its job, then there will be plenty of
> commercial adoption and participation in the JSF's extensions/standards
> regardless of the name.       

The facts do not agree with this statement. We (the commercial 
companies) have already explained why we cannot use the Jabber brand and 
that we will not be able to advertise compliance with the extensions 
that the JSF creates if they are branded as Jabber. As a marketing 
person, you know that business decisions are not purely technical and 
that many other considerations have to come into play.


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