[Foundation] update and report

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Thu Oct 2 12:57:30 CDT 2003


Well, no one showed up in the discssion meeting we set up for today,
which I take to be a sign that everyone is really busy developing
products, working on open-source projects, writing documentation, 
rolling out services, and building out the Jabber network. :-)

I don't take this as a sign of apathy because I know there is a lot
going on out there. So I'll provide an update and report in this mail.

I did write up an agenda for the discussion, which you can review here:

   http://www.jabber.org/jsf/discuss/2003-10-02.php

So I'll run down the list...

1. BOARD MINUTES

Minutes for yesterday's Board meeting are available, as noted. The
trademark transfer is still in process and we hope to get a website up
and running very soon to handle sub-licensing requests. Also we need to
clarify the JSF's vision/mission and use that to drive our goals for the
coming year (see below). Finally, the Board has authorized creation of
an official Infrastructure Team so we can manage our computing resources
and information services more effectively, to be chaired initially by
Ryan Eatmon (see below).

2. BOARD STATEMENT

The Board has issued a statement regarding the scope of XMPP. This
will become more important over time as XMPP (the technology and the
name) is used more widely. The resolution is:

   The Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) considers the Extensible
   Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to be all and only the 
   output of the XMPP Working Group within the Internet Engineering 
   Task Force (IETF). The JSF re-affirms the fact that by submitting 
   certain protocols to the IETF's Internet Standards Process, it 
   relinquished any ownership and control over those protocols. The 
   JSF respects the IETF's ownership of those protocols; therefore, 
   under no circumstances will the JSF represent any non-IETF 
   extensions to XMPP as part of XMPP, nor will it refer to such 
   extensions by the name of XMPP.  

The full statement is here:

   http://www.jabber.org/xmppdotorg/clarification.php

(Note to self: create a separate section of the Board web pages to house
official statements from the Board.)

This has significant implications for the work of the XMPP.ORG Team,
obviously: their mandate is essentially to create resources and services
related strictly to the output of the IETF's XMPP Working Group (see the
URL above for suggestions on what that might mean). But it also has
implications for how we communicate what we're doing and think about our
role in the Internet community.

3. VISION STATEMENT

I've written a proposed "vision statement" (though I dislike that term)
for the JSF. The statement is here:

  http://www.jabber.org/jsf/

This statement may be controversial in some quarters, but I think it
captures what the JSF is and does best: create protocols that are used
by developers to offer products and services to organizations and
individuals. This has important implications for our documentation
efforts, marketing initiatives, website, etc., and I think we need to
talk about what those implications are, clarify our goals, and move
forward.

4. TEAM REPORTS

The Council is working quickly to clean out old JEPs and move forward
with important proposals developed in the last 12 months (pubsub is but
one example). Thanks to new Chair Thomas Muldowney for putting some
processes in place that will make the Council more efficient and
transparent.

The Marketing Team has been working on several things related to
interoperability, which naturally is a hot topic these days given what's
been happening at MSN and Yahoo, as well as SIMPLE and Wireless Village.
I think the team needs to have its own conversation about this vision
thing and determine what some of its priorities and goals are if that
vision makes sense. This will be a productive exercise and really enable
us to focus our efforts.

The Compliance Team has been quiet for a number of reasons. We need to
figure out if it is a priority, and if so how we can move forward with
this. I think it definitely is a priority (for both jabber.org and
xmpp.org), but it's not a fun thing to work on for most people (it's
essentially quality assurance); perhaps we need to recruit people from
outside the membership to work on this?

5. INFRASTRUCTURE

Peter Millard, Thomas Muldowney, and Jeremie Miller have been working to
install and configure the machines we've received from HP, with help
from a few others. The Board has recognized that we need to formalize
management of our infrastrcture as we offer more services to the
community. Therefore an Insfrastructure Team is being formed. Please
contact Ryan Eatmon (reatmon at jabber.org) if you want to help out with
this, since Ryan is the interim Chair for this team.

6. XMPP WG / IETF

Our two main Internet-Drafts are in Last Call. Many thanks to everyone
who has reviewed these documents. We're not sure when they will become
official RFCs, but the process continues to move forward. The XMPP WG
will most likely hold a meeting in November at the next IETF, so look
for an announcement about that on the XMPP WG mailing list.

7. INTERNET2

I have been collaborating with the Internet2 working group that has been
formed to explore IM usage and deployment in the academic community. One
major result of this will be protocols for federated IM between domains, 
which will be based on the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).
Please see <http://middleware.internet2.edu/i2im/> for details. I should
have more to report on this in several weeks (the I2IM group is raring
to go and holds a conference call every other Friday).

There are some other items I'd like to bring up as well:

8. DOCUMENTATION

If we're going to focus our resources on reaching out to developers
(whether they are open-source or commercial), we need developer docs.
These have been lacking (non-existent) for way too long. It may be
worthwhile to set up a team of people to work on this. Case studies
would also be very useful.

9. DEVELOPER SHOWCASE

Three weeks ago I put out a call for "cool apps" on the JDEV list. I've
gotten a great response, now I just need to put it all together. If it's
true that developers are our audience, I think it makes a lot of sense
to showcase what some people have done with the protocols we develop.
There are some great examples out there, but they are hard to find.
Putting them all in one place will show people what they can do.

10. BUILDING THE JABBER WEB

We have a network of servers (more all the time), but it's hard to find
other people, chatrooms of interest, etc. JEPs 120 and 121 are a start
at addressing this problem, but we need to build a true web by providing
directory services and easy ways to find things out there. I see this as
a major priority for the next year.

CONCLUSION

Again, this list has been quiet, but I see a lot happening out in the
community (new open-source projects and commercial product releases) and
I've been talking in private or less public channels with some extremely
significant organizations that I can't name right now, who are working
to build Jabber and XMPP deeply into what they are doing. With impending 
IETF approval for our core protocol as XMPP, I think this is just the 
beginning. 

Onward!

Peter




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