[Members] Civil Disobedience

Ian Paterson ian.paterson at clientside.co.uk
Wed Aug 24 12:32:55 CDT 2005

I agree with almost everyone that we need to be patient for a few weeks.
I hope it turns out that we are all pulling in the same direction, and
Google just want to get this right.

If they opened up s2s from beta-one day-one, and only later decided they
had to introduce s2s restrictions, then the fallout from users who had
got used to the freedom would be *much* worse. IMHO they are going about
this in a very sensible way.

I think the technical motivation for this beta launch is to experience
how their servers cope with real load (and perhaps to test the voip
too). The client we see is too feature poor to impress users of other
clients (real feedback from my Aunt Tillie).

> They want to get IM federation right. If that means developing some
> policies around server-to-server interconnection - e.g. use TLS only
> and require that the other side have a non-self-signed certificate

That wouldn't stop people sending IM SPAM, but it would make it much
harder. Maybe we're all going to gain from seeing how Google approach
this? [Although I'd hate to see them require a legal agreement before
allowing interconnects - imagine if all servers required that!]

The only problem I have with Google's approach today is that they are
claiming openness without providing any. [Today their service is no more
open than AIM, Yahoo or MSN - we can use Gaim on any of those networks

However, IMHO their marketing department is unlikely to be positioning
their service against the others on a benefit that will never exist.
Their service is playing catch-up, and it doesn't need the bad publicity
that would be generated if people realised it is just another closed

What other benefit can Google offer? Skype and the other services offer
more mature feature sets. They all have massive user bases with sticky
buddy lists. Google has none yet. So, if the IM market is opened up to a
'level' playing field, Google has relatively little to loose, and
everything to gain by being the 'first'.

- Ian

More information about the Members mailing list