[Members] s/JEP/XEP/g

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Mon Aug 21 12:39:00 CDT 2006

Ralph Meijer wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 19, 2006 at 01:46:38AM -0700, Boris Mann wrote:
>> One could move/relocate/refocus protocol-level discussions and activities to
>> xmpp.org, and Jabber community activities remain centered on jabber.org .
> Yes, this was exactly the point I was trying to make in [1]. I'm not too
> sure anymore about having a STD-like series, though the JEPs with status
> 'Final' should be prominently staged on xmpp.org.

Agreed. And we need to push more specs to Final, too. IMHO that needs to
be a priority for the next Council.

> I think it is important to make sure that people who only come in
> contact with the term XMPP regard the JSF as /the/ authoritive entity
> for defining XMPP protocol extensions and other ontologies [2]. Again, I
> have no problems having them moved to or referred to from xmpp.org, 

Yes, I think that putting all the protocols at xmpp.org makes a lot of
sense. One stop shopping. :-)

> but
> I have not seen convincing reasons to rename them into, for example, XEPs.

On January 4, 1999, Jeremie Miller introduced the world to a new
technology he called Jabber (in the form of "the Jabber server" that Jer
announced that day). Lots of people in the open-source community got
excited, started to contribute Jabber clients that could connect to "the
Jabber server", add-on components, libraries, etc. So this ecosystem
grew up around "the Jabber server". People started to deploy the server
that Jer and company wrote, and we had a "Jabber network". Since we
implemented all this with a client-server architecture, people also
called our wire protocol for streaming XML "the Jabber protocol". Then a
company was founded called "Jabber.com" (since renamed to "Jabber,
Inc."). So at that point, what was "Jabber"? A server codebase? A
technology ecosystem? A communications network? A company? Very
confusing. Thus we started a conscious effort to disambiguate the term

Other people started to write their own Jabber servers (Jabber Inc.,
Tipic, Antepo, etc.) and it was confusing to call the original Jabber
server "the Jabber server", so the name was changed to "jabberd"
(nowadays we have "ejabberd" and "djabberd" too).

We worked to standardize our core XML streaming protocol through the
IETF and we called it the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol
(XMPP) rather than "the Jabber protocol" (more disambiguation). So now
we have a tradition of calling the core protocol XMPP rather than
Jabber, which I think is a good thing. But now we have more confusion --
what do we call all the extensions that are defined on top of RFC 3920?
Are they "Jabber"? Well, that's another source of confusion -- "XMPP is
RFC 3920 or maybe 3920 and 3921, but there are all these extensions on
top of XMPP, and they're called Jabber." Ick. Less confusing, I think,
to call them what they are -- XMPP extensions.

Now we're down to fewer confusions (is Jabber a company or a technology
ecosystem or a communications network?). I've taken to calling the
network "The XMPP Federation" but many people call it "the Jabber server
network" and that seems to work OK for now. I still call the technology
ecosystem "the Jabber community" -- "XMPP" doesn't sound like the kind
of thing you'd form a community around, but "XMPP developer community"
doesn't sound too weird (though I still prefer "Jabber developer
community"). Etc.

Look, I like the Jabber name a lot, I really do -- I've been
contributing to the community for a long long time, and I like the
original name. But I think there is strong momentum behind calling our
*protocols* XMPP, and renaming our protocol specification series "XEP"
(pronounced "zepp") seems like the right thing to do at this point.


Peter Saint-Andre
Jabber Software Foundation

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