[Members] XSF @ 10

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Sat Jul 16 03:20:23 UTC 2011

On 7/13/11 5:16 AM, David Banes wrote:
> On 13/07/2011, at 11:30 AM, Kevin Smith wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM, David Banes <dbanes at cleartext.com> wrote:
>>> I think Peter has been very brave and had terrific foresight in realising the XSF could benefit from change.
>>> Now IF there are some issues that need resolving in the XSF, and I'm not sure there are, you/we will need to get some committed outside help to have any chance of success.
>> I think that's an interesting point - the degree to which I agree with
>> it is, I think, proportional to the degree of change.
>> I hope we can get away with relatively minor change, once we've
>> identified the issues we want to resolve...
> But the question is _can_ you identity them, often the incumbents won't see the issues that are important to address.
> In a way maybe we've already addressed the first issue, which is do we need to review the organisation, I think it's a resounding yes. 

David, personally I think I'm too close to the issues to see the path
forward, which is why I posted in the first place.

Step 1, as always, is to figure out what problem we're trying to solve.

Let me clarify a bit what my concern is.

First, I agree with Jehan and others that it's not clear what, if
anything, XSF members can or should be doing. I'd like that to be
clearer, and I'd like it if members didn't feel the need to join teams
with leaders and such in order to get stuff done. I don't think that
structures like the Communications Team have been successful. The
Infrastructure Team is more successful, perhaps because it predates the
whole idea of official teams.

Second, I can tell that our community is losing energy. To some extent,
XMPP is going into maintenance mode. We're not working on so many
extensions any longer because we've defined a lot of extensions over the
years and we don't have that much more to define. In addition, IM is no
longer the hot thing, most developers and end users are more interested
in things like social networking and microblogging, and anything based
on XML is seen as a stodgy old technology that's just not cool anymore
(don't worry, the same fate awaits JSON, just give it time).

So I think we need to plan for a smaller community of developers. What
happens 3 or 5 or 10 years from now when the XSF has only 20 members?
How do we elect a Board and a Council at that point?

Paradoxically, I continue to hear a lot about developers and companies
and other organizations *using* XMPP, but that doesn't mean that there's
a lot of work for the XSF to do, because they're using it as a stable,
mature technology. If we've done our job well, people will be able to
use XMPP for many years to come. However, it's not clear to me how we
need to structure and position the XSF to keep working in that kind of

Again, I'm mostly thinking out loud here. This conversation has been
helpful, at least to me. :)


Peter Saint-Andre

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