[Members] email accounts, JIDs, etc.

Ralph Meijer ralphm at ik.nu
Sun Feb 17 19:02:17 UTC 2013


Hi,

My take is that the XSF should maintain systems that are directly
related to function according to its goals and tasks.

One of the largests tasks is protocol development. For this we host
mailing lists and multi-user chat rooms at xmpp.org. We do the same for
managing the *awesome* community around Jabber/XMPP, including
developers, users and server administrators. Then finally, because we
are a member-based origanisation, we provide similar facilities for our
teams (including the board, the council, the infrastructure team) and
the members themselves.

In my opinion, none of the above would actually require or benefit a
great deal from providing e-mail addresses or Jabber accounts for
individual members or other contributors.

Back when we still were known as the Jabber project or the Jabber
Software Foundation, I somehow acquired the e-mail address
ralphm at jabber.org. Any mail going there would be forwarded to my
personal address. Besides attracting a bunch of spam because we are used
to publicly post our JIDs that to bots look like e-mail addresses, I
don't think I ever found it really useful. I am not even sure it still
works.

As the council member with the longest serving streak and having
promoted Jabber/XMPP at conferences and other settings since whenever, I
have never even considered passing that address to other people. Let
alone putting it on a business card. I like to believe that people do
take me serious (sometimes, or at least related to my protocol work or
XSF duties). I think Kev's reference to Vanity Addresses is quite apt.

On the other hand I *do* see a use for e-mail aliases for particular
one-person-roles like the Executive Officer or The Editor or maybe even
The Treasurer. I am not sure about the same for Jabber accounts, but in
that case I might prefer having such addresses to redirect to the
role-holder's address instead of acting as a proxy.

Entities that truly deserve their own account as
<xmpp:localpart at xmpp.org> would be bots like memberbot, because their
purpose is providing a service for members and/or the organisation.

In the other thread about source control, one of the things being
mentioned is the desire to host *less* services. Why? Because it is hard
to keep services running with volunteer admins. Besides regular
maintenance, they have to deal with broken stuff, bugs and ill-willed
people or their software-based minions. This is also the reason the web
pages at xmpp.org are now mostly static, instead of requiring dynamic
rendering using PHP.

Finally, we have always pushed the distributed nature of our
technologies. We want people to host their own accounts instead of
needing a central service. Even for protocol development we say: great
if your proposal is general enough for the greater Jabber/XMPP
community, we would be happy to make a XEP out of it, but feel free to
publish your own niche specs on your own. We believe in distributed
extensibility in our protocols and our technologies. We should also keep
that in mind when thinking about which services to provide as an
organisation.

-- 
ralphm


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