[Members] XEP-0001: Remove impossible guarantee from XSF Objectives

Marvin W xmpp at larma.de
Tue Jan 14 13:13:42 UTC 2020


I am not a native speaker, but I wonder why we only read encumbrance as
something related to legal. For example I'd consider it more an
encumbrance if we use a complex cryptographic protocol that has no
implementation at all than if we use one that "only" has three GPLed
implementations.

While I like Peters suggestion to make this a non-guarantee, but only
"as far as possible", it also leaves even more room for uncertainties.
If a protocol can only be implemented using a GPLed library than we go
as far as possible by saying that one has to use that GPLed library. Not
having the protocol at all is not "further" than having it with a GPL
dependency.

I thus do support Travis' claim that this objective is not clear, but I
don't think it should just be removed. If this is really about the legal
thing, we should add something about legal there (must not rely on
anything that is patented or copyrighted), although that raises the
question of jurisdiction Travis was pointing at.
If this is not meant to be about legal things (because those should
actually be handled by the IPR policy and not XEP-0001 IMO) then this
probably needs a better definition of what an encumbrance is in the
sense of this document.

The very first sentence in §2 is:

> The XMPP Standards Foundation was founded in the year 2001 to openly
> document, safeguard, manage, and extend the wire protocols used within
> the XMPP developer community.

So what if there is a wire protocol used within the XMPP developer
community, there are >10 clients that fully implemented it and >5 with
incomplete implementations. That wire protocol it so popular, some
people would implement it before MUC in a new client. According to §2 we
are supposed to document, safeguard, manage and extend such protocols,
not to reject them.

> The work of the XMPP Standards Foundation has [...] to guarantee[,as
> far as possible,] that any person or entity can implement the
> protocols without encumbrance.

Could this not be understood such that, XSF (or any of its members)
should get legal advice on potential IP claims in various jurisdictions
if that helps to reduce encumbrance? And, if we reject a protocol
because of potential IP claims and it remains defined just not under the
XSF, how does that help to implement that protocol (used within the XMPP
developer community, not necessarily defined under the XSF) without
encumbrance?

Marvin

On 1/14/20 1:13 AM, Travis Burtrum wrote:
>> To guarantee that any person or entity can implement the protocols
>> without encumbrance.
> 
> [...] legal [...]
> 
> All the other Objectives listed there are clear and achievable, this one
> is neither


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