[Operators] Future of XMPP Re: The Google issue

Andreas Kuckartz a.kuckartz at ping.de
Thu Nov 28 13:56:48 UTC 2013


Solomon Peachy:
> On Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 10:16:00AM +0100, Andreas Kuckartz wrote:
>> If it turns out that not even the rather limited requirements
>> regarding encryption which are stated in the manifesto will be
>> satisfied by a significant subset of XMPP servers then it well
>> seal the fate of XMPP as far as I am concerned.
> 
> How is XMPP any different then SMTP in this manner?  Lack of
> mandatory S2S encrypted links hasn't made it any less viable.

Good question.

Mail is still the dominating technical means of communication at least
between organisations (especially between companies). And SMTP is the
dominating protocol used to transport mail.

XMPP currently does not seem to dominate anywhere - unfortunately

> Oh, to go back to your comment, how do you consider the manifesto's
>  encryption requirements to be "limited"?  Even if we eventually
> put aside the hard requirement for encrypyed S2S links, it's still
> a vast improvement over the former status quo.

Yes, it would be a vast improvement in case it is implemented. That is
the reason why I support the manifesto. But what really is needed are
e2e encryption (and the manifesto says so at the end) and the
obfuscation of social relations.

> The third is one of apathy, specifically when it comes to the 
> established players that are more than likely using proprietary
> server software. They have to be convinced that the they (and/or
> their users) benefit enough to make the cost worthwhile.

Google is one of the companies feeling the heat from the NSA
revelations. If they do not act now it is not due to apathy but
because they have already decided to drop XMPP support.

>> And if the future of XMPP depends on Google Talk then XMPP is
>> doomed anyway.
> 
> Without Google, XMPP (S2S) simply doesn't have enough of a mass
> userbase to be viable, IMO.

As stated above, the user bases of XMPP and SMTP are very different.

> Put another way -- XMPP is not failing (nor will it fail) due to 
> technical deficiencies.  The problem is purely political/economic
> in nature.

Yes.

> The big players consider interoperability a liability rather than a
> strength, which is an understandable, if highly disappointing 
> attitude.

And I recently learned that some of the P2P proponents are also
against interoperability with XMPP because it is a federated protocol
which is relying on servers... :-/

Cheers,
Andreas


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