[standards-jig] Re: [Foundation] streamlining the JIGs

Iain Shigeoka iainshigeoka at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 26 05:50:06 UTC 2002


On 2/25/02 7:15 PM, "dave at dave.tj" <dave at dave.tj> wrote:

> You may very well be right, for all I know, about the window of
> opportunity not staying open forever.  However, none of our competing
> protocols is advancing nearly as quickly as we are, so I think time is
> on our side if we simply continue doing what we've been doing so far
> (outrunning the competition).  If we start making drastic changes,
> we may make more progress, or we may mess everything up.  I just don't
> think it's worth taking the risk until we have much more to gain and
> much less to lose (i.e., when we have more momentum).

I agree there is definitely a danger in pushing for progress too fast.
Before new JEPs reach final standard state we should have some requirement
for implementations to be created and used to make sure they live up to
their promise.

My read of the industry is a bit different though.  The primary movers in
the space as I understand it are actually delayed because of political and
business reasons.  For example, as part of their SEC merger agreement AOL is
required to create interoperability standards and follow them before they
are allowed to advance AIM in many important areas (multimedia IM being the
most visible).  Once these restrictions are overcome, I would expect to see
a massive push by the industry to move forward.

IM is now breaking into mainstream financial awareness which means investor
money and other serious efforts will soon follow as well.  The Wall Street
Journal just published an article on IM today.  From my little perspective
on it, things seem to be converging rapidly in the IM space.  Our only
advantage is that we are currently running in front of the wave.  But I
think the pace is about to change and I'm not sure we're going to be able to
keep up.

I understand your concern though and it seems I'm outvoted 2-1 on this (geez
anyone else want to chime in here?)  I'll work with whatever we decide.

> BTW - If you'd spent a year leading a team and finally put together a
> JEP, how'd you feel if the council decided not to approve the product
> of your labor?  I know I'd feel as if I had wasted a year, and I'd
> probably take out my frustration on some unfortunate guy, and that may
> have adverse effects on Jabber's progress, since I'm one of several
> thousand people actively attempting to advance Jabber, rather than one
> of several hundred thousand (as in other IM systems).  Besides, the

Yes.  Although we should hope this case would be extremely rare.  In fact
the current setup is really the only way I can see this happening.
Basically some group going off into their own corner working on things in
isolation from standards-jig.  If you're working on the standards-jig list,
you will be getting feedback from a lot of people, including council
members.  We'd never let you get as far as a JEP without serious warnings
that something is wrong.

> council isn't going to notice many problems because _nobody_ is going
> to notice them until _much_ later.  (There are a few curious "features"
> of the current Jabber protocol that stem from fundamental decisions that
> went the wrong way - I define the "wrong" way as the less flexible way.)

Agreed.  This would especially be the danger in creating standards then
implementing them which is essentially the new standards process (the old
being build it into jabberd then write it up as a standard).  However I
think the new standards process is the only practical way to proceed if
we're to have the community at large shape future standards.  The
requirement for accepted standards (not drafts but standards) to be
implemented (we were discussing at least 2 independent implementations) and
tested in the real world should hopefully reduce the chance of major
blunders.

There is no foolproof way to do these things.  The question is should we go
with a looser or tighter process.  We've got 3 votes (2 for looser, 1 for
tighter).  My primary concern is the fact that we've only got 3 votes on the
issue.  At this rate, you, Peter and myself should just become the standards
gods (all mighty triumvirate) and arbitrarily pass things I guess.  :)  Come
on the rest of you, chime in!

-iain


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