[standards-jig] JEPs and Jabber Adoption

Thomas Muldowney temas at box5.net
Sat Jun 28 17:37:03 UTC 2003

On Sat, 2003-06-28 at 10:14, Tijl Houtbeckers wrote:
> Only one council member has to pick up on that, and the JEP is 
> effectivly blocked. 

I have felt this is a problem for a long time.  Many times now I've
advocated a 75% vote for something to pass, not 100%.  Is it time to
look at this again?  Although, so far, I don't think this has effected
any of the votes.

> Rather than letting a sizeable part of the community that comes up with 
> a decent standard go ahead with anything further then highly 
> experimental implementation and iron out the bugs if necissary, the JEP 
> process blocks this till everyone, well especially everyone with 
> influence in the council, is close to 100% happy. 
> I honestly doubt we would have had much problems with filetransfer if 
> we went ahead with the "old" JEPs. They surthenly would have matured by 
> now, wich is not at all the case for the "new" JEPs we have now that 
> you want to move forward. I'm not saying the new JEPs won't give us 
> something that's slighty better than the old ones, but we would have 
> had filetransfer by now. 

I don't want to dwell on this, because what's done is done, but nearly
50% of the vocal people did not want to use the previously mentioned
combination.  That would have made for a nicely split community, and to
me that's exactly what we need to avoid.

> Ofcourse, this way of working has it's advantages. We end up with 
> something for wich, after a long long while there is probably more 
> concensus on than any other protocol that would have come out in a 
> different process. We can also be sure that from a technical point of 
> view it's ok. But do these advantages weigh up disavantages: the 
> immensly slower pace of innovation, the immensly longer time-consuming 
> discussions. 

I like the process, except for one key part:  The utter lack of
community support!  I'm completely serious about this.  How many people
say absolutely nothing when a new JEP comes out?  How many people reply
to a new revision?  How many people even answer simple questions by the
authors?  Damn near no one!  Look at every major discussion on s-jig. 
It hasn't happened until a JEP was right about to go last call.  People
need to be more active throughout the development of JEPs, and the
authors need to be more out in the open with their development.  I think
there are way more than enough people around for us to quickly get
something together and through the door if everyone is actively

> Perhaps the council's role should be more to let through different 
> competing solutions, rather than searching for the holy grail of 
> protocols. Should more competing protocol be let through to the next 
> stage of the JEP process? If you're the first to come up with a decent 
> protocol that does the job is it fair you have to fight on SJIG for 
> many months or even years before your protocol even advances to draft? 

I think letting through multiple versions of similar protocols is an
extreme waste of time.  I think the council needs to be more active in
getting all the parties interested in a topic together (that's what I
tried to do with FT) and working hard to find a solutino that is
generally agreeable.  The council can not be a backburner group waiting
for the vote, it needs to be fully proactive in protocol growth.  Couple
this with my previously mentioned help from everyone on s-jig and we can
get a system together quickly.

> I'm not trying to promote here that we go back to those old JEPs for 
> filetranfer (perhaps with the exception of Jidlink ;). That ship has 
> sailed.. 
> Just that we ask ourselves the questions, do the advantages of this 
> lenghty process weigh up against the disavantages? I honestly believe 
> we could have had decent filetransfer by now. Even if some in the 
> community would have rather seen it implemented slighty different, I 
> doubt they'd have any serious issues  working with it. 
> Do we want to repeat this for future protocol enhancments? (I dunno, 
> VoIP?) 
> I'm just saying, having endless discussion on SJIG in the experimental 
> fase is not necisarly the best way to pick a protocol for something. I 
> think we should seriously consider an alternative way of working. (and 
> thus effectivly, the role of the Council in the community) 

So to summarise my feelings.... council should be proactive in getting
the community together behind single subjects and hammering them out as
quickly as possible.  The s-jig members need to be proactive with their
voices and spelling out their feelings at every step of the way.  When a
new JEP comes out I want to see 5 emails saying, hey I like this, but
did you think about this point enough?  Or, I think you have a potential
flaw in point XYZ.  Plus, we have the protocol gatherings for active
discussion on topics.  It would probably help if we didn't have so many
controversial topics for the past while, but I think that's about done. 
The blame is on everyone, and the responsibility for the future is on
everyone, so let's take that and move forward rather than dwelling on
whether the process works or not, because I honestly think it _can_ once
these two aspects take shape.


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