[Standards] Re: [OT] UIs for User Confusion (was: Re: Friendly XMPP Branding)

Justin Karneges justin-keyword-jabber.093179 at affinix.com
Fri Mar 9 08:02:08 UTC 2007


On Thursday 08 March 2007 10:58 pm, Dave wrote:
> I'm not quite sure what exactly you mean by "kind of a rename," but if
> you mean anything substantial, you're going to run into problems, since
> there are many IM systems out there, an awful lot of which were around
> long before Jabber/XMPP/XIM/whatever (and therefore would've earned the
> "right" to call themselves "IM" first).  It's also dangerous to try
> renaming a protocol into the common name of its category of (possibly 
> yet undiscovered) protocols.  Think, for a sec, what would've happened
> if somebody had decided to rename UUCP into "email."  We'd all be stuck
> trying to explain to people whether we were using an email system called
> "SMTP," or an email system that attempts to confuse people by calling
> itself "email."

Email is a great example to bring up, because it is made of a collection of 
protocols, none of which are irreplaceable components of the overall system.  
If we decided to one day transport email over XMPP instead of over SMTP, we'd 
still call it email, and we'd still invite users to email us from our 
webpages with "mailto:" URIs.

Similarly, RFC 3922 grants XMPP to use the "im:" URI.  Of course, any of the 
big boys could submit for this as well, but aside from perhaps SIMPLE, nobody 
is rushing to do so.  I'd say that this (and all CPIM conformance) gives XMPP 
clients the right to advertise themselves as plain/standard/whatever IM.  
Maybe this is unfair to AIM, MSN, etc, who came before, but we have IETF 
authority here.

> > Similarly, "Standard IM Address" (again, just an idea) isn't a full-on
> > rename, but rather more of a show of confidence. :)  But with just enough
> > of an edge that you know it isn't AIM we're talking about.
>
> SIP/SIMPLE is also a standard IM system, so "Standard IM" would be
> nothing but a subgroup of "IM," with at least two members.

If SIMPLE reaches the point where people actually use it, and neither SIMPLE 
nor XMPP decide to disappear, then we'll see dual-protocol servers 
everywhere, and possibly dual-protocol clients (or people will select a 
client that does their favorite protocol).  Like POP3 and IMAP, we may have a 
choice in protocols, but ultimately it's all just IM.

However, until SIMPLE usage becomes widespread, I don't think it is necessary 
to have to say "XMPP" when we refer to standard IM.  XMPP is a redundant 
term.  When/if SIMPLE becomes widespread, then standard IM applications might 
need to make it clear just which transport protocol they are using, or offer 
the user a choice of which protocol to use.  Until then...

-Justin



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