[Standards] [Fwd: WG Action: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (xmpp)]

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Thu Jun 4 08:39:58 UTC 2009

On Thu Jun  4 03:34:45 2009, Jonathan Schleifer wrote:
> I'm not quite familiar with how such processes at the IETF work,  
> but  if my time allows me to, I will look how the process works and  
> help  where I can. (Keep in mind I have no PhD in cryptography, my  
> only  concern was that we were reinventing the wheel because we  
> already had  stuff that even works. I'm fine with another standard  
> than ESessions,  but no matter which standard it will be, it needs  
> to get done ASAP.  We've been talking about this for over a year  
> already and there's  still no standard everybody agreed on, not  
> even to talk about a client  implementing it).

Thankfully, the IETF works much the same way as the XSF - there's  
some mailing lists, you join them, you offer (hopefully sensible)  
opinions, and the resultant specification is intended to reflect the  
consensus of the "working group" - ie, the people on the mailing  
list. The "feel" of the working group mailing lists is much the same  
as this one, although you will end up rubbing shoulders with people  
who, for instance, have maintained the global email protocols for the  
past couple of decades.

There's no formal membership (at all) in the IETF, although there is,  
similar to the XSF, a membership organisation called the ISOC  
(Internet Society), which "holds the keys" as it were, and formalizes  
the IETF's existence in legal terms.

In fact, the only major difference is that there is a fairly length  
and complex IPR policy. (Which is, as you'll find out if you  
participate in the IETF, astonishingly difficult to change due to the  
delights of the legal system).

This policy can be boiled down to essentially two phrases for  

1) If you "say" anything "in the IETF" - ie, write a post to a  
mailing list, send a message to one of the MUC chatrooms, physically  
speak during a meeting - then anyone else can use that for IETF  
purposes - as in, your words can be used as part of a specification.

2) If you know of, or become aware of, any patents and other ikky  
stuff, you need to let people know. There's a formal method for doing  
this, but simply mentioning it on the XMPP WG's mailing list will be  
enough to trigger the process. This may not mean that the patented  
method is dropped, although in practise it usually does.

Hope this helps,

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
  - acap://acap.dave.cridland.net/byowner/user/dwd/bookmarks/
  - http://dave.cridland.net/
Infotrope Polymer - ACAP, IMAP, ESMTP, and Lemonade

More information about the Standards mailing list