[Standards] Easy XMPP

Sam Whited sam at samwhited.com
Mon Jan 16 18:00:26 UTC 2017


On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 10:28 AM, Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter at stpeter.im> wrote:
> Thus I repeat the question: what are we doing here?

I agree with most everything Peter said, that being said, I also agree
with most of Dave's response (although I don't personally have any
problem with OWS, and use Signal myself as my SMS client). I do think
it's important to get people using a federated system, they may not
know or care what federation is, but it will benefit them and everyone
else in the long run, even if they don't understand the consequences
of using or not using such a system.

When we have these discussions, we tend to conflate "the open source,
individual, volunteer run XMPP nodes" with "XMPP". We can't make the
small open source shops (clients or services) do better except by
submitting patches and making requests; they might not even want to do
better or consider it "better". When we advertise things as "XMPP"
we'll always end up directing "normal" everyday Joe's and Janes to
services that are designed for technically minded people who already
know what XMPP is and how it works. There are things we can do to
mitigate that when it inevitably happens (eg. being more selective
about what clients we recommend, providing simple instructions that
explain that xmpp.org isn't what they wanted and show them how to set
up an account on a reliable server ,etc.), but these sorts of things
are really just bandaids and don't really fix the underlying problem.

In my mind the take away is that there are much better alternatives
than most of what our community provides, and I don't necessarily
think it's a problem the XSF can (or should) solve. We can provide a
bit of help on occasion, but it's not our job to maintain every client
in existance.

If what we really think is important is federation (and not just
complaining that we don't like it when companies make money), then
maybe we're addressing the wrong problem. Instead of focusing on the
community and the individual users, maybe we should be focusing on the
companies (WhatsApp, Slack, etc, note that I'm only focusing on IM
here, I know nothing about IoT or any other use case for XMPP):

On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 11:32 AM, Evgeny Khramtsov <xramtsov at gmail.com> wrote:
> But IM companies don't choose XMPP. Whatsapp was initially build on top
> of XMPP but now it's something different. New services like Slack and
> Signal don't use XMPP neither. So seems like XMPP is not that featured
> protocol even though there are "server packages, libraries and support".

Perhapse *this* is the problem we (the XSF) should focus on: building
for an enecouraging the larger companies to use XMPP, and eventually
to federate and be interoperable. If we can show these companies that
there's some concrete benefit to it (bearing in mind that there may
not be), it could accomplish our goals of having everyday people who
don't care about federation use a federated network much better than
focusing on small free services and clients.

This is in some ways an equally hard problem, but it's not one that
I've seen a strategy for, so maybe it's time to try something new and
think about it (or maybe it's been considered in the past and I just
don't have enough history, in which case I'd love it if someone could
provide some background).

—Sam


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