[Summit] getting organized

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Mon Jun 21 08:58:30 CDT 2010

On Mon Jun 14 21:49:22 2010, bear wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 16:26, Peter Saint-Andre  
> <stpeter at stpeter.im> wrote:
> > <rant>
> >

So, for some reason I only see Bear's mails on this.

At the risk, therefore, of going over old ground, I shall answer this  
one. I was going to locate Peter's original and reply to that, and  
preferably after I knew what Isode's attendence was likely to be -  
but that's still very vague.

> > - No one wrote up "hats" for MUC 2.0, the Muji spec (XEP-0272)  
> hasn't
> > been updated, we've stalled out on Domain Name Assertions, etc.

Right - on the first, it was a classic example of when a few people  
essentially start chatting in public. I have nothing against people  
tossing about radical new ideas, but unless someone's willing to  
write up a spec first, at least as a basis for discussion, I think we  
should avoid things like this. I'm as guilty as everyone else on  
this, but unless there's a stated problem, and ideally candidate  
solution, in advance, we should exert a little self-discipline.

> > 1. I'd love to see more hacking, interop testing, code sprints,  
> etc.
> > Who's volunteering?
> I think we should pick one area for interop so we (me?) can setup a
> test environment for peeps to target - that way it's focused and  
> folks
> can come prepared

If you define one, I can arrange for an Isode person - if one  
attends, things are still up in the air on that - to physically bring  
along a CA or two, and issue certificates. If an Isode person  
doesn't, I'll arrange for this to be done remotely, so we'll have a  
CA cert or two ready... Assuming, of course, anyone wants to do any  
testing of S2S and/or C2S SASL EXTERNAL.

I'd also like to see interop testing of SCRAM - I think there's now a  
few server and client implementations, and if there are any that do  
channel binding that'd be awesome to see.

If there's anything else that people want to test, I'd be interested  
in seeing a list.

> > 2. Do we want/need some kind of "intro to XMPP" tutorial on the  
> first
> > day so that we can draw in more new developers?
> If we do have it, then I think it should be a side-bar or off where
> someone can focus on them and not a major point of the summit.
> With the books available now, we should give them that and
> instructions on how to get online :)

I think that would be a disaster on several fronts.

Firstly, I think it's always important to ensure we keep attracting  
developers, so we should be willing to spend a full day on this, both  
in terms of providing introductory talks (and, yes, point out there  
are books and useful online resources, but give them enough to follow  
what we'll be talking about) and in terms of showcasing the shiny  
toys people can build with XMPP. I'd be keen on seeing both finished  
products - like Collecta and so on - as well as research mockups  
people have done.

Secondly, it's equally important to ensure that the people making up  
protocols have a solid understanding of how they'll be used, so it's  
good to draw in the wider community and have them showcase  
interesting ideas for that reason, too. It's also very interesting  
for spec authors to discover what the initial questions are of new  
developers, so we know what needs to be clear(er) in the specs we  

On the other hand, brushing off new, interested people is going to  
isolate us, and make the XSF rapidly irrelevant. Don't lets go that  

> > 3. What pressing issues do people want to solve? Do we need a  
> Summit to
> > make progress on those issues, or can we do so by other means?
> Interop and testing - that's my major focus to be honest.

This is good, and I'd be keen to get that done too. We can actually  
get a lot of that done on the same day as the above, since much of it  
will be a case of setting things up and then making sure it all works.

I'd note that we need some hardware at the venue to make this portion  
a success, in particular, we'll probably need a network switch and  
cabling, since we're always short on networking.

As for other things, I'd be keen to see a solution raised the the  
issue of unknown affiliations - even if that solution is "Don't do  

I may have some other researchy/concept stuff to go over - I'm very  
unlikely to be attending myself, but I'll put the details on the list  
as and when I get things done.

> > I don't like to travel, so I'd prefer not to go to Portland only  
> to
> > learn that we're not achieving much. Your suggestions are welcome  
> for
> > making this event a success.

I think the approach of trying to make these things self-organize is  
now proven to be, at the very least, sub-optimally optimistic.

I'd greatly appreciate people raising the issues they want to talk  
about well in advance, so the time is well spent - indeed a proper  
agenda may well mean that many people can justify attending.

As a more vague suggestion, some way of measuring the success of the  
summit might also be interesting, in order to evaluate whether  
they're working. I have few ideas there, though.

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
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