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IETF Approves XMPP Core as Proposed Standard 222

hystrix writes "As long expected, the IESG has approved the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core (draft-ietf-xmpp-core-22.txt) as a Proposed Standard. For those of you in the dark, thats the protocol behind the only tried and proven open IM platform, Jabber. Congrats to the hard working Peter Saint-Andre, and the entire XMPP Working Group."
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IETF Approves XMPP Core as Proposed Standard

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  • ...to send Cougaar [cougaar.org] society status messages around - we've been able to get around 1100 messages (albeit simple ones) per second.

    We're using the Ruby wrapper Jabber4R [rubyforge.org] as well as various GUI clients, and we're using the Jabber 1.4.2 server.
  • OSS Does It Right (Score:1, Informative)

    by Mork29 ( 682855 )
    This is just further proof that the OS community can right good, solid, secure code. Pooring lots of money at a problem just makes prices higher, and a few high level management people richer. It's just adding overhead to the problem. OS can right good solid secure code. If only Microsoft could....
    • Re:OSS Does It Right (Score:4, Informative)

      by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) * <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:44AM (#8135093) Homepage
      This is just further proof that the OS community can right good, solid, secure code. Pooring lots of money at a problem just makes prices higher, and a few high level management people richer. It's just adding overhead to the problem. OS can right good solid secure code. If only Microsoft could....

      Not codes, standards.

      Jabberd1.4.x is um...well, don't get me wrong, I LOVE jabber, I have it setup at several different places and all that, but jabberd1.4.x sucks rocks. 2.0 is better, and has better features, but written by the same folks, so while I use it because I need it, I'm always keeping a wary eye out for it doing silly things.
    • This is just further proof that the OS community can right good, solid, secure code. Pooring lots of money at a problem just makes prices higher, and a few high level management people richer. It's just adding overhead to the problem. OS can right good solid secure code. If only Microsoft could....

      What, the decision by the IESG to approve a standard proves something?

      Slashweenie ideology asside, have you any idea what has happened or how OSS is involved? There is an OSS implementation of the spec, well

      • Of course at the moment SIP isn't even able to maintain a list of the users you know, which is one of the most important features of an IM system, the other being presence, which AFAIK, SIP doesn't have either.

        Without either of these two features, you might as well just be using a phone, or email.

        Then there is SIMPLE, the IM extensions for SIP. As far as I've heard even these guys haven't figured out how to make a list of users yet. Go figure.

        • To be clear: the recently approved XMPP document doesn't say how to do presence at all. That is going to be described in a different document that the IESG has not approved yet. That doesn't mean that XMPP hasn't figured out how to do presence, simply that their document describing how to do it hasn't been approved.

          Interestingly enough, the SIMPLE specifications for doing the same thing are in exactly the same state as XMPP's: essentially finalized, awaiting approval by the IESG. And, yes, that includes the

  • by sabrex15 ( 746201 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:29AM (#8134959)
    I think this is a good thing, but it all depends on who implements it.. If all the major IM "brands" continue to use their own standard, then whats the point?... If they were inter-operable, then there would need to be other key selling points (what?.. selling points for free IM??) bah.. early morning spout-offs
    • by cronot ( 530669 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:58AM (#8135249)

      First, complementing what the other poster said (though I don't completely agree with him), this is good for enterprises, especially because the IM server is open-source and available for free, and if you want to create your own server implementation, you can do it, and even extend it to your content.

      Second - I don't know if the official proposed standard includes this, but the Jabber implementation allows interoperability between the most popular IMs (ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, etc.), and best of all, this is implemented in the server side. The nice thing about this is that when a protocol changes (MSN for example, that did this months ago), you don't have to update the clients (or client plugins, on some cases), just the protocol gateway on the server.

      Of course, this doesn't mean that user John Doe will switch to it overnight, there's just no practical reason for him to do it. It will have to be pushed, and by some company/trademark that has influence, e.g. Netscape distributing a Jabber-compatible IM client along with their browser suite. Though it wouldn't be likely that Netscape would do it, as they are tied to AOL/AOLIM. So it's more likely that this will be a enterprise-only adopted standard, at least for some time.

  • Good but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javatips ( 66293 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:29AM (#8134960) Homepage
    This is nice... At last we have a standard IM protocol.

    However, unless the major player in IM implements the protocol, this standard importance is not very high.

    That would change if someone develop a killer app that make use of the protocol, but for IM the way it's done now, we need at least one of the major player to implement the protocol... At that is not likely in a near future.
    • Re:Good but... (Score:2, Informative)

      by pldms ( 136522 )
      Apple's iChat uses XMPP for local (rendevous) chats, IIRC. It uses AOL's protocol for remote sessions, however.
    • Re:Good but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Graelin ( 309958 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:41AM (#8135073)
      However, unless the major player in IM implements the protocol, this standard importance is not very high.

      Actually, this isn't really true. ICQ/AOL, MSN and Yahoo all have a different protocol but products like Trillian [trillian.cc] can use Jabber as a generic protocol to layer on top of these proprietary protocols.

      Not that I think it will happen, but with Jabber being a standard you'd think these smaller IM players could join together. Or at least link together.
      • Why do you think AOL, MSN and Yahoo provide IM services free of charge?

        Hint: they encourage you to use their apps.

        Why would Yahoo want their users talking to ICQ users? The whole point of Yahoo IM! is for it to be a loss leader to suck people into Yahoo Mail, Shopping, etc.
      • What about Gaim? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by StringBlade ( 557322 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @11:20AM (#8135448) Journal
        Gaim allows you to connect to all the services that Trillian supports (except possibly IRC) and even allows inter-protocol messages. However, this is just a GUI trick because you have to actually have an account with each service in order to connect to it and talk with your buddies on each one.

        Even with XMPP I don't think, in the short term, you'll be able to get away with only one IM account (such as AIM) and be able to talk to your buddy on Yahoo!. But as software like Gaim and Trillian move toward XMPP and people use Gaim and Trillian more and more, the independant services AIM, Yahoo! MSN, ICQ, will have to move to XMPP or risk being left in the dust (because once people are using XMPP and Gaim/Trillian, they don't really need AIM or Yahoo! servers to communicate.

        • by rzbx ( 236929 )
          "Gaim allows you to connect to all the services that Trillian supports (except possibly IRC)..."

          Actually Gaim supports IRC as well. Or did you mean that Trillian does not support IRC? In that case, you should work on your grammar.

          "...(because once people are using XMPP and Gaim/Trillian, they don't really need AIM or Yahoo! servers to communicate."

          Hold on. To communicate with other AOL AIM users, you MUST connect to their servers. Most AOL AIM users do not use Gaim or Trillian. Also, if they did, it
          • Or did you mean that Trillian does not support IRC?

            I meant I wasn't sure if Gaim supported IRC because I don't use it and was typing in a hurry. Upon closer inspection I realize that Gaim does indeed support IRC (and Jabber, and Gadu-Gadu which I'm not familiar with).

            To communicate with other AOL AIM users, you MUST connect to their servers. Most AOL AIM users do not use Gaim or Trillian. Also, if they did, it does not necessarily mean they use XMPP

            This gets to the point of my first message. If a cri

    • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @11:31AM (#8135569) Homepage Journal
      ...because less than a decade later the same folks (AOL and MSN, for two) who had the lesson smashed in their face in the mid 90's are trying to stick with the exact same mistake.

      Back then, there were fiefdoms of online access and email, all kind of piddling along. They began getting a clue, first with email bridges to the Internet, and saw their business start to take off. They then got into the business of making their bridges better, and so did their business. Eventually they quit being Online Service Providers and became Internet Access Providers.

      In the mainstream press, it was eventually stated that people wanted to go online to communicate with each other. Services that helped that, thrived. Services that hindered, withered.

      What is IM but communication?

      But IM providers are still in this stupid gatekeeper role. Perhaps one of the WORST things that Microsoft has done is to teach us all that the most successful business model is to become a gatekeeper or tax collector. IMHO a large part of the IM protocol mess is that businesses are paying more attention to the Microsoft model than to the Internet model.
    • I developed a killer app using it. Just not an IM app. My Honors thesis presented the experimental results of using my general-purpose distributed computing architecture. All nodes communicate via Jabber.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    since e-mail & IM are going to blurr over each other in the future, how about extending this standard to a free, open mailbox standard for email clients? Aren't we *all* sick of every email program using a different, incompatible mailbox format? I still use Netscape 4 for my email because I can't move my mailbox archive over to any newer application that is decent to use.
    • Um, IIRC Netscape 4 saves its local mail in mbox format, which is the closest thing to an open standard there is.

      I certainly had no problem importing the mailboxes into other clients when I stopped using it.

      I truly open standard would be nice, but I don't think Netscape 4 has major client lockin issues.
  • by Pakaran2 ( 138209 ) <windrunner@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:29AM (#8134964)
    this is better than IRC, it's standard is still marked experimental :)
  • by morelife ( 213920 ) <f00fbug@@@postREMOVETHISman...at> on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:31AM (#8134973)
    don't forget to patent that before Microsoft does.

  • by HealYourChurchWebSit ( 615198 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:31AM (#8134977) Homepage


    Good stuff ... an XML format we can all agree on for 'near' real-time messageing (I love that oxymoron).

    So how to integrate. Continue working with Jabber libraries, or will these be obviated with XMPP API's and libraries?

    Oh, and now that we have a standard, how will this standard hold up againt various patent issues and claims?

  • Unimportant. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptainCheese ( 724779 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:32AM (#8134990) Journal
    Just because it's going to be a standard, that doesn't mean it'll become THE standard. IM, etc. would need to adopt it.

    Anyway, I'm still wainting for Linksys to make a home router/hub for RFC1149 (IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers)
  • SIPPING (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Fortunately Proposed Standard doesn't actually mean that much. As an FYI MIME (multipurpose Internet Mail extenstions) is still a draft standard even though it is widely implemented.

    Likewise both S/MIME and OpenPGP have progressed. Eventually sanity will prevail and SIPPING will be "blessed".
  • by the world's highschool girls. Jabber will now be synonomous with "Instant Messaging" in American highschools.

    That was like a stampede!!

  • Extensible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:34AM (#8135011)
    'Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core '

    Extensible. Now there's a verb Microsoft loves. They'll extensible this to death now that everyone else thinks it's a standard.

  • In The End (Score:4, Interesting)

    by somethinghollow ( 530478 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:34AM (#8135013) Homepage Journal
    In the end, we'll still end up with companies (e.g. Microsoft and AOL) who will still continue with their closed/proprietary formats; if they do adopt an open standard, they will try to make it different [microsoft.com] so it ends up being incompatible, or patent it [microsoft.com] so no one else can use it. And lets not even get into the ills of what Microsoft did for HTML Scripting... eck.

    So, yay, we have a standard. But can we get everyone to implement it PROPERLY?
  • Excellent. (Score:4, Funny)

    by CaptainAlbert ( 162776 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:35AM (#8135014) Homepage
    I'm off to swap some illegally acquired content on XMPPster.

    Er, how do you pronounce that again?
  • by truth_revealed ( 593493 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:37AM (#8135034)
    XMPP offers:

    a very simple design - uses just a subset of XML (no comments, macros, DTDs)

    good error recovery

    good service discovery

    not tied to any vendor or language

    not domain specific

    bidirectional asynchronous communication - an XMPP session is just a pair of XML documents (one going in each direction).

    decent speed

    I see XMPP being as big as HTTP in the future. It will be the standard for interactive distributed communications.

    • an XMPP session is just a pair of XML documents (one going in each direction).

      Terrible design.

      1 - Makes it harder than necessary to reconcile messages going in one direction with messages going the other. How much work does it take to display a log of both sides of a conversation?
      2 - Doesn't scale well from 2-way communications to 3-way, 4-way, n-way communications.
      3 - If a session gets terminated prematurely, you've got a partial XML document. Which won't validate.

      Messages can be encapsulated in XML
      • Your points make NO sense. Makes it harder to reconcile? In general, two way conversations ALWAYS have the sent and recieved sides. Unless you have some sort of new ESP protocol, to sense something in a different way.. Umm.. I suppose I just dont get what your statement means in english.. As far as not scaling to 3 or more way conversations, it isnt possible to do it any other way on the net without using multicast of some sort. You can't open a single port to multiple computers.. Get a clue..

        As fa
  • "For those of you in the dark, thats the protocol behind the only tried and proven open IM platform, Jabber. "

    Eh... for those in the dark... what exactly is IETF and/or IESG ???

    • IETF is the International Engineering Task Force. They are responsible for keeping the RFCs which have made the internet what it is today. They are responsible for creating standardizations for protocols which have enabled all of the major operating systems today to interoperate (on a crude level) on a huge public network.

      Be thankful for their hard work.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    IETF, XMPP, MSNBC, GBA, CNN, FUD, IEEE. Why'd they even both making keyboards with lowercase letters? We should just speak in acronyms.
  • What is it good for? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Monkey Overlord ( 746151 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:43AM (#8135092) Homepage
    Although standartization of the IM format is a good thing this is a little too late.

    Jabber didn't make it and won't make it for a long time, if ever. There are still problems and lack of voice and video chat (they are not even a part of the standard). Voice/Video can be handled by numerous other standards ... but the problem is that there are too many of them and neither is OSS. It may have a niche in small/medium private chat networks. Its price is right, but it lacks a lot of conveniences other IM protocols have to offer.

    The most important factor is that IM standard/service only matter (in the larger picture) if enough people use it. I don't have a single friend or aquantance who use Jabber, most use either MSN, AIM/ICQ or Yahoo. AIM/ICQ, perhaps, has the best chance of becoming a "standard" ... although I hate both. MSN ... is MSN ... enough said. Yahoo is the most balanced IMHO.

    • Many companies will see a lot of value in having a private IM system that doesn't break the bank. It's not nice to know that your proprietary information is flowing in plain text through some other company's IM server. An open source client capable of secure connections with your IM server provides a lot of peace of mind.
    • There are still problems and lack of voice and video chat

      For voice chat there's a wonderful invention that already has significant installed infrastructure. Originally developed by some guy named Bell. It's called the telephone.

      it lacks a lot of conveniences other IM protocols have to offer.

      Name three.
  • by pschmied ( 5648 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:54AM (#8135213) Homepage
    This is great news. People need to list as a requirement for clients and servers XMPP compliance.

    Everyone who uses iChat, stop what you are doing and go fill out a bug request form on Apple's developer site (http://developer.apple.com).

    I'm going to go fill my request right now.

    While you're at it, maybe you should request that they open a protocol plugin api to developers.

    -Peter
    • Everyone who uses iChat, stop what you are doing and go fill out a bug request form on Apple's developer site (http://developer.apple.com).

      I'm going to go fill my request right now.

      Right, flood their bug database with identical requests that someone will have to go through and delete... once the slashdot effect has worn off and they can use the database again. You've identified a really great way to win their developers over to your point of view.

      Apple might be doing the mozilla thing and refusing connec

  • by hta ( 7593 ) on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:54AM (#8135214) Homepage Journal
    the first IETF IM standard to make it through the process was the CPIM package (draft-ietf-impp-cpim-msgfmt). It's a specification on how to interconnect IM systems rather than a complete IM protocol specification.
    The other major player in IETF standards-space is SIMPLE - the presence specification documents for that (draft-ietf-simple-presence) are in the RFC Editor's queue.
    The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them.....
  • Few months ago, I tried to run jabber in the company where I work, because we have offices in different parts of Europe and the communication is sometimes too slow. The interesting feature of jabber is that one can run his own server, so that the secret communication doesn't go anywhere outside a firm like with ICQ. We have linux RH7.3 and (mostly) Win2000 desktops, so I installed gabber resp. exodus. But all the jabber software turned out to be quite unuseable. Exodus was very unstable. Gabber didn't wan
    • We do!!! :-D

      Granted, Gaim's interface for Jabber has a few issues. If you know how to massage your way past them it's a great solution.

      We are a small, company, btw. Scalling for a huge corperation might take a lil planning, but is very doable. We can message out to the jabber.org server and accept messages back in from it. Really excellent stuff, and all over SSL.

    • Try Psi [affinix.com] for a jabber client that runs on both windows and linux. I've been using it on my Debian Woody and Win 2k boxes for a few months now without a hitch. Very mature, convenient and usable. I use to use Miranda-IM on my Win 2k box but since switching to Psi I haven't looked back.
    • I run an IRC server at work, and it has made a group of us much more productive. The company is looking at an 'official' IM, likely lotus sametime, but I have found that that solution gets in the way more than helps (pretty much any IM solution is pretty intrusive that way though).

      As a bonus, we run a 'bot on the channel that does stuff like phone number lookups, IP subnet calculations, etc.

    • What version of gabber, and what version of Gnome? The old gnome panel had a fundamentally broken "docklet" procotol. If it ever worked for you reliably, you were lucky. Gnome 2.2 and up supports the new system tray, which works much better. This feature is supported in newer 0.8.x releases of gabber, and in the current experimental versions. It is also supported by much other software, including xmms, rhythmbox, gaim, gossip, quark, wine (IIRC, it should be able to map windows systray icons properly), et
  • If anyone (in the Denver, CO, area) is interested in hearing about Jabber and XMPP from St Peter himself, he'll be speaking about it at the next meeting of the Denver Java User's Group [denverjug.org] in a couple of weeks. Matt Miller will also talk a bit about the JSO (Jabber Streaming Objects) library for Java. See DJUG website (link above) for details.

    It's free, including the food (if you get there before it's all gone ;-)
  • This is great news. Maybe it will lead to more people to using Jabber. I'm very happy with Jabber IM. There are a lot of clients to pick from, several servers, and best of all most of them are free. Good implementations also.
  • My brother and I were just emailing about this.
    His latest response was so interesting, I feel compelled to share it here:

    XMPP is fascinating, and with a few (okay, quie a few) revisions could become
    an all-encompassing standard. Going through the IETF and an open process was
    absolutely the right way to make it happen and get the standard out.

    Unfortunately, it may also be wholly irrelevant. AOL has won the IM battle, and
    unlike the web, where unknown browsers may be connecting to arbitrary unknown
    servers, wi

  • Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

    AIM, Yahoo! and MSN are here to stay, folks.
  • I looked at this last week when I was deciding which message passing protocol to use for an application (I used BEEP), the protocol looks cool, but the only perl, ruby or python implimentations I've seen are *clients*
    What about the other end?

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake

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