Tech Life Finally

Let’s Go Jabber

Back in my Netscape days, I was fuming that AOL had actually stumbled upon a bright idea in the guise of Instant Messaging. They only furthered my frustration by shoving their bright idea into my beloved Netscape Communicator. The question was, “How can a company whose target market are people who type with one finger be dictating the bits to an innovator such as Netscape?”

At the time, I had the bright idea to develop an open standard to AIM, but some brief pre-Google research revealed someone had beat me to it. Jabber was a fledging buzzword compliant protocol for instant messaging. Crap.

Jabber has evolved over the years, but, from my perspective, the buzz has been low key until Google slapped their name on it this morning.

While I won’t be using the Windows client, Google Talk (rather Jabber) supports iChat which means I can lump all of my buddy lists in one place. That’s handy. So, effective now, the new IM way to reach me is via Google Talk: [email protected].

For those new to Jabber, Google has provided a handy page for setting other Jabber clients to point at their servers.

[8/24/05 Update]: Right so, it’s called XMPP and not Jabber. YET JABBER JUST ROLLS OFF THE TONGUE. There appears to be no well-defined Mime type for XMPP. Bummer.

11 Responses

  1. thadman08 19 years ago

    One things to keep in mind- apparently jabber notifies individuals when they’re added to someone else’s list.

    So be careful- Rands will know!

  2. Not only does Rands get notified, he has to approve your request. It’s the Jabber Way(tm).

  3. The bad thing is that Google’s Jabber server is an “island to itself”, it doesn not communicate with other jabber-servers, which means, you can only Jabber with people also using gmail – this is rather un-jabber-like – maybe later they will come to their senses…

  4. Jay Carlson 19 years ago

    Note that Google itself properly refers to the protocol as XMPP. You should too.

    Jabber is an organization and a company associated with the early development of the protocol, but the standard itself is not owned, controlled, or trademarked by those guys.

    Google only mentions “Jabber” as “this is how you tell Gaim etc to speak the XMPP protocol”. Somebody ought to bugfix Gaim to fix the misterminology.

  5. Jay Carlson 19 years ago

    Hey, I know it doesn’t roll off the tongue, but we’re stuck with “aitch tee tee pea” (or “hotel tango tango papa”) too. Some technologies didn’t have marketing involved with the URI registrations.

    The name I threw into the ring for a different IETF IMPP protocol effort was PRIM, at least notionally for PResence and Instant Messaging. One syllable in English, and a reasonable two-syllable transliteration for Korean. But this acronym and protocol had the fatal flaw that they didn’t have enough XML in them. It’s harder to come up with a good marketing-friendly acronym with an X in it. Oh well; welcome to the IETF.

    I patiently await the coining of a craptastic marketing-friendly term like “WiFi” or “blog” for XMPP, since I can’t imagine Google will be promoting in their press releases.

  6. Let this be a lesson to you. You should have learned something from Linux and thrown an X in it somewhere. Anywhere really … xPRIM, PRIMx, PRIXM (my personal favorite).

    As far as Jabber goes, the last time I had anything to do with it was a good five years ago. And the clients for it were terrible. Most of the people I know are on AIM, having migrated from ICQ at one point or another. A few folks use MSN, sadly, leading to the painful process of acquiring another hotmail account.

    On that note, things using e-mail addresses for account IDs …. not the brightest idea anyone has ever had. That’s kinda like shoving my phone number into a VOIP application.

  7. Joe Hildebrand 19 years ago

    There’s a MIME type, but we’ve phased it out in favor of a URI scheme.

    Technically, it’s an IRI, not a URI, which points to one of the ways that a Jabber ID (JID) is different from an e-mail address. A JID is a hunk of strictly-canonicalized Unicode, not something left over from the ASCII-7 world of e-mail.

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t IRC born long before any of these IMs? IMHO, AOL was only the first in a long series of companys that pilfered IRC and repackaged it as a new wiz-bang invention. In fact, I remember happily communing with friends via IRC when I learned of the newly announced AOL “Instant Messenger” feature. My first thought was “Huh? AOL’s finally discovered IRC? How nice of them to catch up with the rest of us!”

  9. @Jay Carlson: Jabber is not only a company. Jabber is the original name for the project that started it all (back in 1998), the name of our community, the name of the body (Jabber Software Foundation) that is the primary source of protocol additions (Jabber Enhancement Proposals).

    We, the Jabber Community, donated the core protocols as XMPP to the IETF and worked with the XMPP Workgroup to make it a good foundation. Google seems to implement XMPP, along with several JEPs, thus calling it a Jabber implementation is in my opinion accurate.

  10. Jay Carlson 19 years ago

    Jabber is this. Jabber is that. Oh, you forgot something:


  11. I am perfectly aware of the Jabber trademark situation, being a Jabber Council member. There is no problem in mentioning that your product is Jabber compliant, if you want to. The JSF has clear guidelines on what you can and cannot do with the mark, and when you actually need a license. You’ll find that it is actually quite liberal.

    That said, I don’t suggest Google should state any relation with Jabber (the platform), but wanted to oppose what you said in the following quote:

    Note that Google itself properly refers to the protocol as XMPP. You should too.

    Let me close by thanking you for your kind words on our (JSF) efforts.