Jabber evolution

I started using Jabber in 2004. Since then, I’m sorry to say, not much has happened.

Jabber still more or less only supports text messaging, file transfer works quite bad, compared to other IM Networks, and Jingle isn’t implement anywhere. This might be exagerated a bit, as there are some attempts for Jingle implementation, and file transfer works with some clients, but it doesn’t work with most of the clients.

I think this is a pity, as Jabber is a technology with alot of potential on so many levels.


Jingle would be great if it would be implemented.  But apparantly it is too complicated. So if there would be a few good libraries, this could be realized.

File Transfer:

File transfer is more or less my favourite topic on Jabber 🙂 . It often doesn’t work. Just tried to recieve a file without any success. Although both sides have a SOCKS5 proxy set up. Weird.

Then, at the XMPP DevCon, Pedro Melo came up with the idea, why not use torrent? There are tons of good libraries which can be added to the clients, and all of these libraries do very good NAT traversals and this technology could lead to cool new features.

In theory, you could send one file to several persons, without uploading it to everyone seperately. You could also have Pubsub deliver content, for example your podcasts as torrents.

Server operators could run a torrent proxy, which speeds up downloads, and many other things are possible.

Jabber vs. XMPP:

The last thing I’m going to talk about in this post, is the name. The technology has been renamed to XMPP to make sure that there will be no legal issues in the future with Jabber Inc., but many of us still use Jabber instead of XMPP.

Jabber vs XMPPAs you can see on the graph, Jabber is far more known than XMPP. Red is Jabber, blue is XMPP. All the marks are explained here.

Invisibility & blocked contacts:

Then we have invisibility. There seems to be no real standard for being invisible.  It doesn’t work with all transports. Then you have blocked contacts. I have to be honest, I haven’t played with Privacy Lists on my account, as I generally like everyone on Jabber, but I am missing the button, block contact. This is something which would be useful for all the switchers from other networks.

Well, I think this is all for today. Keep on Jabbering 🙂

5 Comments, RSS

  1. MattJ 9. March, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

    Hmm, while I agree that there is plenty to do, I don’t think the situation is that dire 🙂

    With ejabberd 2.0.0 we now have a stable server with PEP support, and built-in file transfer proxy.

    On the client side, Jingle is scheduled to be included in Gajim, along with e2e encryption. Psi is also catching up with new releases, etc.

    While all the issues you list are valid, Jabber (hmm… XMPP? 😛 ) is not standing still 🙂

  2. Arc Riley 9. March, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

    BitTorrent and XMPP is not a good match, unless you’re simply sending the .torrent file over XMPP and using a standard BitTorrent tracker, and that we can already do. A more embedded solution of a XMPP-based tracker would work much slicker. It’s something we’re looking at for distributing game media/content with the PySoy 3d engine.

    libjingle published by Google is a serious mess, but what do you expect with revision 0.4? This is not Google’s fault, nor is it their responsibility to release software in an implementation-ready state. We’re all very thankful to them for releasing it under a free license, it’s the community’s role now to transform the library into something we can all use. The Tapioca project is one attempt to do this.

  3. Florian Jensen 10. March, 2008 @ 12:42 am

    I am all in favour of an XMPP-Based Tracker. And yes, the idea is to distribute the torrent file via IBB, and then launch the torrent on the client.

  4. Arc Riley 10. March, 2008 @ 2:42 am

    If you’re talking an XMPP-based tracker, you’re not talking BitTorrent anymore, but instead a BitTorrent-like P2P system. I believe a good part of this is already in place from Jingle.

    Integrating a standard bittorrent client with the XMPP client, where the .torrent is downloaded via XMPP then launched using standard BitTorrent protocol, seems to be the easiest implementation. Not as elegant, but easy.

  5. Petteri 18. March, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

    Nice to see some critical opinions on Planet jabber. Much of these blog entries are more like commercials about specific Jabber-based product.

    As I look at the graph it would seem that XMPP+Jabber have fever hits than Jabber before the name change. That is really sad. I think the name change and continuing support jabber name partially (jabber.org, jabber.ru etc.) just confuses people more.

    Compared to 2004 one thing is much better, MUC/Group chat support on Jabber clients. I hope this trend continues and we can have finally MUC rooms that can compete with IRC channels.

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