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XML Magazine: At the Heart of the Open Source Movement

Feb 07, 2001, 07:16 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stuart J. Johnston)

"Three years ago, Jeremie Miller had a brainstorm. Instant messaging was catching on with Internet users like wildfire, but there was just one problem. Every provider of instant messaging had a proprietary format that it guarded jealously. Users of America Online's Instant Messenger couldn't instantly communicate with users of competing messaging from Microsoft, Yahoo, and others, because there was no common infrastructure. (Even today, what infrastructure exists is still tightly controlled.) Two other events happened at almost the same time: the open source movement gained credibility, even spreading into corporate America. And the importance of XML started to grow because of its flexibility and self-descriptive characteristics."

"Then Miller had his brainstorm. He wrote one of the first XML parsers using JavaScript."

"Microsoft's planned .Net notification service will merge instant messaging with other types of messaging, including e-mail, fax, and voice. But Miller has even bigger plans. The company he founded, Denver-based Jabber.com and its related Jabber.org site, has produced an open source instant messaging infrastructure of the same name built entirely on XML, including the transport technology. "I wanted to convert the messaging and presence formats into a common language, and it was a natural fit for XML," says Miller. As far as using XML to build the transport mechanisms, "HTTP is an excellent way of moving objects between servers [but] is not useful for instant messaging," Miller says."

[ Caution: The pages on xmlmag.com do not render correctly on Netscape 4.76 or Opera 4 beta 4 running on Linux. lt-ed. ]

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