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osOpinion: The New Face of Instant Messaging

Nov 16, 1999, 07:54 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eliot Landrum, Thomas Charron)


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"Over the past few years, instant messaging (IM) has grown from a small niche market to the latest "must-have" technology. While IM competition between the big companies like Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amercia Online has grown quite fierce, the open source community has remained strangely quiet. Without the open source community pushing for a standardization of IM protocols, the numerous competitors have kept their protocol highly proprietary. While recent developments have urged key players to adopt standardization, the fruit of these efforts remains to be seen. Without a major open source project to uphold the standard and promote cooperation, the users are left to the whims of large, faceless companies, interoperability flounders and outside development is non-existent."

"Enter Jabber. Jabber is a completely open source, cross platform, feature rich, developer friendly, standards compliant IM platform. No longer being confined to pre-manufactured and un-customizable systems opens unimaginable doors into highly specialized systems with limitless possibilities. By upholding the standards of groups such as the IETF IMPP group, as well as creating a "translation" system between IM systems, Jabber promotes increased progress and allow users to focus on the actual communicating versus negotiation of which platform to use. To paraphrase an oft over used song, this is the end of instant messaging as we know it."

"Starting in early 1998, Jeremie Miller started the Jabber project with a simple hope of a cross platform IM system. Annoyed with the inflexibility of systems like Mirabilis ICQ and America Online's IM client, Jeremie began planning. The original idea was for Jabber to be the answer to the IM dilemma of having numerous clients running at once in order to keep track of contacts by using a system of plug-in translators or "transports."

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