The IETF, accepted Jabber Software Foundation’s new proposed instant messaging framework on Thursday, known as “XMPP-Core” Protocol. Officially a proposed standard, the XMMP will allow both users and applications to transmit and receive XML documents with “added security and internalization features.” This is considered a great success for Jabber Software Foundation, or JSF, who utilized a peer-review system similar to that of the IETF itself to quicken their approval process.
While the XMPP-Core does lay a new foundation for XML data transmission, the protocol is still long ways away from becoming the standard. However, there is a second protocol, known as XMPP-IM, which is under review and could add functionality to standard messaging for XMPP. Peter Saint Andre, the executive director of the JSF, stated “The document defines some extensions to the core streaming protocols … that’s expected of a basic instant messaging and presence system.”
However, both the XMPP-Core and XMPP-IM lack such basic features like file sharing and group chat, and users will have to rely on the JSF to release new implementations, which doesn’t appear promising for a potential IETF process. Saint Andre noted that it depends on whether or not the IETF takes an interest in future protocols.
Before this proposed standard, commercial outlets had no sense of security XMPP applications. Also, the IETF’s approval of this specification signals to vendors their confidence in the protocol as well. This is significant for standards-based IM systems, and should also increase the demand for gateways into them. Since commercial corporations value open standards, Saint Andre explains that they “don’t tend to go with proprietary systems” and would rather choose rules “defined by the IETF.”
It is worth noting that many documents do not succeed past the proposed standard process. However, Saint Andre is confident in the future of his protocol due to many choosing to implement XMPP technology, as well as the JSF being open to feedback and criticism. XMPP Working Group can officially seek “Draft Status,” the next step in ratifying XMPP-Core, in June.
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