a thousand points of light

A good summation of the state of Jabber:

As anyone who subscribes to the JADMIN mailing list can tell you, the existing server options all have issues, from difficulty of installation to lack of documentation to missing protocols to inability to run the existing gateways to non-Jabber IM services. As anyone who talks with Jabber users knows, there are hundreds of Jabber clients but almost all of them are close to useless. I chat with server admins and end users all the time, so I hear these complaints in abundance. I’m beginning to think that it’s time to do something about it.

Fortunately he proposes some solutions:

What’s the solution? I see two critical pieces:

  1. A modular, hackable, well-documented, cross-platform, easy-to-use, protocol-compliant server.
  2. A modular, hackable, well-documented, cross-platform, easy-to-use, protocol-compliant client.

Let’s go over those adjectives, shall we?

  • Modular – designed so that people can contribute to it without having to grok the entire codebase.
  • Hackable – written in a language that lots of developers understand and can productively code in.
  • Well-documented – including a complete architectural description, user/admin guide, and in-depth comments in the code (see hackability above).
  • Cross-platform – works on Linux/Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X.
  • Easy-to-use – no more difficult configuration or installation, good user interfaces, and lots of help files.
  • Protocol-compliant – wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually make use of protocols like pubsub, XHTML, and file transfer?
  • Server Client – Jabber is a client-server system, so we need both.

He elaborates further, so if you’re a programmer interested in hearing out his ideas and maybe helping out, check it out!