[linux-elitists] IM servers for Linux

Mister Bad mr.bad@pigdog.org
Wed Jan 8 10:24:52 PST 2003


>>>>> "RM" == Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com> writes:

    RM> Further, there's vast amounts of plaintext consequent
    RM> information leakage on/around the servers,

There is, of course, support for SSL. And plaintext authentication is
a thing of the past.

    RM>  not to mention zero provision for host authentication.

That's not true. There's dialback authentication between hosts.

    RM> If the requirement for end-to-end strong crypto wasn't
    RM> anticipated during Jabber design, I can only ask: What _were_
    RM> they thinking?  It's not like it was a 1975 project.

If one avoided using any protocols where end-to-end strong crypto was
factored in at the beginning, one would have a lonely time on the
Internet.

    RM> I didn't say the design was bad relative to most of the
    RM> competition I just said it should have been a lot better.

That's fair enough.

I think my main point would be that Jabber's design is _very_ similar
in spirit and intent to SMTP or HTTP: a simple basic protocol that is
augmented with principled extensions that gradually become de facto
and then de jure standards. The protocols graveyard is littered with
the bones of standards that were very complete and complex and rarely
if ever implemented. Yes, SMTP and HTTP drive us all nuts. But, hey:
they work.

There is a process for proposing and documenting extensions to the
Jabber protocol:
       
       http://www.jabber.org/jeps/

...and of course the standard has requirements for how to handle
unrecognized extensions.

I might also point out that Jabber (as XMPP) is a working group for an
IETF presence and IM mechanism:

        http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/xmpp-charter.html

Lastly, I'd note that there are scores of Jabber servers, clients, and
components already written:

        http://www.jabberstudio.org/project/

A protocol with many implementations tends to be more robust, IMHO.

~Mr. Bad

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