Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

XMPP plumbing

This has been on my mind for quite some time, but during an email reply to Adam Nemeth today, I found myself putting it into words I like.

Jabber will not succeed outside geekdom by selling the IM part of XMPP. That's my gloom point of view.

I think that XMPP can be pushed to the clients as an enabler, as infrastructure, on top of which you build several services, in particular notification, but in general a always-on-presence, that all the usual services (email, blogs, social networking sites) can leverage to make their own services better.

In short, XMPP is for me the pipe to the desktop that all the other services need to improve their services:

  • I send an email, important to me, and I add an header saying to my server that I want a immediate notification of a response. My email server uses that to trigger a XMPP pub/sub notification telling me that a reply is ready in my inbox;
  • Someone posts a comment on my blog, I'm notified;
  • Someone adds me as a buddy on some social site, I get a notification;
  • Someone invites me to a meeting, and the meeting request can travel through XMPP, check my own free time (using a negative presence agent that I have running connected to my calendars), and reply back;
  • Google indexes a page that mentions my blog, I get a notification.

After you have basic XMPP plumbing in your desktop, adding IM a simple add-on to increase the value of the plumbing.

So my view, is: sell XMPP as a service to other services, IM will flow naturally from that.

So far I had modest success selling this, so I'm not promising it will be easy.