Jabber Jingles All the Way
The new VOIP signaling and audio protocols were co-written by Google and Jabber Foundation engineers. Collectively the new and improved Jabber is called "Jingle." The foundation says video and other peer-to-peer multimedia protocols will be added to the Jabber spec in the near future. (See Google Launches IM.)
The new specifications will pull Jabber-based products even with commercial IM products from the likes of Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) division AOL, which have recently added voice and video support. (See Google Talks the Talk.)
The Jabber IM server is an open, secure set of streaming XML protocols built on top of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)'s Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). The protocols "enable any two entities on the Internet to exchange messages and display presence and other structured information in close to real time," according to the Jabber Foundation Website. (See Skype Offers Up Code.)
The foundation began in the late 90s when founder Jeremie Miller began searching for a way to interconnect the various IM clients he used. As larger enterprises became interested in the Jabber technology, a corporation -- Jabber Inc. -- was formed in parallel with the foundation with the purpose of developing, scaling, and supporting Jabber-based products for large client organizations.
“The corporation created their own commercial proprietary code base which is distinct from the [foundation’s] open-source code base,” Jabber spokesman Usher Lieberman told Light Reading. "They do share the same protocol, and they interoperate, but they are entirely separate servers.”
The corporation has been making noise lately over its attempts to make the Jabber client speak with other, competing IM products. Jabber Inc. Tuesday announced the release of a new gateway that allows customers to connect their Jabber-based instant messaging systems to the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Live Communications Server (LCS). Similarly, Jabber Inc. announced December 6 the release of an AOL instant messenger gateway that connects Jabber's instant messaging client with the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) application.
Some in the Jabber development community believe Jabber should concentrate more on interoperability than on voice and video. (See PointOne Links IM, VOIP.) “What my client needs to do is, instead of developing their own instant messenger, is just to be able to talk to some of the ones that already exist,” says Jabber developer Danny Faught of Tejas Software Consulting.
Faught says some aren't keen on the idea of using an IM application for voice calls -- they'd rather have a dedicated application for that. “I don’t know really anybody who uses a chat client for voice; it doesn’t really seem to be part of the buzz to do that,” he says. “It’s really voice over IP and/or applications like Skype.” (See Poll: Google's Shooting for Skype.)
— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading