Hello? Jabber was designed for cloud computing

I just read Marshall Kirkpatrick's Read/Write Web post Could Instant Messaging (XMPP) Power the Future of Online Communication?. Despite his apparent bemusement with the "the rise of XMPP (called Jabber in IM) for powering communication services hosted in the cloud" this really shouldn't be much of a surprise. In one of my favorite books of all time, Peer-to-Peer, Jeremie Miller, inventor of Jabber, explained this to the world in 2001. Jabber was envisioned from its beginnings in 1998 to not just handle person-to-person conversations, but also person-to-application and application-to-application conversations.

I also recently read about using Jabber with my OLPC XO-1, which opened up a whole new world. All of a sudden, instead of just finding other XO's on my LAN, my screen was full of people to chat and collaborate with. Over Jabber, not just instant messages are shared from the XO, but every application can be shared and becomes a gathering place. You can take a look at how Jabber is used with the XO on the OLPC wiki.

Marshall goes on in his analysis to bring us back down to Earth regarding Jabber/XMPP relative to HTTP and he is right. HTTP rules today and I don't think there is any one killer reason to change that. If nothing else, however, Jabber/XMPP has a really nice specification on how to use HTTP more efficiently to get notifications without polling. Jabber/XMPP specifies this for the purpose of overcoming firewalls, but the result is that Jabber/XMPP can really be seen as simply some really cool stuff to do on top of HTTP.

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