Re: [XML Magazine] A Chat with Jeremie Miller

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From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Thu Dec 28 2000 - 23:16:31 PST

Adam Rifkin wrote:
> Jeremie Miller said to XML Magazine:
> > E-mail servers act 100 percent on a peer-to-peer basis. Every e-mail
> > server -- SMTP server -- can talk to every other SMTP server equally in
> > a network.
> Then why was the TURN command invented?

The real problem with this is that there's a difference between 'smart router'
MTA's that are fully on the Internet and MTA's that are slaved so a smart
router. One thing that bugs me about one anti-spam measure is that it
prevents direct SMTP transfer from ISP ip addresses that are registered as
being dialup. I understand why they are doing it, but it really offends my
sense of Internet openness. Luckily I'm able to keep a few of my own servers
scattered at various colocations to avoid being too oppressed...

Of course I could also rebut this point with AOL as a prime counter-example.
It is possible, with enough money, to serve on the Internet scale from a
single location. It's just hard to do it with other people's money that way.
Email scaled without central control (beyond Network Solutions and the
backbone cabal) or servers.

> > Since we're not doing HTML or XML GUI display, and we don't really
> > have any scripting languages in the client, there's no reason to have
> > a Document Object Model . . .
> The ability to script the DOM is one of the reasons the Web is such a
> powerful platform.

Definitely. I was planning to put Python in my QT based IMPP client. I have
bigger plans now. I'm not totally sure I'd bet the farm on Ecmascript, but it
should be there.

> > Jabber is just a generic XML-routing framework;
> Jabber is just a generic XML-switching framework.

It's a small step from switching to routing and beyond when it's not baked
into silicon. In fact, switching is just stripped down routing with extra
features like cut-through, cross-bar, and low level buffering. No?

> > Web browsers weren't really designed to be able to receive these
> > real-time events and handle sockets in the way that we do. They're
> > really a "pull" sort of model. The action has to be initiated inside
> > the Web browser, so it's difficult to map some sort of Instant
> > Messaging model into a Web browser because they just weren't designed
> > to do that.
> I respectfully disagree.

He's right, they weren't designed to do it. (You can try with my archived
copy of Netscape .9 (<900K) if you like or the early versions of Mosaic.)

That doesn't mean it isn't feasible with a modern browser. You're both
implying it matters what they were really designed for. Classical
conservative thinking, shame on you both! A good inventive engineer would
make the point that they're potentially good for real-time events, etc. and
that, practically speaking, everyone has them already.

There are compelling arguments for a client however.


Happily, I'm in a position to expand some horizons.


Stephen D. Williams         Insta, Inc./Jabber.Com, Inc./CCI
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax  Dec2000

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