Trouble in IMland

Stephen D. Williams
Mon, 14 Jan 2002 22:39:07 -0500 (EST)

> And the protocol wars grind on and on...  my commentary?  SIP
> was a bad idea then, and it's still a bad idea --- catchy
> evolved acronym notwithstanding.

I participated in IMPP for over two years...  I always argued against SIP,
and against RFC822/IETF Old School, and yea, even against HTTP based
IM/Presence.  The only faction that was close to what I wanted was BXXP
(Beep), et al.  (And Jabber, but that's another story.)

I always pushed to support single (outgoing) TCP connections, in-band
multimedia traffic, extensibility and scalability (nested XML everywhere),
etc.  Before you complain about XML, I was (and am) planning to use my
binary structured XML (bsXML) standard as a standard alternative to text XML.

Remember, I was working on a hush-hush (Ha!) startup, had written all of
Buddylist 1.X at AOL, and had created and built a project called Instant
Images at AOL that was a high volume, scalable video conferencing add-on to
IM.  I did all this in 95-97, long before Yahoo's recent realtime imaging
addon to IM.

The SIP guys just insisted that they had multimedia all figured out, and in
fact I don't see much on the mailing list that backs up the article.  I do
however agree with the sentiment.

That said, it's obvious that SIP has great foothold because of the taming of
VOIP and traditional (H.324, etc.) videoconferencing.  The SIP guys just
couldn't get the fact that it was unacceptable to be without a normal mode
that tunneled everything through an outgoing TCP connection.  Firewalls and
NAT routers block more or less anything but outgoing TCP connections for
large segments of Internet users.  Nobody liked the huge SIP standards docs

I'll find a way to play in the IM/Presence space, but now it's pure
guerilla, open source, lean and mean.

> jb

Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax Dec2001