Re: [Tools-discuss] Trial chat services: matrix and zulip

Dave Cridland <> Mon, 05 October 2020 21:12 UTC

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From: Dave Cridland <>
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2020 22:12:08 +0100
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To: Jay Daley <>
Cc: Matthew Hodgson <>, Tools Team Discussion <>
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Trial chat services: matrix and zulip
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On Mon, 5 Oct 2020 at 21:13, Jay Daley <> wrote:

> Dave
> On 5/10/2020, at 11:05 PM, Dave Cridland <> wrote:
> On Sat, 3 Oct 2020 at 20:51, Matthew Hodgson <> wrote:
>>   * By deriding the bridge, you're just harming both sides of it. IETF
>> is less likely to use Matrix if they believe its XMPP bridge is as
>> irredeemably bad as you say; and meanwhile it sounds like pure XMPP is
>> off the cards anyway.
> I certainly agree that the best course of action is to have a IM solution
> that is as compatible with XMPP as possible. XMPP has, I think, served the
> IETF community well over the past decade or so, and existing deployed
> solutions - like Meetecho and the IETF Jabber server itself - have worked
> with reasonable effectiveness. The XMPP community, vendors and independent
> developers, have offered help with improving this too (and many from the
> XMPP community have gone on to do wider work within the IETF world).
> I, too, am unclear why we declare anything built privately on web
> technologies to be the moral equivalent of an open standard technology with
> specifications published through a recognised standards group and multiple
> interoperable implementations. One might as well use the criteria of "It's
> programmed in ANSI C".
> But I'm also, I confess, bewildered that the stated aim of using the likes
> of Zulip (which I've never heard of before, sorry) and Slack is that public
> XMPP services are not easily found, and yet simultaneously "XMPP is off the
> cards", and no public accounts will be offered.
> What's the blocker to offering accounts on the IETF XMPP server and
> hosting a web client?
> This was ruled out by previous IETF leadership and has remained the policy
> since.  Technically and operationally it would be trivial to add.
> I proposed the addition of user accounts a few months ago to the IESG and
> the Tools Team in order to address the feedback from the IETF 107
> post-meeting survey, and the main concern expressed was that they would
> appear to be "official" jabber accounts and therefore representative of the
> IETF.  By contrast the zulip and matrix instances are specifically named as
> trials and therefore do not incur that risk.
So the problem with using an existing service is that it may be
inadvertently considered an official stance of the IETF despite an official
statement to the contrary, whereas explicitly ruling it out, while that is
a stated official stance of the IETF, is not to be considered to mean
anything? I'm so glad you have made this crystal clear to me.

It is possible to place an XMPP service on a domain other than,
such as, oh, I don't know, perhaps "", if the idea is really
to avoid the impression that the IETF's use of its own protocols is somehow
an approach worth following.

> As that proposal was being considered, the community introduced the IETF
> Slack space and there were discussions in the SHMOO WG about this whole
> area.  In that context it did not seem appropriate to make such a change as
> that might be seen as acting inconsistently with the emerging community
> process.
> I would be interested in views on this.
> Jay
> Dave.
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> Jay Daley
> IETF Executive Director