December 12th, 2005


chat service update

Progress on the chat service is still slow. I sent the following to cs-chat-users:

At the moment I'm still waiting for final approval for the name "" which I should get after the next IT Syndicate meeting on the 17th Jan. I'm not going to do much work on the project until then. (Hermes will keep me busy!) However I aim to make a prototype server available soon after that date.

After that there may be some further delays caused by Jabber's need for SRV records in the DNS. Jabber uses these to route messages between servers, similar to MX records for email. The University's DNS does not currently have any SRV records, so our hostmasters will go through a period of compatibility testing before putting them in the main zone. This won't affect use of the chat service between Cambridge users, but may delay our ability to communicate with other Jabber servers.

Jingle approaches JEP

A couple of announcements have recently been posted to the standards-JIG mailing list about the Jingle specifications. This is noteworthy because Jingle is the XMPP extension for peer-to-peer session initiation, including Voice Over IP, and it is essentially the protocol used by Google Talk. It will be interesting to see non-Google clients implement the protocol, and how soon gateways between SIP, H.323, and Jingle get implemented.

JEP = "Jabber enhancement proposal"
JIG = "Jabber interest group"
SIP = the "session initiation protocol", the IETF's VOIP standard
H.323 = the ITU's VOIP standard
VOIP = voice over IP
XMPP = the standard core of Jabber