The Talk of the Net


I don't have much to add about Google Talk beyond what I said in Jabber Journal #24 and various mailing list posts. As always, there are some technical misconceptions (it's not the lack of DNS SRV records that is preventing server-to-server connectivity -- it's simply that the folks at Google haven't coded s2s support yet), complaints about missing features (it's an early beta, people!), and comments that simply miss the point. And what is the point? As both Michael Robertson and Mark Ward observe, it's open communications. The fact that Google Talk will not rival the userbase of AIM, MSN, Skype, or Yahoo immediately (if ever) does not especially matter. But Google is not attempting to build yet another closed, proprietary silo -- they are working to enable freedom of conversation through the use of open standards such as XMPP and intelligent federation with the likes of Earthlink, the Gizmo Project, and various other open-minded IM/VoIP providers (including, we hope, the wider Jabber/XMPP network). Together, an open network that's committed to interoperability has the potential to dwarf any one closed service. Eventually, one or more of the closed services will decide to open up in order to connect to the network -- perhaps Yahoo (even some Yahoo employees hope so), perhaps Skype, perhaps even MSN or AOL if enough early adopters join the network (such as the major XMPP deployments in the financial sector and the U.S. government as well as forward-thinking telcos such as BellSouth, Orange, and France Telecom). Google Talk is only the first step -- it's how we all build out the open network that matters most. Let's get to work.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal