XSF Communications Team - 2020-06-07

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  24. jcbrand

    I'll play devils advocate and remind you all that many implementations and uses of XMPP are not federated and not free software and that they are also legitimate in the eyes of the XSF, because the XSF is a neutral organisation when it comes to how people use and implement XMPP.

  25. jcbrand

    For example all the games that use XMPP, and Grindr, and Zoom etc.

  26. jcbrand

    The XSF is not a daughter org or affiliate of the FSF or EFF.

  27. jcbrand

    I'm of the opinion that the XSF could sponsor sprints for free software, because a rising tide lifts all boats, but I know that the neutrality argument has been used against that idea.

  28. jcbrand

    Still, it is IMO desired and correct that a standards organisation concerns itself with the standards and not with politics.

  29. jcbrand

    Still, it is IMO desired and correct that a standards organisation concerns itself with the standards and not with politics, and that it takes a neutral stance.

  30. SouL

    Even if they were federated, federation is still a technical feature, nothing to do with anything political. You don't have to federate because of politics, it is just convenience.

  31. SouL

    If someone tells me email is political I would be WTF dude

  32. SouL

    same here

  33. jcbrand

    Yes, you can also federate internally within a permissioned system.

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  37. emus

    Anyway XSF might can make clear what it is convinced if in a technical manner? Not that only a tech perspn understands

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  40. jcbrand

    I don't understand your sentence

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  53. emus

    The XSF can try makeing technical statements and things the foundation is convinced of in general more clear to an outer community. Not that only a tech person only understands details or why privacy is better with xmpp than with WhatsApp etc.. So that many non-technical can understand aswell. I just suggesting instead of political expression to make technical expressions. A bit more clear?

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  59. jcbrand

    XMPP is not necessarily more private than other services, it depends on how you use it. Server admins can see lots of information about users. If users don't encrypt then admins can read all messages.

  60. jcbrand

    Privacy, like federation is a technical feature.

  61. jcbrand

    It's up to you to use the technology in such a way that you preserve your privacy

  62. jcbrand

    I should add, not only a technical feature, but also made possible due to the open and standardized nature. But this openness also enables people to use XMPP in other ways (i.e without federation or privacy) and neutrality means not taking a stance on wether that's good out bad.

  63. Martin

    jcbrand: But a single admin can not easily surveil the whole network. Also xmpp empowers you to be your own admin. That are strong pros for me.

  64. jcbrand

    For example, it might be preferable that communication between police over an XMPP enabled network is not private.

  65. jcbrand

    Yes, they are to you Martin, to me, and to others. But they are not the only use-cases for XMPP

  66. jcbrand

    It's fine to say that these are strengths of the protocol, that IMO is not getting involved in politics.

  67. Martin

    I agree on that.

  68. emus

    Martin, jcbrand: Yes, of course that was just one example why xmpp is good. And sure, it always a perspective. Still, you can use it privately - you are not forced to not, like with... dunno FB Messenger?

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  77. jcbrand

    XMPP is a protocol and isn't a competitor to FB messenger. In fact, FB messenger could be implemented in XMPP. IMO the XSF shouldn't be putting itself in opposition to particular chat apps or companies. It comes back to neutrality.

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  82. jcbrand

    Nobody says you should use HTTP to avoid Google or Facebook

  83. pep.

    jcbrand: the fact that XMPP can be used by Facebook Messenger doesn't remove the political aspect

  84. jcbrand

    Although you could if you wanted to

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  87. jcbrand

    pep.: My point is that the XSF is not a vehicle for fighting political fights and IMO when people are trying to do so, it's a power grab because they're trying to capitalise on the brand, recognition and authority of the XSF to further narrow politician motives.

  88. emus

    I'm not saying you should compete with this, just make clear how this technology can enable privacy, open standard etc... I posted a video in the German chat, because the woman gives XMPP as an example for a decentral communication solution. She just names it, but if you explain why and how, that might change the understanding and attention regarding a political topic: https://youtu.be/XvRnyv9fPns?t=657 - anyway the difference to advertising things is not that big, I see that.

  89. jcbrand

    emus: I'm all for advertising the strengths, I just don't think we should be advertising XMPP in opposition to something else.

  90. emus

    Ok, I understand. Need to think about it

  91. pep.

    jcbrand: it actually is. By taking this neutral stance the XSF is making the political statement that it's fine with the status quo.

  92. jcbrand

    No, it's simply neutral

  93. pep.


  94. jcbrand

    Neutral and "being fine" are too different things

  95. peetah

    From my humble new comer point of view, XMPP is a tool, and XSF is another tool to promote the first one. You can choose to do whatever you want with a tool, whether it has a political ground or not, and you can choose to consider what others are doing with this tool as political or not. But at the end of the day, it is not a matter of the tool, but a matter of the ones using it. What seems to be required according to what is argued since yesterday is a clear statement about where the people in charge of the XSF set their line: do they, and consequently the XSF, consider XMPP as a generic tool, or as a mean to defend a whatever goal they may have, being political or not.

  96. jcbrand

    And it's outside the mandate of the XSF

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  99. pep.

    jcbrand: as an example: you see violence in the street, as a bypasser do you: 1. Help the person doing the act, watch and do nothing, help the victim

  100. pep.

    jcbrand: as an example: you see violence in the street, as a bypasser do you: 1. Help the person doing the act, 2. watch and do nothing, 3. help the victim

  101. jcbrand

    pep.: It would be good to help the person, I don't see how that's an argument that the XSF should be used as the mechanism.

  102. pep.

    should be?

  103. jcbrand

    Nobody in the XSF is stopping you from doing what you think needs to be done, but you don't have the right to use the XSF as your mouthpiece

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  110. pep.

    That is not what I'm saying

  111. jcbrand

    You want to use the XSF as a tool to further a political goal

  112. pep.

    no you don't understand

  113. pep.

    I'm saying the XSF already has a political goal

  114. jcbrand

    Yes, and multiple people disagree with you

  115. pep.

    whether it's realising it or not

  116. pep.

    well I'm sorry if you don't see it

  117. jcbrand

    You simple repeating that ad nauseum doesn't make it true

  118. jcbrand

    You simply repeating that ad nauseum doesn't make it true

  119. pep.

    well you're also reusing the same points tbh..

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  122. jcbrand

    The position of neutrality of the XSF has been stated many times in the past by other people. It's not something I just made up.

  123. pep.

    Ok then you just don't understand what I'm saying

  124. jcbrand

    That's quite condescending

  125. pep.

    It's not meant to be

  126. jcbrand

    I do understand, I simply don't agree and refer to precedence.

  127. pep.

    I'm not saying the XSF is not "neutral"

  128. jcbrand

    You're implying neutral is not neutral

  129. jcbrand

    And I already said that neutral is neutral

  130. pep.

    What does neutral mean then

  131. jcbrand

    It means that the XSF concerns itself with developing and standardizing a protocol, and doesn't concern itself with other matters that fall outside its mandate.

  132. pep.

    Developing and standardizing a protocol for whom, and for what purpose

  133. jcbrand

    For humanity and for any purpose they see fit

  134. pep.

    There are things XMPP cannot do and will never be able to do because of technical choices. Why is it this way?

  135. jcbrand

    life is composed of tradeoffs

  136. pep.


  137. jcbrand

    There are very few things it cannot do

  138. jcbrand

    Sorry, but that's not a gotcha

  139. pep.

    And these tradeoffs are inherently political

  140. jcbrand

    No they're not

  141. jcbrand

    What is something that could never be done with XMPP that is due to a political consideration?

  142. pep.

    Why is it possible to federate with XMPP, Why not only limit to centralized services? Why are we using unicode? Is ascii not enough? etc. there are tons of examples

  143. pep.

    Unicode allowing various scripts to be transmitted over XMPP, making it possible for various cultures to use it

  144. jcbrand

    Allowing for federation gives XMPP maximum utility.

  145. pep.

    Surely it's still possible to keep sending ascii over XMPP, but the point is that it enables it

  146. jcbrand

    Email is also federated, is SMTP a political project?

  147. pep.

    I'd say so yes

  148. jcbrand

    Yeah, you'd say so 😃

  149. pep.

    We build our tools with a purpose in mind

  150. pep.

    Otherwise we wouldn't need the tool. Or we'd need a different one

  151. jcbrand

    XMPP gives you the option, but doesn't obligate or compel you to federate

  152. jcbrand

    It's good to have the option

  153. jcbrand

    In both directions

  154. pep.

    Why is it good?

  155. jcbrand

    Option means that you can also not federate

  156. jcbrand

    Is that good?

  157. pep.

    Sure, not denying that

  158. jcbrand

    Otherwise, why didn't they make federation mandatory?

  159. pep.

    It's still a possibility though. Why are we giving this possibility to people

  160. jcbrand

    That would be more fitting a political agenda

  161. pep.

    it's still political not to force that on people

  162. jcbrand

    Ah, so it's neutral about it

  163. pep.

    Not sure what you're trying to point out. That doesn't remove the political aspect

  164. pep.

    Means you recognize there are various use-cases and they might benefit different group of people in different ways (not that I'm not saying who or what)

  165. jcbrand

    Define political within this context

  166. jcbrand

    I'm pointing out that the XSF is neutral

  167. pep.

    That doesn't actually negate what I'm saying

  168. jcbrand

    You said being neutral means being fine with the status quo

  169. jcbrand

    That's not what neutrality is

  170. pep.

    Well here there are two things to distinguish, XMPP and the XSF. The protocol is allowing for many things, and in itself that is political (federation, unicode, etc., or the absence of X, Y). On top of that the XSF gives a venue to any interest to influence it.

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  173. pep.

    which is what's defined as neutral, I guess

  174. pep.

    Some entities will inevitably have more resources to express their interest than others because that's the world we live in

  175. pep.

    (Trying not to make a judgement here, hope you can appreciate :p Even if it's probably quite obvious what I think)

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  198. emus

    Are their things which "everyone" in XSF agrees on?

  199. emus

    lets say >90%

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  205. la|r|ma

    emus, not sure, maybe "let's continue using XML" but I am not even sure about that 😉

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  218. emus

    😅 Im sure there are some more things

  219. emus

    Maybe worth another open question evaluation

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  229. Licaon_Kter

    pep.: interesting that all your examples fall only in the tech side of things, yet you keep arguing that XSF should do something else instead of continuing/limiting to this tech side

  230. pep.

    hmm no? that's not what I said. Or if I did it's probably not what I meant. I'm pretty set on tech is politics

  231. Licaon_Kter

    Regarding the status quo, I feel that XSF represents "the system" already, given that, for better or worse, XMPP is used by billions daily (knowingly or not).

  232. pep.

    there's a difference between what it's used for and what it enables

  233. pep.

    well, when it comes to XMPP itself. The XSF obviously is playing a role in encouraging this or that usage (even if "this or that" covers every possible use case ever)

  234. pep.

    Licaon_Kter: note that it doesn't mean I don't care about what's not tech

  235. emus

    > hmm no? that's not what I said. Or if I did it's probably not what I meant. I'm pretty set on tech is politics I think so too

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  238. jcbrand

    To say "tech" is politics, is like saying water mills and internal combustion engines are politics. It makes no sense to me. The unequal distribution of water mills might be a political matter, but water mills in and of themselves aren't political.

  239. emus

    may digital tech is politics? If that would be of any politics we would be in such a digital turnaround in the recent decade? I think you cannot just separate one from the other. Of course its not hard-linked on the other side

  240. emus

    may digital tech is politics? If that would be not of any politics we would not be in such a digital turnaround in the recent decade? I think you cannot just separate one from the other. Of course its not hard-linked on the other side

  241. emus

    I mean - lets also ask a hypothecial but practical question. One day a journalists asks question and asks for a statement. If we do give an answer or not does not matter because there seem to be a public/political interest already in that moment? And would we give an answer/statement?

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  246. DebXWoody

    journalists asks question about XMPP?

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  248. emus

    thats bot the piint

  249. emus

    thats not the point

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  252. DebXWoody

    I'm not sure if I got all the points. I think the XSF is and should be "neutral" and should not be responsible to answer questions. It would be very difficult to answer question in a neutral way. But, we needs somebody which should answer question. There was a Thread today "Why was XMPP not able to build a infrastructure for IM". AFAIK, it's not the responsibility of XSF. There should be something like "User Groups" which will take care of XMPP for users etc. and at this places it maybe also become politics.

  253. pep.

    "it's not the responsibility of XSF" again, this is not what I'm saying

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  258. Nÿco

    so I've done my review of the newsletter and suggested... things: - structure with titles - reviews the CTA (Call To Action) - added some pics

  259. Nÿco

    - all Pelican metadata

  260. Nÿco

    so not nothing big and revolutionary, just the bare minimum

  261. Nÿco

    meanwhile, I have finally done what we agreed one ages ago on LinkedIn and Fosstodon (Mastodon), I have added the background/cover: the corridor picture that is on the xmpp.org website I can't do it on Twitter since I only have a Tweetdeck access nor on Facebook, since the two pages are dormant

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