What is Jabber?

Also see jabber (in networks).

Jabber is an initiative to produce an open source, XML-based instant messaging platform. Similar to the Linux and Apache projects, Jabber developers volunteer their time to work with the code over the Internet. As a result of their efforts, anyone can download the Jabber client and server for free. Creator Jeremie Miller first started Jabber.org in 1998.

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Jabber operates differently than other proprietary instant messaging systems and works in a fashion similar to e-mail, using a distributed architecture. It adds a suffix to each address after the “@” sign (for instance user@msn) just like an e-mail addressing system. This enables a Jabber server to read addresses from different messaging systems and know where they can be found.

Even though Jabber is offered for free, many businesses need a contact for packaged software, technical support, and other services. That’s the niche that Jabber.com hopes to fill. The company calls its relationship to Jabber.org similar to the one Red Hat has with Linux. Jabber.com has already released an instant messaging server that it vows will be compatible with many existing platforms, including America Online’s closely guarded ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger. Miller now works for Jabber.com.

In September 2000, Jabber.com signed a deal with an open-source application service provider (ASP) and a wireless application developer to make a version for mobile devices.

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