January 16, 2002

Jabber Much More Than an IM System Says O'Reilly Author: "Programming Jabber: Extending XML Messaging"

Sebastopol, CA--"Quite simply, Programming Jabber rocks!" Jeremie Miller, founder and lead developer of Jabber, says about the new book by DJ Adams.

Jabber is a set of protocols expressed in XML, and an extensible framework that allows people and applications to exchange all sorts of information, from simple text messages to extending the backbone of an enterprise data system. Jabber gives programmers the power to build applications that have identity, presence, and that can take part in conversations.

"This is an era of exploration," says author DJ Adams. "Programmers today want and need to discover new ways of building applications and services that are not islands, but are connected to each other and to their users. People are beginning to realize that Jabber is not just an Instant Messaging (IM) system, nor just a system that can connect you seamlessly to different foreign IM systems. It's more than that: a framework, an architecture, and a protocol that arms you with the tools to build all kinds of messaging- based systems. The book is called Programming Jabber because that's really what it's about--using Jabber to build all kinds of different things."

Programming Jabber (O'Reilly, US $39.95) provides programmers the opportunity to learn and understand the Jabber technology and protocol from an implementer's point of view. "I was intrigued by the protocol; my entry point into the Jabber world was from the bottom up, so to speak," Adams says. "From day one, I was looking at the XML flowing between client and server. At the time, my head was full of XML, messaging, and Internet-wide communication. Jabber seemed to encapsulate all these things in one neat little box of potential. The more I learned about Jabber the more mesmerized I became."

According to Adams, one of the attractive features of Jabber is the low cost of entry. "By this I mean that Jabber's protocol is simple," he explains. "If you can read and construct XML, and use TCP sockets, you can turn Jabber to your advantage. The open source Jabber server is written in C, and the codebase is fairly small, which means that it's not an impossible task to get a grip on what's going on from end to end. Moreover, there are libraries that make Jabber programming easier in many popular languages: C++, Java, Python, and Perl, to name a few. I've even seen some Jabber stuff in REBOL!"

"Like chess, which has a small set of rules but countless game possibilities, the technologies employed in Jabber and the protocol itself are straightforward," says Adams. "The possibilities are almost limitless. Jabber is an idea whose time has come."

Online Resources:

Programming Jabber
By DJ Adams
0-596-00202-5, Order Number: 2025
480 pages, $39.95 (US) $59.95 (CA)

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