12:45 PM, February 15, 2001
Gates Building, Room 104

Evolving Messaging, Instantly and Not

Dave Crocker
Brandenburg Consulting

About the talk:

Network-based personal messaging has been around for nearly 30 years. The original mode of informal, textual exchanges remains dominant, although the population of users has grown a bit, perhaps 100,000 orders of magnitude... with little change to the core technology. The recent spurt of growth, with the popularization of the Internet, is adding requirements for better perceived reliability, better security, shorter perceived delivery times, support for a wide range of data types, and so on.

Most of the associated functions have been tested in the past, but did not have a strong market pull. Instant messaging and Presence are two such examples. For some reason instant messaging is viewed as requiring different technology from every-day email. In fact one paradigm treats it more like a telephone call.

Whatever the technology, instant messaging has grown beyond chat rooms for teenagers and is relied on by business. However an effort to produce an open standard is proving problematic, and not primarily due to any intransigence by the market leader. This talk will discuss the technologies and standardization effort(s) for instant messaging and presence, with some attention on their role as exemplars of a public engineering effort, and a critical view of the probable outcome.

About the speaker:

Dave Crocker holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware, a M.A. in Communication from USC, and a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA. He is a senior participant in Internet Standards efforts, including electronic mail, electronic commerce, and transport standards. He was an area director for the Internet Engineering Task Force, providing long-term technical management for TCP/IP Internet network management, standards process management and service applications (middleware). He is currently co-charing the IETF Instant Messaging and Presence Protocol working group.

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