I promised in the previous post about Google Talk’s support for federation to check what open source Jabber servers supports the DialBack protocol described in RFC 3920 used by Google Talk server to talk to other Jabber server.
Well… it seems that the dialback protocol is supported by all server listed here and a bunch of other non open source servers not listed there.
This is a good thing, but it seems the dialback protocol is not encrypted like the other TLS and SASL server-to-server protocols. On the other hand all other IMs today are not encrypted by default so privacy issues regarding this are legitimate as to the rest of the IMs available.
The main advnatage of the Jabber Protocol (besides it being an open source specification and a standard) is that it is federated like the Email system is, meaning, if I send an Email to another friend who is on the same server, that Email will never leave the server.
If I send an Email to a friend in a different server (domain) that Email can go through 1 or more other servers until it reaches its destination.
This is a great oppertunity for business who are afraid of putting instant messaging software inside the organization due to security issues since all internal IMs will be kept internal and will not travel outside the network of the company/office/department/group. Only when IMs will go to a user on a different network they will be sent to a differnet server.
In addition to that, and as I talked a bit in an earlier post, Jabber has support in the protocol for cross-protocol communications, which means that upon installing a bridge to a different IM system (MSN, Yahoo, AOL, ICQ) you can use your internal Jabber client, see other IM users from your corporate as and users from other Jabber servers as well as users from other networks such as MSN, Yahoo, AOL and ICQ.
Now all we have left to do is promote the proposed standards for Jingle (JEP-0166) and Jingle-Audio (JEP-0167) (and perhaps the open source libjingle library) so we will finally bridge all the gaps between the various IM systems we have today.