XMPP Summit 19 & FOSDEM 2016: our thoughts

by Michal Piotrowski and Nicolas Vérité

We just got back from Brussels, where we had an amazing time at the XMPP Summit 19 which was held on 28th and 29th of January, and at FOSDEM on 30th and 31st. Erlang Solutions proudly represented the MongooseIM XMPP server through us: Michal Piotrowski, Tech Lead, and Nicolas Vérité, Product Owner. With all the excitement still fresh in our minds, we sat down and did a review of the most interesting things we saw and heard at the events.

XMPP Summit 19

Each XMPP Summit is an opportunity to talk face to face, which is always good for trust, understanding, and… social events. We had really in-depth, detailed discussions with all the XSF protocol experts, and came out with a few great insights.

These points are all subject to existing, or future XEPs:

  • MIX (see XEP-0369: Mediated Information eXchange (MIX)) is an upcoming, very flexible framework for a large variety of applications, including group chat
  • E2E, for end-to-end encryption, wants to enable state-of-the-art encryption
  • PAM is the account model, which focuses more on the account (bare JID) than the client (full JID)
  • We brought in the necessity of a faster and simplified client to server reconnection
  • We will also draft a XEP around token authentication which we already have implemented in MongooseIM and will be part of 1.7 release
  • Social discussions have also been very productive:

Overall, it has been an enlightenment for us, and we came back with loads of ideas on how to continue the progress on each item.


For us, the first day focus was the Real Time devroom.

Our contribution was Nicolas’ talk: “The state of XMPP and instant messaging, The awakening”. Its aim was to present a market analysis: the three generations of Instant Messaging, and the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’. Also introducing our view on a few of the most important tasks that need to be done in the near future of XMPP messaging.

FOSDEM 2016: The State of XMPP and Instant Messaging, The Awakening from Nyco

We also enjoyed Matthew Wild’s talk, which had a lot of common denominators, such as the state of XMPP, and the actions to enhance the situation, outside the only scope of specifications.

On Sunday, Daniel Pocock, who deployed XMPP servers for the Fedora and Debian communities, further enlarged the emerging vision to SIP and WebRTC, in the main track. He proposed to build a common mission statement, and a list of high-level requirements.

One of our favourite features of FOSDEM was the real-world chatting with attendees while comfortably sitting on very large cushions in the Real Time lounge.

Our shared impression of the two events is that globally, there is a massive wave of renewed energy coming from the XMPP community, but also from the free and open source software developers attending FOSDEM.

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