Jabber/XMPP Groupchat

Explaining the IETF’s use of Jabber messaging services for groupchat during meetings, as of 27 October 2020.

Key Info

Introduction

Jabber is an open, instant, decentralized messaging service. The Jabber protocol is an extension to the IETF's Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) which is defined in RFC 6120. Jabber is sometimes referred to by the name "XMPP".

In order to access the IETF Jabber chat rooms with a persistent identity, you generally will need a Jabber client, a Jabber account, and the room ID to which you would like to connect.

The IETF provides individual Jabber chat rooms for use by the various directorates, working groups, and BOF sessions during meetings and at other times. Participants join the chat rooms to hold discussions and ask questions during IETF meetings.

New to Jabber? Start here

The IETF currently offers a trial service at xmpp-trial1.ietf.org. This service offers guest account access and a web client, with no need to install a separate Jabber client or register a Jabber account. It's the fastest and easiest way to start joining IETF chat rooms.

Jabber Clients and Accounts

The IETF does not provide or endorse Jabber clients; however, as a service to participants, we try to maintain a short list of workable clients for various platforms. As of 6 October 2020, the following clients are known to work with Jabber:

Like email accounts, Jabber accounts can be obtained in a number of ways: your employer or other related organizations might offer an account; you might choose to operate your own server; or, you can sign up for a free account from any of a number of providers. The IETF does not endorse providers, however, as a service to participants, we try to maintain a short list of providers known to be working "at the moment." In addition to the IETF Trial Jabber Service, we successfully created accounts on listed third-party Jabber providers and connected to the IETF chat rooms as of 20 March 2020:

Connecting to IETF Jabber rooms

During IETF meetings we publish on the IETF Datatracker agenda details of the Jabber room for each session as part of the details for that session. Each room has a “roomname” (typically the acronym for a working group) and an ID, which is "roomname@jabber.ietf.org".  For example, the room ID for the IETF IPv6 Operations Working Group (v6ops) is: v6ops@jabber.ietf.org

Please note the following:

  • All rooms are permanently and publicly logged. You can find a complete list of rooms and their logs on the logs page.
  • All jabber messages sent through our servers are subject to the IETF Note Well.

For general chat and nonspecific conversations, connect to hallway@jabber.ietf.org. Hallway is the default social chatroom for the IETF.  There are generally IETF participants present there who will try to answer questions and refer you to other resources as they are able.  

Trials of additional services

In response to a recent survey of IETF meeting participants, the IETF is deploying trials of two new instant messaging services which may be used to access IETF meeting chat rooms. These trials are intended to be explorational and informal, and deployed to gain operational experience and get community feedback about how well they meet the need for IETF-related chat. These trials will be discontinued in January 2021 and we do not plan to preserve any history or configuration from the trial instances. IETF contribution rules apply. The two services are:

  • The zulip service can be found at zulip-trial1.ietf.org. Any zulip client can be used with the trial zulip server, which has a built-in web interface.
  • The matrix service can be found at matrix-trial1.ietf.org. Any matrix client can be used with the trial matrix server. There is also a web client available.

Operating Your Own Jabber Server

It is not necessary to operate your own Jabber server, however, for the adventurous out there who wish to try operating their own server, the following servers work well for our staff: