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Jabber/XMPP is a messaging network developed to be Open Source, free and distributed. The standard XMPP specification is very basic, but the real protocol supports many extensions (XEPs) that make possible group chatting, voice calls, file transfer and so on. It is not right to say “Jabber/XMPP does not support blah”, because it only means that blah is not implemented in your client — application that you use to connect the Jabber/XMPP network.

So, what are the benefits of Jabber/XMPP? First of all, it’s distributed. Jabber/XMPP messaging network cannot die because there is no single point of failure — service is supported by thousands of independent servers around the world. Some of them are supported by enthusiasts, others by commercial companies, but most servers are run by online communities. This server,, is supported by an IT community as well. Usage of this server is absolutely free.

The other benefits are:

  • Ability to add contacts from other messaging networks (Yahoo IM, Windows Live, ICQ) using gateway
  • Ability to talk to buddies from external networks using any client application
  • Unicode messaging which enables you to see any characters properly and be sure that your friends will see your messages properly as well
  • Conferencing which allows you to have conversation to many people at the same time

Jabber/XMPP technology is powering many chat services, including Google Talk, Nokia OVI, Talkonaut and many others. It means that you can add the users of those services to your roster (contact list) without using gateways.