Google boost Jabber + VOIP, Skype releases IM toolkit, Jabber for P2P SPARQL?

Interesting times for the personal Semantic Web: “Any client that supports Jabber/XMPP can connect to the Google Talk service” Google Talk and Open Communications. It does voice calls too, using “a custom XMPP-based signaling protocol and peer-to-peer communication mechanism. We will fully document this protocol. In the near future, we plan to support SIP signaling.”

Meanwhile, Skype (the P2P-based VOIP and messaging system) have apparently released developer tools for their IM system. From a ZDNet article:

“Skype to wants to embrace the rest of Internet,” Skype co-founder Janus Friis said during a recent interview.

He did offer hypothetical examples. Online gamers involved in massive multiple player mayhem could use Skype IM to taunt rivals and discuss strategy with teammates. Skype’s IM features could be incorporated, Friss suggests, into software-based media players for personal computers, Web sites for dating, blogging or “eBay kinds of auctions,” Friis said.

I spent some time recently looking at collaborative globe-browsing with Google Earth (ie. giving and taking of tours), and yesterday, revisiting Jabber/XMPP as a possible transport for SPARQL queries and responses between friends and FOAFs. Both apps could get a healthy boost from these developments in the industry. Skype is great but the technology could do with being more open; maybe the nudge from Google will help there. Jabber is great but … hardly used by the people I chat with (who are split across MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Skype and IRC).

For a long time I’ve wanted to do RDF queries in a P2P context (eg. see book chapter I wrote with Rael Dornfest). Given Apple’s recent boost for Jabber, and now this from Google, the technology looks to have a healthy future. I want to try exposing desktop, laptop etc RDF collections (addressbooks, calendars, music, photos) directly as SPARQL endpoints exposed via Jabber. There will be some fiddly details, but the basic idea is that Jabber users (including Google and Apple customers) could have some way to expose aspects of their local data for query by their friends and FOAFs, without having to upload it all to some central Web site.

Next practical question: which Jabber software library to start hacking with? I was using Rich Kilmer’s Jabber4R but read that it wasn’t unmaintained, so wondering about switching to Perl or Python…

3 Responses to Google boost Jabber + VOIP, Skype releases IM toolkit, Jabber for P2P SPARQL?

  1. Phil Wilson says:

    Interesting thoughts. How would you provide authentication for node subscription? Or is that a fiddly detail? :)

    I don’t think, by the way, that any of this will help Google Talk users because it’s such a closed system. Apple users of course get the bonus of having not only a client which supports XMPP, but also a full Jabber server.

    If you want to do something in Python then Twisted (http://twistedmatrix.com/products/twisted) may be what you’re after. It’s a more general purpose networking library with support for XMPP built-in.

  2. [...] See also: Will Yahoo! be next to support Jabber/XMPP IM?, Dan Brickley: Google boost Jabber + VOIP, Skype releases IM toolkit, Jabber for P2P SPARQL?, Elias Torres: Google Talk: Where are the ads? Danny@12:18 | Programming & Virtual world [...]

  3. Phil Wilson says:

    FWIW XMPP4R is a Ruby library which had its first release today: http://home.gna.org/xmpp4r/

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