Setting up Jabber

What is Jabber?

Jabber is an open protocol for Instant Messaging (IM) much like ICQ or Yahoo Messenger. It has the advantage that the protocol is published and therefore we can run our own servers. The Jabber protocol should soon be approved by the IETF to become an RFC. Jabber servers are capable to connecting to other protocols (such as MSN messenger or ICQ) and using these services can be done using the jabber protocol to connect to the appropriate server as normal.

Potentially there are a number of other applications for Jabber, other than IM, possibly including passing on of alerts or for logging information.

How does it work?

Jabber uses XML to pass messages from client to server and there on to it's destination. The XML stream is used to pass on information about whether a client is online or not.
A user will have a local username and a server address. Thus greenbus@mail.polaris.org is my address. Jabber holds it's clients contact list (or Roster) on the server which means that it's possible to run Jabber from a number of machines without worrying about new contacts being propagated between clients.
When a client sends a message to another client the message is passed to the local server, from there the server establishes a conection to the remote server and the remote server will deliver the message. Using this hierarchial approach means that Jabber isn't dependant on a single central server.

How to use Jabber

Because Jabber is an open protocol there are a huge number of clients for a variety of operating systems. I recommend:
Windows:    WinJab 1.1.0.1
Redhat Linux:    Gaim 0.59.7

Windows Install

Redhat Install

Martin Stewart v0.2            23rd Feb 03