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Jabber :: People :: Interviews :: Marco Palombi

Marco Palombi is a member of the JSF Board of Directors and president of Tipic, one of the first companies to get involved in the Jabber community.

Everyone in the Jabber world seems to have a nickname -- how did you get your nickname of "ocrampal"?

Well, it is simple, it is composed of two words: Ocram (= Marco) and Pal (the first 3 letters of my last name). As a nickname, Ocrampal is always available on any site that requires registration ;-)

Your company (Tipic) was an "early adopter" of Jabber. When and why did you start developing Jabber technologies?

In late 2000 we were thinking about the evolution of communication on the Internet; we wanted to go beyond the one-way web paradigm of the browser and we knew that instant messaging was one of the most important bricks necessary to build a real "two way web". We were looking for an open-source project that we could contribute to and Jabber had all the prerequisites we were looking for, such as extensibility and interoperability. Perhaps the biggest strength was a focus on the protocol, since that was creating a diverse community welcoming both open-source and commercial pursuits.

At that time we also realized that there was a commercial opportunity to offer a Windows version of the Jabber server; so we decided to develop TIMP, the first Windows XMPP/Jabber server, which has been selling very well since then.

What are your future plans for Tipic and your involvement in the Jabber community?

If you look at Tipic's direct contribution to the open-source projects you will not find much code; on the other hand I think we have contributed to XMPP/Jabber adoption in many ways:

We plan to continue on this path creating new innovative Jabber-centric applications. Shortly we will come out with a very interesting integration of XMPP/Jabber with a content management system; this innovative platform will again introduce many new users to Jabber.

At the personal level I have contributed as a Board Member of the JSF. This Board has been working on a path that will eventualy lead to the transfer os the Jabber tradeMark to the JSF; in this process I have been trying to let the voice of open-source developers and commercial companies be heard.

Where do you live now, and where have you lived in the past?

I live in Milan and spend a lot of time in New York City. I studied Engineering in Italy (and a few semesters in the US); got my first job at Procter and Gamble in France, then moved back to Italy to work for a Management Consulting firm (McKinsey). After that, I spent 2 years in Brazil setting up the South American offices of a big corporation and then came back to Milan where I became an entrepreneur. Tipic is the second start-up I work for.

What hobbies do you pursue when you're not working?

Traveling, browsing the Net and playing soccer.

Do you have a website or weblog where people can learn more about you?

Yes, <http://ocrampal.motime.com/>.

What do you think are the most important strengths of the Jabber protocol and community?

Jabber is a well-structured protocol, very easy to extend and use for lots of applications that go way beyond IM chatting. The community behind Jabber understands that and is really passionate about the platform; we are all learning and contributing with ideas every day, with a sense of respect for our peers and a sound competition.

What are some of the weaknesses you think need to be addressed?

The JSF should be perceived less and less as "dependent" on Jabber, Inc. and more as a de facto open-source community.

What can the Jabber community and the JSF do to improve?

Companies involved in the JSF should try not to impose their agenda, which can frustrate open-source developers. Instead they should explain their perspective and help open-source developers participate to the community on an equal footing.