Heiner Wolf Application 2006

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Hi, I am Heiner Wolf. I am re-applying for JSF membership.


I have been writing code for many years. I write mostly C++ and I will continue to do so. I was engaged in virtual presence projects of the European Union during my PhD. I was founder and CTO of an Internet Startup during the Internet hype. I am CTO of a software company which creates a virtual presence product for communities and game publishers based on Jabber. I speak and write about the topic "virtual presence with Jabber for communities".


I am the developer of LLuna, a virtual presence client. It is an active project with regular feature updates and fixes. Next major version due soon.


I am authoring: JEP-0151 (http://www.jabber.org/jeps/jep-0151.html). In addition I contribute, if the discussion on the standards list is about chat, avatars, other user detail, and VoIP.


I maintain the Web site of the Jabber Virtual Presence project: www.lluna.de. A Website about virtual presence in general: www.virtual-presence.org and the end user oriented Web site for the german speaking LLuna community. I am running a public Jabber Server user.virtual-presence.org (chat: location.virtual-presence.org). The server is open to anyone. It primarily serves as a default server for virtual presence users who do not know about Jabber and accounts.

Why I'm Applying

I mentioned virtual presence. This is not yet a common term. I do virtual presence on Jabber, because Jabber is a good infrastructure. I like Jabber and I want to promte its use. Here is why:

There is lots of virtual presence in online virtual worlds. Millions of users are experiencing VP in these worlds. They all benefit a great deal from the possibility to be at a certain place in a virtual world, not just somewhere. They meet each other at virtual places. It is nicer to chat and interact if you are close even in virtual worlds. This has been true since early MUDs. It can be seen millionfold every day in current MMOG. Now, there is one virtual world where millions go every day, without seeing each other: the Web.

With virtual presence on the Web I can see other people. I don't care about most of the people there, like in the real world. But yesterday I met an old friend. This was really nice. Sometimes I talk to people about the content of the Web site, where we met. Typically you meet people on sites of common interest. I can do on the Web, what I am used to from the real world and from online worlds. I talk to them, I can approach them with my avatar. I meet old friends. On my blog and my homepage I meet people who are interested in me, otherwise they would not be there. And they like to meet the author.

Virtual presence can use any chat and IM system as transport protocol. Jabber was and still is the best choice. But there has been and will be virtual presence based on other transport protocols. I hope the Jabber way of virtual presence will be the open one, the most used, and the best. For Jabber I see virtual presence as a great chance to increase the number of users and servers. The simple reason is that ordinary Web users who do not run instant messengers get in contact with Jabber. And if they meet people, they want to add them the their buddy list. Thats a fact. This will be a Jabber buddy list on a Jabber server and not an ICQ buddy list. This is a vehicle to tell them about buddy lists in general and Jabber in the first place.

I would like to make VP a JSF topic as much as there are JSF topics at all. I would call buddy list management a JSF topic, and MUC, and pubsub. The reason is that I want to establish the virtual presence standard for the Web using Jabber as transport and not with any other transport protocol. Possibly before the big proprietary IM platforms discover VP. I want Jabber to be the primary platform for virtual presence, because it is a good platform, and because it is an open platform. I see virtual presence as a good chance for Jabber to gain many users. The numbers of users and servers I hope for are in the order of the number of Web users and Web servers. This is way more than the number of IM users and this is where I see the chance for us.