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Today Gnip announced that they’re winding down XMPP support. Why? They say it’s not worth the work to support it right now. The XMPP world still lacks a leading server standard, leaving them to deal with a scattered array of various implementations. On top of this, many of their consumers are unwilling to deal with running their own XMPP server and end up using Google Talk or Jabber.org, which throttle throughput since they’re popular servers.

Web hooks don’t have these problems. This is probably why Gnip continues to use them as their primary mechanism for real-time push notifications. As ideal as XMPP sounds for real-time notifications, it lacks the simplicity and ubiquity of HTTP. Not only is it a new server implementation to worry about, it’s another type of server in the mix!

Anyway, this means I need to go back and edit my slides about Gnip. Despite this seeming like a victory for web hooks (when I contacted Jud Valeski about this, the Gnip CTO responded “Web hooks reigns!”), I was looking forward to Gnip providing a gateway between the world of web hooks and the world of XMPP. They’re likely to return to XMPP eventually, but this may be an opportunity for somebody to provide a focused XMPP to web hooks bridge.

As a sidenote, I’ve thought it interesting that Gnip is aware of “web hooks” as they use it in their diagrams, but their public use of the phrase has otherwise been lackluster. In their write-up of the announcement, ReadWriteWeb seems to have taken it upon themselves to call Gnip’s use of web hooks “Restful push.” Not bad. I’d probably call it that myself if it wasn’t about more than push. But that’s what the social media guys are into, and I don’t have a problem with that since social media is a trendy vehicle for web hooks.

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