Do they federate?

Organization Domain SIP XMPP Social
Apache No
Asterisk No
Creative Commons Yes
Debian YES NO
(on roadmap)
Drupal No
Eclipse No
Fedora No
FSF Yes Yes Yes
Gnome Foundation Yes
IETF Kinda1
Internet Society (ISOC) No Yes3
KDE No Yes No
Linux Foundation No
Mozilla No
Open Rights Group No
OSI2 No No No
OpenStreetMap No
SFC Kinda Kinda No
Wikimedia Foundation No
WordPress Yes
W3C No
XSF Kinda1

About this page

These are organizations that have taken the lead in free and open source software and in open Internet technologies. But do they federate?

Organizations that provide email addresses under their domain name to staff or members should also provide addresses on the distributed voice, IM, and social networks as well. The more organizations implement these network technologies, the more valuable the networks become to all users.

Have an update? Want to add an organization? Drop a line to the Free-RTC mailing list and we’ll get it in!

1. The IETF and XSF don’t provide JIDs to members or staff, but they do have a multi-user chat (MUC) servers in their respective domains.
2. Per here and here, “OSI currently has no staff or offices and does not provide e-mail addresses to members. When that changes, it will consider offering essential network services such as SIP and XMPP as well.” Hat tip to Simon Phipps.
3. JIDs are

19 Responses to Do they federate?

  1. bear (Mike Taylor) says:

    I’m curious as to why you list the XSF as having an XMPP federation score of “Kinda”. The point of federation is the ability for messages to cross silo boundaries as required to enable communication. This does not, IMO, require an organization to run a central server as long as each member’s identity is discoverable and reachable within their own XMPP server.

    I feel I may be missing something in what your are saying, but I do feel that the XSF should be listed with a score of “Yes” for XMPP.

  2. evan says:

    @bear our goal here is to have end-user accounts in each domain. So if staff or members can have email addresses at, we think they should also have JIDs at (or a nearby variation), SIP addresses at, and closely-linked social network addresses, preferably in their own domain.

    The XSF is unique on this list in that apparently nobody gets email addresses (per Peter), so it doesn’t quite fit our criteria. Members also don’t get JIDs. But there is a MUC server in the domain, so I decided to mark it “kinda”.

    I’m not sure if we’ll keep XSF on the list, take it off, or if the situation will change. But I’d be reluctant to see it go green without some people having JIDs.

    • bear (Mike Taylor) says:

      @evan – thanks for the reply and explanation, I get why it’s listed now as “kinda”.

      Maybe we need to consider discoverability of an organization’s membership and subsequently the preferred identity as qualifying

  3. Pingback: Building the core of a federated future » Free Your Speech

  4. Dave Cridland says:

    The IETF has neither staff nor members, and even in the XSF, it is a fairly grey area. It’s not clear to me that anyone should be sending IM messages formally to area directors or XEP editors, much less voice calls.

    However, I do think you should include email here. Precisely because it’ll be a yes everywhere, and remind people that actually, federated open communications is not such a bat shit crazy idea after all.

    • stpeter says:

      True about the IETF — no individuals have email addresses (although there are role-based addresses like However, if a project or organization offers email addresses, then why not IM or voice/video addresses?

      • Alexanger Gnauck says:

        because its administrative overhead if you don’t need them.
        And its a big difference if you are a profit or non profit organization. If the members are volunteers paid, or paying to be a member.

    • k says:

      I agree – include email! Email is becoming less and less federated every time someone switches to Gmail.

    • The plain old telephone system also is federated. If someone does not publish a telephone number it is likely that they also will not publish an VOIP address. Similar regarding IM addresses.

      Significant difference: mail is asynchronous, while the rest is not.

  5. W^L+ says:

    The other thing to consider is that some service providers (Google Apps, Fastmail, Dreamhost) offer both mail and XMPP. There are also some public XMPP services ( for example) that will host others’ domains on their servers. I do not know whether such services for SIP are widely available.

    I would not expect every organization to have its own servers necessarily, but they can still expand the global federation by judicious choice of service providers.

  6. An organisation missing on the list:

    The Document Foundation

    (Important due to LibreOffice, but you know that ;-)

    BTW: Any objections if I copy the text to a Wiki page of the W3C Federated Social Web Community Group?

    • evan says:

      Andreas: it’d be nice to have the table in one place so we can keep it up to date here.

      • @evan The table already is no longer up to date (the TDF is missing ;-)

        More important: I want more detailed information to be compiled and these details should to be on a Wiki page editable by all those concerned. That could be on the W3C Wiki or Wikipedia. I do not think that it would make sense to create an additional Wiki for that purpose (as long as it is not federated!).

        BTW: I do not consider supporting SIP as an important aim. XMPP Jingle might be better. Maybe renaming the column to something like “Standard-based VoIP” is more appropriate.

  7. Gianfranco says:

    Hi, very interesting topic.
    I’m very curious to see how this will evolve.
    Thanks for this post.

  8. Another organization to add would be OpenGeo.

  9. Andreas Kuckartz says:

    Another additon to the list:

    Chaos Computer Club e.V. (CCC)
    provides a Jabber service:

  10. Peter Schwindt says:

    Andreas: Your request to having Chaos Computer Club (CCC) listed is simply wrong, is open to anyone succeding in registering an account.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>