Turtledove adapts the Jabber instant messaging framework for use as a lightweight XML-oriented messaging middleware service used in a peer-to-peer distributed commerce application. Traditional e-commerce architectures have created either many isolated islands of closed interactions, frequently with one vendor or one purchaser; or wide-open collections of unrelated items, such as Ebay.
Turtledove uses a technologically distributed architecture to minimize technical dependence or political control of a single central marketplace, and uses the cross-platform and open source nature of Jabber and XML to allow wide participation and coordination without central control. The lack of a central organizing entity pushes responsibility for compliance with local laws regarding content or licensing to the transaction counterparties. The open business and technical architecture further allows participation by third
parties offering escrow, validation, payment, reputation, and dispute resolution services.