[jdev] web presence

Bart van Bragt jabber at vanbragt.com
Mon Mar 13 15:49:51 CST 2006

Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> It would be good if we had standardized methods for embedding presence
> information in web pages. For example, I'd like to be able to point to
> the following image file and have it show my presence:
> <img src='http://www.jabber.org/users/stpeter.png'/>
Yup, this certainly would be good :) Have been trying to find The 
Solution for this for a couple of years now :)

> Granted there are challenges here:
Indeed :) Which is why this approach is not the way to go IMO.

There are really two different scenarios here. First you have Aunt Tilly 
that wants to show her presence on her webpage about knitting. The 
approaches mentioned in this thread are usable for this. On the other 
hand we have websites/webapplications that want to show presence of 
users, for instance on a forum, in blog comments, auctions, basicly 
everywhere you see contact information on the net. This is a whole 
different ballgame because you have a LOT of parties that are interested 
in your presence.

<img src='http://www.jabber.org/users/stpeter.png'/>

is way too inflexible for that IMO. You can't just put

<img src='http://www.jabber.org/users/stpeter.png'/>

besides a blog comment if you know that the JID of this poster is 
stpeter at jabber.org because you don't want broken images if this jabber 
server doesn't support this and you don't want the ugly images that 
jabber.org is using :) Besides that this can get nasty if sites like 
slashdot.org include these icons in their comments :)

A solution for webapplications would be having a bot that the users
have to add to their roster. But do you want 20 bots on your roster for 
the 20 sites that want to display your presence?

It would be nicer if XMPP had a 'public presence' bit. You can tell your 
Jabber server to make your presence available to everyone who asks. This 
would enable slashdot.org to open an XMPP connection to Jabber.org and 
ask for the presence of the 20 Jabber.org users in some article (and 
cache this information for x minutes). This way slashdot can show an 
appropriate image or text, you don't have nasty scalability issues, 
we're not abusing HTTP and we offer everyone a lot of flexibility 
(you'll also be able to show your current status which is something that 
a lot of people will want to show too).

Aunt Tilly can go to www.prettyonlinepicture.com where she can find 
flashy presence indicators which she can add to her site with something 

<img src='http://www.prettyonlinepicture.com/balls_of_wool/aunttilly.png'/>

> Other IM systems have this and it's one of those cool features that end
> users really like. So what's holding us back? What's needed to make this
> happen?
The main problem is that Jabber is distributed. We can't have one server 
that has presence info for everyone on the network. Well, it's possible 
but it doesn't do justice to the decentralized nature of XMPP.

IMO using bots or tying the Jabber server directly to a www.server.com 
webserver are hacks, at the moment the XMPP/Jabber community is stil 
(relatively) flexible (agile if you will :D) so please let's solve this 


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