[Council] VOTE: JEP-0013 (POP3 Handling of Offline Messages)

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Wed Jan 16 11:36:02 CST 2002

OK, now the fun begins. I have received a standards-track JEP for more
advanced handling of offline messages, similar to POP3 handling of email
messages rather than the current Jabber model of receiving all messages at

This JEP proposes the addition of two namespaces: 'jcs:offline:pop' for IQ
gets and replies between the client and the server, and 'xdbid:uid' for
the storage, retrieval, and removal of messages stored in XDB. Note that
neither of these proposed namespaces begins with the 'jabber:' prefix. So
assuming that this JEP is accepted as a draft protocol, it raises a
question about the naming of standard namespaces. Because this JEP
describes a working implementation that is supported both in a Jabber
server (the commercial one maintained by Jabber Inc.) and in Jabber
clients that are written to interact with that server, forcing a change to
the proposed namespaces would introduce non-trivial migration issues. On
the other hand, because the 'jabber:*' namespaces are reserved, a working
implementation could not have been created using (in this instance) a
namespace such as 'jabber:iq:offline:pop'. I see two solutions if this
JEP is accepted:

1. Accept the protocol changes with the proviso that the namespaces be
changed to begin with the 'jabber:' prefix, thus introducing migration
issues for the implementation (and, in my opinion, discouraging the
submission of future protocol enhancements).

2. Accept the protocol changes and add the proposed namespaces to a list
of accepted namespaces. Currently we do not have such a list, but creating
one and adding these namespaces to it would merely say (in this instance)
"if you want to do POP3-like handling of offline messages, this is the
accepted way to do it".

Personally I lean towards option #2 but I think it's important that we
have this discussion. Another option, mentioned to me by Dizzy, would be
to have developers provisionally request a 'jabber:*' namespace when they
are in design mode (concurrent with submitting a JEP) and "lease" that
namespace until the JEP is finalized and the implementation is created.
Unfortunately this would introduce uncertainties into the development
process ("what if our lease runs out and we have to change the namespace
to something other than 'jabber:*'"?), which again (IMHO) would discourage
the submission of protocol enhancements.

In any case, please vote +1, 0, or -1 (with reasons) to move this JEP
along the standards track from proposed to draft. The JEP is available at

As always, please reply to all so that the JEP author (Craig Kaes) may be
included in the discussion.


Peter Saint-Andre
email+jabber: stpeter at jabber.org
web: http://www.saint-andre.com/

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