[JDEV] File Transfer Proposals

Tom Jackson tom at zmbh.com
Tue Feb 19 05:34:54 CST 2002

I must be a total idiot, so forgive my indignation. HTTP and FTP have a
nice advantage in that they can transfer any file type, binary or text.
The reason these protocols can do this it that someone designed them to
do it. Nothing precludes the XML standard from supporting binary data,
it is simply encoded and transfered. 

For those that suppose that transfering data through the server is bad
or slow or inefficient, please remember that in Jabber there is no
direct p2p connection. This is a feature! A single piece of software, a
single connection. If you can send a Jabber message to someone,  you
should be able to transfer a file to them without wondering if you are
behind a firewall or NAT.

Supposedly Jabber is an XML router. Routing is at a lower level than
proxying, and any time HTTP goes through more than one host, it is
through either a router or a proxy. To me the solution to file transfer
in Jabber should be found within the protocol, not is the grossly
misnamed OOB. HTTP and FTP are popular partially because they are self
promoting. If Jabber continues to rely on HTTP and eMail for
evangelizing itself, it is doomed to second class status. 
Jabber needs two things:

Native binary data transfers
URLs or URIs for persistent storage.

Seriously folks, name one protocol that can't transfer binary files,
somehow, someway.

--Tom Jackson

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