[jdev] Embedding a XMPP stream within an IMAP stream, thoughts?

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Fri Jun 18 05:32:39 CDT 2010

On Thu Jun 17 03:07:14 2010, Bruce Campbell wrote:
> This is an odd idea that I'm mulling over as part of the creation  
> of a user interface (email and IM) within a limited  
> connectivity-but-controlled environment.  Essentially, creating  
> connections is expensive, and both IMAP and XMPP user credentials  
> are the same.  Think BOSH within a pre-existing IMAP stream.
I thought about that, and then went for a long walk and thought happy  
thoughts until the headache and shaking went away again.

The thing is, I can't think of an environment where the overhead of  
setting up a new XMPP session to the level where it's authenticated  
would be sufficiently costly as to define an entirely new connection  

You'd be best off considering the other way around, in fact, not that  
that's any less of an abomination.

A least abomination method for this would be to have a new protocol  
which acted as a multiplex and single authenticator, and then you  
could have that use proxy-auth to handle the connect/authenticate  
cycles of both IMAP and XMPP (and others).

> So far I've got a set of draft notes which amount to creating a new  
> IMAP capability 'XMPP', a group of client subcommands to control  
> XMPP connection/disconnection/multiple identities/sending stanzas,  
> and the facility for the server to send arbitary stanzas via  
> untagged responses, along with various protocol handwaving to keep  
> things nice and neat.
Did you say "nice"? And "neat"? Was this really in the same sentence  
as the rest, which I can't quite bring myself to repeat?

> Any thoughts on the concept and suggestions as to whether to raise  
> this as a XEP here or within the appropriate IETF group (Lemonade I  
> believe) ?
Lemonade has shut down; it'd be an independent draft thought the  
IETF. We have no capabaility within the XSF to adequately review an  
IMAP extension, whereas the IETF do have people versed in both IMAP  
and XMPP.

I'll particularly enjoy Mark Crispin's response to this, although he  
may initially congratulate you on an excellent, if early, April 1st  

FWIW, Lemonade was faced with several suggestions on how to obviate  
the need for a second connection for submission, however none were  
ever met with much enthusiasm, either because it'd mean retooling  
Submission to be an IMAP extension, and duplicating the existing  
SMTP-based protocol, or - in similar cases to this - tunelling SMTP  
through IMAP was seen as a substantial amount of complexity as well  
as appallingly ugly.

I don't think this will be met with much enthusiasm either.

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
  - acap://acap.dave.cridland.net/byowner/user/dwd/bookmarks/
  - http://dave.cridland.net/
Infotrope Polymer - ACAP, IMAP, ESMTP, and Lemonade

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