[Foundation] JEP expiration dates

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Wed Sep 19 23:08:16 CDT 2001

OK, we need to put our heads together here...

In today's online conference of Foundation members (log available at
we discussed the desirability of placing an expiration date on some or all
Jabber Enhancement Proposals. The motivation for this discussion is the
sad fate of the User Avatars JEP
(http://foundation.jabber.org/jeps/jep-0008.html), which is stuck before
the Council right now (see http://mailman.jabber.org/pipermail/council/
for the discussions). Part of the perceived problem with the avatars JEP
is that the proposed protocol extension is a bit of a hack (using <x/>
tags inside all presence packets) and we wouldn't do it that way if we had
live browsing or a good pub/sub system. However, we don't have either of
those we won't for a while, so we need a common protocol in the interim.
One point that came out of the discussion (again, see the log) is the
possibility of putting an expiration date on JEPs like this, or even on
all JEPs. There are two options here:

1. Hard expiration dates -- and require that the JEP come up
for review on a regular basis (e.g., every six months) and be re-affirmed
by the Jabber Council at that time for another six months or whatever. I
call this the "sunset law" version -- protocols (or some of them, anyway)  
are automatically obsoleted if they are not re-affirmed by the Council on 
a set schedule.

2. Soft expiration dates -- the proposed protocol is accepted as a
temporary solution, with the proviso that once such-and-such is in place
(e.g., live browsing or a pub/sub system) then the protocol needs to be
re-evaluated and an effort needs to be made to come up with a replacement
protocol, thus obsoleting the temporary one.

Which of these options do y'all think is more workable? Is there a third
way around this? Is this not even a problem? Your feedback is welcome.


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

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