[Operators] Future of XMPP Re: The Google issue

Solomon Peachy pizza at shaftnet.org
Tue Dec 3 22:55:49 UTC 2013

On Tue, Dec 03, 2013 at 11:03:27PM +0100, Alexander Holler wrote:
> There are already chips around which can do wifi or hardwired IP by
> them self. No need for a complicated operating system whatever that
> might be. And no, I don't want to discuss the "OS" inside those
> chips, nor did I want to discuss about any OS or the necessary
> transport layers. Otherwise we could extend the discussion to the
> used materials too, e.g. if the capacitors are ready for industrial
> use or what happens in radioactive environments or ...

You make a fair point, but the weakness in it is that those hardwired 
ICs or devices have an extremely limited set of capabilities that are 
wholly inadequate for use on an untrusted global network.

> So you think it is an elegant way that if a machine wants to send 10
> binary bytes to another machine, it is ok to put them into mime64,
> pack that into XML, authorize and authenticate with an XMPP-server.
> doing the necessary presence stuff to finally send out a message or
> iq-stanza?

It sounds like your objection is to the use of XMPP more so than its use 
of XML.  If you don't want (or need) XMPP's feature set 
(discoverability, authentication, presence, security, etc) then why 
would you use it to begin with?  If you do need that feature set, then 
you're going to have to deal with the complexity those features 
necessarily entail.

Meanwhile, back on the XML front -- if those "ten binary bytes" need to 
go aross the public internet to unknown/unstable IP addresses and be 
secure from snooping or spoofing, then the added complexity of XML 
encoding is pretty minor once you have all the other parts in place.

Nevermind what happens when it's time to introduce a new message type 
or another argument to an existing type.  Are you absolutely sure you 
didn't break your parser in the process?  Does the old parser 
handle the new messages without errors?

> Thats why there were so few critical bugs in XML parsers.

And there been very few critical bugs in non-XML parsers, eh?  :)

> Anyway, I've learned that I shouldn't say something against lovely
> XMPP on these lovely lists. And I agree that XMPP solved every
> communication problem mankind could think about, otherwise I
> wouldn't have written a C++-XMPP-server. ;)

I don't understand where your sarcasm and defensiveness is coming from.  

XMPP, like any engineering effort, required tradeoffs between 
conflicting prinicples.  The gains from using XML as a transport layer 
vastly exceeded the downsides.  Over time, that tradeoff has only become 
more pronounced.

 - Solomon
Solomon Peachy        		       pizza at shaftnet dot org
Delray Beach, FL                          ^^ (email/xmpp) ^^
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
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