[Operators] Google status?

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Tue Aug 12 12:59:32 UTC 2014

On 12 August 2014 12:22, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:

> Can anybody comment on the current status of interop between Google
> (gmail.com) users and the rest of the world?

The only people who can definitively comment are Google.

Personally, I have a Prosody server and various clients like Jitsi and I
> understand they correctly implement XMPP.

If "they" means Google, then Google have never implemented XMPP in S2S.
They have only ever implemented the old Jabber protocols. So no TLS, for

I've noticed that gmail.com users appear in my buddy list but some of
> them haven't been receiving any chat messages while others are receiving
> the messages just fine.
Yes, Hangout instances appear via presence, but silently discard messages.
I understand that this is because the voice/video in Hangouts still
operates using XMPP, so they need the presence, but I'm not sure.

> This really appears to undermine the credibility of XMPP if a big
> provider is allowing messages to silently disappear.

Yes. A cynical person might suppose that by undermining a federated open
standard, this would help draw people into using Google's own walled-garden
proprietary product. A cynical person might also suggest that by making
statements to journalists which talk about vaguely-worded problems with the
federated open standard, and leaving a largely broken federation in place
rather than actively shutting it down, this would help undermine it.

Good news: Every argument Google used against XMPP also applies to internet

I noticed Google had created a Google+ profile for me, so I went to this
> page:
> https://plus.google.com/downgrade/

Yes. However you'll find that most Google services now require you to have
a profile in place. By way of example, while you can buy things on Google
Play without a profile, you cannot review or rate them.

> Should that make regular XMPP work again or does the other person have
> to do the same thing too perhaps?

It may or may not. It is entirely unclear, Google provide no documentation
or advice that I'm aware of. Happy to be proven wrong, though.

I am aware that signing in with an XMPP client is very different to using
the web interface, and also the web interfaces in Google+ and Gmail are
different in this respect too.

Good luck.

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