[Social] Opera Unite: webserver in a browser

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Tue Jun 16 05:34:04 CDT 2009

On Tue Jun 16 08:32:39 2009, Dan Brickley wrote:
> I'm crossposting this to the XMPP Social list and the W3C SocialWeb  
> XG list, since the intro in http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/06/16/  
> has some interesting motivation re social network and data  
> portability, and I've lately been wondering about design decisions  
> where I'm setting up personal/domestic computing APIs and feel  
> drawn to XMPP rather than HTTP mainly due to NAT/Firewall traversal  
> issues: XMPP services on a laptop can be universally addressed,  
> unlike HTTP services. So I wanted to ask - is there a XEP spec for  
> proxying HTTP over XMPP? Would this be relevant to Opera Unite  
> scenarios such as the following?

http://xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/jingle-httpft.html describes a  
proposal for setting up HTTP over Jingle - by which I mean an HTTP  
session running on a transport negotiated using the Jingle protocol  
over XMPP.

I think something along those lines would be the most seamless,  
although the firewall traversal properties of existing transports  
aren't exactly great - there is, of course, always IBB, and when  
newer transports come along, it'd simply use them.

Alternately, you could write something that actually rewrote the HTTP  
requests into XMPP stanzas, for a more native-XMPP feel - so HTTP  
methods and header fields would become XML elements within stanzas.  
It would probably be more efficient, but I'm less than convinced it'd  
be worth the effort.

The tricky bit is that you need do proxy the HTTP somewhere, and have  
a way of transforming the HTTP URI into a jid and back again. I'd  
guess something like http://example.com/~username/ =>  
username at example.com would be the most obvious, but the tilde has  
i18n issues, so perhaps just http://example.com/username/ or maybe  
even have some way to allow clients to query what their external URI  
root looks like.

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
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