[standards-jig] Future Client Expectations

Thomas Muldowney temas at box5.net
Wed Apr 3 04:58:46 UTC 2002

As I've stated many times I'm currently looking at the XML Encryption
Standard, XML Digital Signature, XKMS, XForms, and a bunch of the other
w3 XML standards that pertain to Jabber.  After chatting with Ryan
Eatmon for a while we started to ponder on a hard topic, what are the
future expectations of our clients?

The original design philosophy for clients was to keep them as simple as
possible.  This included what they had to handle as well as the protocol
that they had to interact with.  Recently, the computer industry has
found it necessary to only have a few apps that handle tons of things,
or as Ryan puts it, the Craftsman 10 in 1 wrench.  No body seems to care
about the single wrench anymore, with slightly different handles or
slightly different spacings.  Just take a look at the web browser, it
does everything =)  So I'm wondering where we're headed in the Jabber
world.  As I look at the w3 specs we see heavy namespace, schema and
XPath usage, and really, that's just the tip of the iceberg.  I'm not
saying these are bad, they are definately interesting and have their own
merits, but they are by no means the simple protocol and handling we
used to love for our clients.

So my question is, how much would people accept in our new protocol
extensions?  Can we start to incorporate XPath safely (I doubt it),
Namespaces (no the server can't handle them well), other things
(XPointer, XInclude, etc).  Where do we draw the line?  What are our
current goals for clients?  What are our future goals?  I'm really
interested in everyones opinions, and hopefully we can start to form
some sort of doc outlining what protocols should keep in mind in
relation to clients from this.


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