[standards-jig] Invisibility Support in Jabber

Ben Schumacher ben at blahr.com
Fri Aug 9 01:06:23 UTC 2002

I sitting here reading the mailing lists today, and it occurred
to me that there hasn't been nearly enough controvesy on the
Jabber-related mailing lists lately, so I've decided to step up and cause

Here's the deal. I'd like to propose a new type of presence packet for the
XMPP protocol. I fully expect to hear a lot of backlash from everybody
with regard to the suggestion, but I think it will add value to the
protocol. (Please send all flames off-list to ben-devnull at blahr.com.)

That being said, let me first reference the discussion I had in the JDEV
conference room earlier today about this issue:

It starts at about 15:38. (Side note: Boy, it'd sure be nice if there were
anchors every minute when the room is active in those logs. It'd make it
much easier to link to. 8^P)

Basically, consider the following situation.

1) I come online as "invisible."
      <presence type='invisible'/>

2) I send directed presence of visible to user "a", "c" and "e".
      <presence to='a at server.com' type='visible'/>
      <presence to='c at server.com' type='visible'/>
      <presence to='e at server.com' type='visible'/>

3) I change my status to away, the server tracks that I'm only
   visible to "a", "c" and "e" and forwards my presence update
   to only those users.

4) I change my status back to available, again the server tracks
   that I'm only visible to "a", "c" and "e" and forwards my
   presence update to only those users.

5) I decide I want to be visible to all users on my roster, so I
   send a visible presence out.
      <presence type='visible'/>

I hope that explains the reason why. I don't think using 'available' is
appropriate, because it technically isn't part of the protocol (see the
IETF docs, at http://jabber.org/ietf/), and you're actually changing your
availablity in this situation anyhow, you are changing your visibility.

While I understand that people won't like this idea, cause it complicates
presence even more, it adds value and doesn't do anything with presence
that shouldn't be done by presence. I, personally, agree with the general
sentiment that presence is overloaded, but I think this is a result of
subscription being tied to presence.

Anyway. That's my suggestion, let the games (flames?) begin!


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