[standards-jig] Constraining standards? (was: Discussion on JEP-0016: Server-Based Privacy Rules)

Iain Shigeoka iainshigeoka at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 22 21:40:53 UTC 2002


On 1/22/02 10:42 AM, "Jacek Konieczny" <jajcus at bnet.pl> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 22, 2002 at 09:33:43AM -0800, Iain Shigeoka wrote:
>> How Clients configure blocking should also be out of the spec.
> I cannot agree with you.
> 
>>  It can be an
>> IQ extension but it should also be just as possible to support blocking but
>> provide all configuration using a web page, or other existing tools.  I
>> don't see why it must be through a standard Jabber IQ protocol (or however
>> it may be done).
> If it is not described in the standard we will get some clients, which
> allow blacklisting "only with XX server, version YY", and servers, which
> have client-side-configured blacklist, but only if you use XX client.
> This will break one of greate features of Jabber: whatever client you
> use, you can do the same --- use the same buddy-list, the same gateways
> etc.

You can still use the same clients to access the same features of Jabber.
These are specific server configuration issues that don't need to be
implemented on every server (or so was my impression from earlier posts).
So even if you create a Jabber server blocking standard there is still no
guarantee that any client can access any server and configure server-side
blocking... Some client and some servers won't support it.

So why not allow servers to implement their own blocking administration
interfaces as they see fit?  This is the way things are in the wooly world
of email and no one seems to have a problem with it.  Every email server has
a different way of configuring mail forwarding and spam blocking for
example.  Most use simple web forms to great effect.  I greatly fear that
the Jabber standards will be bloated with peripheral protocols that don't
offer significant benefits from standardization.

Is there real harm in having users setup their accounts using a web
interface?  If so what are they?

If we feel that we must have the ability to configure things like
server-side blocking using a Jabber standard, perhaps we would be better
served with a generic user account configuration protocol... Hey isn't that
jabber:iq:register with perhaps jabber:iq:forms?

Or maybe creating something like generic web <form/>s for obtaining and
submitting user editable information... Like maybe a jabber:x:forms or just
embedding html web pages into <message/> bodies.  At some point though we're
just re-inventing http over Jabber.  And that seems a bit silly when we
already have the web and a browser on every desktop.

Perhaps the best solution is simply a way to query for the web URLs of
server configuration forms that can either be displayed in an HTML-capable
Jabber client, or sent to the separate web browser?

-iain


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