[standards-jig] Genicons/Emoticons

Adam Theo theo at theoretic.com
Wed Jul 17 19:37:56 UTC 2002

Hello, everyone.

Saint Peter has graciously edited and posted my Genicons/Emoticons work 
into a JEP. I am now seeking feedback on the matter to try and get it 
through the Council and out of my head. I don't like the topic of 
Emoticons, but I realize they are a major issue with newbie IM users, so 
I went ahead and did it since it seemed it wasn't about to be "done 
right", IMO.

Genicons is the term I'm coining for the broader family of icons and 
pictures. It includes ASCII Art, emoticons, graphical icons of roses and 
hearts, etc. This JEP covers and assumes only graphical icons like what 
are popular in Yahoo and MSN IM clients.

In short, my specification, JEP 0038 
[http://www.jabber.org/jeps/jep-0038.html], allows Jabber IM users to 
create and define their own "genicons", package them into "icon styles", 
and distribute and share these styles among friends or whoever else, 
just like skins or themes for other customizable applications. Any 
client that supports this packaging and definition format can 
automatically allow users to apply existing styles, no matter the 
platform the client is on.

These icons would simply be defined relationships between graphic and 
sound files, and text strings that would be recognized by clients to 
"create" those graphic or sound files. At no point are the graphics or 
sounds transferred in-band or along with Jabber. External data is not 
used to recognize or create the icons.

This is a major boost over competing IM systems, one of the few end-user 
areas where Jabber can come out on top. Allowing users to create and 
trade skins is a very attractive feature for many end-users, and one of 
those little features that could go a long way to make Jabber look even 
cooler than the competition.

Are there any thoughts or problems with this JEP so far? Feel free to 
critique it as much as you want, I want to get it finalized ASAP.

I understand that the rival convention of using XHTML or Jabber's X-tags 
in-line with messages to signify the icons is still being discussed in 
the background. Perhaps the people interested in such a convention could 
get with me and we could help each other out. I seriously doubt I could 
bring my convention to use XHTML or X-tags, but I would like to help put 
the ideas together so the two of them could go before the Jabber Council 
at the same time.

Thanks, all :)

     /\  Adam Theo, Age 23, Tallahassee FL USA
    //\\   Email & Jabber: theo at theoretic.com
   //  \\  (Boycotting AOL, therefore no AIM or ICQ)
//  ||  \\  Theoretic Solutions: http://www.theoretic.com
     ||         "Building Ideas by Bringing them Together"
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     ||         "The Next Generation Communications Protocol"
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