[standards-jig] Groups in the Roster

Iain Shigeoka iainshigeoka at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 15 18:08:53 UTC 2002

On 3/14/02 8:00 PM, "Dave" <dave at dave.tj> wrote:

> While we're on the topic of things to change for JNG, I'd like to
> propose a small change to the roster items: instead of having a
> seperate name and group, just have a single field which would work
> like a pathname, so "/Friends/Joe" would be Joe in the Friends group,
> while "/Friends/Close/Jim" would be a closer friend.  Since we're
> already allowing people to group their contacts under one level of
> directories, I see no reason not to expand the roster into a whole
> tree-like structure.  I'm totally open as to how we may want to

I've been thinking of rosters a bit lately too.  Is there really a need for
more roster levels like that.  I'm trying to think of the average user of IM
and can't see them needing to have sub-groups... Just having different
groups is enough to organize their contacts.  I'd think that subgroups would
only confuse people.  So my question would be, is this something that would
be better or worse from a useability standpoint?

Tree-like directories for finding users though would be nice (but that's
something like browse isn't it?).

> also open the door to shared roster groups, because you can have
> "/Plan9/" be an alias to some shared resource containing a whole
> roster.  (With the current roster architecture, that would be a
> little messy, especially if you want to be able to have shared roster
> groups within other groups, say "/Plan9/bell-labs.com/" and
> "/Plan9/att.com/" to represent two different shared groups, while
> "/Plan9/" could contain your personal contacts that belong in the
> same "group.")

Having shared rosters seems like an interesting idea.  I wonder if the same
couldn't be done with the roster <x> stuff.  Or perhaps would be better done
using something along the lines of groupchat.  I'm not trying to shoot down
the idea, just wondering if it couldn't be accomplished with existing
protocols.  Thoughts?

On a different note though, I have been thinking that it might be useful to
have a standard method for presenting different presence updates to
different roster groups rather than our current choice of send to all
contacts (server managed), or to each individual subscriber (client

I've been working with the Wireless-Village protocols
(www.wireless-village.org) and their rosters work this way.  The really
useful scenario for this is a "work" roster and a "friends" roster.  Often
your presence to these groups will often be different (typically opposite).
In other words, when you're available for work, you're usually not available
for friends, while you may always be available for family...


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