[standards-jig] Groups in the Roster

Ragavan S jabber_dev at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 15 23:31:55 UTC 2002

>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 
>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 
>only confuse people.  So my question would be, is this something that would
>be better or worse from a useability standpoint?

>From a pure usability standpoint, people (as in the average computer user) 
are pretty used to seeing tree-like structures on a GUI (Windows Explorer, 
for example). Even the buddy lists in most IMs resemble trees (though only 
one level deep). While I do agree that the average user may not have a need 
for sub-groups, I do see the use for this. One example, lets say you have 
devices as buddies. You may want to group each device (router, firewall 
etc)seperately and then within each device group, you may have geographic 
groupings(Americas, Asia/Pac etc) etc. So, I guess having the flexibility to 
have multiple levels is a good thing to have. While a simple IM aimed at the 
average user may only implement one level, the other sophisticated IMs will 
have the option of going to any levels.

>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 
>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?

Haven't yet read up on the roster <x> stuff (and a whole bunch of other 
JEPs) yet.

>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

Why just different roster groups? Why not different presence updates to 
different individuals AND the ability to use it for groups. Going with the 
example, you give below, I would like to have the ability to say: I want to 
be visible to everyone at work, except my boss :-), and I want to be 
invisible to everyone in my friends roster, except to my kid sister. So, I 
guess that kinda requires having the flexibility of setting presences to 
both individuals and to groups.

>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 
>for friends, while you may always be available for family...

Just thinking out loud,

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