[standards-jig] WebPresence

Michael Brown michael at aurora.gen.nz
Fri Nov 1 13:54:10 UTC 2002

> Hi, these are my observations about the JEP

Thanks for the feedback...  Replies inline.

> > 3.2 Web Side
> Why restrict it to just PNG images?, some users will not be able to view
> not everybody will be running the latest web browsers, most might but not
> all.

I'm fairly agnostic when it comes to images formats.  I chose PNG for the
example since it doesn't have the patent/IP baggage that GIF does.  JPEG
would be an alternative I guess....if you don't mind doing JPEG compression
on 16x16 images.

> > 3.3 Server Side
> > As part of a Jabber server install, the WebPresence agent should be
> installed and configured. The webserver component of the agent
> > listens on port 80 of the server machine. Each time the cgi script is
> called, the script checks to see if the specified user has subscribed
> > to the WebPresence agent, and returns the appropriate response.
> The presence component doesnt have to serve the web requests itself and
> it shouldnt, all the jabber webpresence component should do is process
> interaction with the jabber system and save the presences into a database,
> which can then be read by a PHP, Perl, or whatever script people want to
> use, this allows much more personalisation for the provider, and will
> existing technology properly, why do we have to write a webserver into the
> component, whats the point when we already have apache.

There is a reason for this (I think).  I want it to be extremely easy for
people building entry-level webpages to take advantage of this standard.
The whole idea is to make this (at least in its simplest format) as easy as
including a graphic on your webpage.  Many people don't have
access/skills/interest to run PHP or Perl to do one simple task, so this is
better to be done on the server.  If I want add a presence indicator to my
email sig, how do I do that that with PHP or Perl?

Let's take a leaf out of ICQ's book here - check the link in the JEP to see
how easy it is for people to include the ICQ indicators on their
webpage/email sig etc.

Of course I am quite happy if you want to extend this to also provide a more
comprehensive database that can be queried via scripts..

> > 6.5 Server Load
> > Although no where near as much as a regular webserver, an additional
> (bandwidth, CPU, TCP connections) will be placed on
> > the Jabber server, as it has to supply images and text output for
> as they are loaded.
> It doesnt have to run on the jabber server itself so this will most likely
> not really be a problem, and in practice I expect people would add it to
> their existing web server anyway, not their jabber server.

Sure.  Provided the domain is the same as the one in the JID this works.

> > 6.6 Server Dependency
> > In cases where Jabber server admins are unwilling or unable to run a
> WebPresence agent, it means that there is no way that the users
> > can make presence information available on the web. It also means that
> webpages that are written with the assumption that all servers
> > provide a WebPresence agent will display missing file icons in place of
> the Jabber status icons.
> This doesnt make sense to me, since using the presence subscription model
> indicate you wish to subscribe to the presence indicator means you can
> subscribe to an indicator on a completely different server, so infact
> is no requirement to run a presence indicator service yourself, you could
> even refer to someone elses in your agents list (after getting permission
> from the provider of course :) ).

There is a problem with this.  If I assume that the Jabber server is also
the "WebPresence server", then in order to get the presence, I only have to
know the users JID.  If I have to access a third party server in order to
get this information, then I need to put a process in place to determine
that servers details - that gets complicated fast...

> Richard
> P.S. I already have a component that performs this functionality in a
> similar way which displays my basic presence on my website.
> Although it is not available at the moment pending an Apache and PHP
> of my server tonight.

I think I have looked at it in the past, but it was a web-side script rather
than a Jabber server script like I am advocating here.


> ----- Original Message -----
> > I have put up a draft JEP for WebPresence on Yabber.org.
> >
> > http://www.yabber.org/jep/webpresence/webpresence.xml
> >
> > The aim is to define a standard way for Jabber status information to be
> > represented on web pages etc.
> >
> > I am not much of a webmaster or CGI guru myself so I am looking for some
> > peer-review of this document.  If anyone wants to offer to rewrite it or
> > offer an alternative proposal please speak up.  I would also be
> > in anyone who was willing to write a reference implementation (it
> shouldn't
> > be that hard).  I think there is a large demand for this to be
> standardized,
> > so I would like to get it formalized as soon as we can.
> >
> > Michael.

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