[standards-jig] Avatars

Ralph Meijer jabber.org at ralphm.ik.nu
Tue May 6 07:05:12 UTC 2003

On Tue, May 06, 2003 at 02:32:21AM +0200, Sebastiaan Deckers wrote:
> ... snip ...
> And why is avatar information not part of your presence?
> Well what exactly *is* part of your presence?  Only the old 
> priority/status/mode?  Of course not.  That's naive, right?

In my view, we need to keep in mind possible ways in which jabber is going
to be used by clients. One of them is mobile clients. If we stuff the
presence stanza with data that is not directly related to presence, this
means overhead. More bytes for clients that possibly can't handle the
extension because mobile clients should have a small footprint. Also,
using pay-for-traffic mobile subscriptions, like GPRS, are pretty expensive,
so you'd want to minimize the traffic to what the client can actually use.

Having presence stanzas as 'clean' as possible is a good way to achieve that.

> Avatars are very much like the status message in a person's presence.
> They both change independantly from the other presence information.

Status information does not change independently of presence, it is part of
presence. If I go to lunch, my presence changes to 'available, xa', status

An avatar is an image representing my identity. When I change presence, because
I have walked away from my desk, my avatar will probably not change, like
you said. The idependentness (is that a word?) of it is my argument for not
having avatars in presence packets. The same goes for 'mood', currently playing
songs (a la gabber), physical location, etc.

Keep in mind that this information is sent to everyone in your roster. If
you have 200 people in your roster, the information is thus sent out that
many times.

A good example of something that MIGHT belong in the presence stanza is
the signing of the information. It says something about the presence. One
could argue that not everybody needs/wants/can handle this information, too,

> So the question is, how much can we throw out of <presence> ?  Presence 
> is just another pubsub scheme, albeit hardwired into the Jabber protocol.
> Are we not willing and/or able to change to the <presence> protocol?  
> Well then fuck the presence protocol, let's use pubsub for everything.
> All we need is addressing, messaging, storage, and pubsub.  Right?
> Food for thought.

This has been discussed on several occasion in the past. Sure, presence
is a specific kind of pubsub, but so is conferencing.

> Well I have not gone crazy.
> What I'm saying is: don't use pubsub just because you can.  It's not 
> always the best idea to break compatibility.

Pubsub doesn't break compatibility. And to give a counter point, why
use a seemingly unrelated vessel like the presence stanza for conveying
information just because you can without thinking about the it might turn
out? Gabber has a (experimental) feature that sends the currently playing
song in XMMS. That changes every 3/4 minutes. At one point, when I was
using it, people began asking me why I came online so much...

> I'm all for progress, but let's not forget that we have actual people 
> using existing software in real situations.
> If we are going to rewrite a lot of code and specs, atleast make sure we 
> don't break anything.

Sure, but if you write code that depends on experimental specs, you can
expect breakage. It's part of the game of (very) early adopting. It's like
writing code that depends on libraries that have no frozen API yet.



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