[Standards-JIG] Re: jabber forwarding

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Thu Feb 26 16:33:31 UTC 2004

(I found a bit old thread from the g.n.j.standards-jig newsgroup. I Think it 
is still valid, and I have some comments and questions.)

Robert Norris wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 11, 2003 at 02:50:06PM -0600, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
>> So, when are we going to define "jabber forwarding" -- the ability to
>> have message sent to one of my accounts temporarily or permanently
>> forwarded to another of my accounts? Any thoughts on how that should
>> work? Inquiring minds want to know.... ;-)

> What other possible uses of this sort of thing can people think of?

I belong to IKI. Here is info from http://www.iki.fi :
"English summary: The Internet Users Forever IKI is a society that provides
its members, private individuals in Finland, permanent iki.fi-addresses
with e-mail and WWW forwarding services (IKI does not host the web pages,
it just forwards the addresses).
    This allows our members to keep the same personal identity should the
actual location or ISP of their e-mail or www homepages change."

Some people have recently discussed if IKI could provide a jabber service.
Natural way to do it would be some kind of forwarding, because IKI tries to
manage with as little resources as possible.

As far as I have understood by looking at documentation a www/http-like
redirecting is not possible. I.e. a server cannot say "this address
X at jabber.somewhere.not is not here in server jabber.somewhere.not, it is
really Y at jabber.somewhereelse.not". That would be permanent forwarding to
another account, if the requesting server then would translate all of it's
client's requests for X at jabber.somewhere.not to Y at jabber.somewhereelse.not.
(The idea of jabber is that client doesn't have to know about details but
servers should manage them, so the client shouldn't know about forwarding -
that would be unlike www-redirecting even though it would be possible.)

The closest equivalent which I could find was <redirect/> error stanza from
draft-ietf-xmpp-core-22 document, but it probably would require all
messages being redirected one by one when they come - that would be like
email forwarding. That would not give any reason for using redirecting
instead of the real service if resources are considered. And additionally,
if it is server's purpose to redirect, then it is not an error at all, and
other servers do not need to know about redirecting. What does that
<redirect/> mean anyways?

From Administration Guide I read that hardware or bandwidth requirements are 
not big for running a real server. But running a complete service would make 
administration harder - you have to choose the services, update them 
regularly (especially gateways for proprietary protocols, I think) and users 
would be tied to your decisions. IKI's administration is voluntary based so 
any extra work is bad.

I would like to know if I have understood these things right. Maybe the main
point is if any kind of forwarding, relaying or redirecting to lessen the
load of the server, it's network load and administrational work is possible 
according to standards. The real-world implementation in server level is of 
course the next step, but it does not belong here.

Eeli Kaikkonen

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