[Standards-JIG] Extended user info updates (VCard+)

Richard Dobson richard at dobson-i.net
Thu Mar 17 12:53:34 UTC 2005

> At my university there has been some research about IM and privacy
> issues. Also other research (and day to day experience) shows that
> people are way too lazy to keep all this information up to date.

Is there any chance we can see a copy of this research?, it might just be 
that the particular group of people to surveyed were not a large enough or 
diverse enough sample to gain a clear view, because my experience of these 
issues is far different from yours, yes the interface needs to be nice and 
simple and quick to use (this is an implementation issue), im not saying 
everyone will use these features (of course not everyone will) but you seem 
to suggest no one will, which from my perspective and experience and totally 
false, I know for a fact that some people will definately make use of these 
features, and also from my experience the percentage will be quite high not 
just 0-5 percent as you have probably experienced to gain these sort of 
views on this subject, from my experience of the type of users I interact 
with it will be around the 40-60% range. These values will be different from 
person to person and the people they are in contact with.

> Besides
> that I don't really see where the current status message fits in with
> the new JEP, useractivity, etc. And where do you want to show all this
> information? 4 lines of text and icons for one contact in your roster
> sounds like overkill to me ;)

Yea but again thats your opinion/experience, the fact that several people 
want these types of functionalities (including someone from a major telco) 
suggests that not everyone shares your views, it need not be overkill, its 
all an issue of how you implement it into the user interface.

> One of the charms (IMO) of Jabber is the fact that it's a fairly simple,
> transparant protocol. Adding 5 ways to convey status/presence
> information mainly amounts to lots of confusion.

Again this is again an entirely implementation issue, the jabber protocol 
allows there to be very simple clients as well as more complex and feature 
complete clients, there is nothing about these specs that makes the core of 
jabber itself overly complex, these are entirely optional addons.

> so why would we add yet another way to
> make even more information available that (IMO) people are not going to
> use in day to day life?

Again you need to start listening to other people, just because your 
experience is different from others in regard to the demand for this type of 
functionality doesnt mean that they are wrong and you are right.

> I guess the main problem for me is that I don't see the
> distinction/added value of all the extended presence and it's relation
> to the 'normal' status message.

That does seem to be the issue, I would suggest that if you dont find it 
useful then dont use it, just stop trying to stop anyone from having this 
functionaility just because you dont think they need it, its not your place 
to deny them what they want to have, just let them have it. Thats the beauty 
of jabber it can be extended so it does everything everyone wants, but just 
because it has a feature its not forcing you into using it, I imagine the 
same arguments could be made for avatars as not being any real added value, 
but these are all fun little things that the end users like.

> People are already confused about the distinction between Free For Chat
> vs Online and Away vs Extended Away. Adding even more options (activity,
> mood, etc) is not going to help to make Jabber as a whole more usable.
> At least it isn't for Aunt Tilly ;) I know I don't want to press more
> than 2 buttons to change my 'status/presence', but maybe I'm just lazy :D

Then dont turn it on in your client, if these things really do make things 
harder to understand for average users then there is no reason the client 
couldnt have a simpler stripped down interface for those users, whereas the 
power users could have a more feature complete interface, most of these are 
again all matters of implementation, there is no reason at a 
protocol/functionaility level for users to become confused, its entirely in 
the relm of the client developer how they present the interface that either 
makes it confusing or not.


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