[Standards] Community/MUCol proto-XEPs

James Tomson james.b.tomson at gmail.com
Fri Feb 16 21:25:57 UTC 2007

Hi all,

Our company is currently developing an IM solution specifically
designed for education, based on XMPP. In a nutshell, the IM client
will display all of the courses a user is enrolled in, and for each
course, a list of classmates including their roles (student,
instructor, teaching assistant, etc...). Users will have their
classmates pre-populated in their rosters and receive their presence,
without having to manually add them.

We have not found a satisfactory way to achieve this in a scalable
fashion using standard XMPP conventions, as we will potentially deal
with individual rosters of 1000+ contacts, with varying "roles" for
contacts within their groups (courses in our specific case). We are
investigating strategies to "offload" the processing of large rosters
onto external components that communicate with XMPP servers, similar
to MUC.

Toward this end, we would like to put forward a prototype XMPP
extension proposal that addresses our use cases in the more general
sense of "communities". Hopefully others looking to implement similar
systems will be able to interoperate with each other in the future,
and help us to determine if we're off-base in our approach and the
solution can be better addressed via other means (e.g. PubSub, which
we are investigating as well).

Our proto-XEP for "community" support can be found at:

Additionally we will have a software engineer from our company, Yann
Biancheri, at the upcoming FOSDEM 2007 conference in Brussels, Belgium
on Feb 24th & 25th, at and the XMPP DevCon on the 26th. He is very
anxious to discuss our proposals with anyone who is interested :)

As an aside, we are also looking to extend MUC in order to support the
concept of collaborative media in multi-user scenarios
(voip/video/appsharing/whiteboarding etc...), which my colleague
Hugues Pisapia has discussed previously on this mailing list. An
updated revision of this proto-XEP can be found at:

We look forward to any feedback, and don't forget to track down Yann
at FOSDEM or DevCon if you'd like to discuss these proposals (he may
even be buying drinks - so it's win-win!).


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