[Standards] roster schema

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Thu Jul 5 22:49:58 UTC 2007

I see we're still painting the bike shed here...

Tomasz Sterna wrote:
> Dnia 25-06-2007, pon o godzinie 09:52 -0600, Peter Saint-Andre
> napisał(a):
>> If we say that the length SHOULD NOT be more than XXXX characters
> I would rather phrase it, that the client MAY NOT expect server to
> handle names longer than XXXX characters.

The phrase "MAY NOT expect" is meaningless in a protocol specification.
A spec defines what the two entities in an exchange MUST, SHOULD, or
optionally MAY do. Expectations have nothing to do with it.

> If the server could handle and client knows it could handle, it could
> use longer names.

How does the client know? Shall we define a discoverable feature for
something so trivial? But we don't want RFC 3921 to depend on XEP-0030.
So it would need to be a stream feature or somesuch. Which seems really
silly to me.

>> It's not like this is completely subjective. Mostly I was thinking about
>> database storage of rosters. It would be helpful for server developers
>> to know that roster item handles and roster group names won't need to be
>> more than XXXX characters / octets / bytes long.
> This is not how modern databases work. Handling of variable length
> strings and fixed length strings works equally well.
> Actually it would be a pure waste of space to pre-allocate fixed string
> of 1023 characters to store 5.
> This is the server implementation detail.
> If server could handle it, why discourage it?
> And if server cannot (or does not want, by config option) to handle it,
> it should communicate it with well-defined error.
>> If it's a SHOULD then you have flexibility.
> "640KB SHOULD be enough for anyone."

We're talking about a handle for an IM contact or the name of a roster
group here, not the functioning of a complete operating system. Get some


Peter Saint-Andre
XMPP Standards Foundation

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