[Standards] Binary data over XMPP

Rachel Blackman rcb at ceruleanstudios.com
Mon Nov 5 17:45:53 UTC 2007

On Nov 5, 2007, at 6:35 AM, Tomasz Sterna wrote:

> Dnia 05-11-2007, Pn o godzinie 12:51 +0100, Michal 'vorner' Vaner  
> pisze:
>> You probably can not do that with any reasonably out-of-the-box XML
>> parser.
> You cannot use out-of-the-box XML parser anyway.

You can too.

Expat (a fairly common XML parser out there) will do the job just  
fine.  Your network engine has to separate each stanza out, sure, but  
that's not hard.  And then you can pass each stanza unaltered through  
expat and get back your usual XML structures.  You would no longer be  
able to do that with binary blobs; you would have to special-case blob  
stanzas fairly heavily, since I guarantee you that if the characters  
'<' or '>' appear un-escaped in the binary blob, Expat will choke and  

I'm reasonably sure the same could be said of most other off-the-shelf  
XML parsers.

Sorry, but I'm with vorner on this one; the blob mechanism is neat,  
but too much of a departure from what we have to make it a smooth  
upgrade.  Changing stanza types and so on is one thing, but changing  
the entire parser -- and requiring people to literally re-invent the  
wheel and roll their own XML parsers -- is much less likely to be a  
friendly upgrade, or receive any sort of wide adoption.

If we really need a non-BASE64 method of sending binary data between  
clients, I suggest we re-use Jingle.  That already is a mechanism for  
negotiation of 'I want to send you this type of data, how do I get it  
to you?'  There's very few cases I can think of where we would want to  
be sending binary blobs in a server-cached manner anyway.

Rachel Blackman <rcb at ceruleanstudios.com>
Trillian Messenger - http://www.trillianastra.com/

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