[Standards] Council on Stanza Repeaters without Multicast

Carlo v. Loesch CvL at mail.symlynX.com
Thu Apr 3 15:31:43 UTC 2008

Dave Cridland typeth:
| SMTP allows for multiple recipients for a given message, and I  
| believe that some servers do indeed collate these such to reduce DATA  
| commands, by identifying the potential for sharing domains, etc. I  
| have a vague feeling that zMailer is one such. Most just push per  
| domain.

Yes mailers do that. XEP-0033 is the equivalent behaviour in XMPP.
It's neither what I call 'smart unicast' as in Repeaters and
certainly not what 'multicast' stands for. You are completely off-track.

| Interestingly, we could do the same with XMPP with Repeaters, but I  
| suspect it's simply too complex to implement realistically, and we'll  
| end up with one Repeater per domain. Or per domain with more than N  
| targets, anyway. Where we don't yet know what N might usefully be.

No, XEP-0033 *is* equivalent to SMTP's cc: - Repeaters are a much more
advanced strategy. Regular SMTP has no such thing.

| > IRC has been doing multicast for decades, yes. Coming up with the
| > political issue of IRC not being like XMPP is completely besides the
| > point. Just because XMPP is better at mostly everything else, it
| > doesn't mean it doesn't have this one lesson left to learn from IRC.
| > 
| > Original IRC even *was* federated, but the database model didn't
| > allow for that to stay that way. That's why I started working
| > on the "next IRC" since the 1990 IRC War. You describe exactly the
| > point why I started designing PSYC. The difference is, I intended
| > not to throw away the one major achievement of IRC in the process.
| > 
| > 
| Yeah, IRC was federated back when everyone ran open relays for SMTP.  
| Its federation didn't scale, and wasn't secure.

Yes, that's why I started thinking about something better in 1990.
I understood there was no way for IRC to be 'fixed' because its design
is fundamentally flawed. XMPP is only syntactically flawed, which is
a much better starting point. And you can argue that's just my opinion.
That's ok. Still IRC does multicast, and XMPP is still missing that,
and Pedro is the kind of person who can see the impact of that each day.

| Yeah, because the obvious comment to make doesn't really promote your  
| argument, does it?

Because I didn't even understand what lead you to write that.
I never made a pro-oligarchy argument.

| NNTP and PSYC both operate on a closed heirarchical federation (PSYC  
| is more complex, overlaying multiple fedreation strategies). This  

Incorrect. PSYC is an open federation.

I was one of the server admins who did not agree with IRC becoming EFnet,
the closed network. We were subsequently insulted as "Anarchy-Net".
We never chose that name ourselves. I am an advocate of open federation
ever since 1990. I did go back to administration of regular IRCnet
servers when my university needed it, but politically I was not happy,
and even shut down the server as soon as it was technically not logical
to keep, because the backbone structure had changed. Anybody else would
probably have preferred to keep a "vanity IRCop" status. I didn't feel
attracted to that sort of kindergarten.

| uses prearranged uplinks in order to handle load. It's not the only  

Regular interserver PSYC protocol uses something like smart unicast
with any never before met hosts. That's a bit like Repeaters, only
it is deep in the routing layer. Yes, PSYC even has a layer distinction
between routing layer and end-to-end layer, making routing very slim
and efficient.

Only specific multicast junctions have manually configured uplinks.
That's an admin decision, like deciding whether your homepage is blue
or you allow for random people to register an account. It doesn't make
the server less federated, just less multicasting. You seem to under-
estimate how much thought went into PSYC in those 18 years since I
realized how broken IRC was. The whole federation plan was documented
on psyc.pages.de since 1995, even if my original plan also had a large
amount of P2P, that we have only experimentally played around with,
because it's a can of worms if you already provide interserver
federation and multicasting.

| although I can talk to anyone via these protocols, I need to  
| initially arrange to connect to the network. As a protocol increases  

And you are still comparing apples and pears. Probably because in your
imagination multicast cannot be separated from an oligarchic structure.
So I guess that is the spectacular mental achievement, that smart
distribution doesn't need to marry closed politics. 

| (Hence a newsfeed costs actual money. PSYC is, as yet, free).

You are hallucinating.  :)

| X.400 operates on a closed flat federation - anyone who I want to  
| send mail to via X.400 I need to prearrange with in advance, setting  

Alright, X.400 was already dead when I started using e-mail, so I
never even knew that. That's why I had no comment on that statement.

| up agreements. There's no spam on X.400, because the spammers would  
| have to arrange to exchange mail with their targets in advance.

Which considering the terrible failure of SMTP concerning spam
would have been a better choice for e-mail in the very long run.
Open federation doesn't have to exclude trust structures which allow
for solid spam protection, so we can see and implement the good in
both SMTP and X.400. Public newscasts and chatrooms need open

| There are other open flat protocols, too - although HTTP doesn't do  
| any meshing, the WWW as a whole is also an open flat federation. I  
| understand that the WWW is quite popular these days.

Yes, PSYC obviously mentions HTTP as a comparison when explaining
how it differs from IRC. PSYC is like a fully bi-directional HTTP
with added multicast routing and event subscription models. You
could easily rewrite HTTP as an extension to the PSYC syntax
and use that for websurfing instead of HTTP, since it has the same
binary data transparency and a more superset syntax to HTTP.
But then again PSYC is such a do-everything-thing, it's like XMPP,
which already is a do-everything-thing, but with added multicast
and without the no-transparent-file-transfer limitation.
In theory. In real life we don't surf the web over XMPP, and we
only surf PSYC's social network with web browsers over PSYC.

| Doubtless I'm just being political here, but I don't think that's a  
| baby I want to throw out with the bathwater.

No, you were simply lacking a bit of vision, but you gave me the
opportunity to elaborate on that. I hope you see clearer now.


And now to the less joyful part of Dave's posting. Warning to other
readers: From here on, signal-to-noise ratio drops dramatically.

| No, "is  superior" is opinion. "Results in fewer stanzas" is fact.  

Oh, so you are filing a formal complaint over argumentation style,
argueing that "is superior" is not an acceptable consequence out of
the "Results in fewer stanzas" that it means. So if you already know
what Fippo was intending, why do you complain for? This is nitpicky.
It's just an email, not an RFC wording.

| No, if a client specifies subscription state data in a roster-set,  
| it's ignored. There's plenty of other, more interesting, problems to  
| worry about.

It was one of the things thrown at us in the 'smart presence'
discussion. So that was not substantial you say. Interesting.

| Actually, no. Stating that any technical decision, if not in your  
| favour, must be politically motivated is a cheap argument to make,  

There was no technical decision. Read the council logs.

Either it was just disinterest, ignoring the existence of a problem,
or it was political. At first I thought it was political, now I think
it's the other. Nevermind, it's history. Let's not get into that again
and move forward with this.

| political pressure onto a technical decision. I cannot possibly  

Huh? I didn't even start talking about this. You started it. You
mean I am putting pressure on somebody because I have published an
opinion somewhere where hardly anyone even cares? Ridiculous.
As I see it you are pressuring me into changing my opinion on the
problems of XMPP or at least changing my websites not to air them.
Excuse me?

| decision, you've drastically lowered my opinion of you.


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