[Standards] UPDATED: XEP-0201 (Best Practices for Message Threads)

Jérôme Carretero zougloub at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 18:41:37 UTC 2008

On Thu, 30 Aug 2007 21:36:05 -0500 (CDT)
XMPP Extensions Editor <editor at xmpp.org> wrote:

> Version 0.4 of XEP-0201 (Best Practices for Message Threads) has been released.
> [...]
> URL: http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0201.html

Hi all,

I have a suggestion concerning message threading.

My point is to enable tree-based jabber clients for MUC.
This would require a simple way to make nodes containing the messages of a thread.
See [1] for an example ...

In order to do that, first, I thought about thread ids with a variable length (like origin-subthread-subthread-...) but that's definitely not good.

But extending XEP-0201 with an element can work.
I'll talk about that in a few lines.

The XEP-0201 talks about using UUIDs for thread identification ; I think it should be wise to precise that it's time-based UUIDs.
Time-based UUIDs can be sorted by date.
I don't think that giving one's MAC address can be a security threat on the internet, but some people here are looking at potential breaches so I mention it.

I also think that relying on a thread hierarchy (ie. using a <thread parent="parent.UUID">UUID</thread> than using only the "in reply to" field is semantically more correct, in the sense that when you reply to a message, you could either be in the same topic (same thread + in-reply-to), or deliberately derivate (new thread plus parent information).
Clients who don't care would ignore the "parent" attribute and use "classical" (just like e-mail) threading and lose some information.

Links :
 [1] pseudo-screenshot of an imaginary "tree" client : http://cj.is-a-geek.org/XEP-0201.png 
  *  uuid rfc : http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4122#section-4.2.2
  *  uuidgen manual : http://gentoo.zapto.org/man/uuidgen


Jérôme Carretero
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