[Standards] Local User Discovery?

Sebastian M. lists at seb7.de
Sun Jul 6 15:18:36 UTC 2008

Hi List,

I wonder if there are any considerations in designing an XEP (draft)  
allowing the
discovery of local users (i.e. in the same subnet by broadcast)?

There is a application for the iPod/iPhone called iFobs searching for  
other iFobsusers on
the local network and allows chatting with them.
The reason I propose creating such a draft is that the iFobs  
application is not open
source and the protocol specification is not published by  
icloseby.com, the creator of
the application. This renders the application not usable on  
Linux-Laptops and other
mobile devices like the upcoming OpenMoko (and other smart phones, of  
Using XMPP would allow using all the featurs of Jabber/XMPP for local  
network purposes at
cafes, lectures and so on.

One major problem would be verifying the identity of another party  
while there is no
connection to the internet (=> the servers are not reachable).
One solution would be to utilize no verification of local users at  
all, identifying all
local users by something like "username at computername-or-ip", but  
allowing to advertise a
valid JID so user can try to contact each other after leaving their  
wireless network.

If a the internet can be reached verifiying local users should quite  
easy possible by
advetising valid JIDs and then using the servers to communicate.

In cases where both users use GnuPG to sign their messages and two  
users already know
each other cached keys can also be used to verify the identity of local users.

Well, what do you think of this proposal?

Greetings, Sebastian

Sebastian M.
Student of Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern.

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