[Standards] presence priority -1 issues

Jack Moffitt jack at chesspark.com
Thu Jul 24 18:57:12 UTC 2008

At XMPP Summit 5 this past week it became clear that lots of people
are using or are planning to use presence priorities of -1 to allow
specialized clients access to various XMPP resources.  At Speeqe we do
this so that our MUC client doesn't steal private messages.  I believe
that Fritzy at Seesmic said that Twhirl would soon start doing this
now that they have XMPP support there for Identi.ca.

This has lead me to discover  some small usability problems.

It looks like the spec requires that users with presence priority -1
be shown as available, but I'm not sure if I'm missing something in
the spec or if it is just underspecced.

http://www.xmpp.org/rfcs/rfc3921.html#presence-resp-probes says that
the server must reply from all "available" resources, but it does not
say how this interacts with negative presence priorities.

The unwelcome side-effect of this is that if you are online only in
negative priority mode you show as available to all your contacts, but
you cannot receive any messages to the bare jid.  This is pretty
confusing for people trying to talk to you.

Is this a nuisance we have to live with?  Can a clarification be made
here?  Can the different server authors tell us what they have done in
this edge case?  Thoughts?


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