[Standards] Whiteboard XEP, Gajim and GSoC2008

Joonas Govenius joonas.govenius at gmail.com
Sun Mar 2 23:15:56 UTC 2008

Hi Mateusz,

Mateusz Biliński wrote:
> * there were a few attempts to build a specification. I list them
> below in the order (I think) they've appeared:
> The oldest (last update:2001) approach to specify a standard for
> whiteboard (I don't suppose this is used. but I'm not sure):
> http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/whiteboard2.html
I believe the authors of the proto-XEP still use something based on it.
> XEP-0113: Simple Whiteboarding (this one's deferred)
> http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0113.html
> An SVG Based Whiteboard Format (this could be used with the next one
> -sxde - to build a standarized whiteboard?):
> http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/whiteboard.html
Correct. This just defines how the whiteboard should be represented in XML.

However, no one actually uses this particular format at the moment. The 
only implementation that uses SXE (Psi) uses a regular SVG 1.1 document 
right now (no pages, etc).
> Shared XML Document Editing (a generalized approach, I suppose this
> one was substituted by the next one):
> http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/sxde.html
> Shared XML Editing (This is by far the most recent approach - this is
> going to a fundamental standard for all applications of shared XML
> editing. This is the one that team is currently working on.):
> http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/sxe.html
It's the most recent approach and Psi currently implements this version 
almost exactly except for the negotiation part, which doesn't yet use 

It _could_ serve as the fundamental protocol for all applications that 
need to share an XML document. However, so far the Council hasn't 
accepted any of the proto-XEPs so who knows what _will_ happen...
> * stated above there are two types of discussions around:
>   - whether the 'shared XML editing' isn't too generalized approach
> for whiteboard (but AFAIK this SXE would only be a common _base part_
> for all    applications that would use shared editing - or am I
> wrong?)
>   - how to solve concurrency problems, especially when users attempt
> to edit the same object in parallel
> I think this would be it. Maybe I have missed something - if so,
> please point this out.
> Finally here are my two questions:
> - what is currently _the best way_ to implement whiteboard (in this
> case in Gajim). Should it be based on SX(D)E? Or maybe it should be
> based on currently working implementations in other clients so that it
> could interoperate with them? (I guess the first one is more sensible
> in current situation)
> - what are the chances that this project will be chosen by XSF for
> GSoC2008. What I am worried about is whether currently there is any
> sense in implementing this if there is no official specification for
> whiteboard. What I mean is that I would really like to do this, but
> what is XSF opinion about this.
> My current proposal would be to implement SX(D)E in Gajim as
> whiteboard and point out pitfalls that I fall in to during coding
> which could help build a specification draft. But I suppose Jonnas
> Govenius is working on this in Psi, so this falls back again to the
> question: is this project sensible for GSoC in XSF opinion.
I suppose these last questions are a little off topic for the list but 
I'm very curious about the answers myself. In fact, I'd like to work on 
this stuff again for GSoC but I have a feeling the Council will want to 
give the chance to someone new (like you!)...


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