[Standards] Whiteboard XEP, Gajim and GSoC2008

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Mon Mar 3 21:33:06 UTC 2008

Joonas Govenius wrote:
> Mateusz Biliński wrote:
>> * there were a few attempts to build a specification. I list them
>> below in the order (I think) they've appeared:
>> 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
> Correct.
>> 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
> Jingle.
> 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...

We had some discussion about this at the devcon last weekend. E.g. some
people were interested in extending SXE to be a generalized method for
synchronizing XML instances (e.g., for DOM events or whatever). The
conclusion we came to was that defining a protocol for what we called
"object synchronization" is hard (e.g., conflict resolution is a
difficult problem), but that it may be easier to define a protocol for
what we called "event stream synchronization" (just send the change
notices in order and let the receiving application figure it out). We
even went further and wondered whether any of this work is in scope for
XMPP and whether it makes sense for us to define an XML protocol for
every problem under the sun. They don't do that in the web world (e.g.,
there's no XHTML extension for whiteboarding or whatever), instead they
use technologies like JavaScript and Flash for applications that run on
top of HTTP+HTML.

I'm not quite sure what the implications of the devcon discussion are
for our work on SXE and whiteboarding, but it strikes me that there
would be consensus for something less ambitious (the XML eventing
protocol) rather than an advanced protocol for conflict resolution,
rollbacks, etc.

Perhaps others who were involved in the devcon discussion could chime in.


Peter Saint-Andre

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