[Standards] switching between BOSH and TCP?

Fabio Forno fabio.forno at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 21:19:54 UTC 2008

On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 9:45 PM, Alexander Gnauck <gnauck at ag-software.de> wrote:

>  I agree with Justin. And IMHO BOSH makes no sense on a mobile phone when
>  you have the ability to use TCP. It will also consume much more traffic
>  than a TCP connection.
>  BOSH is great for web clients where TCP is not possible. Or for networks
>  where you have access to the Internet only over HTTP proxies and HTTP
>  CONNECT is disabled in the proxy.

I'd agree if it were possible to have easy stanza acknowledgments and
fast stream reconnect with TCP sockets, which are implicit in BOSH.
Even if XEP-198 were stable and available biw, BOSH would have the
advantage of framing packets with HTTP headers telling the content
length[1]. In this way the state of the parser is minimal and we know
exactly if something is going wrong.
I never had the time to do tests about bandwidth, but my impression is
that the best solution for mobile would be this:
- frame each stanza with BOSH like headers encoded in a ASN.1 style
(token length, token type, value)
- encode XML again in a ASN.1 style
- compress, which would take away most of the added redundancy

This simplifies the parser, taking fewer cpu cycles, which can be
spent in compression, and it allows handling interruption in a trivial

Finally: I'd avoid doing premature optimizations that make the
protocol clumsy, before taking any decision I'd like to have somebody
presenting the figures for which compression is too heavy, or BOSH too
verbose, or I don't know...
My considerations above are just about the simplicity of the parser
and the ability of recovering from errors, but before asserting they
are good I'd like to do some traffic simulation.

[1] Another good side effect for mobiles: if a receive a packet whose
size is 10KB there are good chances it will kill the parser and the
client by filling its memory; a regular XML parser can't realize until
it's too late, a framed parser can skip the packet and send back an

Fabio Forno, Ph.D.
Bluendo srl http://www.bluendo.com
jabber id: ff at jabber.bluendo.com

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