[Standards] Labeling Roster Items

anders conbere aconbere at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 02:34:58 UTC 2008

I think that we've seen some fairly convincing examples of how
labeling or tagging can reduce the complexity of grouping sets of
data, in particular when it might be difficult to assign the data
items into only on individual group. Some big uses of tagging as the
primary form of grouping includes gmail, delicious, and flickr.
However in XMPP our roster grouping are still relegated to binning or
boxing (an item in a group exists in one and only one group). But
roster items aren't simple data types, they represent our
relationships with people! and people often don't belong to just one
group. Rather the people in our lives often belong to many different
intersecting groups (my good friend caleb, is both part of the
programmers in my life, and my close friends, and my child hood
friends, and the people I play soccer with, and climbing). There
doesn't seem to be an technical limitation in creating tags or labels
for XMPP roster items, there are some questions to be answered about
how to store the relations, and what semantics to use when querying
them, but these aren't insurmountable.

as an initial reference for XEP's that look / act similar there is

    * MetaContacts - http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0209.html
    * Annotations - http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0145.html

My only worry is that both of these use the Storage protocol, and I
question how easy it would be to form queries like 'retrieve me all
the users with tags "X" and "Y"' Which might be out of band for this
XEP but I suspect that queries like that might be powerful.

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