[Standards] Algorithms and XMPP

Stephan Maka stephan at spaceboyz.net
Sat Feb 27 20:08:41 UTC 2010

Waqas Hussain wrote:
> I propose that we start a small project to act as an aggregator for existing
> open source implementations which could be used as references. Once we have
> that going, an implementation selected for its readability could become the
> (official?) reference implementation.

I like this idea, as long as reference implementations are published
under a liberal (non-viral) license.

Still, I want to argue against it because I think the standard specs are
way more important.

> 1. It would save people writing new implementations hours and hours of
> guesswork

Guesswork means the standards miss detail.

> 2. It would make new implementations more interoperable, reducing the chance
> of mistakes

Not all implementers will fall back on the reference implementation,
leading to probably less interoperability experience.

> 3. It would make existing implementations more visible, improving the chance
> of mistakes being found and reported, and implementations being reused

Yes, given that feedback works.

> 4. For experimental XEPs this would give direct evidence of how simple or
> complex an algorithm is, what the edge cases are, and if it could be
> simplified without losing its important characteristics

Good point.

> In fact I wouldn’t mind it being required that any XEP moving beyond
> Experimental have implementations available for the algorithms it defines,
> under a permissive license.
> I’m hoping to not be the only one who sees this as a problem we should
> solve. What does everyone else think?

Alternative proposal: link to all (open) implementations out there, not
neccessarily reference implementations. That could improve interop as
well. As a bonus, hint on the used license.

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