[Standards] Syncing legacy contact list

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Sun Jun 6 09:51:45 UTC 2010

On Sat Jun  5 20:23:05 2010, Guus der Kinderen wrote:
> That would work indeed. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having  
> to
> duplicate all legacy rosters in local persistent storage, but at  
> least this
> way, we can make the XEPs work properly.
> Should the XEP suggest how roster syncing should take place in more  
> detail
> than it does now?


Many years ago, before the dawn of time - okay, last summer - there  
was much enthusiastic discussion, as I recall, about the concept of a  
remote roster.

What this would do, in effect, is allow a remote fan-out of presence  
to a distinct roster membership, and that roster would be owned by  
the remote entity, and managed by it.

So, gateways would operate by "owning" the legacy contacts in the  
roster, and effectively the client treats it as a "sub-roster",  
incorporating it into the local display. Even cleverererer, the  
client can cache it using XEP-0237, manipulate it using RFC 3921 core  
commands, and really, the only "special" thing is that you'd have to  
send the controlling entity presence in order to have presence sent  
onward to those contacts. Of course, by placing the remote entity in  
your local server roster - the one you have now - this would happen  
anyway when you send presnece to *that* controlling entity - ie, your  
account, in your broadcast presence.

The entire sync issue then goes away, I think, and the interaction  
between client, server, and gateway looks a whole heap simpler to my  

My understanding is that at least some client and gateway developers  
are interested in playing about with some experimental code to see  
how this works out in practise, but it all sounds sane to me.

One interesting case is where the remote roster is not a gateway as  
such, simply an ordinary XMPP account that you've been granted access  
to, perhaps because you own them both...

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
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