[Standards] XEP-0184: <received/> vs. <displayed/> vs. <read/>

Waqas Hussain waqas20 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 14:35:34 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 5:00 PM, Konstantin Kozlov <yagiza at yandex.ru> wrote:
> Peter Saint-Andre пишет:
>> This is my point: it is *impossible* for you to know if I have actually
>> read a message you have sent me (we discussed this in our IM chat the
>> other day). You can know if the message has been delivered to my client
>> (and this helps to determine if there are delivery problems along the
>> XMPP communication path). You can know if the message has been presented
>> in an interface that has focus. You can know if the message has been
>> marked-as-read. But you can't know if I have physically looked over all
>> the words of your message (or heard all the words in an interface for
>> the blind or whatever) and have conceptually absorbed what you have
>> written. Even if my client forces me to click some "OK" button to
>> acknowledge that I have read and understood each message, I'll just
>> click that each time to get rid of the annoying popup. You can't know if
>> I've read the message, so why pretend?

I fully agree with that. The XEP serves a useful purpose as
implemented currently in clients. Any definition of "read" wouldn't be
feasible and complete at the same time.

>   Well. According to my experience, based on knowledge of my behavior and
> behavior  of my friends, the fact that my message is not "new" anymore on
> the other side is enough to assume that user on the other side read it.

See XEP-0085: Chat State Notifications. That nicely solves the problem
of determining if the other side is paying attention to the

>   As for me, running chat application is for chatting. For reading and
> writing messages. I can't image a guy who just ignores messages from
> contacts in his contact list, just confirming without even reading them. At

If you can't imagine that, then you clearly aren't trying.

> least neither me nor any of my friends behave that way. What is he running
> his IM application for? If he don't want to read message from the specific
> contact, he can just put it into hist ignore list, and he will never receive
> any confirmation message. But, once again, confirming reading of the message
> without reading it actually sounds strange for me.

Not all conversations are equal. Much of it is background chatter, or
messages which don't actually require a response. It's quite
convenient following such conversations in a background window, or
through popups (toasts). I absolutely wouldn't want to have to
manually indicate my having read every message I receive.

>   If there are some people, who doing so, that's the problem of those
> people. Why other people should suffer because of them? Let's give to other
> people such ability, 'cause in the most cases it will be really useful.

XEP-0184: Message Receipts solves a very specific problem for me: It
lets me know my message got through, and wasn't swallowed by a network
issue or server crash. All clients implementing the XEP do let me be
sure of this. Changing this existing behavior would awkward, error
prone, and of limited utility: i.e., very unwelcome.

A lot of people are on wireless networks, or have otherwise turbulent
connections, or have servers which crash. This isn't a rare problem at
all. Your useful ability can be achieved through other means
(XEP-0085: Chat State Notifications). Don't force the rest of us to
suffer please.

Waqas Hussain

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