[Standards] [Operators] Future of XMPP Re: The Google issue

Peter Waher Peter.Waher at clayster.com
Thu Dec 5 00:05:27 UTC 2013

Hello Dave

XEP-0322 (EXI) contains two methods of using EXI-compressed XML in pure binary form, i.e. not base-64 encoded. The first method contains a handshake mechanism where a normal XMPP session is converted to pure binary using EXI (including quick setup), and another mechanism which is EXI from the start, i.e. no text XML is sent/received.

The mention of base64 (or not) in this instance was referring to the way a schema-aware EXI encoder will strip off the base64 from values which are declared as such in the XML schema, as I understand things, such as a hypothetical attribute value here:

<foo attr='BLAHBLAHBL=='/>

the attribute here in base64 would not be in base64 in EXI serialization.

Feel free to correct me if I'm off the mark.

You're correct. EXI can work in two modes: "schema informed" and "schema uninformed". In the uninformed state, strings are stored as they occur (even though string tables can be used to avoid duplicate strings in a stream). In a schema informed grammar, the encoder and decoder knows how many possible characters are available for a specific attribute or value (i.e. type), and uses only the number of bits necessary to encode the characters. So, if a base-64 data type is used (and not xs:string) in the schema, only 6 bits/character will be used to store a character effectively reducing the overhead of the base-64 encoding in the first place. Interestingly, encoding binary as upper case hexadecimal only uses 4 bits/characters, using the same amount of total bits in the compressed stream as if the string would have been encoded using base-64 (etc.)

Best regards,
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