[Standards] Marking up messages with metadata and XEP-0071

Mel Adamaitis melissamatara at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 04:10:57 UTC 2015


In an XMPP IM client we are working on, it is necessary for mentions of
other users (for alerting, highlighting) to be based on a normalised user
identity, but displayed in a denormalized human-readable format.
Additionally, for a particular denormalized identity, there may be any
number of normalised identities. For example, user joe at example.com should
be mentioned as Joe Bloggs. The relationship between the normalized and
denormalized identities is known by the client authoring the message, and
must be transmitted with the message for appropriate display and behaviour
on the receiving end.



   Allow a denormalized username to show up as highlighted/special when
   displayed in the client-side, up to and including unique selection in the
   DOM (for JavaScript).

   Allow more than one denormalized username per message.

   Allow non-unique denormalized username displays.

   Continue to allow more text either before, after, or between mentions so
   that mentions can fit in with normal conversation flow.

Current Solution:

XEP-0071 allows for the <span> tag to have the following attributes: id,
class, name, and style. We could misappropriate these attributes and do
something like <span class=”user-mention” title=”#ID#”>John Smith</span>.
Complex data would have to be serialized somehow, and if you need to
genuinely use all of the standard attributes currently allowed, there are
none left to misappropriate.

Proposed Solution:

Update XEP-0071 to XHTML5 to allow the use of data-* attributes within

Does anyone see a flaw with this approach, or have an alternative
suggestion which meets the requirements and/or which is already in use for
similar functionality?
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