[Standards] Proposed XMPP Extension: Nonzas (are not Stanzas)

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Fri Jun 5 07:36:14 UTC 2015

On 5 June 2015 at 07:24, Florian Schmaus <flo at geekplace.eu> wrote:

> On 04.06.2015 09:39, Kevin Smith wrote:
> > On 3 Jun 2015, at 16:02, XMPP Extensions Editor <editor at xmpp.org> wrote:
> >> http://xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/nonza.html
> > The definition here seems potentially useful. I would add a ‘generally’
> to 4 so that it becomes “...they are generally used in a more…”, so as not
> to be seen as prescriptive.
> Good point, going to change it.
> > None of the current nonzas are routed, but it doesn’t seem impossible
> that one might be in the future, and I don’t see a reason to forbid it
> here. Noting that they’re not expected to be routed seems useful and
> sufficient, to me.
> If you want to send something that is supposed to get routed, why
> wouldn't you use simply a Stanza instead? I consider it a security
> improvement if routing of Nonzas is explicitly forbidden.

I think the definition of a stanza is a routed top-level element, so an
extension that negotiated "routed Nonzas" is actually negotiating a new
stanza type. My reading of RFC 6120 seems to leave room for negotiating new
stanzas (and moreover, they needn't have the common attributes of §8.1).

However, I don't think that RFC 6120 actually defines what a stanza *is*.
Sending an unknown top-level element gives you an
<unsupported-stanza-type/> error, and it lists what stanzas it defines, and
talks a lot about them. But nowhere does it say, much to my surprise,
something like "Stanzas are first-child element of the stream that are
routable between XMPP entities addressable by jids".

This leaves this XEP in something of a quandry. It defines "Nonzas" as
non-stanzas, but since there's actually no definition of a stanza, so the
definition isn't defining much.

So what I'd like to see is that this document actually defines three terms,
not just one:

1) Stanza. I think we understand what this means. (We may disagree over
whether entities could add to the existing set, mind).

2) Nonza. I really hate the term, actually, even "Non-Stanza" or "Unstanza"
would be better, but this is a matter of taste rather than anything more.

3) Some convenient term of art for first child elements of the stream - ie,
the collective term for both Stanzas and Nonzas.

It might help to go further, and make this a glossary of the terms of art
we use, either providing canonical definitions or pointing to those defined

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