[Standards] XEP-0147: "?subscribe" or "?roster"

Georg Lukas georg at op-co.de
Tue Jun 7 04:11:43 UTC 2016


I want to expose an xmpp: URI of the user's account in my client to
allow easy "contact sharing" to other IM users. Fortunately, XMPP is
ultra flexible, allowing for any reasonable or potential usage form due
to its separation between "roster" and "presence subscription".

Now, as an IM application developer I need to decice whether I should
expose the query-less URI <xmpp:romeo at example.net> or one with an action:
<xmpp:romeo at example.net?subscribe> or <xmpp:romeo at example.net?roster>.

For the query-less URI there seems to be no actual definition (neither
RFC 5122 nor XEP-0147 nor registrar/querytypes.xml handle this case).

The "?roster" action is defined by XEP-0147 and allows specifying the
item name and group for the new item, however it does not mandate
actually issuing a subscription request.

The "?subscribe" action does almost the opposite: it performs roster
addition and issues a subscription request, but it does not allow
setting the name or group.

This leads to multiple questions:

1. Should we specify a more-or-less sane default action for query-less

2. Which one of the above forms should I use, ideally?

3. Which one of the above forms ensures the widest compatibility with
existing clients? (Compliance suite, anyone?)

4. Should we define yet another action type "?rostersubscribe" that
combines the name/group parameters of the former with the subscription
request of the latter?

5.  Or maybe just add the "name" and "group" parameters to "?subscribe",
as unknown parameters must be ignored by legacy clients anyway?


P.S: I've written down some thoughts on further roster maintenance
automation in https://wiki.xmpp.org/web/Easy_Roster_Invitations - I hope
to get some feedback on that raw draft, but I expect another query
parameter "authtoken" (or just "token") that I would like to add to
whatever action is the best to perform a roster+subscribe "action".
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