[Standards] Easy XMPP

Georg Lukas georg at op-co.de
Tue Jun 7 15:04:25 UTC 2016

Hi folks,

in the last weeks we've seen that XMPP is too hard for the WhatsApp
generation. Instead of blaming them for not understanding federation, we
should make it as easy as possible to use XMPP (IM) in a secure fashion.

In the last days, I've collected some ideas on how to accomplish that
into a set of wiki pages (initially originating from discussions on xsf@
which I didn't want to lose).

Some of the ideas can be easily implemented already, other require minor
modifications or a bit of XEP work. After reflecting upon all these
things though I must say that I am surprised how much low-hanging fruit
we've ignored over the last decade or so, letting the Matrixes,
WhatsApps and Semaphores overtake us.

I think we can improve significantly for the XMPP IM use case (I have
not much expertise in other use cases), if we simplify the things that
can be simplified, make them consistent between clients, and give the
whole thing a catchy name like "Easy XMPP" or "Modern XMPP" or somesuch,
that will be applied to conforming implementations.

Many people come to XMPP because they want to chat to some existing XMPP
user.  Therefore that user should have an easy mechanism to get their
friends onboarded, via some out-of-band mechanism (like a URL). That
onboarding should include client installation, account creation, adding
the first roster item, and optionally forwarding of "common buddies"
from the existing XMPP user: https://wiki.xmpp.org/web/Easy_Onboarding

The above is a set of high-level ideas that apply to the whole process,
an in-depth look into a potential implementation (still far from a
proto-XEP) can be found in https://wiki.xmpp.org/web/Easy_Roster_Invitations

The last one contains some open questions regarding the complexity of
the protocol and the possible entities where it should be implemented.
I'd like to have a discussion of these before I make my first attempt at
writing an XEP...

Kind regards,

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