[Standards] Obsoleting vCard-Based Avatars

Sam Whited sam at samwhited.com
Wed Jan 11 16:44:37 UTC 2017

On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 11:04 AM, Kevin Smith <kevin.smith at isode.com> wrote:
> FWIW, give the remaining widespread deployment of vcard avatars compared to
> pubsub-based, and of reported lack of interop between 84 implementations
> (I'm sure I remember being told that some clients aren't sending mandatory
> formats), it seems premature to me to obsolete these.

In my mind this shouldn't be a consideration; if you don't give people
a compelling reason to upgrade, I don't think they will. Normally this
would be in the form of new features, or something that's easier to
maintain. In this case, however, 0084 doesn't provide anything but
better infrastructure to build on (and no one cares about
infrastructure, it's not shiny enough). Simiarly, some clients not
sending mandatory formats doesn't seem like a reason not to use 0084
(clients could just as easily send a different format via 0153).

If we want the ecosystem to move forward, I think the closest thing we
can provide to a compelling reason is to make 0084 the only
recommendation for new implementations (old implementations will fall
into line when they're no longer compatible with any of the shiny new
clients). Right now there are two separate XEPs which serve the same
purpose, and both show up on xmpp.org with green text at the top. The
confusion this causes is, in my opinion, much worse than the
outstanding issues with 0084, and by encouraging implementations of
0084 by making it the only recommendation we may also encourage
contributions to fix those outstanding issues.


Sam Whited

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