[Standards] MIX: The Nick Name Problem (TM) aka The Identity Crisis (TM)

Daniel Gultsch daniel at gultsch.de
Thu Nov 29 12:50:25 UTC 2018

Am Do., 29. Nov. 2018 um 13:36 Uhr schrieb Ralph Meijer <ralphm at ik.nu>:
> On 29/11/2018 13.09, Daniel Gultsch wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > [..]
> >
> > So let me paint you a picture of my use case. In WhatsApp the user
> > creates an account; usually tied to a phone number - but that’s not
> > the point; and sets a Name and an Avatar. That name isn’t unique. It
> > would be pretty stupid if WhatsApp would prevent me from calling
> > myself 'Daniel' and would force me to call myself 'Daniel12345'. That
> > name and avatar is my identity on that chat system. When I’m in a
> > group chat with someone I’m still holding on to that identity. People
> > in that group chat expect to see that name and that avatar.
> >
> > So when it comes to MUC my 'Identity Name' doesn’t map to MUC nick
> > names. MUC Nick names are unique. My identity name might not be. So
> > usually when I create WhatsApp-like group chats I set the nick to
> > something unique (most of the times the local part of my JID) and then
> > simply never display it but gather the 'true identity' by other means.
> > (Those other means can become pretty complicated and hacky)
> >
> > So MIX in that regard is pretty close to MUC in that nick names are
> > unique for example. At least they are are somewhat optional. They are
> > not as much second class citizens as I would hope they would be - but
> > at least they are optional enough that I can ignore them.
> >
> > But if I ignore them I have to discover the true identity of a JID
> > somehow. (That is display name (stored in a PEP node for example) and
> > avatar.
> I'm working on something similar. In our case, we:
>   * Have no explicit roster, but instead rely on phone address books.
>   * Use vCards for retrieving names.
>   * Have the local address book entry override vCard.
>   * Don't have private channels.
> So, instead of relying on MIX for nicks, we use the local address book
> entry (or vCard) based on the real JID of a participant.
> We do the same for avatars.

But do you subscribe to those vcards?
I think people need to learn about updates; That’s what PEP is for.
And managing subscriptions from a client side is a bit of a slippery


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