[Standards] Deprecating Dialback

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at mozilla.com
Wed Dec 2 16:43:46 UTC 2020

On 12/2/20 8:36 AM, Dave Cridland wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Dec 2020 at 14:09, Sam Whited <sam at samwhited.com
> <mailto:sam at samwhited.com>> wrote:
>     I've been having a think about dialback recently and came to the
>     conclusion that it would be nice to begin discouraging its use on the
>     public network. This would raise the overall quality of authentication
>     on the network by beginning to phase out insecure DNS-based
>     authentication as well as simplify the implementation of certificate
>     based auth by allowing us to only rely on SASL EXTERNAL without having
>     to also implement "dialback without dialing back". Towards that end, I
>     would like to propose deprecating XEP-0220 and XEP-0185.
> There are two things here:
> a) Phasing out DNS-based authentication - ie, db:verify.
> b) Phasing out the use of the db:result syntax.
> The DNS side, (a), is easy to suggest deprecation. It's fundamentally
> weak, and it really only served a useful purpose before Let's Encrypt
> came along. 

Well, in 1999/2000 it was hard (for some definition) to get certs at
all. Dialback was a bootstrapping mechanism for server deployment (along
the lines of IBR for c2s) and I agree deserves to be deprecated now.

> But we don't have a solution without <db:result/> for "piggybacking", as
> described in
> XEP-0220: https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0220.html#multiplex
> <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0220.html#multiplex>
> I think multiplexing has value in a number of cases, particularly where
> S2S bandwidth and/or latency is poor.
> Proposal:
> 1) Pull multiplexing out into its own XEP.
> 2) Give it a new syntax (and a stream feature) that doesn't imply
> XEP-0220 anymore. Reference the old syntax as a historical case.

Will that actually speed things up? Multiplexing would be a new protocol
for server developers to implement and for server operators to deploy.

Just wondering. :-)


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