[Standards] Adding namespaced content to Registry entries

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Wed Jun 3 20:50:26 UTC 2020

On Wed, 3 Jun 2020 at 16:30, Jonas Schäfer <jonas at wielicki.name> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Flow and I got in a discussion about whether it is OK to add foreign,
> namespaced elements to Registry entries.
> I’m not sold to either side, I was just curiously wondering if there’s
> precedent and if it’s considered a good, terrible or neutral idea by the
> community.
> The context (for better understanding) is PR#949:
> https://github.com/xsf/xeps/pull/949
> Please weigh in if you have a strong opinion one way or the other.

I think this is not allowed.

But I suspect it should be.

If you are not of a pedantic persuasion, look away now.

As I understand XEP-0053, there's actually no need to run registrations by
the Council (excepting if the Registrar declines a registration; then the
Council acts as an appeals body) - the only reason this has touched the
Council is that it's an update to an existing Active XEP. It would be
perfectly possible (and might even be preferable) to add items to
XEP-0157's FORM_TYPE within a new XEP, or just by asking the Registrar
nicely (by email). The simple fact that one can add to the registry (or
alter existing entries) without touching the XEP that defined the registry
both imposes restrictions and is the very point of a registry (rather than,
say, a definitive list in a XEP).

The Registry is defined quite clearly in XEP-0068, including the XML format
it takes, and there is no mention of form validation there (or default
options, by the way). Perhaps more to the point, the rendered version of it
at https://xmpp.org/registrar/formtypes.html doesn't include any validation
information - merely blindly adding extension elements to the registry
would mean that the rendered versions need updating. Therefore I think the
definition of a registry has to be considered exhaustive.

So, in conclusion of the status quo, I don't think adding validation (or
other elements within an arbitrary namespace) is allowed.

That said, I think there's two useful things we can do here:

1) Validation information is clearly useful in this case; we should add
that to the XEP-0068 registry by an update to XEP-0068 *and* an update to
whatever stylesheet generates the registry page.

2) In the longer term, we should step back and decide what we actually want
our registry process to be. It feels as though we're too often updating
existing XEPs to add small features which could easily enough be either a
new XEP (maybe) or a registry submission. We should ensure that even
private additions are easy (though ideally, we can avoid that by use of
URI-based namespacing). I would argue we should make registries operate by
PR or email as needed, and have the registry stipulate requirements (like
"Open Specification required", or "FCFS", or whatever).

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