The Inbox Files #1: Reputation and Controlled Leaks

January 14, 2010

People are finding new ways to use XMPP every day. Sometimes these new uses get documented and presented to the community for consideration. These new XMPP Extension Proposals (XEPs) are placed in the extensions inbox while they go through the initial review process.

This series of blog posts will highlight recent inbox sightings. If you’d like to comment on these, please feel free to do so here in the comments, but I encourage everyone with feedback to join the XMPP standards list and participate there.


Entity Reputation

Peter Saint-Andre has written a proposal for communicating reputation of various XMPP entities, Entity Reputation. Peter writes:

The public XMPP network might benefit from instituting a reputation system for servers, for end users, or both. The benefits might include fast blacklisting of rogue servers and other bad actors, differential quality of service based on reputation, delayed entry to Multi-User Chat rooms for low-reputation users, integration with Privacy Lists, and the like.

For the most part, reputation in XMPP systems is done explicitly by adding and removing people from your roster. As more and more publicly accessible services appear, such as chat rooms or game servers, it will become necessary to assist users in better controlling information when the roster isn’t sufficient.

The suggested mechanic is an innocent until proven guilty system that awards points for positive and negative actions. For example, a server might get five points for requiring CAPTCHAs on registration, and a user might have a reputation factor that is affected by the reputation of their friends.

Presence De-Cloaking

The Presence De-Cloaking proposal is a bit more complicated. Essentially, it is sometimes necessary to allow deliberate presence leaks, and this is an extension to allow entities to request such leaks. It was authored by Simon McVittie of Collabora.

The example mentioned in the proposal is when communicating between SIP and XMPP Jingle, where clients shouldn’t need to exchange presence before communicating, but where communication needs knowledge of a user’s resource in order to take place.

It seems like a rather simple and useful extension that boils down to an entity asking for a direct presence notification.

As with every new proposal, it will gather feedback from the community and be presented to the XSF Council, who will decide whether it needs more work or is ready to begin the standards process. There are currently 274 XEPs at the time of this writing. Which one will be number 275?

The Inbox Files #1: Reputation and Controlled Leaks - January 14, 2010 - Jack Moffitt