XSF Discussion - 2019-10-08

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  141. jonas’

    I nominate dwd to be our new department of troll marketing.

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  143. jonas’

    I nominate dwd to be our new department of sarcastic(?) marketing.

  144. Daniel

    at least he doesn’t repost the same joke 5 times in a span of a week. scnr :-)

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  152. Ge0rG

    Daniel: that was mean(ingful)!

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  317. moparisthebest

    Does anyone have a link documenting the numerous vulns clients had relating to xhtml-im ?

  318. moparisthebest

    I was hoping for a mailing list post or wiki page...

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  320. dwd

    There was Waqas's presentation about a decade back. (Maybe more recent than that, I forget).

  321. Zash

    Also, can someone explain to me how Matrix and Mastodon and pretty much everything else gets away with sending actual HTML in JSON but we can't send a sane subset of HTML in XML?

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  324. dwd

    Single implementation probably helps.

  325. pep.

    Because it's better to mix input and wire format, and users do it anyway

  326. Seve

    Implementation details should not block standards

  327. Zash

    Bring back XHTML-IM!

  328. pep.

    Bring back XHTML-IM!

  329. Zash

    Ropen skalla, XHTML-IM åt alla!

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  342. flow

    Bring back XHTML-IM!

  343. Ge0rG

    Bring back GC1.0!

  344. Zash

    U wut m8?

  345. jonas’

    Bring back XHTML-IM!

  346. pep. kicks Ge0rG

  347. jonas’

    how about we put this on the next all-member meeting agenda?

  348. jonas’

    yes, all-member meetings are a thing ;)

  349. pep.

    jonas’, or just council

  350. jonas’

    pep., I can predict the answer

  351. pep.

    wait for next council?

  352. jonas’

    it has to do with XEP-0001 not having a transition from state_of(xep_number("XHTML-IM")) -> {Experimental,Draft,Final}

  353. pep.

    Yeah I was wondering about that

  354. jonas’

    so it’d defer to Board

  355. jonas’

    since Board owns XEP-0001

  356. pep.

    That's a more generic question then

  357. pep.

    Not just 0071

  358. Ge0rG

    then Board may or may not define such a state transition and defer back to Council

  359. jonas’

    pep., although somebody floated the idea of re-defining XHTML-IM from scratch anyways

  360. jonas’

    which I support, actually

  361. pep.

    I could get along with that I guess

  362. jonas’

    with more clearly-defined use-case profiles

  363. jonas’

    and without @style

  364. Ge0rG


  365. dwd

    If someone can show that HTML within messages has a solution, I'm all for it. But last time we were here, it seemed that every implementation had suffered serious security problems.

  366. pep.

    Should we call it xhtml-im2

  367. pep.

    This time it's for real

  368. dwd

    FWIW, if there were some solution that meant we should shift around PWAs in messages that'd be awesome.

  369. Ge0rG

    dwd: modern web applications can be made secure with a global switch instead of having to sanitize every individual string, AFAICT

  370. jonas’

    dwd, I’ve been back and forth on this, and I think some standards simply require a basic level of intelligence, and if you cannot read Security Considerations, you maybe should not implement standards. or anything.

  371. Zash

    dwd, my observation is that any alternative will be equally terrible.

  372. jonas’

    dwd, PWA?

  373. dwd

    jonas’, A single-page web app.

  374. dwd

    jonas’, I mean, if we could safely ship aorund CSS and Javascript, that'd be amazingly amaing.

  375. Zash

    Not Progressive Web App?

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  378. jonas’

    dwd, would it be?

  379. jonas’

    dwd, I think that sounds terrible ;)

  380. Ge0rG

    I thought those are SPAs

  381. jonas’

    but I hate the current web, so...

  382. dwd

    jonas’, Sure. Apps in messages, what's not to like?

  383. jonas’

    dwd, everything?

  384. Zash

    dwd, I hate everything about that

  385. MattJ

    waqas created a sanitizer for xhtml-im, it works... what else is there to debate?

  386. jonas’

    MattJ, does it sanitize @style?

  387. Zash

    `tag.attr.style = nil`

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  389. Ge0rG

    MattJ: is it written in JavaScript that can be bundled within an XHTML-IM message?

  390. Zash

    A Message Web App that sanitizes itself?

  391. dwd

    Zash, It'd sanitize the messages it sent to other people. I detect a flaw here.

  392. MattJ

    jonas’, it does

  393. Ge0rG

    dwd: you encountered sarcasm.

  394. MattJ

    Can't we just define a flag that clients need to send if their xhtml-im payload is malicious?

  395. MattJ

    Lighter than including a full sanitizer with every message

  396. pep.

    that ^

  397. MattJ

    Oh wait, XEP-0076

  398. pep.

    woo, we already have all the tools

  399. Ge0rG

    MattJ: but it's using an insecure xmlns :(

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  401. dwd

    MattJ, Needs to be updated in line with XEP-0419.

  402. Seve

    Nice, solutions right away

  403. pep.

    Ge0rG, btw, you should push for 419 to go draft, there's already an implementation!!

  404. Ge0rG

    pep.: which one?

  405. pep.

    poezio's rot13 and b64 plugins

  406. Ge0rG

    pep.: but 419 is for XEPs, not for .py's

  407. pep.


  408. dwd

    pep., Is it doing whole stanza encryption (example 1)?

  409. pep.

    dwd, no but it should indeed

  410. Ge0rG

    dwd: I still think full-stanza-encryption would've been much funnier with rot13.

  411. dwd

    pep., Sorry, not Example 1, Example 2. I ask because most implementations seem to be mistakenly doing Example 3.

  412. pep.


  413. dwd

    Ge0rG, Really? I rather enjoyed the deadpan comparison between the examples.

  414. Ge0rG

    dwd: must be an instance of British Humour, then

  415. dwd

    I note that XEP-0419 is the latest e2e encryption method in XMPP, too.

  416. Ge0rG

    latest and greatest.

  417. Ge0rG

    I wonder if people will appreciate if I announce that yaxim has had it from day 0.

  418. Ge0rG

    now that I think of it, yaxim implements it for ten years already.

  419. Ge0rG

    I just didn't have the feature namespace.

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  421. moparisthebest

    Seve: so can we just have a xep that says "execute this binary code as x86 instructions, but just the safe parts" ? If implementation details shouldn't block standards that is >:)

  422. larma

    moparisthebest, I think the cool guys use webassembly for this nowadays

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  427. Seve

    moparisthebest, I just thing we should go as fast as the smartest in class, not the dumbest.

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  429. Seve

    moparisthebest, I just think we should go as fast as the smartest in class, not the dumbest.

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  431. moparisthebest

    Sure, we can all use one client and server and not even bother writing standards

  432. moparisthebest

    That is easiest and fastest

  433. jonas’

    moparisthebest, that’s not the same thing

  434. jonas’

    and you’re being needlessly hyperbolic

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  437. Ge0rG

    is it possible to add a line break inside a <td> in XEPs?

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  439. Ge0rG

    jonas’: I've got https://github.com/xsf/xeps/pull/841 but I'm most probably not ready yet and I would like to have one history/revision block for all that's different from CS-2019

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  441. Zash

    Ge0rG: That description seems a bit redundant, don't you think?

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  443. Ge0rG

    Zash: I didn't want to leave it empty

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  447. moparisthebest

    Seve, jonas’ , yea sorry, mainly just pointing out that while I agree in principle that xeps shouldn't depend on implementations, if in practice 100% of implementations have security problems, that's probably a root issue that needs to be solved/defined/something by the xep

  448. moparisthebest

    other people have worded that way better in the past so just ignore me :)

  449. Ge0rG

    better specs help.

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  453. moparisthebest

    I think it's possible to have a "secure" spec that, in practice, is impossible to implement securely, which I'd then argue is a bad spec

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  456. Ge0rG

    moparisthebest: which XHTML-IM is a prime example of

  457. Zash

    Is it impossible?

  458. jonas’

    I think waqas proved the opposite.

  459. Zash

    Isn't it just that it's too convenient to do the wrong thing

  460. jonas’

    and once you drop @style, I’d say it’s very trivially possible to implement securely

  461. jonas’

    what Zash says

  462. Zash

    Which 393 for example doesn't help with

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  465. moparisthebest

    are you going to write your own HTML/CSS engine, or fork chrome/firefox's and try to disable javascript but still keep up on other security issues, or ?

  466. Zash

    "Oh this looks like Markdown, I'll just take this markdown library and forgot to disable HTML pass trough"

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  468. moparisthebest

    yes, in theory those things are possible, in practice, no one is going to do them

  469. Zash

    No one is going to do what?

  470. jonas’

    moparisthebest, bugs in the rendering engine are not in scope for XMPP software, unless XMPP software writes their own engine.

  471. jonas’

    why would you fork a rendering engine for this?

  472. jonas’

    why would you write your own?

  473. jonas’

    both don’t make sense

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  475. Ge0rG

    Just bundle an old version of Electron with your chat app

  476. jonas’

    both Qt and Gtk support a subset of HTML in any widget (which surprisingly is a superset of what XHTML-IM), so they’re covered. If you’re using a web browser (natievly or via widget) to render/execute your app, you have a rendering engine right there.

  477. jonas’

    you just need to do the fing sanitisation, which is fing trivial if we omit @style for a second

  478. Zash

    jonas’, and @on*

  479. jonas’

    just have a whitelist of elements, and everything which isn’t that is replaced by its children.

  480. jonas’

    Zash, those are forbidden anyways

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  482. jonas’

    in XHTML-IM

  483. Zash

    whitelist elements and attributes (@style excluded)

  484. jonas’

    s/elements/elements and attributes/

  485. jonas’


  486. jonas’

    it’s not hard in any way

  487. jonas’

    it’s written in the security considerations (more clearly than it was back then, admittedly)

  488. jonas’

    if you can’t read security considerations, maybe you shouldn’t be implement standards

  489. jonas’

    if you can’t comprehend the security considerations of a specific standard, get help and get the standard clarified

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  491. jonas’

    Ge0rG, any reason you make that a PR?

  492. jonas’

    Ge0rG, mark it WIP in the title at least

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  495. Zash

    jonas’, you don't happen to have a nice short rationale for why @style needs to gtfo?

  496. jonas’

    Zash, requires an extra parser

  497. jonas’

    aside from that, allows stuff which probably only works on your machine

  498. jonas’

    (colors and things)

  499. moparisthebest

    jonas’, that's the theory, in practice, a developer reads a much simpler spec like 393, writes a few regexes, gives up and just passes it to a markdown processor

  500. moparisthebest

    (this just happend earlier today, hence my question)

  501. jonas’

    moparisthebest, oh, so exactly the thing happened everyone said it would?

  502. Zash

    It also almost happened in Converse.js

  503. moparisthebest

    yes and also we brought up all this as soon as he suggested the markdown processor, so it hasn't *actually* happened yet, but it would have

  504. jonas’

    moparisthebest, can’t blame them, XEP-0393 doesn’t mention that as a problem

  505. moparisthebest

    I was trying to find links about why this was a terrible idea

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  507. larma

    so how about we all just implement 394?

  508. Ge0rG

    jonas’: I made it a PR because I wanted to discuss the content changes in Council tomorrow

  509. jonas’

    Ge0rG, you can do that in your own fork instead

  510. jonas’

    larma, I’d like to burn XEP-0394

  511. Ge0rG

    jonas’: good point

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  514. larma

    jonas’, why? IMO it's superior to 393, it just has the flaw that it doesn't work well with legacy fallbacks (because you can't hide any chars that are only for fallback)

  515. jonas’

    larma, but it’s not superior to XEP-0071

  516. jonas’

    (or a slightly saner redefinition of XEP-0071)

  517. larma

    Well, it only has a subset of the features, but also is less likely to be accidentally use a HTML rendering engine

  518. jonas’

    I’m pretty sure it’s also harder to implement, and will be fun especially in memory-unsafe languages with all that string slicing involved.

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  522. larma

    If I'd want to do it right, as a client developer I would probably convert all 3 versions into some data structure that is approximately 394

  523. larma

    Then I can convert that into any format required for my rendering engine

  524. jonas’

    except that you’d normally mix the text with that data structure

  525. jonas’

    not like '394 does

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  527. moparisthebest

    so if I'm understanding this correctly, there is a scale of difficulty-to-implement vs security-of-implementation, ranging from so hard to implement no one will bother, making it secure, all the way to so easy to implement wrongly everyone implements it but it's totally insecure

  528. moparisthebest

    something like that

  529. larma

    jonas’, do you? HTML does, but other might not. It's actually a bad idea because it creates the requirement of escaping the actual text to ensure it's not considered markup

  530. jonas’

    larma, only if your data structure is a string

  531. moparisthebest

    394 makes you write your own parser and rendering engine, no one does it, xhtml-im is easiest to implement by just slapping it into a DOM, everyone does it, is insecure

  532. jonas’

    which I’d consider a terrible idea to start with :)

  533. jonas’

    moparisthebest, nobody forces you to write a rendering engine for '394

  534. jonas’

    moparisthebest, you can convert '394 to Qt text styles, to Gtk whatevers, and to HTML

  535. jonas’

    that’s not the sisue

  536. jonas’

    that’s not the issue

  537. moparisthebest

    but you have to write your own parser, and perhaps harder, "reverse parser"

  538. jonas’

    it’s just a painful thing to do

  539. jonas’


  540. moparisthebest

    how do you get from input format to 394

  541. jonas’

    moparisthebest, if you’re using Qt or Gtk, you can probably more or less directly convert the respective datastructures to '394

  542. jonas’

    (the QTextDocument stuff for example)

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  544. jonas’

    from HTML, it’s a bit trickier, but also possible.

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  548. larma

    - 71 is not directly compatible with many non-complex renderers. Input needs to be sanitized before being used in complex renderers. - 393 is not directly compatible with any markdown parser known to me, even though some might choose to use a incompatible markdown parser to implement it. If a markdown parser is used to generate HTML, same issue as with 71 might come up. - 394 can be sanitized rather easily (check there is no overlap) and then can be used securely and without tons of efforts in most environment including HTML renderers

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  551. larma

    I think implementing 394 securely in a browser might actually be easier than implementing 71 securely in a browser, where browsers should be *the* example of allowing easy implementation of 71...

  552. jonas’

    larma, '71 is directly compatible with GTK and Qt, without the need for sanitisation (if you ignore @style).

  553. jonas’

    or do you consider those "complex"?

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  555. jonas’

    otherwise, which other non-complex renderers are there?

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  557. larma

    jonas’, it's not. Pango makup used by GTK only supports very few tags and actually uses CSS-like style for most stuff

  558. larma


  559. larma

    Not sure about Qt

  560. jonas’

    ugh, it’s still at <i/>

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  562. larma

    It also doesn't do blockquote or body or img or any of the enumerations (it doesn't support such at all, as it's a text markup only thing). The "correct" way to use it is <span>s

  563. jonas’


  564. jonas’

    not great for accessibility either

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  566. larma

    how is it related to accessibility?

  567. jonas’

    larma, <em/> for example to mark up emphasis

  568. jonas’

    enumerations and stuff, blockquotes

  569. jonas’

    all that’s relevant to screenreaders

  570. larma

    I don't think GTK wants you to provide screenreader annotations through display/styling markup

  571. jonas’

    how else does it work with Gtk then?

  572. jonas’

    seems odd to me to have that redundant

  573. larma

    Well Pango is a text rendering engine, it does only that single job of using font data and input text to generate an image. You also use it when drawing text on images, so it makes little sense to have accessibility markup at that point

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  576. jonas’

    yeah, I was talking about Gtk for a reason and am looking at GtkTextBuffer instead

  577. jonas’

    (and GtkTextView)

  578. jonas’

    using plain pango to render text is bound to be a PITA

  579. jonas’


  580. larma

    Dino uses GtkLabel which only supports pango markup for all message rendering 😉

  581. jonas’

    that won’t be enough for stuff like blockquote anyways

  582. jonas’

    I’m also not sure how you’d mark up a GtkLabel itself for screenreaders to understand what’s going on

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  585. larma

    I think you do all this stuff with ATK, but haven't tried yet

  586. larma

    Also doing screen readers right for IM is probably not easy and won't work out of the box no matter which toolkit...

  587. jonas’

    very true

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  650. moparisthebest

    nice to see there are 0 open source XMPP mac apps but a ton of matrix/telegram/other ones :'( https://github.com/serhii-londar/open-source-mac-os-apps#chat

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  653. pep.

    Most of these are electron apps no?

  654. pep.

    Does padé not work there?

  655. moparisthebest

    no idea, was just pointing out that someone seeing this list doesn't even see xmpp listed at all

  656. moparisthebest

    I know Monal for instance should be there, probably gajim ? what about dino? surely there are a TON of open source XMPP apps that run on MacOS

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  658. pep.

    Go PR! :)

  659. pep.

    Is there a list of list page on the wiki or sth?

  660. pep.

    That needs to be updated every so often

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  662. moparisthebest

    probably most of the command line clients work on mac too right?

  663. moparisthebest

    I'll friggin put in a PR adding 50 XMPP clients that run on mac if I can find them :D

  664. Zash


  665. Zash

    "Awesome" here means "List of stuff" these days?

  666. Ge0rG

    Monal is probably the only one that qualifies as a Mac app

  667. moparisthebest

    yea it's a thing now, no idea where it started

  668. Zash


  669. Zash

    It's been a thing for quite a while

  670. pep.

    It's not maintained anymore is it

  671. Ge0rG

    pep.: ten years ago, like everything in xmpp

  672. pep.


  673. moparisthebest

    maybe it's just because we aren't on these awesome lists

  674. Zash

    Yet another hierarchical oooooooooosomething

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  677. Zash

    moparisthebest, basically ^C^V https://xmpp.org/software/clients.html ?

  678. Zash

    | grep macos

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  693. DebXWoody

    I think I was able to install psi or psi+

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  697. moparisthebest

    curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xsf/xmpp.org/master/data/clients.json | jq '.[] | select(.platforms | index("macOS")) | "[" + .name + "]" + "(" + .url + ")"' | sort -u | tr -d '"'

  698. moparisthebest

    got to learn some jq today, I'll put in the PR later... gotta figure out what language they are each written in manually, guess that's important for mac users somehow?

  699. Zash

    Myeah, I'm not sure what's up with that.

  700. Zash

    Maybe it's aimed at developers?

  701. moparisthebest

    good news is we have 24 different macOS clients though

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  704. lskdjf

    moparisthebest, I hope you don't want to try and add all of those clients to that "awsome" repo, though. Abandoned clients probably don't shed a good light on XMPP. Maybe pick the most reasonable 2/3 instead.

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  717. Ge0rG

    Maybe pick the only one that's a Mac app.

  718. Zash

    How's the Tigase one, Beagle?

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  724. moparisthebest

    lskdjf: why not? It has telegram clients marked abandoned too

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  727. lskdjf

    moparisthebest, I already gave my reasoning: because bothering people with bad clients sheds a bad light on xmpp. Something is not good just because telegram people do it.

  728. moparisthebest

    I don't have a Mac and no way to pick the best couple

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  730. lskdjf

    then maybe you are either not the best person to do the PR or need more information first 🤷️

  731. moparisthebest

    Well no one else seems interested in doing it

  732. moparisthebest

    Besides that list is like "all open source Mac software" not just good ones

  733. Zash

    moparisthebest: Make an "Awesome XMPP clients" list and get it into the Awesome hierarchical directory that's totally not like early Yahoo! at all.

  734. Zash

    There was some XMPP stuff under "ChatOps" but I didn't look further

  735. moparisthebest

    I was thinking about making an awesome awesome list of all the awesome lists

  736. Zash

    That exists already

  737. lskdjf

    too late, that already exists https://github.com/sindresorhus/awesome

  738. moparisthebest

    Damnit, just like all my good ideas

  739. pep.

    We're not listed in Decentralized!!1 Mastodon is!

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  741. lskdjf

    pep., no the awsome list about mastodon is :p we first need an "awsome xmpp" list 🙂

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  744. Zash

    pep.: There are only 2 XMPP services¹ ¹ according to https://the-federation.info/

  745. Zash

    pep.: There are only 3 XMPP services¹ ¹ according to https://the-federation.info/

  746. pep.

    Yeah.. I know that one..

  747. Zash

    Wanna help with my WIP mod_nodeinfo2.lua?

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  750. pep.

    I want to help with lots of things. Now how do I prioritize all that

  751. Zash

    "Awesome TODO"

  752. pep.


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  755. Link Mauve

    “15:38:27 flow> Link Mauve, +1, is the list public somewhere? Maybe even in the wiki?”, only on a WIP branch from years ago, which will need a namespace bump: https://github.com/linkmauve/xeps/tree/xep-0234

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