XSF Discussion - 2021-01-04

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  187. flow

    MattJ, thanks for the reminder

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  390. vanitasvitae


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  392. Zash

    I suppose it's time to start poking the SCAM team about FOSDEM?

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  408. Ge0rG

    Zash: sounds like it's a month late

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  416. Daniel

    Probably more interesting to poke scam about the summit

  417. Daniel

    I personally don't care much for fosdem. But some sort of summit would be interesting

  418. Zash


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  629. Zash

    ``` compliancer$ ./compliance xep-0443.xml ~/src/dino/dino.doap {"name":"Dino","type":"client","badges":{"core":"advanced"}} ``` Web enough for ya?

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  646. marc


  647. marc

    Client data exchange PoC from Gajim to Dino

  648. marc

    Any thoughts on that? Any chance we can agree on some format and deploy such a feature?

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  656. Zash

    What does that mean? What am I looking at?

  657. Zash

    Oh, the import/export discussed a while back?

  658. moparisthebest

    probably just get a couple client devs to agree and go for it

  659. marc

    Zash, ye

  660. marc


  661. Zash

    The XML police would like you to either update the PIE XEP or namespace your new stuff ;)

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  666. moparisthebest

    marc, conversations has a backup format https://github.com/iNPUTmice/ceb2txt

  667. marc

    moparisthebest, it's actually an exchange format between client which can also be used as backup

  668. marc


  669. moparisthebest

    probably the same thing I guess

  670. marc

    moparisthebest, no, conversations just dumps its sqlite db afaik

  671. marc

    you cannot import this data in dino or whatever client

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  674. moparisthebest

    at least not without writing code

  675. marc

    moparisthebest, ;)

  676. marc

    moparisthebest, you get the idea I guess ;)

  677. marc

    Zash, it is namespaced?

  678. marc

    even though this is no necessary at the moment ;D

  679. Zash

    marc, I mean in the pedantic sense that your new stuff isn't defined by the existing XEP

  680. Zash

    My xmlnsense itches

  681. marc

    Zash, ah, that's what you mean :D

  682. Zash

    marc, and since I'm only complaining about such pedantic things, you should read into it that it seems fine so far ;)

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  687. Zash

    Surveying client devs might be a sensible thing. And post to standards.

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  689. SamWhited

    It would be nice if you could shove whatever this is into private XML or somewhere and use it to setup clients on a new laptop or wherever as well as export to move between clients.

  690. SamWhited

    So you'd download it on first login and now all your settings are migrated.

  691. SamWhited

    Then again, maybe most of this is stuff that would already be on the server so it wouldn't matter.

  692. moparisthebest

    and to be clear I think it's a good idea too, I was just pointing out an existing single-client impl, and that "backup" and "export that I can import into another client" are the same thing :)

  693. marc

    SamWhited, the log might contain senstive data

  694. marc

    think of E2EE :D

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  698. SamWhited

    You could leave those bits out of the server version

  699. Zash

    Relatedly, XEP-0227 ought to be extended with MAM support

  700. SamWhited

    Or encrypt the whole thing before saving it

  701. Zash

    Encrypt the world and save it on the server.

  702. moparisthebest

    if it's not going to restore e2e messages then mam already has that use-case covered?

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  705. moparisthebest

    just pull a whatsface and upload all the e2e messages in plaintext to apple and google clouds

  706. SamWhited

    Yah, I don't fully understand what this is actually migrating so I'll be curious to see the eventual spec

  707. marc

    yes, when everything is in mam it hasn't no real advantage

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  710. SamWhited

    Is that all this is then? History?

  711. marc

    SamWhited, history / logs, downloaded data and client settings where applicable

  712. SamWhited

    What are logs in this context?

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  716. marc

    Messages (already decrypted in E2EE context)

  717. marc

    Basically everything stored on a device

  718. marc

    In the end it should also be possible to migrate the omemo stuff (private keys)

  719. moparisthebest

    marc, tricky re: omemo though, you can only copy/reuse the old keys if you pinky promise never to use the old client again, how are you going to handle that?

  720. SamWhited

    Client settings seems like it would be very client specific and couldn't be defined easily, but either way it seems more useful to upload those to the server and fetch them the first time you log in

  721. eta

    this sounds like something equivalent to Matrix's encrypted key backup

  722. SamWhited

    E2EE encrypted messages and downloaded data could potentially be nice to transfer directly between clients without redownloading tons of huge images though

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  725. eta

    which lets you stash versions of the OMEMO ratchet server-side encrypted by a passphrase

  726. Zash

    There's probably a number of common settings that might make sense if they can be restored into more than the originating clients.

  727. SamWhited

    I wouldn't transfer the keys, a new client is a new identity, but just having message history is nice.

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  729. moparisthebest

    maybe the "export" has a "delete my omemo keys from this client" flag

  730. marc

    Zash, +1

  731. marc

    moparisthebest, the scenario is where you move let's say from conversations to siskin

  732. marc

    Because you don't like android anymore

  733. marc

    In this case you won't never use the old device

  734. moparisthebest

    right, in that situation you *can* move and keep your old keys, but if you get a new laptop and intend to use gajim on it and your old one...

  735. moparisthebest

    sounds tricky UI-wise for users though

  736. marc

    moparisthebest, remove the account from the device after "export with omemo"

  737. SamWhited

    I feel like people are going to click taht button, say "wait, it says my keys have changed!" and then re-import the backup on both devices and still have screwed up encryption

  738. moparisthebest

    or, trying dino side-by-side gajim on the same machine

  739. marc

    well, you don't have to use / implement this feature

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  741. marc

    but it makes sense in the backup case

  742. j.r has joined

  743. marc

    and device migration

  744. marc

    which is quite common for mobile devices

  745. moparisthebest

    I like it, I'd use it, I'm just pointing out hard problems that need solved :/

  746. marc

    sure, you have to warn the user or make it an export option or don't implement it at all

  747. marc

    But it could be specified IMO

  748. moparisthebest

    you probably need to warn them on import (too?)

  749. marc

    As optional or whatever

  750. moparisthebest

    as SamWhited said, they could export once, and import the same backup on 2 different devices

  751. SamWhited

    Just because something can be specified doesn't make it a good idea :) I'm not sure if this would be or not

  752. marc

    SamWhited, well, for backups that's essential

  753. Andrzej has left

  754. marc

    Today users make backups my copying the .local directory which can be used multiple times as well, so what?

  755. SamWhited

    I'm not sure that it is; new devices are a new identity even if you backup everything else

  756. marc

    Or no backups and their keys change every time ôO

  757. SamWhited

    Users *can* do that, again, I'm not sure that it's a good idea. I'm not sure that it's not a good idea either, it just needs to be thought very carefully about and not just done "because we can" IMO

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  759. marc

    Yes, that needs to be discussed

  760. marc

    larma, lovetox, Daniel, Ge0rG: any chance we can deploy something like that in all (tm) clients? What are your thoughts?

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  785. dwd

    Having only skimmed the last messages, this all looks like the kind of idea where 90% of the specification would involve Security Considerations.

  786. Daniel has left

  787. dwd

    Exporting and reimporting ratchet state and client init keys (prekeys?) all feels like the kind of thing where "HERE BE DRAGONS" would very much apply.

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  790. moparisthebest

    but if you avoid that and leave the transfer out, it's just a backup format that multiple clients happen to implement

  791. SamWhited

    moparisthebest: you still get your E2EE messages in your history, you just send/receive messages as a new identity

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  793. dwd

    moparisthebest, What can you gain from this that you can't gain more safely by having a longer-term, more protected (possibly hardware or offline) identity key which signs the client's identity key?

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  796. moparisthebest

    sorry I mean, I think the key *should* be left out, and that "just a backup format that multiple clients happen to implement" is a good thing

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  799. SamWhited

    oh, right.

  800. SamWhited

    If we want keys to be easier to trust maybe it makes sense to have a way to trust keys on your old client when you add a new one and have that trust conveyed to your contacts.

  801. Daniel has joined

  802. SamWhited

    Presumably that would exist in the OMEMO spec somewhere, although I haven't read any of the more recent versions so maybe such a thing exists

  803. Zash

    Any of y'all following MLS?

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  819. moparisthebest

    yea I think, not sure if it has a name, some type of "transitive key trust" is probably the best solution and negates the need to ever transfer keys

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  824. moparisthebest

    but that surely is full of all the dragons dwd mentioned and more :/

  825. SamWhited


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  892. Ge0rG

    If only we had one key per user, not one per ratchet click.

  893. Ge0rG

    PFS for IM is like attaching a sled to a stinger rocket for some fun

  894. Ge0rG

    marc: a common backup format would require all clients to use (roughly) the same database schema, which is not really achievable after the fact

  895. Ge0rG

    You could probably define a minimum viable format for plaintext message logs, but good luck beyond tust

  896. Ge0rG

    You could probably define a minimum viable format for plaintext message logs, but good luck beyond that

  897. Mikaela has joined

  898. marc

    Ge0rG, can you give an example were do you see problems?

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  902. marc


  903. Ge0rG

    marc: most clients have a concept of a chat list, where details about a conversation are stored, like last read message etc

  904. Ge0rG

    Those details won't be portable I suppose.

  905. marc

    Ge0rG, yes, and if you would like to send typing indicator etc. why not?

  906. Ge0rG

    Exporting all the image files is non trivial as well. You'd need some mapping of file URL to Chat message to local files

  907. marc

    Ge0rG, I already use fsf for that

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  909. marc

    the poc I posted above already exports/imports shared images

  910. Ge0rG

    marc: yaxim will process each incoming message in a way that doesn't allow to recreate the original xml.

  911. marc

    Ge0rG, not the original but an xml that might be sufficent?

  912. Ge0rG

    Maybe yes. As I said, the message history is the easy part.

  913. Ge0rG

    Except that I don't have three different message ID columns, so deduplication with a MAM archive is going to fail probably

  914. marc

    Didn't look at the yaxim db but dino and gajim look quite good

  915. Ge0rG

    Also xml is a horrible database format

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  918. Ge0rG

    Well, I could probably hijack the message sending and receiving functions to generate and consume xml files.

  919. Ge0rG

    But what do you do with 0184 receipts?

  920. Ge0rG

    In yaxim it's just a bit on the message row

  921. Ge0rG

    Do I need to generate a fake receipt message to store along the original, with sender and receiver JID swapped?

  922. Tobias has left

  923. marc

    I would say yes atm

  924. marc

    LMC already works

  925. Ge0rG

    LMC will just update the message row, I don't keep full history

  926. marc

    Ge0rG, xml because if it's not xml everybody says "i don't like [insert format] because i use [insert other format]"

  927. marc

    And you already have the parser for XML

  928. eevvoor

    Are there clients who use the subject header of an XMPP message?

  929. Ge0rG

    eevvoor: you can send type=normal messages that are like emails

  930. Ge0rG

    marc: how do you store a gigabyte of images in xml?

  931. marc

    Ge0rG, it's only xml for the messages etc., of course

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  935. marc

    xml + raw files and maybe compressed with [insert an archive format here]

  936. eevvoor

    Ge0rG, and which cleints do show them differently than a usual chat message?

  937. Ge0rG

    Do you backup avatars? Disco caches? Pep nodes?

  938. Ge0rG

    eevvoor: maybe pidgin and Gajim?

  939. marc

    Ge0rG, atm it's not about "is every client prepared for all backup feature corner cases" but "are there engouh client (devs) that would integrate it"

  940. eevvoor

    thx Ge0rG

  941. Ge0rG

    marc: what's the document format? One xml document with a <messages> element containing a list of all your conversations as regular xmpp message stanzas? One list per contact?

  942. marc

    Ge0rG, atm, it's one big file but that won't work for large data sets. maybe XInclude or multiple files, one per contact or so

  943. marc

    xep-0227 uses xinclude, for example

  944. lionelexecrec has left

  945. Ge0rG

    marc: I'm using smack as the xml stream processing middleware. I have no idea how I'd plug a file into it.

  946. lionelexecrec has joined

  947. Ge0rG

    I'm sure xinclude is a security nightmare.

  948. marc

    Ge0rG, yes, I thought the same :D

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  950. Ge0rG

    I still have nightmares from reading the xmlsig security analysis

  951. marc

    Ge0rG, I don't know smack very well, maybe there is a way to feed an external xml stream

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  955. Ge0rG


  956. Ge0rG

    Also what's fsf?

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  978. SamWhited

    eevvoor: mcabber displays it if it's set

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  984. eevvoor

    SamWhited, that is cool. Even a CLI client.And can I also send it with mcabber?

  985. eevvoor

    Is there a client table which lists this and other feature?

  986. eevvoor

    Is there a client table which lists this and other features?

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  992. SamWhited

    eevvoor: yes, you can set it when sending messages in mcabber using a command

  993. eevvoor


  994. Link Mauve

    eevvoor, not for this (as it is part of the RFC), but with the granularity of XEPs you now have this: https://linkmauve.fr/extensions/

  995. Link Mauve

    Which I’d like to push to get merged in xmpp.org soon. :)

  996. wladmis has joined

  997. eevvoor

    Ah your own table! Congrats and thx for putting it together!

  998. eevvoor

    Ah your own table! Congrats and thx for putting it together! Link Mauve

  999. Link Mauve

    It’s not mine, it’s client devs saying what their client supports in a DOAP file. :)

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  1004. eevvoor

    I see. And where do I find those DOAP files?

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  1010. Link Mauve

    They’re linked in the "doap" entry of each client in this file: https://github.com/xsf/xmpp.org/blob/master/data/clients.json

  1011. Tobias has left

  1012. Link Mauve

    I say client, but there is another JSON file for servers and another for libraries, in the same directory.

  1013. Link Mauve

    And those projects should also provide one!

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  1015. SamWhited

    I always vaguely think I should do that, and then I look at the file and realize I'd have to learn what DOAP is and how RDF works and figure out how to actually render XML properly when half the libraries screw up namespace prefixes in different confusing ways and it's all completely unreadable and then I give up.

  1016. SamWhited

    I should probably give it another go at some point though.

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  1019. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, why render it yourself?

  1020. SamWhited

    Link Mauve: as opposed to what? Is there some service that will generate this for you if you put in some info?

  1021. Link Mauve

    PulkoMandy wrote a XSLT script to automatically present it in a web browser, and eventually the goal would be for the various websites which want to use information from XMPP projects to fetch it from there.

  1022. Link Mauve


  1023. SamWhited

    Sorry, I said "render" I just meant "generate XML that's compliant somehow"

  1024. Link Mauve


  1025. eevvoor

    https://dev.gajim.org/gajim/gajim/raw/master/data/gajim.doap here is the DOAP for gajim.

  1026. Link Mauve

    Yeah, that’s different indeed. :)

  1027. SamWhited

    Adding XSLT to the mix does not make me desire to learn all of this impossible to read stuff more :)

  1028. Link Mauve

    I would recommend to start from an existing one, like the one eevvoor just linked, and change it to suit your library.

  1029. Link Mauve

    You can ask me to review it once it’s done.

  1030. eevvoor

    SamWhited, you could qick and dirty just copy paste and adept gajims DOAP.

  1031. eevvoor

    ah Link Mauve was faster ;)

  1032. lionelexecrec has left

  1033. SamWhited

    Thanks for the offer of review; that's probably what I'd do to start, but if I don't automate generating it I'll never keep it up to date

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  1035. Link Mauve

    Do you have like one module per XEP in your library or something like that?

  1036. SamWhited

    Uggh, all of this just seems unnecessarily complicated for no reason though

  1037. Link Mauve

    I’d welcome any suggestion for making it simpler.

  1038. SamWhited

    Don't use XML, or tons of namespaces, or RDF files and XSL files and XML files and etc.

  1039. SamWhited

    Maybe basic XML would be fine.

  1040. Andrzej has left

  1041. Link Mauve

    Basic XML, for this purpose, would be something like AppStream?

  1042. SamWhited

    I don't know what AppStream is

  1043. eevvoor


  1044. Link Mauve


  1045. Link Mauve

    I considered it, but RDF seemed much more extensible, for our purpose.

  1046. SamWhited

    Why do we need it to be more extensible?

  1047. Link Mauve

    And also already supported by many other consumer projects, which is a good point I guess.

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  1051. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, in our case, I needed to have the information about specification support.

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  1054. SamWhited

    I suppose; it seems like I just have to learn like 3 diffeerent technologies just to make a list of XEPs now.

  1055. Link Mauve

    There is no existing format that I could find which exposes this information in a machine-readable way.

  1056. Link Mauve

    You can also just consider it as normal XML and copy/paste from an existing project. :-°

  1057. SamWhited

    Like I said, I'll never keep it up to date that way, especially when it's this complicated. Or I'll just screw up all these namespaces a bunch.

  1058. SamWhited

    Anyways, maybe I'll give it another go at some point, I'm just sick of the XML community trying to make every simple problem solved with 5 layers of different XML tech even when it's not necessary.

  1059. SamWhited

    Sorry, I'm just ranting at this point though. Done now.

  1060. Link Mauve

    You could also make it use JSON-LD I guess, but that’s not simpler.

  1061. Link Mauve

    It represents exactly the same information.

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  1063. Link Mauve

    Using {}: instead of <>=, which is a plus I guess?

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  1065. SamWhited

    I don't know what that is either, but I don't think we need anything beyond simple XML or JSON (probably JSON because this does seem like simple key value pairs which is what JSON is best suited for, but either way).

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  1068. SamWhited

    Or TOML for all I care. It doesn't need anythign complicated.

  1069. Link Mauve

    You can write your DOAP file in JSON-LD, there are a multitude of tools to convert between different RDF formats.

  1070. moparisthebest

    SamWhited: look you have to accept XML into your heart as your lord and savior, the one true data format, would you like a pamphlet?

  1071. SamWhited


  1072. SamWhited


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  1074. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, that’s almost what DOAP is, tbh.

  1075. SamWhited

    Except I also have to conform to whatever RDF is, and also figure out what all these namespaces mean, etc. I have no idea how I'd even figure out what most of this stuff is

  1076. Link Mauve

    Although with some other useful information, like if this XEP is supported, is support complete? Which version are you implementing? (super useful for keeping track of changes) Do you have some note on your implementation?

  1077. marc

    Ge0rG, sfs, xep-0446

  1078. SamWhited

    Sure, I waas not suggesting those were the only things that needed defining, just that it could be a single document in a single namespace without a ton of extra cruft.

  1079. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, RDF is a way to represent a list of <subject> <verb> <object> triples, which is really useful here. :)

  1080. SamWhited

    Or, as much as you joke about it being {} instead of <>, I think JSON would be a better fit here because it doesn't have all of XML's extra crap which is great if you're defining a giant chat protocol but not so great for representing a tiny handful of key value pairs.

  1081. SamWhited

    Why the hell would I have to learn a whole new technology and deal with that extra layer of abstraction just to encode a tiny bit of data?

  1082. SamWhited

    That's my whole point, this all just seems like overengineering for no reason

  1083. Link Mauve

    As I said, if that’s a plus for you, it’s trivial to convert RDF from its JSON representation to XML, or to Turtle, or to whatever.

  1084. SamWhited

    Anyways, sorry, didn't mean to rant, guess I'm not trying this again because I"m already mad at it again and I haven't even tried to figure it out

  1085. SamWhited

    It's not about the format, it's about the fact that it uses RDF at all. If I have to learn a JSON equivalent of a bunch of random crap it's just as bad as doing it in XML

  1086. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, the main reason I didn’t “just” invent my own XML format (I originally started that way btw), was that it has a ton of existing tools around, which I would have to build myself instead.

  1087. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, but you’d have to learn something anyway, if you want it to be compatible with other people.

  1088. SamWhited

    Why does it need tools? It's a tiny amount of data that doesn't need anything special to represent it

  1089. Link Mauve

    There is no magical format that everyone already knows.

  1090. SamWhited

    Of course, I never suggested there was

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  1092. Link Mauve

    It needs tools because otherwise you have a file.

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  1094. SamWhited

    That's all we need: a file.

  1095. Link Mauve

    Just a file, sitting here in your repo.

  1096. Link Mauve

    Many projects already had that, a file.

  1097. SamWhited

    I mean, you'd have to parse it, but presumably you have an XML parser already. You don't also need an RDF schema or some nonsaense

  1098. Link Mauve

    If not a RDF schema, maybe a… XML schema? :p

  1099. Link Mauve

    I could write you a XML schema representing such a RDF file, if that’d make you happy.

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  1101. Link Mauve

    That way you can validate it and generate a parser for it and whatnot.

  1102. SamWhited

    That is not at all what I'm suggesting

  1103. SamWhited

    I don't want to do any of that, I want to copy/pate the gajim one, read it, and know what's going on without spending hours learning new technologies just to write out some simple metadata

  1104. Link Mauve

    Have you tried doing just that?

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  1108. mathieui

    SamWhited, but that’s doable right now, all the items are quite self-explanatory

  1109. Link Mauve

    Ignore the few xmlns, focus on the element names and their content.

  1110. SamWhited

    Yes, multiple times, and I've mostly given up trying to figure out what every random thing in this complicated files was or why there are multiple xsl files related to it somehow or how rdf works and why there's an rdf file that's apparently an OWL schema, whatever that is, and etc.

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  1113. SamWhited

    Literally nothing about this is self explanatory.

  1114. SamWhited

    Why are the XMLNS's there if they can just be ignored?

  1115. mathieui

    because they explain to machines what this file is

  1116. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, why are there xmlns in XMPP?

  1117. SamWhited

    I understand what namespaces are and why they exist in XMPP, I don't understand why they exist in this file that's just encoding a trivial small amount of data.

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  1119. mathieui

    and the few things I find not self-explanatory without domain knowledge in this file, would be the xmlns and the foaf stuff

  1120. Link Mauve

    A <message/> also encodes a trivial small amount of data, much smaller than such a DOAP file tbh.

  1121. SamWhited

    Oh gosh, yah, there's also foaf, yet another random external thing to learn

  1122. mathieui

    (but even then it is quite understandable)

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  1124. mathieui

    I mean, foaf:Person, foaf:name, foaf:homepage, that is quite clear, especially with an example file

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  1126. Link Mauve

    Gajim’s DOAP doesn’t use foaf, the xmlns could be removed.

  1127. SamWhited

    I mean, we can argue about whether namespaces are useful in XMPP too if you want, but it's a false equivalency, XMPP is not the same thing as just encoding a list that a website can consume or whatever

  1128. SamWhited

    What, so foaf (whatever that is) isn't even necessary? Again, how am I supposed to know that just looking at one of these files and copy/pasting? Do I just get lucky?

  1129. Ge0rG

    marc: how is that any good for referencing a local file?

  1130. SamWhited

    I don't get why XML people think that this is somehow self explanatory

  1131. SamWhited

    Anyways, I'm all mad at XML now as usual. Going grocery shopping for real this time.

  1132. Link Mauve

    SamWhited, it’s necessary if you want to include author information, Gajim decided not to, so they don’t need it.

  1133. Link Mauve

    You don’t need to include information you don’t want to, you could just have <Project xmlns="http://usefulinc.com/ns/doap#"><name>Gajim</name></Project> and that’d be a valid DOAP file.

  1134. Link Mauve

    Any additional information is optional.

  1135. Link Mauve

    Of course, if you want it to be useful you may have to provide it, otherwise it won’t be queriable.

  1136. mathieui

    Link Mauve, though I think SamWhited has a point that we could easily make a doap generator for all the fields for people who don’t like editing text files

  1137. Link Mauve

    I started writing that at some point, then realised the bulk of the job would be in maintainance, not in writing it.

  1138. mathieui


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  1140. Link Mauve

    And tbh, I’d expect someone who is able to write a XMPP software to be able to copy/paste a XML file and change a few fields.

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  1142. Ge0rG

    Link Mauve: heresy!

  1143. edhelas

    Link Mauve no one simply write XML by hand ! A true XML library you need

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