Sunday, 28 November 2004
Look at me...
Just a little note on avatars and Jabber. In x-virge's Jabber
Vision, there's a piece on the need for Idavoll to be finished
and deployed for finally implementing avatars in
the Jabber universe, the right way. Though publish/subscribe
is an essential element of the Avatar JEP,
there's another dependency: discovery.
In particular, a client has to discover a contacts pubsub node by
sending a Disco request
to the contact's bare JID. The idea is that the contact's Jabber server
responds to this request, and for it to do that, the contact first has
to publish this information to its Jabber server. This process is also
known as disco-publish. However, as far as I know, jabberd 1.4.x
doesn't support disco-publish, and jabberd 2's support
is flakey, last time I checked. That covers a big part of the installed
base of Jabber servers. How is the support in other servers?
Just what the doctor ordered...
is going strong. I can say it is now in a state that should be usuable
for developing applications with. A while back, I asked pgmillard what features of
should be implemented, for Idavoll to be deployed on the
jabber.org public Jabber server. I believe all of his
requirements have now been met. Here the list of supported
Creating nodes (including so-called instant
Subscribing and unsubscribing
Publishing items + subscribers getting notifications
Requesting a previously published item
Retracting a previously published item
Purging all items for a node
Deleting a node
Configuring a node
Requesting current affiliations
Disco Info and Disco Items support
Some notes on the above:
Subscription requests are always automatically
accepted; owner approval using Data Forms is not yet
The only two node configuration options (for now) are
whether the node is persistent, and whether notifications should be
sent with or without payload.
Disco Items is only implemented on the service itself,
for requesting all nodes present. There is no hierarchy in the nodes in
the current implementation. Because this will generate a lot of data
when having more than a few nodes, this functionality can be disabled
by the administrator of the service.
Despite the notes, the service should be more than sufficient to
finally start implementing all sorts of cool publish/subscribe based
features in Jabber clients. More on that in a bit.
What might hold people back in deploying Idavoll right now, is that
there is no simple drop-in package, yet. Part of the problem here is that
the Jabber support in Twisted needs some patches here and there. One of
the patches is stringprep support for JIDs, a must-have, as was pointed
out to me by [GNU],
earlier today. So I've been busy implementing stringprep support today.
And it works!
Twisted development is in a state of flux, as their upcoming 2.0
release will probably be split up in several packages, and the Jabber
modules have been moved around. Also, dizzyd, who wrote the Jabber
support for Twisted is busy with non-Jabber stuff, and I have to somehow
get my patches in Twisted's codebase. I'll try and coordinate this with
dizzyd in the coming week or so. In the meanwhile, I'll probably have to
distribute my patches to Twisted along in the Idavoll release, but I am
not sure how to go about that, yet. For now, just checkout the code from
the CVS repository, and give it a whirl. I will be more than happy to do
Today, x-virge wrote an
interesting piece on his blog about his Jabber
Vision. Intented as some guidance in fixing the biggest pain
points currently perstering Jabber, he goes and explains what should be
done to get Jabber back up to speed.
One of the things he mentions is finally having a usuable pubsub
server component, combined with not one, but two encouragements to help
out with finishing Idavoll. Thanks x-virge! I'm not sure if he agrees
with my statement above that people could start using Idavoll now for
developing their cool stuff, but I can definitely use some help in
testing the code, and making it even more useful. If you are interested
in helping me out, drop me line!
Monday, 1 November 2004
Eating one's own dogfood...
As of today, the pubsub service
powered by Idavoll
2. This means that I think the Twisted rewrite of
Idavoll is now good enough to support Mimír and the pubsub features of
this site. A nice milestone.
The current implementation has two different backends, one that
stores all data in memory, and one that has persistent storage using
PostgreSQL. I use the
pubsub.ik.nu. This backend is very
limited at the moment. It only supports publishing items, storing the
items (if the node is so configured) and notifying subscribers.
Creating nodes, setting up subscriptions and configuration of nodes is
done by updating the database. But that should change soon
I am now at a point that the basic architecture of Idavoll is
becoming stable enough to quickly implement new features. I have
struggled a bit with finding out how to best use interfaces and
adapters in Twisted, and spiv, on the #twisted IRC
channel helped me go in the right direction.
The easy part was this: I splitted up the (optional) features of
JEP-0060 in nice chunks that are represented in several backend service
interfaces. That way, people can code backends with different storage
mechanisms and/or business rules, while only having to implement the
parts that are useful for the application at hand. So, there is one
interface for publishing items (
one for subscribing to, and unsubscribing from, a node
ISubscriptionService), and so on.
Next, I wanted to split up the Jabber protocol implementation along
similar lines. These would be implemented as adapters from such a
backend service interface to the
for implementing subservices of a Jabber server component. The problem
with this is that you would want to have one backend class implement
the choosen interfaces and then instantiate a
component.IService with an instance of that backend
class. And you can't do that, because it is ambigious!
Taking the two interfaces described above. Suppose I implement a
BackendService) that implements
ISubscriptionService, and I have adapters to
component.IService for both of them. What does the following do?
from twisted.protocols.jabber import component
backend = my_backend.BackendService()
service = component.IService(backend)
As I said, this is ambigious. This could yield either adapter
for the implemented backend interfaces. So, what I did was
still implement the code for the backend in one class that is
MultiService, and have skeleton child services that state the actual
interface that is implemented and pass on the method calls to their
parent. That way, you can simply call for the adapter from these
child service to
component.Service for each backend
This probably isn't going to win any beauty contests, but it
was the result of my discussion with spiv. Other approaches were
even less desirable. I could define all adapters to be incremental
and have only one
component.Service per specific
backend. Another approach would be to have some code that figures out
which adapters to fire up from the
attribute of the backend. I didn't want to go there.
Have a look at the code in the Idavoll
CVS repository or the generated API
documentation. If you have any questions, comments or
suggestions, let me know!