Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Binary XMPP

Last February, Google's Android Team shocked the XMPP world by having the gall of saying that they where moving to a Binary encoding of their GTalk API in the M5 release.

Of course this sent shock waves through the XMPP community, not because they where totally wrong, but because they didn't have the vision to solve it.

We of course understand that they have their hands full (of vapor, some bad mouths would say...) getting the platform in shape for the late 2008 release, and the XMPP.. err, sorry, GTalk protocol is not a top priority.

Well, today Android users around the world can rejoice because once again, the XMPP Standards Foundation has risen to the challenge and unveils to the world the solution to the "verboseness" problem, by introducing the breakthrough Binary XMPP protocol.

This has been in development for quite some time, taking long hours of (sometimes) heated discussion. The goal is to have something that nobody could ever accuse of being verbose (the symbol count is extremely low, and the meaning is clear from the start), but at the same time remain compressible for those extreme cases where bandwidth is at a premium (we tested, and we have code to prove it: a Binary XMPP stream can be compressed to 2% of its original size). We know of clients that live in five-sides-shaped-buildings that, with their hard 9600 baud limits, will be the first to use this.

Its been a great ride, and it feels me with immense joy to be able to put my small signature as a co-author of this spec. Of course, my part is extremely small when you have the documentation genius of Peter Saint-Andre, and Fabio Forno strict guidelines and requirements, as co-authors. Its been a pleasure to work with both on this. And I should also thanks the important Kevin Smith contributions.

And now time to rest. SRV records are up at domain, and Fabio's CM is running also.

PS: and yes, now you know why the prolonged silence around here.
PPS: for those who have moved on, the code is also available on GitHub.