XEP-0226: Message Stanza Profiles

This document specifies best practices for generating and handling extended content in XMPP message stanzas.

WARNING: This Informational document is Experimental. Publication as an XMPP Extension Protocol does not imply approval of this proposal by the XMPP Standards Foundation. Implementation of the best practice or protocol profile described herein is encouraged in exploratory implementations, although production systems should not deploy implementations of this protocol until it advances to a status of Draft.

Document Information

Series: XEP
Number: 0226
Publisher: XMPP Standards Foundation
Status: Experimental
Type: Informational
Version: 0.1
Last Updated: 2007-08-08
Approving Body: XMPP Council
Dependencies: None
Supersedes: None
Superseded By: None
Short Name: N/A
Wiki Page: <http://wiki.jabber.org/index.php/Message Stanza Profiles (XEP-0226)>

Author Information

Justin Karneges

Email: justin@affinix.com
JabberID: justin@andbit.net

Peter Saint-Andre

JabberID: stpeter@jabber.org
URI: https://stpeter.im/

Legal Notices


This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright (c) 1999 - 2008 by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF).


Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this specification (the "Specification"), to make use of the Specification without restriction, including without limitation the rights to implement the Specification in a software program, deploy the Specification in a network service, and copy, modify, merge, publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, or sell copies of the Specification, and to permit persons to whom the Specification is furnished to do so, subject to the condition that the foregoing copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Specification. Unless separate permission is granted, modified works that are redistributed shall not contain misleading information regarding the authors, title, number, or publisher of the Specification, and shall not claim endorsement of the modified works by the authors, any organization or project to which the authors belong, or the XMPP Standards Foundation.

Disclaimer of Warranty

## NOTE WELL: This Specification is provided on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In no event shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or the authors of this Specification be liable for any claim, damages, or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort, or otherwise, arising from, out of, or in connection with the Specification or the implementation, deployment, or other use of the Specification. ##

Limitation of Liability

In no event and under no legal theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, unless required by applicable law (such as deliberate and grossly negligent acts) or agreed to in writing, shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or any author of this Specification be liable for damages, including any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising out of the use or inability to use the Specification (including but not limited to damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses), even if the XMPP Standards Foundation or such author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

IPR Conformance

This XMPP Extension Protocol has been contributed in full conformance with the XSF's Intellectual Property Rights Policy (a copy of which may be found at <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/ipr-policy.shtml> or obtained by writing to XSF, P.O. Box 1641, Denver, CO 80201 USA).

Discussion Venue

The preferred venue for discussion of this document is the Standards discussion list: <http://mail.jabber.org/mailman/listinfo/standards>.

Errata may be sent to <editor@xmpp.org>.

Relation to XMPP

The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is defined in the XMPP Core (RFC 3920) and XMPP IM (RFC 3921) specifications contributed by the XMPP Standards Foundation to the Internet Standards Process, which is managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force in accordance with RFC 2026. Any protocol defined in this document has been developed outside the Internet Standards Process and is to be understood as an extension to XMPP rather than as an evolution, development, or modification of XMPP itself.

Conformance Terms

The following keywords as used in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119: "MUST", "SHALL", "REQUIRED"; "MUST NOT", "SHALL NOT"; "SHOULD", "RECOMMENDED"; "SHOULD NOT", "NOT RECOMMENDED"; "MAY", "OPTIONAL".

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Profiles
    2.1. IM
    2.2. Data Forms
    2.3. RPC
    2.4. Feature Negotiation
    2.5. HTTP Authentication
    2.6. SOAP
    2.7. Stanza Session Negotiation
3. Metadata Elements
4. Rules
5. Security Considerations
6. IANA Considerations
7. XMPP Registrar Considerations
Revision History

1. Introduction

The definition of XMPP stanzas in XMPP Core [1] and XMPP IM [2] allows a <message/> stanza to include any number of child elements that define extended content. The fact that a message stanza may contain multiple instances of extended content can make it difficult for sending entities to know what is appropriate for inclusion in a message stanza and for receiving entities to know exactly how to process a message stanza.

Consider the following hypothetical example, which as we shall see is invalid.

Example 1. A confusing message

<message from='romeo@montague.lit' to='juliet@capulet.com'>
  <body>Shall we meet?</body
  <html xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/xhtml-im'>
    <body xmlns='http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml'>
      <p style='font-weight:bold'>Shall we meet?</p>
  <feature xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/feature-neg'>
    <x xmlns='jabber:x:data' type='form'>
      <field var='FORM_TYPE' type='hidden'>
      <field type='list-single' var='places-to-meet'>
         <option><value>Secret Grotto</value></option>
         <option><value>Verona Park</value></option>
      <field type='list-single' var='times-to-meet'>
  <headers xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/shim'>
    <header name='Urgency'>high</header>
  <amp xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/amp' per-hop='true'>
    <rule condition='expire-at'
  <geoloc xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/geoloc' xml:lang='en'>
  <mood xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/mood'>

What to make of a message like this? The import seems to be that Romeo, being in a flirtatious mood (User Mood [3]) and currently located near Juliet's abode (User Geolocation [4]), would urgently (Stanza Headers and Internet Metadata [5]) like to meet with Juliet (message body) and proposes two convenient places (Feature Negotiation [6]) for an evening tryst, but no later than midnight (Advanced Message Processing [7]). But how is Juliet's client supposed to figure that out? That is, what should her client present to the user? And should Romeo's client even send a monstrosity such as this? (No.)

To clarify such matters, in this document we introduce the concept of "message stanza profiles".

2. Profiles

We propose the following profiles.

2.1 IM

The instant messaging (IM) profile is the "default" profile for message stanzas. For example, if a message stanza includes only elements that are defined for the 'jabber:client' namespace then it is in the IM profile. If a message stanza includes both IM profile elements and other elements, the IM elements should be considered a fallback and the profile should be determined based on the other elements if supported (e.g., a data form). A sending entity should limit the elements it includes to IM profile elements, unless the IM elements are a fallback.

The extended content defined in the following specifications is considered to be in the IM profile:

2.2 Data Forms

Extended content elements defined in Data Forms [15] are considered to be in the Data Forms profile.

2.3 RPC

Extended content elements defined in Jabber-RPC [16] are considered to be in the RPC profile.

2.4 Feature Negotiation

Extended content elements defined in Feature Negotiation [17] are considered to be in the Feature Negotiation profile.

2.5 HTTP Authentication

Extended content elements defined in Verifying HTTP Requests via XMPP [18] are considered to be in the HTTP Authentication profile.

2.6 SOAP

Extended content elements defined in SOAP over XMPP [19] are considered to be in the SOAP profile.

2.7 Stanza Session Negotiation

Extended content elements defined in Stanza Session Negotiation [20] are considered to be in the Stanza Session Negotiation profile.

3. Metadata Elements

Metadata elements are included to define how the message stanza shall be routed, delivered, or processed in transit. Metadata elements shall not be used to determine which profile applies. If a message stanza includes only metadata elements, it can be considered to have no profile.

The extended content elements defined in the following specifications are considered to be metadata elements:

4. Rules

We stipulate the following rules:

  1. A single profile applies to each message stanza (i.e., a message is not in two or more profiles).
  2. Transmission elements do not affect the profile.
  3. Each element is part of some profile. Unless otherwise stated, the same profile applies to every element of a given namespace.
  4. Unknown elements have no affect on determining the profile.
  5. When determining which profile applies to a stanza, consider the IM profile as a last resort.
  6. A sending entity must not mix profiles, except IM profile elements may included with with any other profile as a fallback (e.g., a message body along with a data form).

Therefore, the example provided in the introduction should never be generated by a sending client because the message combines multiple profiles. If it receives a message stanza that combines multiple profiles, the receiving client MAY return a stanza error, which SHOULD be <not-acceptable/>.

Example 2. Message not acceptable

<message from='juliet@capulet.com' to='romeo@montague.lit'>
  <error code='406' type='cancel'>
    <not-acceptable xmlns='urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:xmpp-stanzas'/>

5. Security Considerations

This document adds no security concerns or consideration above and beyond those specified in the specifications to which it refers.

6. IANA Considerations

This document requires no interaction with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) [25].

7. XMPP Registrar Considerations

A future version of this specification may call for the XMPP Registrar [26] to establish a registry of message stanza profiles, so that each relevant specification shall define which profile applies to extended content qualified by the relevant namespace.


1. RFC 3920: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3920>.

2. RFC 3921: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Instant Messaging and Presence <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3921>.

3. XEP-0107: User Mood <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0107.html>.

4. XEP-0080: User Geolocation <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0080.html>.

5. XEP-0131: Stanza Headers and Internet Metadata <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0131.html>.

6. XEP-0020: Feature Negotiation <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0020.html>.

7. XEP-0079: Advanced Message Processing <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0079.html>.

8. RFC 3921: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Instant Messaging and Presence <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3921>.

9. XEP-0045: Multi-User Chat <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0045.html>.

10. XEP-0066: Out of Band Data <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0066.html>.

11. XEP-0071: XHTML-IM <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0071.html>.

12. XEP-0085: Chat State Notifications <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0085.html>.

13. XEP-0144: Roster Item Exchange <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0144.html>.

14. XEP-0172: User Nickname <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0172.html>.

15. XEP-0004: Data Forms <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0004.html>.

16. XEP-0009: Jabber-RPC <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0009.html>.

17. XEP-0020: Feature Negotiation <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0020.html>.

18. XEP-0070: Verifying HTTP Requests via XMPP <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0070.html>.

19. XEP-0072: SOAP over XMPP <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0072.html>.

20. XEP-0155: Stanza Session Negotiation <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0155.html>.

21. XEP-0033: Extended Stanza Addressing <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0033.html>.

22. XEP-0079: Advanced Message Processing <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0079.html>.

23. XEP-0131: Stanza Headers and Internet Metadata <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0131.html>.

24. XEP-0203: Delayed Delivery <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0203.html>.

25. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the central coordinator for the assignment of unique parameter values for Internet protocols, such as port numbers and URI schemes. For further information, see <http://www.iana.org/>.

26. The XMPP Registrar maintains a list of reserved protocol namespaces as well as registries of parameters used in the context of XMPP extension protocols approved by the XMPP Standards Foundation. For further information, see <http://www.xmpp.org/registrar/>.

Revision History

Version 0.1 (2007-08-08)

Initial published version; specified more granular profiles; renamed transmission elements to metadata elements.


Version 0.0.2 (2007-08-01)

Clarified that message profiles apply to sending entities as well as receiving entities.


Version 0.0.1 (2007-08-01)

First draft.