XEP-0232: Software Information

This document specifies an extended data format whereby XMPP service discovery responses can include detailed information about the software application that powers a given XMPP entity for includion in service discovery responses.
Peter Saint-Andre
© 2008 – 2009 XMPP Standards Foundation. SEE LEGAL NOTICES.


WARNING: This document has been automatically Deferred after 12 months of inactivity in its previous Experimental state. Implementation of the protocol described herein is not recommended for production systems. However, exploratory implementations are encouraged to resume the standards process.
Standards Track
0.3 (2009-02-26)
Document Lifecycle
  1. Experimental
  2. Deferred
  3. Proposed
  4. Stable
  5. Final

1. Introduction

Service Discovery Extensions (XEP-0128) [1] defines a way for an XMPP entity to include extended information in its responses to Service Discovery (XEP-0030) [2] information requests. This document specifies a usage of XEP-0128 whereby an XMPP entity can provide detailed data about itself in such responses. This protocol is intended to replace Software Version (XEP-0092) [3] for software information discovery (thus reducing or eliminating the need for distinct software version requests) and also provides a format that can be encapsulated into Entity Capabilities (XEP-0115) [4] notifications.

2. Use Case

To illustrate this usage, consider the following example of a disco#info request-response interaction that includes detailed client information:

Example 1. Entity queries client for information
<iq from='romeo@montaguue.lit/orchard'
  <query xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/disco#info'/>

Upon receiving the disco#info request, the software replies and includes extended information in a data form (Data Forms (XEP-0004) [5]), where the icon is communicated using the format defined in Data Forms Media Element (XEP-0221) [6].

Example 2. Client communicates information
<iq from='juliet@capulet.lit/chamber'
  <query xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/disco#info'>
    <identity category='client' name='Exodus' type='pc'/>
    <feature var='http://jabber.org/protocol/disco'/>
    <x xmlns='jabber:x:data' type='result'>
      <field var='FORM_TYPE' type='hidden'>
      <field var='icon'>
        <media xmlns='urn:xmpp:media-element'
          <uri type='image/jpeg'>
          <uri type='image/jpeg'>
      <field var='os'>
      <field var='os_version'>
      <field var='software'>
      <field var='software_version'>

The fields have the following meaning:

3. Security Considerations

Service discovery information is typically world-readable. Therefore, care should be taken in exposing information that may make it easier for a potential attacker to target the publishing entity's system (e.g., the operating system on which the software is running).

4. IANA Considerations

This document requires no interaction with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) [7].

5. XMPP Registrar Considerations

The XMPP Registrar [8] shall include the following information in its registries.

5.1 Field Standardization

Field Standardization for Data Forms (XEP-0068) [9] defines a process for standardizing the fields used within Data Forms qualified by a particular namespace, and XEP-0128 describes how to use field standardization in the context of service discovery. This section registers fields for software information scoped by the "urn:xmpp:dataforms:softwareinfo" FORM_TYPE.

Registry Submission
    Forms enabling the communication of detailed information
    about an XMPP client.
      label='A URL for an icon representing the software, no matter the
             presence or availability status of the XMPP entity'/>
      label='The operating system on which the XMPP software is running'/>
      label='The operating system version'/>
      label='The XMPP software running at the entity'/>
      label='The XMPP software version'/>

6. Acknowledgements

Thanks to Dave Cridland, Olivier Goffart, Joe Hildebrand, Etan Reisner, Remko Tronçon, and Jiří Zárevúcký for their comments.


Appendix A: Document Information

XMPP Standards Foundation
Standards Track
Last Updated
Approving Body
XMPP Council
XMPP Core, XEP-0004, XEP-0030
Superseded By
Short Name
Source Control

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Appendix B: Author Information

Peter Saint-Andre


This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright © 1999 – 2024 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. ##

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 from, out of, or in connection with the Specification or the implementation, deployment, or other use of 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 can be found at <https://xmpp.org/about/xsf/ipr-policy> or obtained by writing to XMPP Standards Foundation, P.O. Box 787, Parker, CO 80134 USA).

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Appendix D: Relation to XMPP

The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is defined in the XMPP Core (RFC 6120) and XMPP IM (RFC 6121) 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.

Appendix E: Discussion Venue

The primary venue for discussion of XMPP Extension Protocols is the <standards@xmpp.org> discussion list.

Discussion on other xmpp.org discussion lists might also be appropriate; see <https://xmpp.org/community/> for a complete list.

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

Appendix F: Requirements Conformance

The following requirements 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".

Appendix G: Notes

1. XEP-0128: Service Discovery Extensions <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0128.html>.

2. XEP-0030: Service Discovery <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0030.html>.

3. XEP-0092: Software Version <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0092.html>.

4. XEP-0115: Entity Capabilities <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0115.html>.

5. XEP-0004: Data Forms <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0004.html>.

6. XEP-0221: Data Forms Media Element <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0221.html>.

7. 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/>.

8. 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 <https://xmpp.org/registrar/>.

9. XEP-0068: Field Data Standardization for Data Forms <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0068.html>.

Appendix H: Revision History

Note: Older versions of this specification might be available at https://xmpp.org/extensions/attic/

  1. Version 0.3 (2009-02-26)

    Per Last Call feedback, removed icons for presence states; redefined the icon field to use media element per XEP-0221.

  2. Version 0.2 (2008-03-14)

    Added icon fields.

  3. Version 0.1 (2008-01-30)

    Initial published version.

  4. Version 0.0.3 (2008-01-23)

    Added software field; generalized to be software information, not client information.

  5. Version 0.0.2 (2008-01-22)

    Clarified relationship to Software Version (XEP-0092).

  6. Version 0.0.1 (2008-01-21)

    First draft.


Appendix I: Bib(La)TeX Entry

  title = {Software Information},
  author = {Saint-Andre, Peter},
  type = {XEP},
  number = {0232},
  version = {0.3},
  institution = {XMPP Standards Foundation},
  url = {https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0232.html},
  date = {2008-01-21/2009-02-26},