XEP-0240: Auto-Discovery of JabberIDs

This specification defines a recommended best practice for linking to JabberIDs from documents hosted on the World Wide Web.
  • Peter Saint-Andre
  • Ralph Meijer
© 2008 – 2008 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
0.1 (2008-04-30)
Document Lifecycle
  1. Experimental
  2. Deferred
  3. Proposed
  4. Stable
  5. Final

1. Introduction

HTML 4.0 [1] defines a <link/> element that defines a relationship between a document and another resource on the Internet. Such a resource can be a JabberID. Examples include the JabberID of a document author, a Multi-User Chat (XEP-0045) [2] room where the document can be discussed, or a Publish-Subscribe (XEP-0060) [3] node where RSS or Atom feeds related to the document are hosted (e.g., see RFC 4287 [4]). This specification defines a recommended approach for linking to JabberIDs in this way.

2. Link Format

The RECOMMENDED format is as follows.

Example 1. Format

The 'href' attribute is REQUIRED and its value MUST be an XMPP URI or IRI that conforms to RFC 5122 [5]. The URI SHOULD NOT include an action as described in XMPP URI Query Components (XEP-0147) [6] and registered at <https://xmpp.org/registrar/querytypes.html>, so that the URI can be appropriately dereferenced as described below. The URI MAY include a node key as shown in the examples below.

The 'rel' attribute is RECOMMENED and its value SHOULD be a link relation as registered in the IANA MIME Atom Link Relations Registry [7] or other registry.

In addition to 'href' and 'rel', the HTML and XHTML specifications define a number of other allowable attributes for the <link/> element. These attributes MAY be included. However, because a JabberID is a bare address and there is no hosted media associated with a JabberID, the 'charset', 'media', and 'type' attribute SHOULD NOT be included.

3. Processing

When an application encounters an auto-discovery link to a JabberID, it SHOULD pass it to an appropriate helper application (such as an XMPP client). The helper application then SHOULD dereference the URI, and send an XMPP Service Discovery (XEP-0030) [8] request to the referenced JID, passing the optional node parameter. The service discovery response therefore enables a full range of future actions.

4. Examples

The following example shows a JabberID that points to the same entity as the document itself (e.g., the author of an "about-the-author" page).

Example 2. Link Pointing to an Author
<link href='xmpp:stpeter@jabber.org' rel='self'/>

The following example shows a JabberID that points to a multi-user chat room where the document can be discussed.

Example 3. Link Pointing to a Chat Room
<link href='xmpp:jdev@conference.jabber.org'/>

The following example shows a JabberID that points to a publish-subscribe node where notifications related to the document can be retrieved.

Example 4. Link Pointing to a Pubsub Node
<link href='xmpp:pubsub.jabber.org?;node=xeps' rel='alternate'/>

5. Security Considerations

Advertising an XMPP address so that it can be automatically discovered may expose that address to abusive communications. Care should be taken when choosing whether to advertise a JID that corresponds to an end user's primary XMPP address.

6. IANA Considerations

This document currently requires no interaction with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) [9]. However, a future version of this specification may register new link relations with the IANA.

7. XMPP Registrar Considerations

This document requires no interaction with the XMPP Registrar [10].


Appendix A: Document Information

XMPP Standards Foundation
Standards Track
Last Updated
Approving Body
XMPP Council
Superseded By
Short Name
Source Control

This document in other formats: XML  PDF

Appendix B: Author Information

Peter Saint-Andre
Ralph Meijer


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).

Visual Presentation

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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. HTML 4.0 <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40>.

2. XEP-0045: Multi-User Chat <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0045.html>.

3. XEP-0060: Publish-Subscribe <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0060.html>.

4. RFC 4287: The Atom Syndication Format <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4287>.

5. RFC 5122: Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) for the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5122>.

6. XEP-0147: XMPP URI Query Components <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0147.html>.

7. IANA registry of Atom link relations <http://www.iana.org/assignments/link-relations.html>.

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

9. 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/>.

10. 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/>.

Appendix H: Revision History

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

  1. Version 0.1 (2008-04-30)

    Initial published version.

  2. Version 0.0.1 (2008-04-28)

    First draft.


Appendix I: Bib(La)TeX Entry

  title = {Auto-Discovery of JabberIDs},
  author = {Saint-Andre, Peter and Meijer, Ralph},
  type = {XEP},
  number = {0240},
  version = {0.1},
  institution = {XMPP Standards Foundation},
  url = {https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0240.html},
  date = {2008-04-28/2008-04-30},