XEP-0312: PubSub Since

This specification defines a publish-subscribe feature that enables a subscriber to automatically receive pubsub and PEP notifications since the last logout time of a specific resource.
  • Joe Hildebrand
  • Peter Saint-Andre
© 2012 – 2012 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 (2012-05-29)
Document Lifecycle
  1. Experimental
  2. Deferred
  3. Proposed
  4. Stable
  5. Final

1. Introduction

Many Publish-Subscribe (XEP-0060) [1] and Personal Eventing Protocol (XEP-0163) [2] services send notifications based on information about the presence of subscribers. This implies that subscribers might not receive notifications that were generated when they are offline at a particular resource. This specification defines how pubsub and PEP services can use the last logout information to send interim notifications to subscribers. (Although Last Activity in Presence (XEP-0256) [3] defines a way for clients to note their last logout time, this document defines a specialized namespace to reduce the possibility that non-initial presence notifications would trigger the synchronization behavior.)

2. How It Works

When sending initial presence, a subscriber (more precisely, a subscriber's specific full JID) can indicate how long ago it last logged out by including an <ago/> element qualifed by the 'urn:xmpp:ago:0' namespace; the 'secs' attribute indicates the number of seconds since this resource was last online.

Example 1. Last Logout Indication in Initial Presence
<presence from='juliet@capulet.com/balcony'>
  <ago xmlns='urn:xmpp:ago:0' secs='86511'/>

Upon receiving such an indication, a pubsub or PEP service that supports presence-based notifications and the "pubsub-since" feature defined herein would behave as follows:

  1. The service MUST send to the subscriber's full JID all of the notifications stored in the relevant node's history that were generated since the last logout time (although see the rule #2 and rule #5 below).
  2. The service SHOULD NOT include items that were deleted from the node, and MAY purge the node if items are deleted (naturally, if the node is purged then the service would not be able to meet rule #1 above).
  3. The service SHOULD include only the final version of each pubsub notification (e.g., in case of items that were updated during the period when the subscriber was offline).
  4. The service MAY adjust its definition of "interim notification" to account for reasonable clock skew (e.g., including notifications up to five minutes older than the subscriber's last logout time).
  5. The service MAY limit the number of notifications that it sends to avoid resource contraints.
  6. The service MAY include Result Set Management (XEP-0059) [4] data so that the subscriber can page through the set of interim notifications.

If the pubsub service receives subsequent available presence from that full JID (even a presence update that includes the last availability indication), it MUST behave according to the rules in XEP-0060 or XEP-0163 (typically this means it would do nothing, since presence-based delivery toggles notifications "on" when receiving initial presence and toggles notifications "off" when receiving unavailable presence).

3. Determining Support

If a pubsub or PEP service supports the protocol defined herein, it MUST report that by including a Service Discovery (XEP-0030) [5] feature of "http://jabber.org/protocol/pubsub#since" in response to disco#info requests:

Example 2. Service discovery information request
<iq from='bard@shakespeare.lit/globe'
  <query xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/disco#info'/>
Example 3. Service discovery information response
<iq from='pubsub.shakespeare.lit'
  <query xmlns='http://jabber.org/protocol/disco#info'>
    <identity category='pubsub' type='service'/>
    <feature var='http://jabber.org/protocol/pubsub'/>
    <feature var='http://jabber.org/protocol/pubsub#auto-subscribe'/>
    <feature var='http://jabber.org/protocol/pubsub#presence-notifications'/>
    <feature var='http://jabber.org/protocol/pubsub#since'/>

4. Security Considerations

The number or cumulative size of the notifications published since the subscriber's last login time might be large, causing a significant load on the service. Implementations might consider truncating the interim notifications to avoid a denial of service.

5. IANA Considerations

This document requires no interaction with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) [6].

6. Implementation Notes

The Last Activity extension (XEP-0012) notates time in seconds before the moment of stanza generation. Although some commenters have suggested that it would be easier to implement last activity notations in terms of UTC timestamps, clients can mitigate some implementation problems by storing the last activity time in UTC instead of local time (in case the device is moved across time zones) and by using standard technologies for clock synchronization such as RFC 1305 [7] and Entity Time (XEP-0202) [8]. The five-minute grace period is merely a suggestion for developers; implementation and deployment experience might indicate that other values are more prudent.

7. XMPP Registrar Considerations

7.1 Protocol Namespaces

The XMPP Registrar [9] shall add 'urn:xmpp:ago:0' to its registry at <https://xmpp.org/registrar/namespaces.html>.

7.2 Service Discovery Features

Support for the feature defined in this document is advertised by the "http://jabber.org/protocol/pubsub#since" Service Discovery feature.

The XMPP Registrar shall add this feature to its registry at <https://xmpp.org/registrar/disco-features.html>. The registration is as follows.

Registry Submission
    The pubsub or PEP service sends interim notifications upon receiving
    initial presence containing the subscriber's last logout time.

8. XML Schema

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>


  <xs:element name='ago'>
        <xs:extension base='empty'>
          <xs:attribute name='secs' type='xs:unsignedLong' use='required'/>

  <xs:simpleType name='empty'>
    <xs:restriction base='xs:string'>
      <xs:enumeration value=''/>



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

Joe Hildebrand
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).

Visual Presentation

The HTML representation (you are looking at) is maintained by the XSF. It is based on the YAML CSS Framework, which is licensed under the terms of the CC-BY-SA 2.0 license.

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

2. XEP-0163: Personal Eventing Protocol <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0163.html>.

3. XEP-0256: Last Activity in Presence <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0256.html>.

4. XEP-0059: Result Set Management <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0059.html>.

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

6. 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/>.

7. RFC 1305: Network Time Protocol (Version 3) <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1305>.

8. XEP-0202: Entity Time <https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0202.html>.

9. 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 0.3 (2012-05-29)

    Corrected namespace to use namespace versioning; tweaked some of the delivery rules.

  2. Version 0.2 (2012-03-08)

    Replaced jabber:iq:last with a specialized namespace.

  3. Version 0.1 (2012-02-29)

    Initial published version.

  4. Version 0.0.2 (2012-02-29)

    Addressed some feedback from the XMPP Council.

  5. Version 0.0.1 (2012-02-27)

    First draft.


Appendix I: Bib(La)TeX Entry

  title = {PubSub Since},
  author = {Hildebrand, Joe and Saint-Andre, Peter},
  type = {XEP},
  number = {0312},
  version = {0.3},
  institution = {XMPP Standards Foundation},
  url = {https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0312.html},
  date = {2012-02-27/2012-05-29},