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Project Description
Browser based Chat 1.0
======================

This document describes the protocol behind the chat system used by
nereid. We looked around for a possible standard based on which we could
write a chat application which works within the browser. The search was
futile and this is an attempt to write a generic implementation inspired
by XMPP to address browser based chat.

1. Introduction
---------------

1.1 Overview
~~~~~~~~~~~~

This protocol is a protocol fr streaming JSON in order to exchange messages
and presence information in close to realtime.

1.2 Requirements
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. Compatible with most browsers.
2. Compatible with proxies
3. Fully compatible with HTTP/1.0.
4. Fault Tolerant
5. Extensible
6. MUC rooms

2. Concepts
-----------


2.1 Authentication
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This protocol does not define any authentication mechanism of its own, but
leaves it to the underlying HTTP layer.

2.2 Thread
~~~~~~~~~~

Thread an identifier that is used for tracking a conversation thread
(sometimes referred to as an "instant messaging session") between two
entities.

Every conversation in the system, to an individual user or to a group of
users (MUC) happens in a thread. When a new message is initiated to an
individual or a group of users, a thread is created if one does not
already exist with the given users. The thread id need not be human
readable.

3. Syntax of Stanzas
--------------------

The basic semantics and common attributes of JSON objects specific to the
implementation are outlined below.

Example of a complete stanza
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.. code:: js

{
"timestamp": "2011-02-10T15:04:55Z",
"stanzas": [
{
"type": "message"
"message": {
"subject": "Optional topic of conversation",
"text": "The message body"
"type": "plain",
"language": "en_US",
"attachments": [
],
"id": "",
"thread": "thread-id",
"sender": {
"url": "http://example.org/martin",
"objectType": "person",
"id": "tag:example.org,2011:martin",
"foo2": "some other extension property",
"image": {
"url": "http://example.org/martin/image",
"width": 250,
"height": 250
},
"displayName": "Martin Smith"
},
},
},
{
"type": "presence"
"presence": [
{
"entity": "nereid.user,123",
"show": "chat",
"status": "A happy day",
"available": true,
}, {
"entity": "nereid.user,13",
"show": "dnd",
"status": "Busy in a meeting",
"available": true,
}
],
}
]



3.1 Message
~~~~~~~~~~~

Message stanzas are used to push information to another entity. Messages
sent in the context of a chat conversation are sent in a message stanza to
the recipients.

3.1.1 Subject
.............

The `subject` attribute contains human-readable data that specifies the topic
of the message. The attribute is optional

3.1.2 Text
...........

The `text` attribute contains human-readable data that specifies the
textual contents of the message; this attribute is normally included
but is OPTIONAL.

3.1.3 Type
...........

The `type` attribute contains the Content-Type minor for the textual
contents of the message. The attribute is OPTIONAL and the default value
of the type is assumed to be `plain`. Possible values are:

* `plain`
* `html`
* `rst`

3.1.4 Language
..............

The `language` attribute is used to help identify the human language in
which the textual contents of the message are composed. The language is
specified in accordance with the IETF best practice, specified by `RFC
5646` and `RFC 4647` for easy parsing by a computer. An example of
language is `en-US` (English as used in the United States (US is the
ISO 3166‑1 country code for the United States)

3.1.5 Attachments
.................

TODO

3.1.6 ID
........

This is meant to be a RFC 4122 compliant GUID for the message generated on
the client side. An UUID v4 generated should be sufficient.

3.1.7 Thread
............

The thread attribute contains non-human-readable character data specifying an
identifier that is used for tracking a conversation thread (sometimes referred
to as an "instant messaging session") between two entities. The value of the
thread attribute is generated by the sender and SHOULD be copied back in any
replies.

If left empty, the server implementation could decide if the message is a
continuation of an existing conversation or a new conversation could be
created for the purpose.

If used, it MUST be unique to that conversation thread within the stream and
MUST be consistent throughout that conversation (a client that receives a
message from the same sender but with a different thread ID MUST assume that
the message in question exists outside the context of the existing conversation
thread).

3.1.8 Sender
............

Inspired from the actor in activity stream specification.

TODO: Elaborate in detail


3.1.9 Example Message
.....................

.. code:: js

{
"timestamp": "2011-02-10T15:04:55Z",
"type": "message"
"message": {
"subject": "Optional topic of conversation",
"text": "The message body"
"type": "plain",
"language": "en_US",
"attachments": [
],
"id": "",
"thread": "thread-id",
"sender": {
"url": "http://example.org/martin",
"objectType": "person",
"id": "tag:example.org,2011:martin",
"foo2": "some other extension property",
"image": {
"url": "http://example.org/martin/image",
"width": 250,
"height": 250
},
"displayName": "Martin Smith"
},
},
}

3.2 Presence
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Presence stanzas are used to express an entity's current network availability
(offline or online, along with various sub-states of the latter and optional
user-defined descriptive text), and to notify other entities of that
availability. Unlike XMPP Presence stanzas are **not** used to negotiate
and manage subscriptions to the presence of other entities. Web
applications are assumed to have their own unique ways of handling
subscriptions.

3.2.1 Available
...............

A boolean value to indicate if the user is available for communication.


3.2.2 Show
..........

The OPTIONAL attribute contains non-human-readable character data that
specifies the particular availability status of an entity or specific
resource.

* away -- The entity or resource is temporarily away.
* chat -- The entity or resource is actively interested in chatting.
* dnd -- The entity or resource is busy (dnd = "Do Not Disturb").
* xa -- The entity or resource is away for an extended period
(xa = "eXtended Away").

3.2.3 Status
............

The OPTIONAL status element contains character data specifying a
natural-language description of availability status. It is normally
used in conjunction with the show element to provide a detailed
description of an availability state (e.g., "In a meeting").

3.2.4 Entity
............

The unique identifier of the entity of which the presence stanza has
information about.

3.2.5 Example Presence
.....................

.. code:: js

{
"type": "presence"
"presence": [
{
"entity": "nereid.user,123",
"show": "chat",
"status": "A happy day",
"available": true,
}, {
"entity": "nereid.user,13",
"show": "dnd",
"status": "Busy in a meeting",
"available": true,
}
],
}

4. Chat Token
-------------

4.1 Overview
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Authorized token to fetch chat stream without nereid cookies based login.

4.2 Usage with Session-less tokens
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quiet often chat is a part of a larger application and given the new
trends of single page applications, you may want to use the chat
functionality without sessions. To implement the same this module
provides an API where an access token is initially generated by a
logged in user which can then be used exclusively to subscribe to
chat messages, notifications and send new messages.

This token cannot be used for any other requests.

.. note::


For scalability reasons the chat tokens are stored in redis
with TTL of 1 hour.


4.2.1 Generate chat token
.........................

Chat token can be generated by sending a POST request to the following
URL.

.. code::

POST /nereid-chat/token


Response:

.. code::

HTTP/1.1 200 OK

{'token': '550e8400-e29b-41d4-a716-446655440000'}


4.2.2 Subscribing to stream using token
........................................

Once a token is received with the above mentioned method call,
it can then be used to subscribe to the event stream using the
special handler shown below. Unlike the regular stream handler,
this one expects a token.

.. code::

GET /nereid-chat/stream/<token>
Release History

Release History

3.0.1.1

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