Lately I have been reading up on the whole SOAP versus REST discussion. I saw a comment on one blog that “XMPP was not going to replace REST”. At that point I figured this was a true statement. That is because I had never heard about XMPP before. So I decided to do a little research on the web to find out more about it. This is what I found.
XMPP stands for Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. It is a steaming XML technology for instant messaging and buddy lists. It is the core protocol of Jabber, which itself is an open source technology for instant messaging. Jabber’s advantages are that it is open, decentralized, secure, and free. XMPP is an open standard. It is implemented in Google Talk. I hear that it has a large overhead.
XMPP was developed by the Jabber open source community in 1999. There is actually an XMPP Standard Foundation. The specifications for XMPP were produced by the IETF XMPP Working Group. The standards were written in a set of RFC. For example RFC 3920 is XMPP Core, produced in 2004.
I read a funny blog post by Matt Tucker that said developers should “come to Jesus about the [XMPP] protocol”. I guess to some this is sort of like a religion. Matt goes on to say that XMPP is good for cloud computing. He believes that SOAP does not scale.
Getting a little more into the details, XMPP defines extensible elements called XML stanzas. They are exchanged in real time. The old way of doing things was for clients to poll servers. Examples of this are G-mail and RSS readers. However this method would not work for instant messaging due to the sheer volume of clients. The solution is XMPP. There is obviously a lot more to learn about this technology. There are a lot of extensions to the core standard. I will keep you posted on anything that I learn.
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