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XMPP Extension Protocols (XEPs)

This repository is used to manage work on XMPP Extension Protocols (XEPs), which are the specifications produced by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF). See for details. The rendered documents can be found here:

Please use this repository to raise issues and submit pull requests:

For in-depth technical discussion, please post to the email list:

To submit a new proposal for consideration as a XEP, please read this page:

XEP-0001: XMPP Extension Protocols defines the standards process followed by the XMPP Standards Foundation.

Building XEPs

To build a single XEP as HTML simply run:

make xep-xxxx.html

To build PDFs, you'll need to install TeXML (probably in a Python 2 virtual environment). You can then build PDFs with:

make xep-xxxx.pdf

To change the output directory, set the variable OUTDIR, eg.

OUTDIR=/tmp/xeps make all

For more information try make help.

Using Docker

A full set of HTML and PDFs can be generated inside a docker container, with no dependencies on the host other than Docker itself, and served by nginx in the container. To build the template make docker, to run it make testdocker (serves on http://localhost:3080), and to stop/delete it afterwards make stopdocker

Gardening (Issue triaging by non-editors)

For new PRs, anyone with permission may perform gardening tasks. The Go wiki sumarizes "gardening" as:

the background maintenance tasks done to keep the project healthy & growing & nice looking.

In this repo, gardening is mostly triaging issues. An issue is considered triaged when an editor has been assigned to it. Untriaged issues that are in need of attention can be found using the following filter: is:open is:pr no:assignee

To triage new issues or PRs:

  • Is the issue a duplicate? Close it (referencing the original issue).
  • Is the issue a question and not an issue? Close it, pointing them at the mailing list or chat room.
  • Is the PR a new ProtoXEP? Add the "ProtoXEP" label and ensure that the file is in the "inbox/" tree and does not start with "xep-" (if not, leave a comment asking for it to be moved).
  • Is the issue a specific change to an existing XEP or a few XEPs (eg. not whitespace changes to many XEPs, use your judgement)? Make sure the title starts with "XEP-XXXX:" or "XEP-XXXX, XEP-YYYY:".
  • Finally, assign an editor (pick one at random, or pick the one with the least issues already assigned to them; we may re-assign it later so don't feel bad). The list of active editors can be found here:


The XMPP Extensions Editor (or, for short, XEP Editor) manages the XMPP extensions process as defined in XMPP Extension Protocols (XEP-0001). In addition, the XEP Editor functions as the XMPP Registrar as defined in XMPP Registrar Function (XEP-0053). Read those documents first, since this README focuses on mechanics instead of philosophy or policy.

All PRs

For all PRs, start by ensuring that the IP release has been signed and that CI has run and no issues were detected before merging.

Triaging a PR

If the PR is not touching a XEP, this guide does not apply. If the PR touches multiple XEPs, go through the steps for each XEP and exit at the first which applies.

  1. Is the PR a ProtoXEP?

    1. Does the PR touch existing XEPs? Close as [invalid] and ask the Opener to split the two things.

    2. Add the ProtoXEP and Ready to Merge labels.

    3. Stop.

  2. Are the changes for all XEPs purely editorial?

    1. Add the Editorial Change and Ready to Merge labels.
    2. Stop.
  3. Is the XEP not in Experimental state?

    (Changes to Non—Experimental XEPs need approval by the approving body as defined in the XEP file itself.)

    1. Add the Needs Council/Needs Board label.
    2. Put the PR in the Council Trello project.
    3. Stop.
  4. Is the XEP in Experimental state and the PR opener is not an author of the XEP?

    1. If the issue has not been discussed on the standards list or if the authors have not been involved in the discussion:

      1. Make sure the standards@ discussion (if it exists) is linked in the PR.
      2. Add the Needs Author label.
      3. Put the PR in the Editor Trello project.
      4. Stop.
  5. Mark the PR as Ready to Merge.


Technical discussions SHOULD NOT happen in the xeps repository. If you see a discussion evolve into technical (as opposed to editorial) matters, do the following (I haven’t tried that myself yet, so feel especially free to improve the process):

  1. Lock the conversation.

  2. Copy the technical discussion parts into an email to standards@. My preferred format for this would be something along the lines of:

     Subject: XEP-1234: [insert PR subject here, or something more appropriate]
     There was some discussion on the xeps repository an XEP-1234, which got
     technical. I moved this discussion to standards@ so that the whole
     community is aware of the issue and can participate.
     @user1 wrote:
     > quote user1 here ...
     @user2 wrote:
     > quote user2 here ...

    Remove clearly editorial discussion and mark the removal with […].

  3. Add the Needs List Discussion label to the PR and link the standards@ thread you just created. Remove other labels (such as Needs Author).

  4. Monitor the thread; when the discussion is resolved, the PR opener will usually prepare an update. Unlock the conversation to allow editorial discussion to continue, if needed. Remove the Needs List Discussion label and re-triage the PR as described above.

    Note: The locking is mostly used here as a tool to avoid a race condition, not to exclude people from participating. (It would be unfortunate if you had to add more comments to your already-sent email.) Feel free to unlock at some point during the list discussion when you’re sure that all participants have taken note of the move.

General notes on making changes

This section has some hints on the python scripts which help you doing the more tedious tasks of sending emails and properly archiving XEPs.

Before you start working on merging a Pull Request:

  • Ideally, you have the xep-attic repository cloned next to the xeps repository.

  • Before starting to prepare a merge and push, ensure that you have the XEP metadata up-to-date locally:

      $ make build/xeplist.xml
  • Make a copy of the metadata:

      $ cp build/xeplist.xml tools/old-xeplist.xml

    (avoid putting random XML files in the xeps root directory, the build tooling might mistake them as XEPs; so we put it somewhere else.)

While you’re working on a Pull Request:

  • Use the lokal docker build to ensure that everything is syntactically correct. The process is described above in "Using Docker".

When you have merged the Pull Request and the change went through to the webserver (see also the Docker Build to track the build progress):

  • Send out the emails. First ensure that the new metadata is up-to-date:

      $ make build/xeplist.xml

    Check that the emails which will be sent are correct (the --dry-run switch prevents the tool from actually sending emails):

      $ ./tools/ --dry-run tools/old-xeplist.xml build/xeplist.xml

    (See also the --help output for more information.)

    Once you’ve verified that the correct emails will be sent, actually send them using (note the missing --dry-run flag):

      $ ./tools/ tools/old-xeplist.xml build/xeplist.xml

    A few tips:

    1. You can also test-send them to your own address by replacing with your own address.
    2. To avoid having to enter your email account details every time, use a configuration file. Invoke the tool with --help for more information and ask jonasw/@horazont if things are still unclear.

    If the tool misbehaves, pester jonasw/@horazont about it.

  • Don’t forget to archive the new versions of the XEPs. If you have the xep-attic cloned next to the xeps repository, you can simply run:

      $ ./tools/ tools/old-xeplist.xml build/xeplist.xml

    Otherwise, you will have to explicitly give the path to the attic:

      $ ./tools/ --attic /path/to/xep-attic/content/ tools/old-xeplist.xml build/xeplist.xml

    (note that the path must point to the content subdirectory of the xep-attic.)

    Don’t forget to commit & push the changes to xep-attic.

New ProtoXEPs

  • Make sure the protoxep is in the inbox/ tree and has a name that does not start with "xep-" (you may change this or ask the author to change it).
  • Make sure the version is 0.0.1 and the status is ProtoXEP (you may fix this or ask the author to fix it).
  • You may want to build the protoxep locally and ensure the HTML and PDF look okay.
  • Merge the PR as described in "Merging a PR". Once the email has been sent, continue here.
  • Create a card for the protoxep on the Council Trello under "Proposed Agendums".
  • Attach the PR to the card and link the generated HTML.
  • Comment on the PR with a link to the card, thanking the author for their submission and letting them know that their XEP will be voted on within the next two weeks.
  • If the council forgets and doesn't vote on the protoxep, pester them until they do.
  • If the council rejects the XEP, you're done (leave the XEP in the inbox and inform the author of the councils decision). Otherwise, see "Promoting a ProtoXEP".

Promoting a ProtoXEP

  • It is easiest to start a new branch, in case you screw something up on the way.
  • Once the council approves a ProtoXEP, copy it out of the inbox and into the root, assigning it the next available number in the XEP series.
  • Modify the <number/> element in the XML file to match.
  • Set the version to 0.1 and the initials to XEP Editor: xyz (replacing "xyz" with your own initials).
  • Remove the <interim/> element from the XML file if it is included.
  • Set the status to Experimental.
  • Add a reference to the XEP in xep.ent.
  • Make a commit.
  • Treat your branch as you would treat a Ready to Merge PR in "Merging a PR". (you don’t need to create another branch though.)

Promoting XEPs

Ensure that the following sections exist (if not, ask the author to add them before promoting the XEP):

  • Security Considerations
  • IANA Considerations
  • XMPP Registrar Considerations
  • XML Schema (for protocol specifications)

You can also refer to xep-template.xml for a recommended list of sections and whether or not they are required. For a helpful graph of how XEP promotion works, see XEP-0001.

Deferring XEPs

Before Deferring XEPs, read the "General notes on making changes" section.

XEPs get deferred after 12 months of inactivity. There is a tool which handles that process automatically, if it is invoked regularly.

First of all, you need an up-to-date xeplist.xml:

make build/xeplist.xml

To get a list of XEPs which need to be deferred (without changing anything), run:

./tools/ -v

To apply the deferrals, make a new feature branch and execute:

./tools/ -m 'initials'

where you replace initials with your editor initials so that it is obvious who made the change (those initials will be used in the revision block).

This will modify the XEPs in-place. It uses heuristics for incrementing the version number, finding and inserting the revision block as well as changing the status. Yes, it involves regular expressions (because we don’t want to fully re-write the XML to keep the diffs minimal). It is thus vital that you use git diff to ensure that the changes are sane. If the changes are sane, make a commit and merge to master as described in "Merging a PR", in accordance with the "General notes on making changes".

Merging a PR

Before Merging a PR, read the "General notes on making changes" section.

When you get to the point that the PR is Ready to Merge, do the following:

  1. Create a new branch off master called feature/xep-1234 (if the PR touches multiple XEPs, I call it feature/xep-0678,xep-0789).

  2. Merge all Ready to Merge PRs which affect the XEP(s) into that branch.

  3. Resolve conflicts.

  4. If the PRs introduced multiple revision blocks, squash it down to a single revision block. Set "XEP Editor (initials)" as author of the revision block and add the initials of the original PR authors to the changelog entries. (If that doesn’t make sense to you, you’ll find plenty examples in the XEPs.)

  5. Ensure that everything builds by performing a full docker build (see above).

    (Once the docker build reaches the point where the XEPs are built, you can switch branches and work on another PR.)

  6. If the build passes, check that the generated files look sane by running the docker container.

  7. Merge the PR into master. If you are working on independent changes to multiple XEPs, you can merge them all in one go.

  8. If you merged multiple things into master, re-do the docker build check.

  9. Push.

  10. Go back to "General notes on making changes".