WebXDC and other protocols

Addresses in WebXDC are currently always email addresses. This makes sense because of the association with delta chat. What would you think about changing this to be a URI (so delta chat would use mailto: URIs) so that other protocols that adopt WebXDC can also use their identifiers more easily?

I think we wouldn’t even want email addresses in some cases, imagine an anonymous email list for example, some kind of unique user identifier that is different in every group could be an solution to this.
So I like the uri scheme idea, though I’m not sure if we want direct user information there at all that could be used to de-anonymize users or send them spam.

BTW welcome to the forum.

The “webxdc.selfAddr” is a bit of an ad-hoc design to leave it to xdc apps whether they sent the identity of users around. But Delta Chat is already itself itself in the business of knowing from where an update comes from, namely e-mail + cryptographic identity but it does not expose this in the “update” struct pased into the Updatelistener Webxdc Specification - Webxdc

Maybe a new “webxdc.selfUri” with a “mailto:…” could be offered but what do you think this would help with?

I am developing a client that will allow user to use WebXDC apps but where the users do not have email addresses, or at least not ones that the app knows about (in my case they have Jabber IDs / XMPP URIs)


for now you could just put something else in the selfAddr, most webxdc apps won’t check if it’s an email address anyway, its mainly just used as an user id already.

Also generally I would aim for chat specific user ids that don’t contain a global id such as email address or jabber id:

  • in deltachat a contact might change their email address via AEAP
  • in big chat rooms you sometimes want to be pseudonymous, alone for the fact that some kiddies might spam you with Direct messages if they find your email address. @adbenitez set up some groups based on mailing lists for this, but currently you can not really use webxdc apps in there because they leak your real email address :cry:

If you do not worry about privacy (e.g. using WebXDC in a MUC where JIDs are hidden), you can use bare JID everywhere instead of an email address. Delta Chat already officially implements XEP-0392 and uses email address in place of bare JID so alice@example.org avatar in Delta Chat has the same color as in Jabber clients. The username@domain format is common for Email, XMPP, Mastodon and similar federated systems.

Right now I am using XMPP URI, of bare JID when in a 1:1 or a non-anonymous MUC and the full pseudonymous MUC JID when in a pseudonymous MUC.

I think it would be good to document this (or some other proposal) in the WebXDC spec so that app authors do not come to rely on it being an email address.

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