Browser data centralization with XMPP

Posted by Nicolas Vérité on August 04, 2009

Google has announced today that they will use XMPP as a synchronization protocol for Chrome browser.

Web surfers nowadays use many browsers on different machines, even on small devices like smartphones. They obviously need a way to gather together all these sparse data (like bookmarks, passwords, history, etc.) and make them available from any browser at any time.

Two of the largest internet players today provide two different approaches, both at the same experimental state:

  • Mozilla with Weave, a product from its labs, providing a Firefox extension, a opensource server implementation, and a documented protocol
  • Google will offer a Chrome feature, Google Talk server, Google account, and maybe a documented protocol, since the code is opensource

It is possible to provide browser data sync client as a cross-browser extension or plugin, a server component which would rely on an existing XMPP server and account of your choice, and a protocol which could well be Bookmarks, Message Archiving, or Persistent Storage of Public and Private Data via PubSub.

This shows the ongoing effort of Google to use XMPP: Talk and Jingle, GMail notifications, Wave, and now data sync.

With Google and Apple using XMPP for its notifications service, XMPP shows itself as a strong infrastructure for a wide array of applications beyond the simple chat.