Service invitation standard

Rob Kaper cap at
Thu Oct 21 20:51:53 EEST 2004


I want to implement a desktop-agnostic service invitation standard. The idea 
comes from having to recent support in Atlantik, a game I develop for KDE, 
where it is now possible in the development version to send an invitation to 
instant messaging clients.

Currently I use KDE's support for defining service types in the form of a URL, 
so Atlantik is the handler for atlantik:// URLs. However, Will Stephenson 
(author of KDE's KIMProxy and its implementation in Kopete) has expressed 
interest in making the invitation process more standardized, so it could be 
used for VNC invitations as well, for example. This idea had already crossed 
my mind also. The reason it is useful for a KDE game is because Atlantik is 
nothing but a GUI, the actual games are played on a stand-alone server 
(monopd) with a public protocol specification. Clients for other environments 
(GTK+ for example) exist, so cross-desktop invitations make a lot of sense 

In order to allow desktops to have one single implementation to handle 
services and find the right application, I have been wondering if the right 
approach would be to have a file specification for invitations, which could 
include URLs, descriptions, meta data, etcetera. A file could be sent as 
attachement, and it would be associated with the invitation handler, 
providing a single GUI for accepting and rejecting invitations.

The reason a file spec sounds more acceptable is because desktops (or other 
operating systems even) usually have far more flexibility and configuration 
options for users when it comes to file types than for URLs, especially less 
common ones pointing to services such as remote desktop sharing or networked 
The idea is not new (Microsoft's MSN is somewhat integrated with the Microsoft 
on-line games), but to have a single framework for this would be the bit of 
extra integration taking it a step further and would allow almost all 
networked games with support for a desktop implementing the standard to take 
advantage of invitations by simply registering with the handler and calling a 
standard dialog generating the invitation and passing it on to communication 
software supporting IPC.

Other people's thoughts on this would be welcome!


Rob Kaper     | "Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had
cap at | better learn baseball" -- Jacques Barzun
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