Re: [Webpush] Broadcast (was Re: webpush for http2 -02)

Richard Maher <> Mon, 21 March 2016 07:06 UTC

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From: Richard Maher <>
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Subject: Re: [Webpush] Broadcast (was Re: webpush for http2 -02)
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It looks like it's been a year since "broadcast" was side-lined. Time to
get it back on the agenda?

Most of the issues solved already by GCM Topics etc?

Cheers Richard Maher

Benjamin Bangert <> Wed, 04 March 2015 20:12 UTCShow

After reviewing it, and seeing this, I find myself in agreement. I'd
greatly prefer to have a basic protocol in place and some systems using it
before broadcast is tackle.

On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 1:30 PM, Martin Thomson <>

> The question here for me is how much a protocol can enable this and
> how much is best left to services like Notification Hubs, etc...
> Those services are offered to those who wish to generate push messages
> and as such are less encumbered by a need for standardization.  In
> fact, much of their value-add derives from the flexibility and
> expressiveness of their APIs. They benefit from standardization of a
> push protocol in that their downstream interactions become
> homogeneous, but a standard for aggregation might only act as a
> constraint.
> The intent with the aggregation draft I described was to allow a
> single push service provider to provide aggregation capabilities
> across its endpoints.  That leaves open the possibility of an
> aggregator that operates across multiple push services (like the
> aforementioned),  It's hard to see how that could be driven from
> anything but the application side, where standards are less urgent.
> At this stage, my proposal seems more like a half-measure, and I'm
> reconsidering whether there is anything worth standardizing on the
> aggregation front.  Do you think that there is something here worth
> pursuing?
> Either way, I think that our efforts are best concentrated on
> completing the basic protocol first.
> On 25 February 2015 at 08:00, Elio Damaggio <> wrote:
> > Hi Martin,
> >
> > Continuing the discussion on broadcast, from our experience of designing
> and operating Azure Notification Hubs, we realized that the major hurdles
> for users of a push aggregation system are the following:
> >
> > 1.      Push aggregation have to be regularly synched with other data
> stores.
> > Aggregation sets are application data, e.g. list of people in "platinum"
> status, list of users following a certain sport team, enterprise or social
> groups. The protocol has to be amenable to synching operations. In our
> experience forcing explicit management of the topics (creation and
> deletion) hampers these operations compared to more flexible approaches
> where tags are associated to device tokens. Azure Notification Hubs is not
> the only system that uses this kind of grouping; Urban Airship and Parse
> (now Facebook) have a similar systems. Reference:
> >
> > 2.      Topic updates happen from both device and topic perspectives.
> > This means that it should be possible to say "add/remove topics A,B, and
> C to this user", and also "add/remove users 1,2, and 3 to/from this topic".
> In a system where both of this kind of updates happen concurrently, having
> to explicitly keep track of topic creation and deletion is burdensome.
> >
> > 3.      Sending to dynamic sets.
> > Given the effort that goes into synching topics between the push system
> and other stores, it is usually preferable for both the users and the
> implementer of the push aggregation system to allow Boolean expressions on
> topics to be used as targets. Consider a sports application that sends a
> reminder to everyone in Boston about a game between the Red Sox and
> Cardinals. If the client app registers tags about interest in teams and
> location, then the notification should be targeted to everyone in Boston
> who is interested in either the Red Sox or the Cardinals. This condition
> can be expressed with the following Boolean expression: (follows_RedSox ||
> follows_Cardinals) && location_Boston
> >
> > Notification Hubs, Urban Airship and Parse all support this feature.
> Even if this feature is not required to be implemented in all aggregation
> servers, it follows that a push endpoint, that is independent of a specific
> topic and that takes a target topic (or Boolean expression on topics), is
> probably better suited than a topic-specific push URL.
> >
> > Elio
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Webpush [] On Behalf Of Martin
> Thomson
> > Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2015 8:41 PM
> > To: Benjamin Bangert
> > Cc:
> > Subject: [Webpush] Broadcast (was Re: webpush for http2 -02)
> >
> > On 13 February 2015 at 12:23, Benjamin Bangert <>
> wrote:
> >> Section 2:
> >> - The diagram is good, but I think adding one variant for broadcast
> >> messages would be good. I could see a crypto secured broadcast working
> like so:
> >>   - Broadcast Subscribe (In contrast to normal subscribe)
> >>   - Browser Agent makes Provide Subscription request to Application,
> >> including request (flag) to be issued the broadcast key
> >>   - Browser stores the broadcast key with the new subscription (rather
> >> than generating its own key)
> >
> > I have proposed a separate document with a different model for
> broadcast.  In that, clients/browsers/UAs don't drive the subscription to a
> broadcast, that broadcast is managed by the application sender.
> > I got the sense that there wasn't a whole lot of interest in a broadcast
> system in the initial stages.
> >
> > The advantage there is that you don't have to worry about clients having
> to be able to connect to push services that they might not have a
> pre-existing relationship with (and therefore federate authorization).  The
> disadvantage is that it drives more of the responsibility for push fanout
> onto the application server.
> >
> > In your proposal here, how do you see the broadcast subscription being
> identified and managed?  Would an application request the creation of one
> and then distribute it to its clients to subscribe to?
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Webpush mailing list
> >
> >