Browse Prior Art Database

Expiring Invalid Entries From An Instant Messenger Buddy List

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020605D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 9K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is software that expires invalid entries from an instant messenger (IM) buddy list. Invalid entries are defined as instant messenger ID's that were once known by the IM server, but are now unknown or void.

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Expiring Invalid Entries From An Instant Messenger Buddy List

Disclosed is software that expires invalid entries from an instant messenger (IM) buddy list. Invalid entries are defined as instant messenger ID's that were once known by the IM server, but are now unknown or void.

IM applications may have lists of IM IDs stored to monitor presence of and/or quickly open IM sessions with in the future. These lists are commonly referred to as buddy lists. IM servers allow IM sessions to be opened between two known and authorized IM users.

To initiate communication with a new target IM user, typically the source IM user must add the target user to their buddy list. Before the target IM user ID is added to the source's buddy list, the IM server verifies that the target IM user is a known and authorized user of the IM system. If the target IM user is valid, it is added to the source's buddy list. If the target IM user is invalid, the source is prompted with an error indicating so.

The disclosed software focuses on how a source's buddy list is affected when the target IM user ID is removed or revoked from the IM system. In today's IM implementations, when a user ID is removed or revoked, that ID is not removed from affected buddy lists. For example, in today's IM implementation:

1) Tom requests that Sara be added to his IM buddy list.
2) Sara is validated by an IM server and is placed in Tom's buddy list.
3) An IM Server administrator removes Sara's account.
4) Sara remains in Tom's buddy list and appears as if she is offline.
5) Tom's client continues to request updates from an IM presence server about the status of an invalid account.

   The disclosed software validates buddy list entries upon client startup or at defined scheduled intervals. The proposed IM implementation expires or removes invalid entries from IM buddy lists. IM presence states include active, inactive, off-line, and do-not-disturb. "Invalid" would be added as a possible IM presence state. An IM server administrator may permanently set a IM user ID presence to "invalid". When a client requests, or the server delivers, the presence state of a target in the client's buddy list and the target has "invalid" presence state, the target is removed from the buddy list and t...