Missing user bus?

Robert McQueen robert.mcqueen at collabora.co.uk
Sat Sep 24 16:25:34 PDT 2005


Basically I agree with everything you say, but I do think that from a
technical point of view some (but not all) of what is on the session bus
is definitely a per user and not a per session resource, such as
backends storing information like configuration or address books (or
even e-mails). My particular use case is the IPCF project (see
ipcf.freedesktop.org for some sketchy details, I'm working on prototype
code and a spec at the moment). The basic idea is having shared D-Bus
services representing a user's connections to IM or VOIP servers, so
that different client programs can access the connections and present
the most appropriate UI for the task at hand, whatever the underlying
protocol - ie a phone app for voice chat, an IM client for text, a file
manager to send a file, integrating IM/VOIP-based functionality wherever
it makes sense.

Most IM systems only let you log in once, so these connections are
definitely a persistent per-user resource, and many people want to be
able to access them remotely or from a mobile device, see who's messaged
them and send replies, view logs, etc. I fully anticipate that when we
have some software out there, tech-savvy users (probably including
myself) will hack up with a way of "stealing" their session bus and
leave themselves logged in so they can run another IM client remotely,
when what they really wanted was a per-user bus that allowed their
connections to persist beyond their login.

I wrote my e-mail about using the system bus to locate user bus daemons
just before I got yours - this means its probably an idea worth looking
in to. :) I agree its not something to try and rush into 1.0, and our
system will already be a big win on the desktop even if you're just
using it over the session bus, so we'll stick to that for the time
being. Maybe a networked user bus/forwarding/registry daemon would be
the right solution after all, but I don't know if it should be something
specific to IPCF or if there's enough interest to make it worth persuing
a more generic "official" solution.


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