[Telepathy] [Decibel] Use of decibel for websms service accounts

Robert McQueen robert.mcqueen at collabora.co.uk
Wed Nov 21 09:28:45 PST 2007

Hi guys,

Tobias Hunger wrote:
> Basically Decibel is a high level wrapper around telepathy and its 
> communication backends. So far I am not aware of any SMS communication 
> manager for telepathy, so Decibel will not be able to send SMS messages at 
> this time.

There are two I'm aware of. Some time ago, Raphael Slinckx worked on a
proof of concept called telepathy-blue in Python, but I can't find much
trace of it on-line any more, and I have a suspicion it'll be quite
bitrotted now. More recently, Bastien Nocera has been working on making
the backend SMS functionality from gnome-phone-manager available as a
UI-independent telepathy-phony backend, which can be used from Decibel
just as easily as Empathy & Nokia Mission Control. The code is in GNOME
SVN, and some details are here:

If you don't want to communicate directly with a phone, then writing a
backend which interacted with a web/XMLRPC <-> SMS gateway would be very
feasible and I think a valuable addition to the stack.

> I have to admit that I have not thought too deeply about SMS sending yet.
> The challenge will be mapping SMS to the telepathy APIs. Those assume that a 
> communication channel is established between two (or more) people and 
> messages are send down that channel. SMS is basically "fire and forget", with 
> each message being disconnected from each other. There is no established 
> channel of communication. It might be possible to treat a sequence of SMS 
> messages as some "virtual channel", but when will you be able to close that 
> channel?

There are many cases where Telepathy synthesizes a channel to represent
something which doesn't necessary have a concrete existence in the
protocol. Any IM protocol which is message rather than conversation
based, which includes XMPP, AIM, IRC, etc is just synthesizing a
Telepathy channel which represents any messages sent to/from a given
person. This seems a reasonable approach to also take in a SMS backend.

More generally, Telepathy has unresolved issues about when it makes
sense to close a channel. In the case of a chat, when you close the
window that has the message view in it seems a reaonable time, but
discussions on IRC havn't yet yielded a reasonable solution for when to
close a file transfer or tube negotiation channel which contains
multiple transfers which have been negotiated by/for different programs
or are displayed in different places in the UI. Answers on a postcard... :)

> Best Regards,
> Tobias


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