[Telepathy] Telepathy integration plans

Dan Winship danw at gnome.org
Wed Jan 13 05:58:14 PST 2010

On 01/13/2010 07:31 AM, Guillaume Desmottes wrote:
> Plans regarding Telepathy integrations have recently changed [1].
> I'm not sure this is the best approach but, before stating my opinion
> I'd have few questions:

Hey. I did poke a few Collabora people on IRC after filing that bug to
make sure it wasn't totally insane. :)

> - According my understanding of the bug, your plan is to not use the
> Telepathy API directly but rely on Empathy to push notifications to
> gnome-shell through the notification API. Is that correct?

Right. Given that we planned to depend on empathy for some stuff still
anyway (account setup, contact list, the "full-featured" chat windows,
etc), and given that empathy already does all those notifications, it
was starting to seem silly to reimplement them all ourselves as well
(especially since then we'd have to figure out some way to suppress the
duplicate notifications coming from empathy anyway).

> - What are your requirements regarding IM integration into gnome-shell?
> Last time I checked the plan was implement something like this mokcup:
> http://www.gnome.org/~mccann/shell/mockups/20090630-demo/
> Is that still accurate? Do you have more documents explaining the
> user-experience you want to reach regarding IM integration?

The latest PDF design doc has more detail than that demo

This is still a work in progress though, and we haven't figured out
exactly how this will work with empathy either. (We're assuming empathy
will need some changes to fully support what we want it to do.) The
general idea in my head right now though is that we'll add some
extensions to the org.freedesktop.Notifications protocol (or add another
D-Bus interface alongside it) that would allow empathy to know when it
was running under GNOME Shell (eg via notify_get_server_caps()) and then
empathy could use notification "hints"
(notify_notification_set_hint_uint32(), etc) to do things like indicate
to the shell that it can provide a pop-up mini chat window upon request,
and empathy would be the one creating that window seen in the PDF.
(Rhythmbox would use the same interface to provide the mini
controls/now-playing window seen in the demo.) Again, not totally sure
about the specifics, but it definitely makes sense to have empathy
providing that window, not GNOME Shell, so that it has access to the
existing chat log, and so that it matches your other empathy prefs in
terms of things like spell check language, etc, and so it can integrate
cleanly with whatever new features you add to empathy in the future.

> - Do you still plan to implement an Approver [2] in gnome-shell (bug
> #599193)?

We haven't yet figured out the UI for stuff where you have to explicitly
accept or reject a request. It's possible we'll want to use an Approver
there. (There may be other places where it makes sense for us to use
Telepathy as well; we aren't totally rejecting it, just getting rid of
the redundancy where Telepathy wasn't really gaining us anything.)

-- Dan

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