[Telepathy] Folks status, the addressbook problem

Travis Reitter travis.reitter at collabora.co.uk
Thu Nov 1 12:03:35 PDT 2012

On Tue, 2012-10-30 at 17:02 +0100, Xavier Claessens wrote:

> > One of the main problems as I see it with folks is that it's a
> > library, not a daemon.  Because of this, every application that uses
> > folks has in memory all the information of each persona and
> > individual.  Besides memory use, this takes time as folks
> > IndividualAggregator populates itself with data from the different
> > backends.  I have wondered from time to time how much of a speed and
> > memory improvement could be made by making folks a daemon and letting
> > applications talk to it via dbus rather than link to it and load all
> > the data in each separate application.  The idea to put the links into
> > a database solves part of this problem by making the linking data
> > persistent on disk, but each application that uses folks still would
> > need to load the whole contact list if displaying a contact list, so
> > if you have Gnome-contacts and Empathy both running that's already two
> > copies of the same data.  Maybe that's a moot point since getting the
> > data by dbus would give a copy in each application also, not sure.
> > Feel free to debunk any of my ideas, I could very well be missing
> > something here.
> I'm not sure we want yet another daemon, with yet another dbus spec. If
> we can avoid it, like my proposal hopefully does, that's a plus, IMHO.
> One thing I did not discuss where we already have a daemon, is contact
> search in gnome-shell. I'm not sure how current search engine works
> there, but how I would make it is a daemon that keeps a full aggregator
> loaded (because you'll need to lookup all vcard fields). You give a
> search string and it returns a list of individual uids. Then your app
> can load only those individuals and not the whole thing. This was done
> for gnome-shell because we don't want to block the WM with addressbook
> change notifications, etc. Note that search dbus API could be
> implemented by gnome-contact/empathy process if we keep one of them
> always loaded in background.

Note that there is a (fairly bit-rotten) branch to add search capability
natively to Folks:


It needs to be rebased, needs a little re-writing to address issues I
brought up in later comments, and I'm not sure when we'll have time to
do this, but it could make life easier for at least some of our clients
(including a search plug-in for the Shell).

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