[Telepathy] future of Telepathy?

Debarshi Ray rishi.is at lostca.se
Mon Apr 25 13:28:18 UTC 2016

Hey Paul,

On Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 03:19:15PM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> I note that there isn't much recent activity in the repos:
> https://cgit.freedesktop.org/telepathy

You are right.

With my GNOME hat on, we are not spending much effort on our instant
messaging features. For a free software desktop, XMPP was by far the
most useful and mature part of Telepathy. Google, Facebook and
Microsoft has either moved away from XMPP or deprecated it, while
Telegram and Whatsapp use something different.

None of the XMPP-based free VoIP options ever worked reliably. They
were spotty at best. So, even if Maemo used Telepathy for making GSM
calls, it didn't offer much to GNOME.

Some fringe and/or enterprisey protocols are supported via libpurple /
telepathy-haze, but the quality tends to vary. Even if they do work,
they are, by their very nature, not so appealing for the majority of

That leaves IRC. The new GNOME IRC client, Polari, uses Telepathy, but
one can argue that it would be better off without it. IRC was always a
square peg trying to fit into a round hole, and Polari is not using
many of the features offered by Telepathy (eg., multiple
special-purpose clients).

Add to this the fact that all the original Telepathy maintainers have
left. (I am not part of the original crew, and was only involved in
certain parts of the stack.)  Sometimes I look at a bug-fix or spin a
tarball, mostly because I am involved with Telepathy maintenance in
Fedora and RHEL, but its very rare.

Given how hard it is to support any of the popular instant messaging
networks, a free software IM stack looks increasingly pointless. Maybe
someone will come up with a mature Telegram implementation ...

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