[Telepathy] future of Telepathy?

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Thu Apr 28 07:51:19 UTC 2016

On 28/04/16 05:04, Martin Klapetek wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro
> <mailto:daniel at pocock.pro>> wrote:
>     On 26/04/16 02:59, Martin Klapetek wrote:
>     > On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 12:52 PM, Dominik George <nik at naturalnet.de <mailto:nik at naturalnet.de>
>     > <mailto:nik at naturalnet.de <mailto:nik at naturalnet.de>>> wrote:
>     >
>     >     Hi,
>     >
>     >     >The technical details are largely irrelevant. What matters is that,
>     >     >the way things stand today, a GNOME user can't use Whatsapp with
>     >     >Telepathy, and nobody is doing the work to change that.
>     >
>     >     Which is a good thing.
>     >
>     >     Make people want to use free software and services, rather than
>     >     spoiling free software with crap.
>     >
>     >
>     > It's not a good thing.
>     >
>     > Free software and services unfortunately are not in a position
>     > to dictate trends to the world, as sad as it may be.
>     >
>     > If significant portion of people are using WhatsApp or WhatEver,
>     > not supporting it only means being obliterated into irrelevance
>     > because nobody is going to use something, network or client, where
>     > they will be all alone, no matter how much better it may really be.
>     > And there is no way you could convince even 10% of your friends
>     > to switch to any current free software and service (diaspora, anyone?).
>     >
>     > That's just a reality.
>     The RTC Quick Start Guide[1] makes it easier than ever for sysadmins to
>     run XMPP and SIP servers that are reliable and support proper NAT
>     traversal.
>     Debian already has these services running for developers, some other
>     communities are going down the same path.
>     There are problems but they are far from impossible to solve.
>     When it comes to dealing with your non-technical friends, well, if they
>     really respect you as an IT professional and you show them a quality
>     XMPP client like Conversations working well they will use it.  If you
>     tell them you don't use WhatsApp or Facebook, they may be a bit annoyed,
>     but if they are really your friends they will get over it.
> I think you're kinda missing a point here. My friends may very well
> get over me not being on their network, but why would I, as an ordinary
> user, want to switch to something where I won't have my friends? What
> would be the point of using a network and/or a client where I would be alone
> when the _main_ point of a social/IM network is to connect people?


> For that matter, I actually did join Diaspora and convinced the grand
> total of 2 friends to join. They stuck around for about 4 days, then never
> logged in again "because nobody else would join and so it was boring".

There was a time when neither Facebook or Diaspora or any of these
things existed.  Are you arguing that everybody had a boring life then?

Get a motorbike.  Learn to ski.  Visit Australia[1].  Please don't tell
me life is boring without facebook though.

> For that matter, I actually do use XMPP and I have one single friend-friend
> online on that network.

You can add me and double your friends

> Now just why would ordinary users want to deprive themselves of
> all their 350 facebook friends and go sit in the corner by themselves,
> no matter how much better we tell them that corner chair is?

Go try a new motorbike and then ask "why would 350 of my friends waste
time on facebook when they could do this?"

> WIth Telepathy, you can allow people to sit on a better chair _and_
> still remain in the friends circle. And that's, imho, what the project
> needs; support what people want and require. Otherwise it's not
> too relevant. Not for ordinary users anyway, who don't live in our
> world of ideals.

I agree that sometimes it is easier to help migrate people slowly, not
everybody wants to just go cold turkey on facebook.  The principle of
software freedom implies that people should be free to implement
proprietary connection managers for Telepathy although strategically I
prefer to put my time into alternatives.

> Speaking of which, as a KDE Telepathy maintainer, I do see quite a decline
> in our userbase. One of the reasons I get from users is "does not support
> $protocol", where $protocol is often Skype, WhatsApp or Facebook. And
> no, it really doesn't matter to them that they can have calls via XMPP, they
> want their Skype contacts cause Skype is The Thing...

Is the size of your userbase the best guide to success?

Even if it is, collaborating with other communities on this issue of
communications freedom may be a way to reverse that trend in the long term.

I do take your comments seriously, I've been working on some
documentation about how to address issues like this strategically and I
hope to work some of that into my talk on Saturday at MiniDebConf Vienna
/ Linuxwochen.at - will anybody else from this list be there?

1. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-36136635

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