[Telepathy] future of Telepathy?

Martin Klapetek mklapetek at kde.org
Thu Apr 28 12:16:32 UTC 2016

On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 3:51 AM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:

> On 28/04/16 05:04, Martin Klapetek wrote:
> >
> > 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?
> >
> Leadership?
> > 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?

No. Are you arguing that outdated software should stay outdated because
there was no software like it 20 years ago?

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

Sigh. So when a user asks me "Can I chat on Facebook with Telepathy?"
you're saying I need tell them "No, but get a motorbike. Learn to ski.
Visit Australia instead". Seriously? I'm sorry but then you clearly don't
understand the userbase.

> > 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?"

You're either trolling at this point or just don't understand the issue.

Tell you what, if you ever find yourself in Toronto, please email me
and we'll just go in the streets, asking random people these questions
about their IM usage.

You might get surprised, because yes, crushing majority of facebook
users would rather stay connected with 350 friends on facebook than
be alone on a motorbike forever. You need to ask the ordinary users,
not your IT friends circle.

> > 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?

It's not really about success, it's about being relevant. If you don't
offer features that users expect these days, users will go elsewhere.
It's as simple as that. That's like the first thing any product manager
would tell you. You want to stay relevant in 2017? Support your users.

But first, understand your users.

> 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.

Sorry, after years and years of the Linux desktop I'll remain skeptical.
Noble idea and great goal, by all means, but it just won't happen. Even
such a massive company as Google tried pushing with XMPP, yet they
ditched it in the end. Why?

> 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

Good luck with that (honestly)!


Martin Klapetek | KDE Developer
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