[Telepathy] future of Telepathy?

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Thu Apr 28 20:29:07 UTC 2016

On 28/04/16 20:05, Dominik George wrote:
>> *You* should care. If you don't have users, you won't get new
>> contributors while old ones will slowly leave too and the project
>> just dies. Simple as that.
>> Just look at KDE Telepathy, probably one of the biggest Telepathy
>> clients out there. We've had about 10 everyday developers 5 years ago,
>> we have two in a _month_ now. And we do have quite an awesome
>> feature set, yet our users are also declining. Why? Because we don't
>> support $protocol (and also because mobile).
> AFAIAC, I do not use Telepathy a lot because its XMPP support is stale and broken.
> I'd rather have two developers fix that than 10 devs of which 9 work on non-free protocols.

Personally, I believe there is a way forward.

Part of the problem is technical (e.g. fixing or replacing
telepathy-gabble, as discussed in the other thread).  There are people
willing to do bits of this work and there are ways to get things funded
if we really need to.

Part of it is about cooperation - there are various pieces of work that
I've done that nobody is using because they got stuck in some other
organization.  As an example, I've packaged three TURN servers for
Debian/Ubuntu and one for Fedora, so people can relay across NAT
boundaries, just like the Google ICE/TURN servers.  I also offered the
package for OpenWRT but after 3 years they still haven't accept it, it
is stuck in their queue.  That is sad, because many people have a real
IP address on their router and that is where the TURN server needs to

Finally, there is leadership.  When people go to their doctor, they
usually don't ask something like "can you recommend a brand of
cigarette" but they come to an IT professional and ask do we prefer
Skype or Viber or Whatsapp.  We need to be able to reply with the same
confidence as a doctor telling his patient smoking kills.  Now just
imagine if the doctor says that and then on the weekend the patient sees
the doctor smoking a cigar in the local casino.  What happens to the
doctor's credibility?

As I've mentioned before, I believe Telepathy has a big role to play
because it allows multiple protocols to be installed by default on Linux
desktops like Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora.  That is much better than
having different clients for each protocol.  Big things have happened on
the server side (the development and widespread packaging of TURN
servers) and big things are in the pipeline with new connection managers
for reSIProcate, Ring.cx, Tox and Matrix.org.  Despite our differences
and our frustrations, if we can bring all these things together as a
team we can make quite an impact.



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