[Telepathy] future of Telepathy?

Martin Klapetek mklapetek at kde.org
Thu Apr 28 20:54:08 UTC 2016

On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 4:29 PM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:

> 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
> listen.
> 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?

Sorry, that's just not how it works. In the long history of KDE Telepathy,
I don't remember a single user ever asking _us_ what do _we_ prefer.
I understand that's how we want it to play out, but irl it just doesn't.
People are where their friends are, that's a history-proven fact.

> 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.

KDE Telepathy is ready for that. We have audio/video calls client
as well as group chats implementation of sorts, so if people can
actually pull this together, we are ready to be the client for it.

Martin Klapetek | KDE Developer
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