Re: GNOME Online Accounts 3.34 won't have documents support

On Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 2:47 PM Debarshi Ray <rishi is lostca se> wrote:
It's not like this is the first time we have dropped things from GNOME
Online Accounts. Back in 2017 [1] we had dropped Telepathy. I had
written a wall of text explaining that decision. Guess how many
replies that thread got.  Surely, Telepathy has had a lot more users
in its time than Documents.

I clearly remember the Telepathy removal from GOA. It made me slightly
uncomfortable that people would lose their account configuration on
upgrading, but at least Empathy still had a way to add those accounts
back. Empathy has lost so many users by now that I didn't receive any
complaints about that either.

But you're talking about removing even more online accounts providers
even though apps that support them have not yet implemented a
replacement. That's a completely different thing than a one-time
reauthentication after upgrading. (Google asks me for my password
frequently (at least monthly) in my web browser. I think users are
used to having to re-enter their password periodically.)

And it's not just Documents. I'm a bit concerned over the user
experience for Evolution if Fedora (or GNOME!!) removes the GOA
support for email. I know that Evolution has its own accounts system.
I'm just not sure that Evolution is designed to handle adding a
replacement account when the GOA provider is ripped away when users

I understand the user confusion problem about having additional
services and providers that are visible in GOA when the computer
doesn't have installed apps that use those. Ubuntu feels that even
more painfully than Fedora since we never included the Documents app
by default or Photos and Thunderbird (which doesn't use GOA) is our
default email client.

A few months ago, I talked with mpt about GNOME Online Accounts being
added to Ubuntu's version of gnome-initial-setup. I believe his
opinion was that the app itself should offer the "add a new account"
feature instead of the Initial Setup or Settings apps. If we wanted to
go that direction, we could make the Online Accounts panel be
integrated into the Applications panel (like we do in 3.32 with the
Location service).

Interestingly, Ubuntu Online Accounts was ahead of its time here. What
it offers in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS sort of foreshadows how this could work.
You can select Google and see which apps support the Google UOA
service before signing in to the Google provider. Once signed in,
there are on/off switches for each app so you could have Evolution
have access to your Google account but not Shotwell if you wanted. If
we add portals for this, I think this could be very useful with
sandboxed apps.

Jeremy Bicha

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