Re: GNOME Chat and the future of instant messaging in gnome

Charles Johnson wrote:

 Wow... this looks very interesting topic, see

I think there's an important point here. Consider that messaging is still used and protocols should be 
prioritized over others.
Have many protocols in the same application is very useful, but now is not a priority, many popular 
system are integrated into the website like facebook, Hangouts or Skype.

For some people, those services you mention don't exist because they are
not based on open standards or free software and the only difference
between those products and a trojan is that the trojan doesn't ask the
user to agree to a privacy policy giving up all their personal data.

Telepathy framework does not have a very active development, but can be enhanced aseptic protocols to 
free messaging (text, voice call and video call).

Development also takes place in the underlying libraries (and in some
cases it doesn't).  E.g. the telepathy-rakia module (for SIP) suffers
because it uses Sofia SIP and that is also not well maintained.

So I think 3 protocols must be strengthened and supported in gnome-chat:

It is not just about chat: it is viable for voice and video too.  I have
used Empathy for many webcam calls with XMPP users.

SIP:  ReSIProcate is a recent project that enhances SIP support and plans to be used with Telepathy:

This actually offers an opportunity to leap-frog many of the other
clients.  There are two parts to this:

a) get reSIProcate working with Telepathy: this brings the benefit of
having a well-maintained SIP stack, with comprehensive support for
things like IPv6 and TLS (other SIP stacks don't cover those very well)

b) adapting reSIProcate itself to use libjingle as the media stack.
This will let it inter-operate with WebRTC, e.g. anybody in a browser
will be able to call a GNOME desktop user.

The combination of these things will make it work reliably in many more
situations and make a very, very compelling solution.  E.g. the TLS
support helps get SIP through NAT and the WebRTC media stack has many
ways to get the audio and video through NAT.

Hundreds of millions of people have already updated their browsers to
versions that support WebRTC, being able to interact with them directly
from GNOME would be amazing.

XMPP/Jingle: Free messaging by definition. It includes Gabble and Salut.
Telegram: New protocol, multi-platform, open source and very safe. There are some related projects:

These three protocols can be a solid base to offer chat services gnome. There are other protocols supported 
in Telepathy, but may be offered externally depending on user/business requirements (groupwise, sametime, 
silc and zephyr)

It is a chicken-and-egg problem.  Once the underlying protocols are
stronger, there will be more incentive to improve the Empathy UI or make
an alternative.  Therefore, my suggestion is to start with the
underlying protocols and infrastructure to support them.

With that in mind, I have already deployed SIP services such as (for Debian) and (for Fedora)
and would be happy to help setup a similar service for  The
RTC Quick Start Guide is also provided as a free resource to help more
communities do this.

One other thing to keep in mind: when I suggested that Debian needs to
look at the default RTC (chat, voice and video) client, several people
responded "leave it to the GNOME package maintainers".  But if GNOME is
not currently accepting responsibility for Empathy (as the message from
April suggests), then it means nobody is showing leadership at all in
this space, Debian is looking to GNOME and GNOME is looking to something
as yet undefined.



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