Empathy/Telepathy Future

Hi all,

We've recently discussed this in a different thread, but I thought
that it probably deserves one of its own.

In short: Empathy and Telepathy haven't got development time for quite
a while, and the Empathy UX isn't great. At the same time, popular
chat protocols are mostly closed nowadays, meaning that having a
built-in chat client potentially isn't as important as it used to be.

Possible ways to deal with the situation:

1. Advertise for new contributors/maintainers to either revamp the
existing Empathy UI, or create a new Telepathy-based chat client.

2. Based on the outcome of 1, reach out to other Telepathy users
(primarily on the KDE side, I'm guessing), and see if we can organise
more development.

3. Remove the existing Empathy integration in GNOME, particularly on
the online accounts side, but also possibly the shell. This would
effectively turn Empathy into a third-party application.

4. Recommend to distros that Empathy shouldn't be installed by
default, and change the logic of Software so that it isn't mandatory.

5. Tell users that Empathy is no longer recommended (could be done
through Software, or through Empathy itself, or something else).

These options could be combined in different ways...

My personal view is that the GNOME community ought to be given the
opportunity to pursue option 1 if it wants to, and that the Release
Team could make an announcement to that effect. At the same time, I
don't feel that chat is all that high a priority, and would probably
encourage people to work on other things (Music, Notes, Photos or
Videos in particular).

If option 1 doesn't work out, we can discuss 3, 4 and 5.


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