Sunday, October 5, 2008

Telepathy support in Qt Extended - soon in main Qt?


Recently, Qtopia was renamed as Qt Extended and released in version 4.4 Besides the political interesting questions regarding future Nokia mobile devices the new release caught my interest because of a specific feature: Telepatyh support.

The recent release of Qt’s Qt Extended was quite interesting because it showed that Nokia is supporting the further development of this mobile device framework - which means that we might expect future Nokia devices using Qt Extended. Given the current situation regarding the iPhone and Google Android on the one hand and the large community of Qt/KDE developers on the other hand Qt Extended might be a valid option for Nokia for future devices.

But besides these speculations there is also an interesting feature in this new release: built in Telepathy support. In case you don’t know, Telepathy is an abstraction of all the various Instant Messaging protocols (Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, …). By supporting Telepathy Qt Extended also supports all these IMs. By supporting Telepathy’s audio/video it automatically supports Audio/Video in all the other protocols (as far as Telepathy supports audio/video in them). In a way, Telepathy is to IM what Phonon is to Multimedia.

And since Qt Extended now uses Telepathy (as it uses Phonon, btw.) I hope that native Telepathy support will come with the next Qt release to KDE. It would mean that IM development and integration into KDE 4 would become much easier.

Of course there is already a project going on to bring Telepathy to KDE: Decibel. The inclusion of Decibel into KDE 4 was scheduled for KDE 4.2, but the current state is a bit unclear. The developers blog was quiet for months now, and I guess a little more help is always welcomed anyway. With Telepathy support in Qt the development of Decibel and the inclusion of the features into mainline KDE would be sped up a lot.

With that KDE developers could access Qt/KDE-like functions to natively integrate their applications with IM - socializing the desktop would be in reach! The developers could concentrate on the IM functions and wouldn’t have to bother with the protocol details. In Gnome the first steps of such a development have been already taken by using Empathy as the default IM client.

I’m looking forward to the next Qt release and would really like to see the Telepathy work in there and to see Decibel building on top of it. Let’s socialize the desktop!


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