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Re: default messaging/VoIP client for Debian 8/Jessie

On 31/03/14 10:27, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le dimanche 30 mars 2014 à 11:04 +0200, Daniel Pocock a écrit : 
>> Currently, Empathy is installed by default

I think you might be conflating "present in a default desktop
installation" with "recommended by the project for all of its possible
functionality". IIRC we install nano and nvi by default, but I think
most DDs would recommend emacs, vim and/or a GUI editor over either of
those for many purposes :-)

> Empathy is the default for GNOME, and I do not see a convincing reason
> to change that.

<hat type="Debian pkg-telepathy maintainer">

Empathy is a simple UI for text chat, presence, file transfer and basic
VoIP with excellent GNOME integration. It is appropriate to include it
in some GNOME metapackage; I have no opinion on whether it should be in
a tasksel-driven installation of Debian-with-GNOME[1].

It is not currently a replacement for a fully-featured telephony stack:
if you pick a random high-quality SIP implementation, it probably does
several things that Empathy/Telepathy don't. Users with "enterprise"
VoIP requirements are likely to be better off with something else. I
have not assessed whether Jitsi is the correct "something else", but
it's one possibility.

Would it address your concerns about Empathy if the gnome metapackage's
dependency on telepathy-rakia was weakened to Suggests, resulting in
Empathy lacking SIP support in a default Debian-with-GNOME installation?


<hat type="Telepathy upstream maintainer">

Like Pidgin, Telepathy primarily comes from an "instant messaging"
background/history: it mainly competes with Pidgin, Google Talk, Skype
etc. The fact that some of its supported protocols can also be seen as
competing with the PSTN is currently secondary.

We don't currently have enough developer time to be trying to compete
with a fully-featured telephony stack (and in particular, the former
primary maintainer of our SIP implementation, which was never
particularly comprehensive anyway, is no longer active). Anyone who
wants to close the gap is more than welcome to help us.

In particular, we would love to see:

* an upstream maintainer for our SIP implementation and the library
  behind it (telepathy-rakia + sofia-sip), or a new SIP connection
  manager replacing Rakia using a more actively-maintained library

* a reasonable UI design, and the implementation to back it up, for
  out-of-band configuration of TURN servers and TURN credentials

* a XEP for automatic provisioning of TURN credentials from XMPP
  servers (functionality equivalent to what telepathy-gabble supports
  for Google Talk), so that users of XMPP services other than Google
  Talk can use their service's TURN servers transparently

* encrypted RTP via keys negotiated through the server
  (trusting the server - more trust involved than full end-to-end
  security, but also much much easier)

* full end-to-end security (fair warning: this is Hard, and unlikely
  to be a good project for beginners - try something else first)

but for any of those to happen, someone else is going to have to drive it.



[1] i.e. what would be "the default Debian installation" if the default
    desktop is switched back to GNOME

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