Shyru's World

Monday, September 25, 2006

aKademy 2006: Decibel - You are not alone

This talk was held by Tobias Hunger from basysKom.

First he explained shortly that Decibel will be a real time communications framework.

What is real time communication?
  • Instant messageing
  • voIP/Video conferencing
  • Computer Telephone Integration (CTI) (Using software to autodial the telephone for example)

Why a framework?
  • communications is one of the fundamental uses casess of computers
  • integrated communication is a prerequisite of collaboration

Which technologies exist?
Telepathy is an RT communications infrastructure: Defines DBus interfaces to access RT communication services (desktop independant, low level API, hosted at
Implementation of jabber protocol available, used in existing products. - Gnome is heading in this direction.

Connection Manager (implements protocols)
Connections are created by the connection manager (represents one connection to a server/service)
In such a connection you have one or more channels of data which may be transported over the connection (for example presence, and chat in IM)

Tapioca used to be an infrastructure competing with Telepathy. Today the implement the Telepathy spec.
  • Qt Binding for telepathy with raw DBus bindings
  • convienience wrapper QTapioca

The question that remains: What will decibel add to this on top?

One of Decibel central parts is Housten:
  • Provides desktop independent DBus interfaces to high level RT communication features
  • Persistently stores user data (accounts, preferences etc)
  • starts/stops connectionMAnagers as required
  • starts/stops dekstop dependent components as required (image)

Houston consists of 3 parts:
  • AccountManager (stores users account data in central place (connectivity, visibility information, privacy information)
  • ProtocolManager (holds a list of connectionmanagers installed with supported protocols, selects connection manger to use for a protocol, stores preferred connectionmanagers)
  • ComponentManager (is registry of components, stores the users preferences on which component is supposed to handle which kind of channel, is notified on new channel events, deicdes what to do with a new channel by deciding on which component to use to handle it)

Desktop Components are specialized applications started by houston
  • desktop specific
  • handle one specific task well
  • work in concert with housten and other components

Status: (Or where is the code?)
He says "We are behind schedule". :-(

But we got some things done already:
  • Qt bindings to Telepathy were missing (done)
  • QtTapioca was launched to make wrinting applications like Houste easier (in progress)
  • Housten implementation (started)
  • KDE specific components (todo)

There will be a Bof-Session with the Telepathy/Decibel/Kopete people to further bring this along.

Personal comment: Well this sounds really interesting but i hope that the kopete developers can agree on this and that they somehow can reuse most of the code they have written over the time for kopete.


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