Monday, August 11, 2008

Ubuntu devs are considering using empathy as default for Intrepid

As a follow-up to my recent post about Empathy being accepted into Gnome, it appears that the Ubuntu devs are looking for testing in anticipation of replacing Pidgin as the default IM client.

There is certainly no consensus on the matter right now, but the feeling is that
  1. Intrepid is the proper place to make such a replacement since the LTS was just released and there is enough time to work any kinks out.
  2. Empathy will probably be integrated at some point and Ubuntu should be on the leading edge of this (A.K.A. "It's a selling point).
  3. Empathy offers a much better path forward than Pidgin.
  4. Empathy offers voice/video right now, while Pidgin's has been promised for some time and is on an uncertain timeline.
See the original e-mail announcement for more (much more!) information.


  1. August 12, 2008 4:29 AM

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  2. August 12, 2008 4:33 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. BengtAugust 14, 2008 7:54 PM

    Will Empathy support encrypted text chatting as Pidgin?

  4. August 14, 2008 9:46 PM

    This should be a Telepathy- and protocol-dependent feature. Telepathy already has a boolean "require-encryption" option for the connection request.

  5. August 18, 2008 10:03 PM

    Empathy is just not ready. Imo it has a long way to go before it can be considered a replacement for Pidgin as Ubuntu's default IM client.

  6. August 18, 2008 10:51 PM

    Ultimately, the change needs to be made at some point unless Pidgin gets much better and/or integrates better.

    I agree that Empathy is immature, but if you're evaluating based on the Hardy version, you should look at the PPA version before making a real decision on what it looks like now.

    Empathy still has problems like API documentation and licensing issues. If Xavier can get those out of the way, the future looks bright. I'd like to see it all with libsoylent.

  7. August 19, 2008 2:25 AM

    Tbf it seems pretty decent for xmpp support atm, but I wouldn't use it for msn/wlm. One thing I really miss is display pictures on message windows.

  8. AnonymousAugust 23, 2008 10:39 PM

    Ubuntu is now just a crappy elephant OS, which is the open source version of Vista. Bloatware OS with useless and redundants stuff and services, fancy graphics for fanboyz. It tooks a considerable amount of efforts to fix/tweak it just to improve a bit the performance, and remove all the useless craò. I personally stopped using it since Edgy Eft. I have a collection of virtual machine and costantly update them, and I see the things getting worse at every release. LOL, good luck ubuntu

  9. August 24, 2008 7:12 AM

    I'm not a fan of Ubuntu, either, but including Empathy isn't going to do anything to increase bloat. It'll really be slimmer.

    Gnome is a heavy environment, and you might be happier with an Openbox desktop. LXDE is a nice little WM + Panel.

  10. September 10, 2008 9:04 PM

    Two words "contact migration"
    I've installed empathy, and haven't found how to import (not mentioning export) contacts?
    Should I retype all my contacts from pidgin?

  11. September 11, 2008 6:39 AM

    Pidgin doesn't have Import/Export, either.

    This is actually a perfect use for the "About Me" dialog. It has places for email and instant messaging IDs. It would be nice to type these in once and have applications retrieve the information from there automatically on start-up.

    Unfortunately, there are some security issues (e.g. all applications can read the data) which cause developers not to use it. I hope we can overcome that using a keyring or some such.

  12. September 11, 2008 6:45 AM

    You're sure what you're talking about?
    In pidgin some protocols auto update their buddy lists, and some provide option to import/export to server/file.
    As I opened empathy I saw EMPTY buddy list, so I tried to find an option to import from server/file/pidgin, and haven't found any of those;(

  13. September 11, 2008 8:10 AM

    OK. I understood that you wanted to export your accounts from Pidgin to Empathy. Pidgin doesn't have an account export that I can find. I'm using version 2.4.3.

    Your buddy lists aren't stored on your computer. They're stored on the IM server you connect to -- if you add the account in Empathy, all those buddies/contacts will appear automatically. All IM clients thus "auto-update their buddy lists." If your list in Empathy appears short, it may be that you have only online buddies showing and that no one /few people are online at the moment.

    The short answer is that there's no such thing as importing buddy lists from one IM client to another because it's not necessary. If you install Kopete, you'll find the same thing. IT's what allows you to go to an Internet cafe and log in to a client and just start using it.

  14. September 11, 2008 3:55 PM

    Yeah, some protocols auto-update and auto-download lists to/from server, but there are protocols like Gadu-Gadu, that don't.
    Anyway NONE of protocols I'm using imported contacts from server, when normally in pidgin they did.
    I'm using google talk(xmpp), msn, yahoo and gadu-gadu.

  15. September 11, 2008 4:50 PM

    You're missing the whole point. XMPP MSN, and Yahoo! store the account information (personal information and bussy lists) on the server. There is nothing to import. Your buddy lists aren't stored locally. "Auto-update" and "auto-download" don't even apply here.

    To prove my point, I have installed Empathy on this computer (previously, I was using Pidgin) and added accounts to bring them to parity. There was nothing to do except creating the account in Empathy and enabling it. You can compare the and screenshots for yourself. They are the same. No importing. Only signing on. If you want to give me your Gadu-gadu screen name, I'll create a G-g account and add you, then add the new account to Empathy. I don't use G-g and the protocol is closed, but I'm 99% certain that you will just magically appear.

    I don't think you understand how IM works. Are you sure you've ticked the "Enable" check box next to your accounts in Empathy? If there are contacts that aren't showing, it's because you're not actually connected to the IM server or you're set not to show off-line contacts and no one is online. There's no other reason.

  16. September 11, 2008 6:49 PM

    In gadu gadu contact import/export has to be done manually, anyway, other protocols don't get their contacts either...

  17. September 11, 2008 7:48 PM

    I'll repeat that your problem doesn't lie with having to "import" your contacts into MSN, Yahoo!, or GTalk. Your problem lies somewhere else. The protocols don't work that way.

  18. September 12, 2008 2:07 AM

    I know how IM's work, but I don't care...
    The point is I don't get my contacts in empathy.
    And gadu gadu doesn't have option to import contacts from file/server.
    In gadu gadu contacts are only exported on users demand.

  19. September 12, 2008 9:32 AM

    Gadu support in Empathy is brand new (less than a month). File a bug on the import. I'm sure it can be easily added.

    As far as the contacts for your other protocols, you may want to look into a PEBKAC issue.

  20. September 12, 2008 3:13 PM

    Please, don't be ironic, just tell me what I might have done wrong.
    You know pidgin just worked out of box.
    And if the other protocols "just don't work" i won't bother myself filing a gg bug.


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