KDE Telepathy in GSoC 2012

We had several good proposals related to KDE Telepathy for Google Summer of Code 2012, but unfortunately we only got 2 slots! But hey, we got 2 slots! That’s great! :D Thanks to Google for organising and sponsoring it.

The first accepted project is “Message Filtering Plugin System” by Lasath Fernando (shocklateboy92), the author of the chat plasmoid that will be released in KDE Telepathy 0.4. He will be mentored by David Edmundson and

“will create a completely asynchronous modular and extensible system that enriches messages before they’re displayed to the user. These includes embedding images and videos from links, Translating messages, (re)-formatting them nicely, reading out loud etc.”

The second project is “Enhancement to peer-to-peer DBus for Telepathy DBus Tubes” by Puneet Goyal. Puneet worked on the Payment Detection use-case of project Alkimia in Season of KDE 2011. I will be his mentor for this interesting project which aim is to make it even easier to use D-Bus Tubes from any KDE application:

“When an application connects to a peer to peer dbus tube, it must know what exactly to look for. Even When it registers for another object, the other side of the tube must know about it. So the ideas is to create a class that could ease the object to register and unregister on the DBus Tubes, and to provide you with an interface similar to the one as a DBus Server.”

We had to reject several good projects, because of the limited amount of slots, but if you are motivated to work on a project in KDE Telepathy you still have one chance[1]: Season of KDE (SoK)! SoK is similar to Google Summer of Code: you won’t be paid, but you will get a mentor, a very cool t-shirt and certificate! If you want to apply, you can have a look at KDE Telepathy ideas that we selected for GSoC but did not get a slot (“Telepathy setup for KDE multiplayer games” and “Collaborative editor“), check out some more ideas here or propose your own idea.

[1]Actually you have as many chance as you want to contribute even if you don’t want to take part to SoK! We have several junior jobs if you are (or want to become) a developer, and a few non-programming tasks that don’t require programming skill if you just want to help us!

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GSoC Project Summary: Telepathy Tubes and File Transfer in KDE

First of all an important note: KTelepathy is still in active development and there is still a huge amount of tasks to finish before the first real “preview release” [1] (any help is welcome). A telepathy sprint [2] is planned for september, so we’ll probably see a lot of progress soon!
The classes I wrote for GSoC are still pending for testing, review, and subject to sudden changes, that’s why I focussed on the library itself leaving the applications for later.

I started the GSoC writing a few jobs for SteamTubes, DBusTubes and file transfer channels:

  • Jobs to start a channel: The channel is started and handled in the same job and some result (if needed) is returned, for example a dbus connection for a dbus-tube. This is not exactly the best thing to do, because the channel should be requested to the channel dispatcher, and handled by the preferred handler.
  • Jobs to accept a channel: The incoming channel is handled and some result (if needed) is returned, exactly like the start channel. That means that a lot of code is redundant and duplicated.

So after writing a few applications of those jobs (file transfer in Cantor[3], Konqueror[4], and KSnapshot[5]) we decided to do a step backwards and to write some more jobs:

  • Jobs to request a channel: Request a channel to the channel dispatcher. The channel is not handled by the job itself, but must be handled by the default (or preferred) handler.
  • Jobs to handle a channel: This is mostly the same thing as the accept channel jobs, with the main difference that it is not limited to incoming jobs, but can also handle outgoing channels.

All those jobs use Nepomuk resources representing the “contact”. I wrote a couple of abstract classes that do most of the job so, and that are quite easy to subclass to handle new types of channels. I also wrote a job to start a “text chat” and integrated it into “telepathy-contactlist“, so it is now possible to start a chat that is handled by empathy or by “telepathy-chat-handler“.

About the QtDBus peer-to-peer connection patch, required for DBusTubes, I updated the merge request, adding unit tests as requested and fixing a few issues, but I’m still waiting for reviews. I really hope to get it reviewed and merged before Qt 4.8 feature freeze, but it’s not up to me now.

At aKademy, we fixed TelepathyQt4 DBusTube branch, so it really works now and we also wrote a cool “KWhiteboard[6] application to share a canvas over a DBusTube. It’s not really beautiful and yet, but it works!

I also started using DBusTubes in Cantor, but there is nothing really shared on the dbus tube yet, I’m writing some sort of “shared worksheet manager” class so that you can manage more than one worksheet on the same tube and that could be useful also for other applications.

Unluckily I wasn’t able to do any work on Plasma widget sharing. The protocol used now is not that simple as I thought, so getting widget shared over telepathy is not possible just using a StreamTube as planned and will take a lot more time than I expected when I proposed the project, and it wasn’t probably worth to work on it yet, as the library is quite unstable. Anyway this is still in my todo list!

Ok, that’s not all what I did during this summer, but this is the most important part of it. You can find some beautiful screenshots im my previous blog posts[3][4][5][6]


P.S. Many thanks to Google, to my mentor George, to all #kde-telepathy people! It was definitely a very funny summer!

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Telepathy File Transfer in Konqueror

I wanted to write a Service Menu to send files from Dolphin, but I needed a dynamically loaded menu with the names of my contacts and this is not possible using Service Menu.

So I wrote a konqueror popup menu plugin (KonqPopupMenuPlugin).

It doesn’t work in dolphin though, because the plugin isn’t loaded.
Anyone knows if there is a way to get konqueror plugins loaded in dolphin or if there is a better way to do this?

Anyway, there it is!

"Send to..." menu in Konqueror
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GSoC Update: Telepathy File Transfer in Cantor

A few updates about my GSoC:

  • Most of the contact list work was moved in a library (libktelepathy in trunk/playground/network/). It is quite ugly at the moment, it will need a lot of cleaning
  • File transfer jobs don’t depend on any qt/telepathy-qt4 patch, so they are now in libktelepathy. By the way all issues with file transfer and telepathy-qt4 are now fixed, but we decided that the kioslave is outside the goal of my project, so I abandoned it for the moment
  • I added a “Send to…” menu in Cantor, the allows you to send your results to your contacts, not only images, but also latex formulas and animations!
"Send to..." menu in Cantor
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GSoC Update: DBusTubes work!

“D-Bus Tubes allow you to share a private D-Bus bus between two or more clients, proxied over Telepathy.” Basically this means that your client can create a dbus object and share its methods and signals with a client run by your contact (you can find more information here).

Here at Akademy in Tampere we fixed telepathy-qt4 and now Telepathy DBusTubes can be used in KDE!
You need to patch qt and you need to patch telepathy-qt4, but they do work!

We also set up a small demo application called KWhiteBoard, that is a shared white-board that allows you to draw very beautiful black and white drawings with your favorite remote friend. Well, the functionalities are quite limited at the moment, but it will get more soon!

KWhiteBoard "hello world"

If you want to try KWhiteBoard or just DBusTubes in your application you need to rebuild patched Qt and telepathy-qt4, but if you ping me on #telepathy-kde, (or if you are in tampere, I’ll be here until sunday morning) I’ll be happy to help you setting up everything!

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