[kde-community] Telegram Relay Service

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Sat May 7 13:04:41 BST 2016

On Samstag, 7. Mai 2016 12:26:25 CEST Myriam Schweingruber wrote:

Hi Myriam,

> I agree with Luca here, it would be nice if the KDE projects who use
> only Telegram and thus make it mandatory to be able to work with them,
> to consider an IRC relay bot, because they are excluding all those who
> don't want to (or can't) use Telegram.

The VDG, being one of the projects who mainly use Telegram, will sync our IRC 
channel with our main Telegram group.

I fully repsect that you don't want to use Telegram, but the reasons you 
describe below are based pretty much completely on assumptions which are 
simply untrue. Let me comment:

> I might be too old, but for me a phone is not a suitable media for
> developer communications, it is difficult to use for my 57-year old
> fingers and makes communication cumbersome. 

I'm only 33, but I don't like typing on the phone very much, either. Which is 
why I use Telegram almost exclusively on my PC, with my nice, big, hardware 
keyboard. I really only use it on my phone when I'm away from my PC but still 
have urgent matters to tend to on Telegram.

> Also, Telegram is intrusive, as the web client only works if you have it 
running on your phone as well, 

Wrong. I've just stopped any Telegram process on my phone, and the web client 
on my PC still works 100% fine. It even works when my phone is off.

> which eats up battery life to no end, 

I can't comment on your phone, of course, but the battery on my Nexus 5 lasts 
about two days with Telegram running. According to the power info, Telegram 
only uses 1% of my battery (even K-9 Mail used 2%, even though I hardly ever 
actively use it).

> it's impossible
> to mute globally, 

Wrong. Go to the settings, you can mute it there for all messages as well as 
for all groups, with just one switch for each type.

> only per channel and only on the phone, not via the
> web client 

Both clients have separate settings, which totally makes sense to me. 

> (guess how much I love my phone to ring at 5 am just
> because there is yet another message sent via Telegram). 

See above, you can turn off all sounds globally just fine.

> Not even starting to talk about the crappy usability ... and the breach of
> privacy because you have to share your private phone number with
> people you don't know in RL, that for me is the point where it hits
> the wall.

You don't have to share your private phone number with anybody. Telegram has 
two different kinds of contact: Either by phone number or by username. The 
only person whose phone number I have in Telegram is Jens', because when we 
tried it out, we did not yet know about usernames.

As soon as I learned about usernames, I only used them instead of phone 
numbers. Yes, the system with the two types of identities is confusing.
The reason why they have both is that they wanted to cater both to the 
WhatsApp kinds of users who use it to communicate with their friends and 
family, and to IRC kinds of users who use it for communicating in public 

> After spending 10+ hours at my desk at the computer, I really don't
> want to also have to use my phone just because some people think
> everybody should use Telegram. 

Same here, which is why, as I said above, I hardly ever use Telegram on my 
phone, and I know that it's the same for at least some other VDG members.

Also notice that the web client is not the only means to use Telegram on a PC: 
There are several Telegram desktop client applications, e.g. the official 
Telegram desktop client, Cutegram, a CLI client, an ncurses client, and 
several multi-protocol clients supporting telegram, including Telepathy 
(although admittedly KDE Telepathy's user interface does not work too well for 

Since Telegram's API is open, anybody can write a Free Telegram client.

I personally prefer to use the web client because I'd rather have another tab 
in my browser (which I have open permanently anyway) than another application 
just for Telegram, but some of use use the official Telegram client, others use 
Cutegram, and all are happy with their choices.

> We have well established means of
> communication through IRC and mailing lists. I do understand the will
> to reach out to people who apparently spend their live on the phone,
> but at some point even they will have to use a computer, because AFAIK
> most KDE projects are still about software development, and that can't
> really be done on a phone only. (Of course, I wouldn't be astonished
> if you could, but really, folks, use a 6- 8" screen with a tiny
> keyboard, outrageous connection prices in most parts of the world and
> crappy battery life as a main way of software development? Are you
> serious?)

See above: Nobody forces you to use Telegram on your phone.

> Regards, Myriam
> PS. That by the way can be extended to all other phone based chats,
> they are pretty much exchangeable, some have better web clients, some
> outright suck in that regard, the point is the same: please don't make
> a phone client chat a required way of communication for any KDE
> project.

It's not the same: Telegram has the advantage of having good support for FOSS 
desktop clients, which cannot be said for many other protocols.

I hope I could give you (and others who may not have known) some useful 
information about Telegram. I don't mean to convince you to use Telegram, I 
just want you to base your opinion on actual, correct, facts.


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