Torsten Rahn rahn at
Thu Nov 13 17:38:23 CET 2008


> Are there KDE apps that will use Decibel in KDE 4.2?
> We only have a few days before the hard freeze so I don't know that
> any apps will have the time to use Decibel-kde even if it were in
> kdenetwork already.

The motivation to include decibel-kde now is this:

With the inclusion of Decibel into KDE 4.2 we want to enable and support 
implementation of new IM clients as well as porting of existing ones to 
Decibel. Kopete has already chosen Decibel/Telepathy as the way to go and we 
want to make sure they can start with parts that are fully part of KDE. 
In addition to Kopete there is a spanish group of university colleagues around 
aleixpol, which is applying to do a new IM application from scratch using 
Decibel and fully integrating it to KDE under a free sofware contest that's 
happening in spain.

In addition we see activity around a telepathy/qt4 layer and mission
control, Gnome is still strong with regard to this topic. We want to make sure 
we have a visible Decibel implementation, because otherwise further telepathy 
will likely not consider any KDE interests.

It's important to provide and ship the Decibel-KDE libs support soon. You 
can't always assume that people will always use trunk to develop with.
I'd claim that most people who develop against KDE 4 these days try to develop 
against the stable version of KDE unless there is a really important API 
enhancement in trunk that they need to depend on (and that they need to be 
aware of to use it).  This is especially true for applications which are more 
"specialized" on a topic that doesn't focus on the interaction with the 
desktop environment itself.
Shipping the Decibel-KDE libs with KDE 4.2 now would mean that people have a 
stable release of a tiny library that comes with their distribution and has 
got a stable release. 

Just to address possible concerns with regard to compatibility and stability 
of the interfaces:

The core of decibel is supposed to stay stable, we rather will see
extensions than changes.
The Telepathy/Tapioca part will be changed for KDE 4.3 and will be ported
to the upcoming Telepathy/Qt4 bindings. We were hoping the layer would be
ready to port to earlier, but it still will take more time. However, APIs
are not fundamentally different, so we expect porting changes acceptable.
Most changes will arise from Qt 4.5's DBUS to be asynchronous in contrast
to Qt 4.4.

> Which apps are using/want to use Decibel?

Except for Kopete and other IM messaging clients there are possible other 
applications which could use Decibel:  

* Marble: Plugin for viewing Presence-Information
* Plasmoid for Presence-Information
* collaborative Editing using Telepathy-Tubes. Decibel is the central place to 
start up applications for incoming channels
* starting/controlling IM from other apps such as addressbook etc.

Again I'd like to stress that rather providing a  stable library as soon as 
possible that people can develop against is very important.

As an example:
If I would have changed Marble in some way that people would have needed to 
install trunk in order to develop for Marble I'm pretty sure that Marble 
wouldn't even have received half of the development that it got during the 
last half year, as several core developers either just use the stable KDE 4.1 
version of the libraries or they just use the last stable Qt only version of 
Marble. Many of these people wouldn't compile trunk as the compilation would 
cost them the little time they have available for implementing Marble 

For the same reasons I'd strongly suggest to ship the decibel-kde lib rather 
early with a stable KDE release. 

As pointed out already we'll have several employees at Basyskom available who 
will be able to fix remaining issues as they are found during their working day 
during November, December and in January (Currently Dominik Haumann is 
available for this kind of work). 


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