I’ve been reading a lot about kde-telepathy and it seems to be the next evolution beyond Kopete. So I decided to check it out in my Fedora Rawhide VM since that’s going to have the latest packages and telepathy is still in deep beta. When I installed all the packages that seemed to be important, I got the following when I launched it from the alt-F2 menu.
So I decided to see what kinds of accounts were supported:
There weren’t any choices in there! It looks like it consists of plugins and I don’t have those installed. So I went back and installed the plugins. On the one hand, that’s good because your system isn’t too cluttered. You only need to install support for the networks you need. On the other hand, it means you have tons of packages to install. Hopefully whichever distros package it have a meta package that installs everything you need to be up and chatting. After doing that, I saw that they did indeed support tons of networks including Facebook.
I selected Google Talk and it was pretty awesome that it filled in all the important data for me. Although it’s not impossible to find, it’s annoying to have to hunt out the data for a particular network so it’s great to have the defaults filled in.
I loaded in my AOL IM selft and I was able to chat just fine. However, it was hard for me to figure out just what I had to do to get this chat window to come up. Apparently I needed to launch kde-telepathy-contact-list.
The neat thing is that the people who were renamed were done so on my other computer – so that data transfers back and forth. It doesn’t appear to have preserved my groupings or maybe that hasn’t been implemented yet.
So, it’s pretty much good enough right now for simple chatting, which is what most of us do most of the time. I didn’t test how well it integrates with notifications, but I’m sure that’ll be handled pretty well since it’s KDE tech. My only concern is all the fragmentation with the project. It’s great in that it allows each part of the program to be developed independently and swapped out without affecting the entire program. But it is confusing to know what packages to install or to launch. They’re going to need to do a good job of showing all the benefits and how it integrates with plasmoids and other programs in KDE in order to get people to see all the cool features they’re always blogging about. I’ll give it a deeper test once I upgrade my main Fedora computer at the end of this semester. Right now it seems ready for everyday usage, but only actual everyday usage can truly prove that. However, the team has made great progress and I’m sure by KDE 4.9 if not sooner it will be ready for the masses.