Review empathy indicator applet integration

Registered by Martin Pitt on 2009-11-04

Review the status of empathy indicator integration. In Karmic, several shortcomings were identified, such as unintuitive focus behaviour or that the "new messages" icon status is easily missed. From a maintenance perspective, patching empathy is very intrusive and caused several problems; we should move to using telepathy-mission-control directly instead.

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
Ken VanDine
Ken VanDine
Series goal:
Not started
Milestone target:
Completed by
Ken VanDine

Related branches



Now that mission-control-5 is available, we can create a new service that uses mission-control-5 to provide indicator support. This will allow us to drop the empathy patch and have total control of the code we use to work with IM and the indicator.

Work items (lucid-alpha-2):
update to empathy 2.29.3 : DONE

Work items:
drop empathy patch:
write new service:
upload to ppa:
call for testing:
add new service to seed:

pitti, 2009-11-30: Since this doesn't have a wiki spec (FAOD: I'm not demanding one for such a small task), can you please elaborate a bit more about the structure? "write new service" sounds a lot like there would be yet another daemon? Would that be another telepathy plugin like t-idle, or another d-bus service, or couldn't the indicator-applet process just listen to the additional messages? I'm a bit concerned about piling up too many processes which talk to each other by now...

ken-vandine, 2009-11-30: This is yet another daemon that will be a middle layer between mc5 and the indicator service. Adding it to the indicator service could be doable, but we would need to discuss it with the DX team. My plan was to have this new service start with dbus activation when mission control starts. Adding it to the indicator service would require a bit more logic in determining "which IM backend do I use" since the indicator does work with pidgin as well. It is another process that talks to other processes, but on the flip side is it won't necessarily always start on desktop login. Only when telepathy gets brought up for some reason, like starting empathy, etc. Thoughts?

pitti, 2009-12-01: Ah, if that new daemon is just spawned when you launch empathy, instead of with the session, that should be fine.

ken-vandine, 2010-01-12: Converting this to a a TpApprover service is blocked by upstream features. They are also converting empathy into a TpApprover, which has uncovered these:

pitti, 2010-02-10: dropping from lucid; not possible to implement right now, and empathy seems to be pretty stable as it is, so let's not break it all over again for lucid


Work Items