Empathy and GNOME Online Accounts

Today at the IM, Contacts and Social hackfest we talked about supporting chat accounts in GNOME Online Accounts.

I did some work exposing accounts from GNOME Online Accounts to Telepathy (Bug #652543). It still needs a little bit of work, but from Empathy it looks like this1:

Empathy Accounts

With this work Empathy will prompt for the account password when there is a GOA account. Guillaume is currently working on extending Empathy’s authentication handler to authenticate automatically using the credentials from GOA (#652546).

Bastien is extending GOA to include a Chat account type so that you can control whether to enable chat from Online Accounts (#652574).

  1. ignore the other Google Talk entry, that’s my non-GOA chat account []

heading to IM, Contacts and Social hackfest

I am currently sat in Dubai airport on my way to the IM, Contacts and Social hackfest in at Collabora’s office in (real) Cambridge. Hopefully this week will get some cool progress made it integrating Telepathy and Folks into GNOME 3.

My attendance is sponsored by my employer, Collabora.


In recognition of the occasion, I actually started running GNOME 3. I’m enjoying it, except for missing Cantarell1 and this focus follows mouse bug. I am looking forward to the reappearance of the world clocks.

Also it seems you can no longer make the screen lock on suspend, which feels like a big deal, because I’m the kind of person to leave a sleeping laptop lying around. If no one already has a good solution to this, I might write a fix using a gnome-shell extension.


It used to be that you could set different timeouts for screen blanking vs. screen locking. I’ve lived without this feature in recent years by remembering to press the lock-screen button on my keyboard, but I had this strange idea on the plane that screen locking can also be tied-in with IM presence.

At the moment the screen blanks after the idle time, which is equivalent to the away status in Telepathy (the computer is idle, save some power, also if the user has sound turned off, she won’t see your text). Whereas I wanted the screen to lock automatically after an extended period of being away, the xa status in Telepathy?

For the moment (it may change this week) Empathy is responsible for setting the presence in Mission Control, setting away in response to gnome-session and setting xa itself. Either the session could add a concept of extended away, which I could wire up to lock the screen. Or I could listen to the presence change from Mission Control. This could always be another shell extension.

  1. maybe I’m just missing a package, I’m running the gnome3-team ppa on Ubuntu natty []