Communication and social networking

  • Connect to instant messaging and social networking services

  • Set up multi-protocol connections with web services or other clients

  • Handle mail, online contacts and calendar services

Get your users connected and communicating with their friends and contacts through instant messaging, social media, and email. GNOME's extensive communications stack gives you high-level, abstracted access to complicated instant messaging and email protocols. For more specialised communication needs, there's access to the nuts and bolts through lower level APIs too.

Empathy instant messaging client

What can you do?

For connecting to instant messaging services, use Telepathy. It provides a powerful framework for interacting with the user's instant messaging contacts, and has support for a wide range of messaging protocols. With Telepathy, all accounts and connections are handled by a D-Bus session service that's deeply integrated into GNOME. Applications can tie into this service to communicate with contacts.

Create multi-player games or collaborative editors that integrate with the desktop-wide instant messaging services. With the Telepathy Tubes API, you can tunnel an arbitrary protocol over modern instant messaging protocols like Jabber to create interactive applications.

Allow users to see other people they can chat with, and find printers, shared files, and shared music collections as soon as they connect to a network. The Avahi API provides service discovery on a local network via the mDNS/DNS-SD protocol suite. It's compatible with similar technology found in MacOS X and Windows.

Handle users' local and online address books and calendars with Evolution Data Server (EDS). It provides a way of storing account information and interacting with...

With Folks, you will have access to a single API for handling social networking, chat, email, and audio/video communications.

Real-world examples

You can see lots of real-world applications of the GNOME communications technologies in open source projects, like the examples given below.

  • Empathy is an instant messaging app with support for a wide range of messaging services. It uses Telepathy to handle connections, presence, and contact information for all of the protocols that it supports.

    (Website | Screenshot | Empathy source code )

  • With Telepathy Tubes support, the GNOME Games collection was able to add multi-player gaming support through the Jabber protocol.

    (Website | Screenshot | GLChess online multiplayer code )

  • Avahi support allows users of the Rhythmbox music player to see shared music collections on their local network, using DAAP.

    (Website | Screenshots | DAAP Code )