An important aspect of the Moblin user experience is about communicating with others and this panel provides quick access to do this. The core of the content is provided by an abstraction, simplification and aggregation library called Anerley. This provides a “feed” of “items” (an addressbook of people) that aggregates across the system addressbook, powered by EDS, and your IM roster, powered by Telepathy. You have small set of actions you can do on these people such as start an IM conversation / email / edit them with Contacts. The core of our IM experience is supplied by the awesome Empathy. We’ve been working with the upstream maintainers to accomodate some of the needs of Moblin into the upstream source. This included the improvements to the accounts dialog and wizard that landed for GNOME 2.28.
One of the biggest problems with the IM experience in Moblin 2.0 was that it was easy to miss when somebody was talking to you. If you were looking away when the notification popped up, whoops, it’s gone. With our switch to Mission Control 5 I was able to integrate a Telepathy Observer into Anerley and the People Panel. An Observer will be informed of channels that are requested on the system. This allows us to show ongoing conversations in the panel and by exploiting channel requests and window presentation allow the user to switch between ongoing conversations. This wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of the nice folks in #telepathy and at Collabora: Sjoerd, Will, Jonny and countless others.