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Telepathy is an open-source, real-time communications framework that is developed primarily by Collabora Ltd. Using Telepathy, businesses can build applications that can discover and communicate with users' contacts. Telepathy provides an abstraction over the underlying communications protocols and provides services such as text chat, VoIP and video, file transfers, and geolocation. Furthermore, the Telepathy Tubes API provides a simple and powerful mechanism for application-specific protocols to be used through Telepathy.

Why Telepathy?

Modern consumer devices need to offer strong integration between a consumer communication tools. An integrated address book between things like phone calling, Google Talk, Skype calling, instant messaging and so on is not only a competitive advantage, it has become a necessity. Thanks to Telepathy, supporting a wide range of such protocols, services and formats has become a lot easier to do in an integrated and streamlined fashion.

How can Collabora help you with Telepathy?

Collabora has been the leading force behind Telepathy since its inception, and we can thus provide unequaled support around it. Due to this we are able to offer a wide range of services around Telepathy and related components.

Some background on Collabora and Telepathy

Telepathy was started in 2005 by Rob McQueen, co-founder of Collabora. Since that time, Telepathy has been adopted and improved by various open source communities with continued active development and maintenance from Collabora. Telepathy is used for text chat and other features in Empathy, to provide multiplayer support in various GNOME games, and to enable collaborative editing in the AbiWord word processor. Collabora continues to foster the development of Telepathy-based applications and add innovative new features to Telepathy itself. Key developers and technical leads include Sjoerd Simons (interview in GNOME Footnotes) and Simon McVittie (Telepathy articles).

Telepathy was used as the foundation for the activity sharing features of the One Laptop Per Child device. Using Telepathy Tubes and link-local XMPP, activities on the OLPC can easily locate nearby people and initiate collaborative activities with them.

Collabora also sponsors the development of Empathy, a Telepathy-based chat and VoIP application. Empathy is now included in the default GNOME desktop, making it easier for other GNOME applications to integrate collaboration functionality using Telepathy. Telepathy has also been strongly integrated into the GNOME 3.2 shell.

Collabora continues to sponsor the further development of Telepathy. Recent work has focused API improvements to allow features such as rich text chat and file transfers, as well as improvements to help collaborative applications built on top of Telepathy Tubes. For more information on Telepathy or to get involved with Telepathy development, see the Telepathy Wiki. A work-in-progress developer's guide to Telepathy is here.

Collabora and Standards Organizations

Collabora has been a very active participant in the development of the XMPP standards, especially during the development of Jingle, the XMPP standard for VoIP and video calls. Collabora engineer Will Thompson is a member of the XMPP Standards Foundation.

Developer biography

Sjoerd Simons

Sjoerd Simons

Sjoerd works on Telepathy and other projects, advises colleagues and clients, and directs the research & development team.

Simon McVittie

Simon McVittie

Simon McVittie is a lead developer on Telepathy and a longtime contributor to Debian, D-Bus, and other projects. He holds a degree from the University of Cambridge. McVittie, who still lives in Cambridge, enjoys music and Python. Within Collabora, he is well-known for his thorough code reviews, his deadpan sense of humour, and his commitment to the Debian community.