Yenya's World

Tue, 31 Mar 2009

Is Ekiga Doomed?

I am more-or-less happy user of ekiga. However, with the latest GNOME release (or two), I am not sure about its future. The new GNOME contains a new instant messaging and voice-over-IP application, Empathy.

I have not tested Empathy yet, but the list of supported protocols look impressive. I wonder how complete this support is, however (like GPG in Jabber/XMPP, SIP call redirection, SIP from behind of NAT using STUN or proxy, etc). I am trying hard not to be a skeptic, but maybe ekiga will join the following list of doomed applications:

GDM 2.1x
The rewrite of GDM in Fedora 8 (not sure about version numbers now) took away most of the options (such as the X server command line, automatic login for single-user systems, XDMCP(!)), most of the features are not restored even now, year and half later.
It has been deprecated in favor of Metacity, which still cannot do such a simple thing like sending a window to the different workspace using Ctrl+Alt+Right and return back by releasing both Alt and Right, and pressing the Left key while still holding the Ctrl key. Metacity still requires the Ctrl key to be released first.
Has been deprecated in favor of Epiphany, which still plays catch up with Galeon feature set (even with its epiphany-extensions package, and despite of the fact the development of Galeon has been dormant for several years now).

I could probably name several other projects. May be this is a trend in GNOME: replace the existing full-featured apps with half-retarded new ones, just because you do not agree with architectural decisions of previous developers, or because (in the GDM case) you need one more feature (fast user switching) which is hard to do in the present code base. And then promise to implement all other features users are used to, and fail to fulfill the promise in several years. In the meantime, get your code merged to the GNOME code base, kicking the previous full-featured application out of it, making the life of its developers harder, and thus cause the development of it to slowly die off.

Section: /computers/desktops (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 9 writebacks


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