View Full Version : Just an idea- Ubuntu communicator/messenger style application

March 12th, 2010, 09:41 AM
Hi all,

I was going to post the following at the Brainstorms website, but It seemed it was lacking a few details.You know, I think it isn't fleshed-out enough to be published on Brainstorms.

I've been thinking about a dedicated messenger service for Ubuntu for like 2-3 months.But I never found a good initiative for going forward with that kind of thing, you know.
Say I've had managed to set up such a service, why would one be using it anyway? There's little interest in a sole chat software when there are superior IM providers out there like Yahoo! Messenger, Live Messenger,Google Talk and others, all of which offer services beyond a simple IM network and their services aim to be integrated with the whole system.

It was the other day when I begin to chew over the new Ubuntu file hosting service known to us as Ubuntu One and how a messenger-like application could be integrated with that system.
Beyond a simple IM client, I'm talking about a messenger/communicator-esque desktop app that is well tied to the One, notifying one's selected contacts of latest updates/additions to the files on the One server.Additionally, it could view a slideshow of the user's photo album created on the One and display a list of recent activities the user has initiated, to his/her contacts.Also it might not be a bad idea to send contacts a status message link when a user is playing a particular song in Rhythmbox and clicking the link could do a simple search for the song on the Ubuntu Music Store and/or stream the song to that particular contact's Ubuntu computer(kind of similar to what Opera Unite does).

Recent activities could include: updates/additions to the shared files, latest purchases from Ubuntu Music Store(due in Lucid), recent public Tomboy notes and the like.The list will get populated with more items as the chain of Ubuntu One services will (hopefully) expand.Besides that, doing things in certain programs could also result in activity list updates, for instance sending tweets in Gwibber.

I realise though that some of these features are better implemented as a web application.However, I think this can be a good starting-point for creating a distinct and dedicated IM client that's got more features and quite integrated with the desktop environment.Perhaps, a similar web application could be set up in accordance with users needs, at a later time.
On the other hand, the basic function of such an application, the IM, delivers a much better experience on the desktop rather than inside a browser, at least in my view.

Oh and one neat feature I guess would be for the application to interact with desktop couchDB and sync documents and files across the two or more contacts computers available online.
So to wrap it up in short, an Ubuntu semi-communicator/messenger whatever, that's what I think is in order.One thing I can't find a definitive answer for, is the chat servers.

Question- What are the options for type of servers that can be utilised for such a task? (Traditional servers, P2P etc)
Question- If the traditional client-server way, how difficult is it to set up such a server?
Question- If a p2p distributed type is chosen, how efficient it can be? And is it possible to make it go with the Ubuntu One services somehow?

In general, please help me to brush up this idea and make it ready for publishing up at the Brainstorms site. :)