Will 'chatty' replace 'pidgin', in general?

So, I see that chatty leverages libpurple; will chatty be available in Debian/PureOS/derivatives as an alternative to the aging GTK2 pidgin desktop IM client? And please, don’t get me started on the the usability trainwreck that is empathy.

I don’t know whether Purism will push Chatty as a replacement for Pidgin, but it is highly likely that Chatty will become part of Debian, and thus part of standard PureOS for Librem laptops. Phosh, Calls and Chats (i.e., chatty) have been accepted as official GNOME projects and Phosh has been accepted as a package in Debian bullseye.

There can be a holdup if a new package incorporates code from an existing Debian package or if the new package conflicts with an existing package. I wonder if this isn’t the case with Calls and Chats, which is why they weren’t submitted along with Phosh to Debian. Or it could be that the devs just want to wait until Calls and Chats are more mature, since it is too much trouble creating new packages in Debian experimental every time they update the code.

However, it seems very likely that Purism will want these packages to be part of Debian, because it will be easier to have these programs packaged upstream than having to apply them separately in PureOS. Plus, adding these programs as packages in Debian helps attract new developers, which helps lower the long term maintenance costs because Purism doesn’t have to maintain the code alone and can rely more on the community to provide updates.

Yes, we want to upstream to Debian everything we can. As for chatty/chats it uses libpurple as a backend so it can support several of the libpurple plugins. The matrix libpurple plugin is one for example, the telegram-libpurple is another.

Not all the plugins have been tested.

There might be some cases that require attention for example both the telegram-libpurple and the sms-libpurple (for chatty SMS) both use phone numbers as identifiers for contacts, one from telegram, the other from the address book, and that might cause some “confusion”.

There might be some issues with some plugins in the chatty UI, that require rework in the setting menu to access settings of those plugins (the signal libpurple plugin is one such case).


As for calls there was an initial conversation with some developers about the possibility of it migrating to GNOME.

Yes, the DebianOnMobile team is exactly about that (packaging mobile related software, including Chatty).
We are working together with Guido (Purism employee and DD) to upstream into Debian most of what Purism is creating as software, alongside couple of other software useful for the mobile stack.

See here what has been packaged so far: https://qa.debian.org/developer.php?email=debian-on-mobile-maintainers%40alioth-lists.debian.net
chatty is in “Pending Uploads” which means that the packaging work has been done and the package must be reviewed by another Debian team (ftp masters) following the first upload of the package (this is a one time).

There is no intention that I am aware of to replace anything, but at least for Chatty and other software that Purism authors to be available within Debian, as much as possible.


speaking of a modern GTK3 XMPP client, have you ever tried Dino?

For screenshots of Dino using libhandy, see: https://github.com/dino/dino/issues/178#issuecomment-695136071

Yes, Dino looks nice and seems to work well. The version provided by my distro probably isn’t based on libhandy, though - the two-column layout doesn’t collapse when I shrink the window.

Building Dino on my Dogwood phone failed due to an outdated dependency (libsignal-…). I would really like to test it out on the small screen, but I’m not sure when I get the time to investigate and fix build problems.

Oh, looking at that github issue, apparently work on using libhandy is still not in a release branch, and there is a race condition at a certain window width: https://github.com/dino/dino/issues/731#issuecomment-621127548