Empathy 2.30 released

Here we go; after 6 months of work I just released Empathy 2.30 and I have to say I'm pretty happy with this milestone. As expected we didn't complete the full roadmap but I think we have done a good job making our software better and easier to use.

Let's see few of the new things this release brings to our users.

Improved accounts dialog

  • The accounts dialog now lives in its own process and can be started from the Gnome Preferences menu, even if Empathy is not running.
  • We improved its interface so that you can easily see the status of all your accounts and the detailed status of the selected account.

  • The first-time run accounts assistant had also be improved. It should now be more reliable and ask for details when creating the link-local XMPP account (aka Bonjour in Mac's world).

  • Thanks to K. Vishnoo Charan Reddy, we gained nice icons for a lot of protocols. Speaking of icons, if someone wants to design a better icon for link-local XMPP I'd be happy to use it. :)

Better chat room support

  • Empathy now supports a subset of most used IRC commands such as /join, /topic, /nick.
  • It is now also possible to join password-protected rooms[1].

Better error reporting

  • The contact list now displays a nice bar when an account is disconnected. You can easily try to reconnect it or open the accounts dialog to change its settings.

  • We also use these nice GtkInfoBar to display an error if something goes wrong during a VoIP call.


  • You can now easily send files to your contacts by drag and dropping to the contact list or a chat window.
  • The chat window gained a nice search bar.

  • Links in status messages are now clickable.

For Developers

  • We stopped pretending to be a library and so dropped libempathy and libempathy-gtk. Those libs never had any API/ABI guarantee and was a burden without real benefits. Plan is to continue to improve telepathy-glib client side API and create telepathy-gtk containing widgets useful for most applications.
  • Empathy 2.30 also stopped to dispatch tube channels. Tube applications should now use the very nicely designed Mission Control API. We ported Vinagre so be sure to upgrade it as well if you want to continue to use the desktop sharing feature with Empathy 2.30.
  • Empathy can now use the ContactCapabilites interface so if you are using telepathy-gabble 0.9.x Empathy will refuse to send files to contacts who don't support file transfers (such as Facebook contacts for example).

Those are just a few examples, we fixed more than 310 bugs during this cycle! If you are interested in more details, I suggest you to read the NEWS file.


[1] be sure to have at least telepathy-idle 0.1.6 if you want to use this feature with IRC


1. Le lundi, mars 29 2010, 18:16 par ethana2

So if I'm using Facebook accounts to communicate between two Empathy instances, can they do videoconferencing over it?

2. Le lundi, mars 29 2010, 18:23 par Guillaume

ethana2: no because Facebook's server blocks IQ between users so we can't exchange jingle stanzas.

3. Le lundi, mars 29 2010, 21:17 par tom

The latest empathy is great, really. Thanks a lot for all of this great work!

However, UI-wise, there are are lot of "wtf" moments if I just look at the screenshots. Two rows of icons in the accounts dialog? Seriously? Come one, this looks silly and there is not even a way to quickly enable/disable accounts (like pidgin allows and empathy used to allow!!)

4. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 01:04 par Harry

I've been using the new Empathy in Ubuntu Lucid and it's a great improvement, thanks to all involved :)

5. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 01:42 par sandy

tom, I'm pretty sure GNOME bugzilla is still functioning properly, so maybe you should report your problems there instead of harshing everyone's buzz about this great release. ;-)

6. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 02:27 par ethana2

Does bugzilla have a 'this bug affects me' button?

7. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 02:30 par Sumana Harihareswara

Congrats to the whole team!

8. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 04:11 par Ari

Does the new empathy support a "do not store the account password" option for each account like pidgin does? This has been a showstopper for me this far. Without this, empathy pretty much can't be used in a shared family desktop pc.

9. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 04:20 par Hebert

Is there a word when lacking features will be added to MSNl?

Like Un/Block Users, File Transfer supoort?

I wish I could start to using Empathy as my default IM client ASAP...

Any word?

10. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 09:38 par Guillaume

Tom: Both icons provide valuable information. The status is usefull to know which accounts are connected or not and the status icon is helpful to quickly spot the kind of account. We plan to re-add a quick enable/disable option at some point.

ethana2: not the GNOME one. But you can add you in the CC list of the bug, that's a good indicator of the number of people interested in it.

Ari: Not atm. See bug #586562

Hebert: FileTransfer in MSN should arrive very soon (it's basically done). Don't know for blocking.

Harry, Sandy, Sumana: thanks!

11. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 18:21 par Florin Andrei

Does it still work really hard to hide the new messages from the user?

I tried it, and gave up quickly. It was very hard to notice new messages. The notifications were so "suave" I missed them 9 out of 10. People thought I was ignoring them on purpose. Horrible UI design.

Went back to Pidgin, and it's a bit better but not much. Something has changed, either in the window manager, or something else, and I can't configure it to pop up new messages right in the middle of the screen, on top of everything else - instead, they always show up minimized.

Any "feature" that can't be turned off is a bug. :(

12. Le vendredi, avril 2 2010, 19:40 par Barrosc

Hey, Great Work.

Just a Couple of things i would like to ask.

Can you put a "NO LOG MY CHATS option" or something like this? this is very important to privacy.

It is possible to get the "INVISIBLE" state as pidgin does whit the MSN messenger account?

thanks and keep improving.

13. Le samedi, avril 3 2010, 13:19 par Marco Craveiro

I've been using the new empathy in Lucid, and I must say: it rocks! :-) thanks for all the hard work.

I just have one suggestion, with regards to the error interface: instead of reporting network errors in red on the top dialog, wouldn't it be better to have small icons at the bottom for each account (sort of like a toolbar, but in a status bar position), with red or green? the icons would go red when there are network errors, and green when one is connected.

What I'm finding at the moment is, I leave empathy running for a couple of days, and then its full of network errors - I need to click on the X for each of them. Almost always I find that I'm connected on each account, so I don't really care if there were errors in the past.

If you think this is a good idea, I can raise the bug report - is this on the gnome bugzilla?

thanks for your time

14. Le samedi, avril 3 2010, 19:43 par korbe

Great, thanks \o/

For me, it lacks only that for a perfect IM client: - Support of proxy. - Support of encryption and signature with GPG and a simple possibility to send public kay to contact. - Possibility to connect to an IRC chat room without account and support of xdcc.

But 2.30 is a good version, thanks. ^_^

15. Le lundi, avril 5 2010, 14:39 par Guillaume

Florin: this is because of Ubuntu specific changes; that's not an upstream patch.

Barrosc: The "disable log" option should probably be added in 2.31 (see bug #567858). Not sure how invisible work with MSN but that's probably a telepathy-butterfly issue.

Marco: actually I'm considering to remove the info bar once the account has been reconnected.

korbe: Hopefully encryption and proxy support should arrive during the 2.31 cycle.

16. Le jeudi, avril 8 2010, 16:41 par korbe

Tank you Guillaume. ^_^

La discussion continue ailleurs

1. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 02:59 par uberVU - social comments

Social comments and analytics for this post

This post was mentioned on Twitter by a_Linux: Guillaume Desmottes: Empathy 2.30 released #Gnome http://bit.ly/9KatMn...

2. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 05:56 par BIEB - News Source Blog

GNOME's Empathy instant messaging client hits v2.3, matures

Empathy is an open source instant messaging client that is built on top of the Telepathy framework. Empathy...

3. Le mardi, mars 30 2010, 06:29 par BIEB News Sources

GNOME's Empathy instant messaging client hits v2.3, matures

Empathy is an open source instant messaging client that is built on top of the Telepathy framework. Empathy...