[Sugar-devel] Current status of collaboration work

Martin Abente martin.abente.lahaye at gmail.com
Wed Dec 23 14:52:17 EST 2015

Hello everyone,

I have been reviewing the current state of the collaboration proposals and
I am afraid it is still too early for merging it. We need to explore more
use cases, and this will only happens when we start porting more Activities
that actually use TUBES. Therefore, i want to share some thoughts on this.


   1. There haven't been enough changes in the Activities regarding Tubes
   2. Dropping the Tubes support from Sugar without changing all the
   activities that depend on Tubes means that we will break collaboration for
   those activities anyway, and there wont be much gain by just doing that.
   3. Making changes in the Sugar API without proper testing with more
   activities (and scenarios) is simply not a good idea.
   4. But, making changes in the Activities can be easily handled since
   they are self contained.
   5. Most of our users still use Fedora 18 through OLPC deployments, where
   Tubes is available.


   1. Lets make Sugar handle the Tubes deprecation better so it doesn't
   break, but lets not remove the support for TUBES yet.
   2. Instead, we can start changing the activities using the Wrapper that
   Walter and Sam prepared, but using it locally on each Activity for now.
   3. Once and if, we have most of our activities ported to the new
   telepathy API (which will be based on the Wrapper), then we can include the
   Wrapper into sugar-toolkit-gtk3, in a next release and remove it from


   1. We avoid breaking collaboration for *(a)* Activities that use TUBES
   and run on older systems where TUBES is available, and *(b)* Activities
   that does not use TUBES on newer systems where TUBES is no longer
   available. This _is_ an improvement versus the current situation where is
   completely broken on newer systems.
   2. We do this whole re-work incrementally, without having to change the
   API (sort of) blindly.
   3. There will be more flexibility to explore ideas in Activities land.


   1. There will be repeated code in Activities, but that can be changed
   easily later.

*What would be needed:*

   1. To detect if there is TUBES support, as Sam mentioned in his first PR
   [1]. *Can someone look into this?*
   2. Do not create TUBES channel when there is not support. This [2] is
   just a hack and the logic works fine, but it depends on whether or not we
   can detect support.
   3. Cleanup the Wrapper and make sure that it is possible to use it
   locally in activities.

*Other improvements that we could land now:*

   1. Give more flexibility to activities to use file transfer channels
   without having the shell messing with them. [3]


If we don't do something about this, next Sugar releases will still be
broken for collaboration, for more scenarios than necessary.

Let me know what you guys think,

[1] https://github.com/sugarlabs/sugar-toolkit-gtk3/pull/270
[3] https://github.com/sugarlabs/sugar/pull/621
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