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19 Apr 07. Open source development experts Collabora (www.collabora.co.uk) announced that it has joined the newly formed GNOME Mobile and Embedded Initiative (GMAE) as a founding participant. GMAE aims to apply the technology, philosophy and experience of the open source desktop GNOME project to the world of mobile, handheld and embedded devices.

Collabora’s Telepathy (http://telepathy.freedesktop.org/) real time communication project is included in the GMAE Platform which includes proven, best of breed components ready for shipping on production devices. Already used in the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet OS 2007 Edition, Telepathy provides a unified framework for all forms of real time conversations, including instant messaging, IRC, voice calls and video calls. It incorporates Farsight, Collabora’s media streaming library.

“The embedded and mobile markets are adopting open source in general and GNOME in particular at an ever-increasing rate,” commented Philippe Kalaf, director, Collabora. “By joining forces through the GMAE initiative, knowledge and applications can be easily pooled to benefit the entire community. We predict this will drive forward the open source movement in these areas at even faster pace.”

Used by millions around the world GNOME is a free-software project whose goal is to develop a complete and easy to use desktop for Linux and UNIX-based operating systems. It also includes a complete development environment to create new applications.

Launched at the CELF Embedded Linux Conference 2007 in Santa Clara (http://www.celinux.org/elc2007/), GMAE aims to pool the growing knowledge and experience of those using the GNOME platform in the mobile and embedded sector to drive market adoption. Other organisations to sign up alongside Collabora as founder members include Nokia, Wolfson Microelectronics, Intel, ACCESS (formerly PalmSource) and OLPC.

“Collabora is part of a thriving ecosystem of expert consultancies supporting the GNOME Mobile and Embedded Initiative,” commented Jeff Waugh, founder of GMAE and director of the GNOME Foundation. “The Telepathy framework delivers vital functionality for real time communications, backed up by the knowledge and understanding Collabora has developed by working with industry leaders such as Nokia.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to GMAE and the GNOME platform, Collabora has participated in development of Telepathy support for the Gossip GNOME IM client. The recent 0.23 release included this work and is able to use Telepathy to connect to different protocols, and development is ongoing to make use of Telepathy’s voice and video call features. Robert McQueen of Collabora will be giving a presentation at CELF on Telepathy and GMAE.

Telepathy works by putting in place a framework that cuts development and integration efforts by separating protocol code backends from the user interfaces that link to them. By moving away from the monolithic client it removes duplication issues and creates a framework that allows multiple clients to share the same connections to carry out different tasks. It creates a standard set of D-Bus interfaces, abstracting common messaging, presence and multimedia services so developers don’t need to continually re-invent the wheel.

“Telepathy extends the range and reach of Gossip to deliver desktop integration, multiple protocol support and voice and video calling in a simple, easy to use way,” commented Martyn Russell, lead developer, Gossip. “Working together will enable us to bring new functionality to Gossip that benefits the whole GNOME community.”

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