Presence Service D-Bus API

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PresenceService D-Bus API

Revision 3 (post Collabora week)

There are 3 conceptual objects:

  • PresenceService - manages and provides a query API for Activity and Buddy objects
  • Activity - represents a shared space in which one or more buddies participate. Activities are globally unique.
  • Buddy - represents another laptop somewhere on the network that you can communicate with

PresenceService Object

Service: org.laptop.Sugar.Presence
Object Path: /org/laptop/Sugar/Presence



  • ActivityAppeared (o: activity)
    • PS has become aware of the given activity, either because of an invitation (in which case the ActivityInvitation signal will follow soon after) or because someone is advertising it as public
  • ActivityDisappeared (o: buddy)
    • PS believes that the given activity has disappeared - it is not advertised as public, and either nobody has sent us a private invitation, or everyone who invited us to it has gone offline
  • BuddyAppeared (o: buddy)
  • BuddyDisappeared (o: buddy)
  • ActivityInvitation (o: activity)
    • The user has been invited to a (public or hidden) activity, represented by the given object (which might have been created immediately before).
    • FIXME: as of 2007-08-28 this was documented to have parameters (o: activity, o: buddy), but the actual implementation only had one parameter?
  • PrivateInvitation (s: bus_name, o: connection, o: channel)
    • Someone has invited the user to take part in a private text conversation or VoIP call. (The platform doesn't currently handle this.)


  • GetActivities() -> ao
    • Gets all activities the PS knows about
    • Returns: array of activity object paths
  • GetActivityById(s: id) -> o
    • Gets a specific activity object by the activity's ID
    • Returns: activity object path
  • GetBuddies() -> ao
    • Gets all buddies the PS knows about
    • Returns: array of buddy object paths
  • GetBuddyByPublicKey(ay: key) -> o
    • Gets a specific buddy, searching on the buddy's public key
    • Returns: the buddy object path of the requested buddy
  • GetBuddyByTelepathyHandle(sou) -> o
    • Get the buddy corresponding to a Telepathy handle
    • Parameters:
      • conn_name: The well-known bus name of a Telepathy connection
      • conn_path: The object path of the Telepathy connection
      • handle: The handle of a Telepathy contact on that connection, of type HANDLE_TYPE_CONTACT. This may not be a channel-specific handle
    • Returns: the object path of a Buddy
  • GetOwner() -> o
    • Gets the owner buddy object, which is always present
    • Returns: the buddy object path of the owner
  • ShareActivity(s: activity id, s: activity type, s: name, a{sv}: properties) -> o
    • Shares an activity with others
    • As of the Trial-2 API, the activity is visible to everyone; in the Trial-3 API it will be private by default
    • Returns: object path representing the new activity
  • GetPreferredConnection() -> so
    • Gets the preferred telepathy connection object that an activity should use when talking directly to telepathy.
    • Returns:
      • bus name of the Telepathy connection
      • object path of the Telepathy connection

Activity Object

Object Path: /org/laptop/Sugar/Presence/Activities/



  • BuddyJoined (o: buddy) - deprecated, see BuddyHandleJoined
  • BuddyHandleJoined (o: buddy, u: handle)
  • BuddyLeft (o: buddy)
  • NewChannel (o: Telepathy channel)
  • PropertiesChanged (a{sv}: changed properties)
    • Unchanged properties are not mentioned in the dictionary


  • GetId() -> s
    • Gets the activity's ID. Deprecated, use GetProperties() in new code
    • Returns: string representing the activity's ID
  • GetColor() -> s
    • Gets the activity's color. Deprecated, use GetProperties() in new code
    • Returns: the activity's color in string format
  • GetName() -> s
    • Gets the activity's name. Deprecated, use GetProperties() in new code
    • Returns: the activity's name
  • GetProperties() -> a{sv}
    • Get the activity properties as a dict whose keys are defined by PS. Currently the possible keys are:
      • b: private (if False, advertised to all)
      • s: name (title or empty string if unknown)
      • s: tags (tags in some format chosen by the UI, initially empty string)
      • s: color (#112233,#456789 or empty string if unknown)
      • s: type (D-Bus well-known name)
      • s: id (activity ID)
  • SetProperties(a{sv}) -> nothing
    • Set the properties, which are as defined by GetProperties. Unchanged properties may be omitted. The type and ID cannot be changed.
  • Join() -> nothing
    • Joins the activity
    • Returns: nothing, or an exception on error
  • Invite(o: buddy, s: message) -> nothing
    • Invites the buddy, sending the message with the invitation
    • Raises NotJoined, NotFound, WrongConnection or a Telepathy error on failure
  • GetJoinedBuddies() -> ao
    • Gets all buddies who are currently participating in this activity
    • Returns: array of buddy object paths
  • GetChannels() -> soao
    • Gets all the Telepathy channels (chat, tube, voip, etc) belonging to this activity
    • Returns:
      • bus name of the Telepathy connection
      • object path of the Telepathy connection
      • array of Telepathy channel object paths
  • ListChannels() -> soa(osuu)
    • added in PS 0.81.3 (joyride-2128, 8.2-3)
    • Return all the existing channels associated with this activity
    • Returns:
      • the D-Bus well-known service name of the connection
      • the D-Bus object path of the connection
      • a list of tuples containing for each channel associated with this activity:
        • a D-Bus object path for the channel object
        • a D-Bus interface name representing the channel type
        • an integer representing the handle type this channel communicates with, or zero
        • an integer handle representing the contact, room or list this channel communicates with, or zero

Buddy Object

Object Path: /org/laptop/Sugar/Presence/Buddies/



Refered objects passed in signals are specific to this buddy only.

  • IconChanged (ay: icon data)
  • JoinedActivity (o: activity)
  • LeftActivity (o: activity)
  • PropertyChanged (a{sv}: changed)


  • GetProperties() -> a{sv}
    • Gets all the general properties of the buddy
    • Returns: a dbus dict of buddy properties, like nickname, realname, IP address, whether or not this buddy is the laptop owner, etc
  • GetIcon() -> ay
    • Gets the buddy's icon data
    • Returns: a character array containing the byte stream of the icon data
  • GetJoinedActivities() -> ao
    • Gets all activities in which this buddy is currently participating
    • Returns: array of activity object paths

Owner Object

Object Path: /org/laptop/Sugar/Presence/Buddies/

Owner is a subclass of Buddy, with additional methods for setting nickname, color, and buddy icon.



  • SetIcon(ay: data)
    • Sets the buddy's icon data
    • Returns:
  • SetProperties(a{sv}: properties) -> nothing
    • Sets various properties of the buddy, like nick name, color, and current activity
    • Returns: InvalidPropertyError if a property is unrecognized its value is invalid