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Data transfer via Telepathy

A tube is a Telepathy primitive for sending and receiving data, which can be to one person or to a group of people. Tubes can carry reliable byte streams or unreliable datagrams by analogy to TCP or UDP. When a tube is to a group, some different semantics may be more appropriate, since a shared stream is not coherent. It is up to the connection manager how tubes are implemented on top of its protocol.

Tubes protocol (discussion)

Dafydd Harries on Tubes

Rob McQueen's blog

There are two types of Tubes at present: D-Bus Tubes and Stream Tubes.

D-Bus Tubes provide D-Bus functionality to signal and call methods on everyone in the room.

Stream Tubes wrap TCP/IP sockets and are more suited to streaming data between two participants.

D-Bus Tubes

A multi-user tube is represented as a D-Bus bus, and the connection manager makes a mapping between the participants in the tube and D-Bus bus name. Clients can then take advantage of D-Bus's serialisation and the bindings so that they have to do less protocol work.

Stream Tubes

Stream Tubes allow you to establish TCP connections with contacts or participants in a multi-user chat or conference (MUC).

|TP client|--|listening socket| B
'---------'         ^
    C               |
               | Manager  | A
               __/     \___
           ___/            \
          /                 \____
         |                       \
         \__                     /
            \    Internets      /
            /                   \
           /                     \
          |             ___      /
          \____/\      /   \____/
            F  | Manager  |-|listening socket| E
               '----------'        ^
                              |TP client| D

Guillaume Desmottes on Stream Tubes more more

See Low-level_Activity_API#Stream_Tubes for more documentation.

Tubes Channel Type

In terms of the Telepathy API, we have created a channel type which has methods for enumerating existing tubes and requesting new ones. The channel might be attached to an existing channel (such as a MUC), in which case it will be automatically closed when the underlying channel is closed.

Proposed Standards

See Telepathy#Proposed Standards for proto XEPs.

See also