Folks: Contact aggregation for your desktop and mobile


One Line Summary

How the Folks project pulls together all your contacts and integrates them into the open source desktop and mobile platforms.


Added as an external dependency to GNOME in 2.32, libfolks brought meta-contacts support to Empathy. Since then, Folks has grown beyond just a Telepathy IM contacts aggregator and now has support for libsocialweb and Tracker — and will soon support evolution-data-server. Where does libfolks fit into GNOME 3.2 and KDE? How can we use libfolks and libsocialweb to integrate the desktop with social networks? To what extent can we and should we integrate the two? And where does Folks fit into mobile platforms, such as MeeGo?

This talk will demonstrate how to use libfolks to integrate the user’s aggregated contacts (also known as people) in your GLib-based application. We’ll also discuss and provide examples for QtFolks, our QtContacts bindings for Folks, which brings all the contact sources of Folks into your Qt-based application. We’ll then explore the future of libfolks, including ideas for desktop/web integration.

The talk is aimed at desktop and mobile developers who are interested in adding contact support to their application or social networking integration on open source platforms.


telepathy, kde, gnome, meego, folks, qt-folks, contacts


  • Treitter-bio-photo-2010-medium-square

    Travis Reitter



    Travis is the original designer of Folks and primary maintainer. Additionally, he has worked on other related projects which include: the Soylent people browser; Maemo 5 Contacts application and framework; Telepathy specification and GLib implementation; Evolution contacts; and project lead on Folks and QtFolks development for MeeGo Handset.

    He has been a Gnome developer for several years and a full-time open source developer for a few of those with Collabora, Ltd.

    Travis lives in the San Francisco bay area, California. When he’s not developing software, Travis likes to run, cook, listen to music, and spend too much time playing video games.