Anyone who frequents this blog knows I’ve not been a fan of the Empathy messaging client up until now. I’m still not a fan, but am learning to live with it.
The last few updates to Empathy and its supporting libraries on Fedora 21 have made it usable for me. Gone is the inability to handle self-signed SSL certificates, for example. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the SIP account profile finally works, although it required me to completely log out of Gnome Shell and back in before actually being able to register with my SIP provider.
The integration with PulseAudio is much improved, although that doesn’t help any with Pulse’s own inconsistent behavior with any given mix of devices (I’ve learned to budget several hours at least to working out the right recipe to getting Pulse to recognize and use my choice of devices). Call audio quality, particularly over SIP, is also acceptable (but still outclassed by Skype).
In testing I was able to carry on video calls between a couple of local clients, but since most public XMPP (Jabber) chat servers and my own SIP provider don’t support video, it’s hard to fully assess it (testing interoperability is also a challenge, since all the available SIP and XMPP clients on Windows are lacking).
Still, I’m going to stick with Empathy for awhile to give it a fair chance. Among the available SIP and XMPP clients available for Linux, the Empathy version currently shipping on Fedora 21 has risen to become the best looking and most stable.