Internet wide chat

Bernie Innocenti bernie at
Mon Apr 21 14:03:03 EDT 2008

On Mon, 2008-04-21 at 11:54 -0400, Chris Ball wrote:

>    >  - They asked if video chat is possible.  I recall someone was
>    > working on it months ago.  What is the current status?
> We need two things:  a codec that we can encode and decode in real-time
> (the demo from 2006 used h.263) and a transport layer -- I think we have
> a UDP transport for Salut, but not for Gabble, so video chat would be on
> the local mesh only.

So are we designing from scratch?  I think it will be productive to
take an existing application like Ekiga or Linphone and maybe just
change the UI.  Both support video RTP, although I'm not sure whether
through plug-ins that users can download separately.

Linphone works well: when we went to the Game Jam in Olin College,
at some point I was bored so I installed it on the laptop and made
a phone call to Italy.  SJ may recall that I was walking around
with the XO pressed to my ear like a huge mobile phone :-)

Linphone also has a great advantage for us over Ekiga and Twinkle:
it's designed around the good old engine-interface pattern that
makes it easy for us to rewrite the UI.  It already comes with
two (although really crappy) UIs, plus a machine console for
automated tests.

I know these things because a few years ago I reused its guts
for an embedded VOIP application, and the result was very good.

> It would be worth someone checking out the Theora team's latest
> optimizations, which might make Theora solve the codec problem.

Even though we could ship that by default, it is important
to also let users download the standard codecs to interoperate
with other VOIP clients.

If that is not possible, someone who lives in a patent-free
country may rebuild with --enable-patented-codecs and offer
a replacement bundle.

  |___|  Bernie Innocenti -
   \___\ CTO OLPC Europe  -

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