[Ekiga-devel-list] Pulse support and Networking (was Re: Reorganizing things)

I hesitate a little to speak here, as I'm not completely versed in the issues or the code, but here's a short statement of my experience with these two problems on Fedora 10 using the SVN head as of about a week ago. The head from this morning crashes when I try to make calls, so I can't say if the behavior has changed since then. See the rest of my comments inline, below. I would be happy to file bugs against these behaviors if that would be helpful, or work with someone familiar with the code to troubleshoot them further.

yannick wrote:
Peter Robinson a écrit :
Sorry, it is a bad timefor me as my work is starting again; I'll have
fewer spare time for 2 or 3 weeks...

(Except Peter: thanks for the nice words and help offer!)

Le lundi 31 août 2009 à 19:58 +0200, Damien Sandras a écrit :
Dear all,

It appears clearly that since a few months I can dedicate less time than
before to Ekiga. During the first 5 to 6 years of the project, I was
dedicating all evenings to the project and nearly all week-ends, fully.

It is now impossible for me to continue developing at that pace. If we
organize things in a clever way, I think it will not be a problem. My
intensive work probably hide a few organization problems.

We now have a few very high quality contributors: they help the project
move forward will less "devotion" from myself.

The purpose of this e-mail is to identify the areas where people can
help and how we should work. But before identifying those areas, I would
stress on the fact that my wish is to release often, but with only a
limited set of new features, that are well-tested. We have seen in the
past that we had worked on many new features, half-finished, and that it
was hard to stabilize them before doing a release. I don't want this to
I like this idea too, 3.0 was a pain to release. Beside, network (TCP
support) and the audio part of Ekiga (e.g. pulse audio) needs some new
features quickly.
>From a Fedora point of view the two "bugs" I see on a regular basis
are "Audio Problems" (will be fixed mostly by a Pulse Audio plugin set
as the default) and Network issues which are mostly Firewall and NAT
based. I think support for upnp would possibly fix most of those
issues for the average user. The would be the most useful features
from my point of view and the later would probably also help the issue
with ekiga.net "not working" mentioned elsewhere.

I see pulse audio as a good thing for the Linux audio stack; it provide
a unified test case of the major features and my hope is to see it
improve the situation at the end. (and IMHO it really needs improvements...)

Pulse support in the SVN head as of a week or so ago is only partially functional. When I place a call, I hear ekiga generate the ring sound until the other end picks up the call. The other end hears only digital artifacts (soft blip-blip-blip noises) until I open the pulse audio volume control application, at which point the other end hears correct audio. Closing the volume control application reverts to digital artifacts. Reopening it causes audio to work again. I never hear audio from the called party. These behaviors are 100% reproducible.

The network issue is also a complex matter. I agree upnp will improve
the situation too. Still it will not be enough for some people. The
software we compete with here (skype) is full of workarounds for
hardware/network config *hostile* to VoIP. As people with software which
do not work are always louder than people where it just work, the
situation will still harm ekiga reputation. Beside, the security topic
here is quite important and very complex, and this is something skype
deals with obscurity. Quite frankly, I doubt if the skype protocol was
open, it will be considered as secure... I've started to work on the
topic, i.e. how to deal with hardware/setup hostile to VoIP. I've hope
to publish a white paper in the coming months (I was full of hope to
publish this for the end of august, but I was then busy with user
support, bug triaging, packages, etc.). I do not see a good fix for that
in the short term. Any help is welcome.

On Fedora 10, I have a machine with several interfaces including a VPN interface. I am only intermittently able to register and make calls through my SIP server. Checking the box in preferences at:

Edit->Preferences->General->General Settings->Network Settings->Enable network detection

seems to have a positive effect, in other words, ekiga seems more likely to register and place calls when that box is checked, but it's not 100% effective.

If I create a virtual machine on this physical machine, ekiga registers and makes calls 100% of the time. Both machines are running F10, fully updated. The significant difference is that the VM has only one interface, plus loopback, whereas the physical host has 5 interfaces plus loopback.

Twinkle registers and places calls reliably from this machine. I don't know the twinkle code, either, but since it is FOSS, perhaps it would be useful to look at its code to see how it operates in the multi-interface case.


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