Re: [GnomeMeeting-devel-list] Interest for GM 2.00

Hi Damien

>There are today 4 categories of users :<
You forgot:
5) Companies which run commercial Vidoconferencing systems like Polycom or
Tandberg and want to extent it's reach to include the desktop.

OK - not many do this today. Neither did the bank I'm working with - though
they have some Polycom collecting dust. The reason is that to schedule a
videoconference one has to announce it some days in advance to the IT
department guys (that they have time to swipe the dust off :-)  ) So bank
employees use the standard voice only phone instead

What a pity!! Desktop Videoconferencing would offer:
1. One actually can see, who e.g. is in the meeting room at the other end and
is listening.
2. Often it is hard to distingush voices on the phone - especially if a) you
don't know them well, b) they talk mixed (and are streamlined and cloned
standard employees fond in so many large organisations :-)  ) c) talk in e.g.
English rather than their/our mother tongue. - Even a flickering QCIF image
would make a huge difference.
3. Though the video is sometimes crude, it's enough to show a quickly drawn
sketch to the other side which says more then a 5 minute explanation.
4. Both specialisation/segmentation and travel cost rose at the same time
increasing the need for light weight, easy to manage, well integrated
colaboration tools.

My "dream" tool would:
- be robust and easy to install
- integrate with Polycoms (they still mostly H323 but feature higher Video
- integrate with the normal phone system for i.e. one can call someone on one
number and the call gets routed to a) Video Softphone b) standard (IP??) phone
at the desk c) home or cell phone. Asterisk can handle this.

Gnomemeeting in conjunction with other Open Source tools such as Asterisk or
GnuGK OpenMCU 1.x comes close in most aspects. (I don't know much of the
Polycoms and Tandbergs)
Desktop video is a market that is around for some years but still not really

>I have some doubts about the future of the project. I know that it is a
recurrent subject with me since I started it back in 2000...<
Please don't go away - we need you :-)

> GnomeMeeting was the first "easy-to-use" multi-platform softphone.<
Well, it is still the only decent one on the Market that reached a certain
level of maturity. Lets compare:
- Netmeeting - not a good citizen on the Net (uses random ports, NAT hell)
Windows only
- Skype - call other skypers or POTS. All calls routed through Skype servers
abroad (i.e. away from local legislation - so how to trust them your corporate
data. While this is not an issue when you say "hello, I'm fine, see you
tomorrow" it is when it comes to industrial espionage. And this starts at low
level nowadays - small hightech startup is enough to appear within their
- Messengers like Yahoo and MSN - same privacy issues as with Skype. You're at
mercy of those companies - no integration at all.
- Other proprietary tools such as Maratech etc. -> same as skype, bad
- xten - hard contenter but a) relatively hard to set up b) prohibitive
pricing (no demo version available, focus mainly on SIP providers and telcos)
c) SIP only
- Neos ( - nice integration of H323, instant messenger
and whiteboard - something I'd like to see Gnomemeeting to develop (at least a
module of it which provides the voip/video part and integrates well with other
components) Anyway, I use Neos for those endpoints who cannot be convinced to
convert to Linux and can't use Netmeeting for firewalling issues.
- everything else is immature or "experimental" (e.g. Java sip-communicator)

> I insist on the "multi-platform" aspect, as the code is portable.<
You forgot to mention "multi-protocol"  once sip is ready for prime time.

>(However, nobody is maintaining the MacOSX port, nobody is maintaining
the FreeBSD port, and we have to do the WIN32 port ourselves (thanks
Thank you guys to do that. I'm looking so much forward to have the Windows
port to reduce complexity.

>However, few people are using Asterisk, or a corporate IPBX supporting
SIP AND a softphone running on GNU/Linux. So I think few people really
need SIP.<
Well, don't be too impatient. H323 is nuts when it comes to networking. SIP
behaves a lot better. So it's worth converting. (problem: Windows client, qcif

Asterisk definitely has its place in the small business, soho and even midcap
world as it offers a lot of features and integrates well with existing ISDN
and pots infrastructures. Gnomemeeting can be a nice building block in this

>That means that GnomeMeeting has a small "market share" (the GNU/Linux
Desktop users) and that "market share" is even smaller if we think to
the market share represented by the fraction of those users who want a
Well see "softphone" as part of a supplent (video/presence/whiteboard) to your
desktop phone. It can extend the reach of both common "desktop items" - the
telephone and the PC by integrating them into a multimedia communication

>Things would be so different on WIN32...<
Indeed! BTW: Is there a alpha or even beta yet one could download and test?

>So you, GnomeMeeting users, what do you think of that?
Should I start another project and develop slowly on GnomeMeeting, or should I
continue full-speed?<
I hope I could raise your spirit and convince you to stay at the ball :-)

You (or better "we" :-)  ) should try to position Gnomemeeting as a module for
interaction and integrated communication. This would require to be more
present in Asterisk or Yate ( circles and focus on
consultants etc.

I'd like to know, if my points are rasonable :-) So please answer and post
your opinion


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