Re: [GnomeMeeting-list] Re: GnomeMeeting 1.2 and Skype

On Mon, 2004-10-11 at 15:18 +0200, Damien Sandras wrote:
> Le lundi 11 octobre 2004 à 14:59 +0200, Jerome Lacoste a écrit :
> > > Enjoy Skype ;)
> > 
> > I do. I mean it's either skype or the phone bill :)
> > But I can't wait to get an OSS replacement with the same easiness of
> > use.
> > 
> ie a replacement to GnomeMeeting and Skype. Even if you get one, you
> won't use it, just because the windows people are using Skype. Or
> perhaps you mean an Open Source Skype client? It is as bad than running
> the original client as you would still be using a proprietary protocol.

sorry for being that late to answer.

I meant a replacement for VoIP that uses open technology/standards and
thus potential free software implementations. I don't care of how it's
done. I just want something as easy to set up as skype is.

I don't think it would be that hard to implement a Skype similar
solution (even incompatible with Skype) using a new open commuication
standard. I am not familiar with the technology used by skype. If I
understood it's using a sort of P2P network to add a brdiging node in
between people trying to communicate. That way all communication are
initiated from within the LAN, not requiring open port for inbound
connection. Am I right?

> > Anyone knows what's happening on the side of the SIP/H323 standards with
> > regards to NAT? Any planned standard enhancements?
> The problem is not with SIP or H.323. The problem is with NAT itself.
> The day when the Linux Kernel and most hardware routers will natively
> support SIP (or H.323), then you will have no problem to go through NAT
> with software like GnomeMeeting.
> Perhaps it is too late for H.323, but most hardware routers start
> supporting SIP natively, which means that you can be behind that router,
> and call anybody without any problem. Of course, at least one port
> forward is still required if you want to be able to receive incoming
> calls.

I find this to be a problem. Not in itself, but when compared to the
aforementioned closed alternative.

> As for GnomeMeeting and H.323, we provide several ways of going through
> NAT in the CVS version :
> - Using a STUN server, if your router supports any type of NAT except
> Symmetric NAT (the linux case)
> - Using a gatekeeper (if I had money, I would pay for a public one)
> - Using IP tranlsation and port forwarding
> - If you are calling a GnomeMeeting user on a public IP, or behind NAT
> with IP translation, you don't need to be configured anymore, it will
> cross the NAT.

All these solutions are fine, but they don't work for most part of the
population. I can set up gnomemeeting with NAT to call my Linux techno
savvy friends. My understanding is that NetMeeting doesn't work as well
in the same configuration. And most of my friends use Windows.

As a user I just want an interoperable cross-platform easy to use open
solution. Something that just works. Try to explain to a user that he
has to use a gatekeeper or configure his router correctly, because NAT
implementations don't support the protocols of open VoIP standards. Then
show them skype. 

Guess what they will pick up.

I don't like it, but right now that's my easy to use solution.

> Finally, FWD is providing public SIP outbound proxies, which means that
> people can use them with SIP clients allowing to transparently go
> through NAT without any configuration *even* if your NAT doesn't support
> SIP. That's equivalent to the gatekeeper case above.


> > I wonder why Microsoft doesn't get their own product...
> They probably understood that there is no future if they do not support
> standards for VoIP. At least, I hope.

Me too.


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