Older blog entries for dsandras (starting at number 33)

GnomeMeeting...

GnomeMeeting 1.00 has been released yesterday together with a brand new website. We have not received complaints despite the big amount of downloads of the software, which is good news. Many things are on the roadmap to 2.00. Mainly SIP support, support for audio and video codecs plugins, better address book integrated with Evolution Data Server, Bonobo or DBUS integration, ...
We actually have 2 big directions for the 2.00 release: better integration with the desktop, and support for the other major VoIP/IP Telephony protocol, namely SIP. SIP support is a bit worrying because it will add more complexity to the software. Calling normal users won't be more difficult than it is now and will still be based on URLs, however, people will have to understand that when they are using a Gatekeeper, it only works for giving and receiving H.323 calls. Similarly, an incoming H.323 call can only be forwarded to a H.323 host, an incoming SIP call can only be forwarded to a SIP host. Does that mean that we should have 2 different possible settings for the forward host, or only one which would lead to an error when the host you are forwarding to only supports one protocol? If we have 2 different settings, what will we do for the current "FORWARD ALL CALLS" setting, should it be usable only when you have specified your 2 forward hosts? That will be a hard task, but our main motivation will be to "keep things simple"

IRC release party

We did an IRC release party yesterday, it was fun. Nearly nobody was talking on IRC as we were all connected to a big MCU provided by Stefan. Video and audio chatting is much more convenient than simple IRC, and you can see how the party is happening in the rooms of the different people involved in GnomeMeeting. All of us want to do it again for 1.2.

FOSDEM

FOSDEM was a big success this year. We had many more visitors than what we would have dreamed of. I met many GNOME and GnomeMeeting hackers, which is always fun because you can meet in reality the people you are discussing with on IRC (and GnomeMeeting) on a daily basis. It was a pretty tiring weekend but I think we all enjoyed it very much. I will have some free months now before starting organizing FOSDEM 2005. I would like to thank all the people who helped making it the success it was, and I would also like to thank the hackers with whom I spent my time during the weekend because it was a great moment for me!

GnomeMeeting

I have not slept much recently because of the GnomeMeeting 1.00 release being scheduled for next week, because of FOSDEM and also because of an important project ending today at work. It was a very busy month, but I'm proud of what has been accomplished.

Let's hope the GnomeMeeting release will be a big moment.

Life

I have had a real Geek life the last weeks, but it was fun after all (not for Jonita though).

Orkut

I got invitations from Jonita, Kenneth and Yoann. I had decided to not join Orkut, but I finally did it. Let's hope the GnomeMeeting Orkut community will grow that way. Orkut is definitely a nice concept.

1.00

Still working on it, I hope it will be ready in time...

Geilenkirchen

I was in Geilenkirchen last week for the Open Source Telephony Summit. That was an excellent opportunity to meet other VoIP Open Source developers, and I had a great time there with Craig, Robert, Roger, Derek, Oliver, Stefan, ... We discussed a lot about the future of GnomeMeeting and about the future developments to be done after the 1.00 release is unleashed. I'm very enthousiastic about the post 1.00 release because it should make of GnomeMeeting a very complete VoIP application supporting all major protocols.

GnomeMeeting 1.00

I haven't code much lately, but I spent my time reading the code, reviewing patches from Julien and cleaning stuff. I think 1.00 is nearly ready, many users are already using our CVS snapshots, and we do not have many bug reports, which indicates a good stability despite the *huge* changes in this release.

Life

So many things to do, and so few sleep. It seems like I'm becoming again hard to live with, especially with the poor Jonita. Hopefully, everything will go better in one month.

New Year

I had a wonderful New Year's eve with Jonita and my parents. Much more fun than I had expected and it finished really late, which is good for me.

GnomeMeeting

I have worked a lot on GnomeMeeting the last few days and weeks during my spare time. Most of the features I wanted to see in 1.00 are already implemented. I will now spend the rest of the available time before the release of GNOME 2.6 to polish the code and work on documentation with zanee.

I just read Ettore passed away, I can't believe it. I didn't know Ettore very well, I just had a few mail exchanges with him in the past and I also met him at Guadec. He was the first one to propose integration of GnomeMeeting with Evolution.
The community has lost another great hacker in one month, such things shouldn't happen.
Condolences to his family, his friends and to Ximian.

GnomeMeeting and Instant Messengers

People are often comparing GnomeMeeting to the Instant Messengers concept which is, I believe, a wrong approach. I guess it is the result of the marketing efforts of Microsoft and Apple for that kind of solution, but I think that it is time to react to that situation and give a clear view of what GnomeMeeting is and what GnomeMeeting is not.

Most of the commercial implementations of Instant Messengers offer the possibility to send and receive video and voice using a myriad of different protocols and codecs, most of them being proprietary. In my opinion, although it is something good for the average user, I also think that people need more serious and complete solutions if they want to replace the phone they are using every day by something more powerful and more ... modern.

GnomeMeeting is thus a modern IP softphone, with the aim of replacing your classic POTS (plain old telephone set) or your cellular, and use the Internet instead of classical phone lines, even though it can of course be used to call normal phones too. An Instant Messenger will only have very few features compared to a cellular and will very likely be unable to replace it one day.

GnomeMeeting is based on H.323, an IP telephony, Voice Over IP, and videoconferencing protocol. It permits interoperability with H.323 compatible software and hardware (see for example: http://www.swissvoice.net/ww/htm_ww/07_products/ds_ip10.html, that is an H.323 IP phone). You can use GnomeMeeting to call other IP softphones, or hardware based IP phones, but also to call normal phones on condition that you have the required hardware and/or software infrastructure. A few companies are starting to use such solutions. Imagine a company having appropriate hardware and software connecting the classical phone or ISDN lines and the Internet. When a customer calls the company for support, he is confronted with a vocal menu asking him to do a choice to either contact the commercial or the technical support service. Once the choice is done, a technician answers and helps him. The technician can put the call on hold (you hear the music), or transfer it to another technician with more competence in the field of the customer's question. Those technicians will be using IP phones or softphones (like GnomeMeeting for example) connected to the LAN of the company and it will be transparent and efficient for the customer. You could not do the same with an Instant Messenger like iChat or Windows Messenger, both types of software are not comparable and should not be compared because they do not have the same purpose.

To summarize, GnomeMeeting has many required VoIP features permitting it to transparently replace classical phones and cellulars in VoIP infrastructures : compliance with standards, Call Transfer, Call Forwarding, Call Hold, possibility to register to gatekeepers managing calls, possibility to be controlled by classical phones plugged into Quicknet hardware, dialpad simulating the dialpad of phones (if you are presented to a vocal menu and have to make a choice)...

GnomeMeeting will never be a simple Instant Messenging solution with a few videoconferencing features, because I still believe in the day when people and companies will use IP phones and softphones like GnomeMeeting instead of their normal phones to save the costs. Of course, all of this does not prevent Instant Messengers from interoperating with GnomeMeeting to offer the same kind of "simple" features as in the Windows and Apple worlds, but we do not have the same goals.

It is my birthday again... 27 years old, I begin to feel old.

It is a great day, not because of my birthday, but because plugins are finally fully supported for audio and video devices in GnomeMeeting. A great step forward to 1.00.

Chema, we are all thinking to you...

New work

I started working for IT-Optics at the beginning of this week. IT-Optics is a Belgian company focusing on Open Source services. I enjoy working there because what I'm doing is fun, but also because people are very nice and there is a great atmosphere.

GnomeMeeting

There has been much code rewrite inside GnomeMeeting during the lastmonth. Not because it was needed, but because I want to have the cleanest code possible for the 1.00 release. This is the difference between proprietary software and Open Source software. In the proprietary software world, you code things that just work (when they do), but in the Open Source world, you can take time to code cleanly. I spent most of my time rewriting the configuration assistant to make it nicer, faster and better.

Matrix 3

I just can't wait to watch Matrix 3 tonight. I didn't particularly like the first movie, but the second one came as a good surprise to me. We'll see if the scenario will keep its promises.

24 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!