Older blog entries for dsandras (starting at number 42)

GnomeMeeting and Zeroconf
I received a patch that implements ZeroConf support into GnomeMeeting. It has been applied and will be available in the 1.2 release. That is very convenient to discover GnomeMeeting friends on your network. That was an interesting idea given by Alex here. I'm happy to see it was so fast to implement it.

GnomeMeeting and GAIM integration

Several people have showed an interest to see GnomeMeeting integrated with popular instant messengers. Julien Puydt had started coding a DBUS component for GnomeMeeting and that component will be available in the 1.2 release. He had also started creating a plugin for GAIM, so that GAIM Linux users can start videoconferences from their Instant Messenger. He tried to get help from GAIM developers, discussed with them and their answer was clear, they are not interested in that plugin and won't support it. <irony>Nice example of cooperation.</irony> That would have been great even if it wouldn't have been compatible with Windows clients, at least as long as GnomeMeeting doesn't support SIP.

GnomeMeeting and SIP

It's progressing!


I had two superb evenings last week with two of my best friends. We had two days off so we decided to spend the evenings together and it was really fun. The bad side is that it remembered me the time when I was still a student, unfortunately that will never happen again...

My birthday is coming, another nice opportunity to feel old. I think that once you leave university, time is flying away. I have two spare days on Thursday and Friday, I will unusually spend the evenings with two of my best friends instead of spending them coding on GnomeMeeting. That won't prevent me from coding the rest of the day.

I'm currently spending half of my time on OPAL, and the rest on GnomeMeeting itself. I have fixed a bug particularly hard to find this week-end and I was able to get my first SIP call today with GnomeMeeting. I'm also working on GnomeMeeting 1.2. It has been ready for a long time, but I will need to work on the manual and FAQ now, and integrate a new patch for ZeroConf integration. Imagine being in a meeting and being able to detect the GnomeMeeting users in your neighbourhood, that will be possible thanks to two french hackers who contributed a patch.

Julien has also contributed DBUS support to GnomeMeeting and has started working on a plugin for GAIM. That should allow total audio/video interaction with MSN Messenger in the near future, but it is also a nice new feature allowing to start videoconferences for GAIM users communicating with other GAIM users. However, the GAIM developers don't seem motivated at all to help him progressing.

Congrats to Novell for the release!

Nothing new. A bit tired due to the amount of work. Spent a superb evening with my university friends on Wednesday during the "24 heures of Louvain-La-Neuve". I'm in a period of doubt concerning GnomeMeeting. Should I continue or should I spend my spare time on something else?


Release 1.2 with Evolution-Data-Server support is ready. There are still a few bugs to fix, but the code and strings will soon be frozen. I think an official release could be ready around my birthday, mid-November. I started porting it to OPAL for SIP support, that is like writing a new GnomeMeeting. Is it worth it? I don't know, but I'll do it.


The schedule is nearly done, the hotel for speakers has been booked, contacts have been taken again with Linux Magazines... That will be the 5th FOSDEM edition if I remember correctly.
I have not blogged since a long time. It seems it has become a regular habit, but I will try to change that. There are many reasons to it, among others too few spare time. I went on holiday with Jonita in July, near Naples (Italy), it was very nice and I enjoyed it much. We are slowly preparing our wedding which will take place next year, and that's a lot of work. Actually, we have been together since 7 years (in one week).


More and more people talk about Skype. I agree their software is easy when it comes to firewall, but it is using a non-standard protocol and it is proprietary. That's funny to see how people accept to be emprisoned into a proprietary protocol, preventing communication with other software, for a software whose job is to ease communication. I think that's a big problem, especially when you see the quality of protocols like H.323, or SIP.


Preparing things for the 1.2 release which could not be ready in time for the GNOME 2.8 release. That release will have many internal code changes,as I wanted to prepare the way for the future SIP integration. I think the release should be ready in maximum one month if we don't drop ILS yet. After the release, I will invest all my efforts on GnomeMeeting and Opal hacking to get SIP ready and as much usable as H.323 currently is in GnomeMeeting. A few features could be missing though, but I think it could be pretty exciting if GnomeMeeting was the first Open Source software to support the 2 major standard protocols for VoIP, IP telephony and videoconferencing.
4 Jul 2004 (updated 4 Jul 2004 at 17:51 UTC) »

GnomeMeeting 1.2, and ffmpeg

There were initial plans to have video codecs support in OpenH323, those plans have been cancelled for now. That leaves 2 choices for GnomeMeeting :

* either we keep specific H.263 ffmpeg calls in GnomeMeeting's code and users have the possibility to use the (very good) H.263 codec

* we simply remove that code

In the first situation, we are taking the risk to have legal problems as we would be offering a direct way to use patented and thus possibly illegal code from GnomeMeeting. Having plugins would solve that problem, even if it would still be possible for users to use patented codecs. However, we wouldn't provide a direct way to do it. All this resulted in an interesting discussion (read: a flame), and I decided to take no risk and have no H.263 support for now.

Libre Software Meeting

I will be talking at the Libre Software Meeting in Bordeaux on Wednesday. They are announcing rain. Every time I'm going to a supposedly sunny place for a conference, I get rain instead (my last experience was GUADEC 2002 in Sevilla).


I'm going to Naples with Jonita next week. It will be short, but extremely good for both of us as we have worked a lot recently and simply need some rest.


I was interviewed earlier this week for my work on GnomeMeeting by the national radio in Finland thanks to Johnny Ström from Linuxvaasa.com. Of course, the interview was conducted using GnomeMeeting. Johnny told me they were pretty impressed by the product. It was fun!


I have worked this week on codec plugins for GnomeMeeting. All codecs are now plugins... That's the continuation of Craig and Julien's work on plugins for devices.


I'm just back from the Libr'East in Paris. I spent most of my time with Dodji, strider, hub, lrz, ange, ... from GnomeFR. Such meetings are always nice because you see people in reality.
I also met Fabien Penso from LinuxFr. I discussed a long time with him and it was nice to see him again. I hadn't seen Fabien in reality since at least 2 years. Nice to see he has interesting projects in mind for the future.


I read about that, and I don't really know what to think about it except that people will still need more professional VoIP and videoconferencing tools. That's what we are trying to provide. Also playing the game of big companies and reverse-engineering proprietary protocols is perhaps not the best thing to do in the communication world.


I have spent the last few days hacking on Evolution Data Server support in GnomeMeeting. It has been exciting and it begins to be usable. However, there are still a few things that we would need but that the API doesn't provide yet. Anyway, I think it will be a great feature for GnomeMeeting 1.2 and it will be a big step forward in terms of integration with the desktop.

I will be speaking at the Libr'East in Paris this Week-End, see the website for more info. I still need to finish my talk. I hope to be able to show some GnomeMeeting/Evolution interaction as that's what I'm working on currently.


Last year for Jonita, courage!


I've been working hard on my project at work. It is fun, but a bit stressing too, because the result of my work doesn't entirely depend on me...


GnomeMeeting 1.00 has already been released and GnomeMeeting 1.0.2 is on the way. That release adds more translations, includes one bugfix, but also depends on the Janus release of OpenH323 for which a few bugs have been fixed too.

The development in CVS has continued. Julien has worked on a pure GLib backend to store preferences in GnomeMeeting. It has been integrated in CVS and is enabled when you compile GnomeMeeting with --disable-gnome. Of course, that doesn't mean that GnomeMeeting is moving away from GNOME as one of my main objectives is to be more and more integrated to the desktop - next step is some work to integrate the address book with evolution-data-server -. But some people have been asking since a long time for a lightweight GnomeMeeting version and for a Windows port. Some people have made good progress on the Windows port, and the ability to compile without GNOME features and dependencies was required for that port. In short, that is an option I don't like, but it was required.


Somebody crashed his car into my 2 months old car while I was parked, and he drove away. Some days, staying in bed would be better.

Mailman Spam

markmc: The GnomeMeeting list suffers the same problem with spam than the GConf list. I would say it receives about 50 mails to be moderated per day when it is quiet. I'm using mladmin to discard mails. I even thought putting it in a cron.


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.

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