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Forums > Senate Hall archive > Skype is the wrong way to go, here's an alternative


This girl will like you if you respect open standards!

I have already listed what's wrong with Skype, but I will reiterate my points:

  • It is proprietary (closed source).
  • It uses a secret, proprietary protocol without specifications, which is deliberately obfuscated to cripple reverse engineering efforts.
  • No free (open source) implementations of this protocol exist, creating vendor lock-in.
  • The Linux version is lagging behind in terms of feature set and stability.
  • It has been found to have privacy issues, transmitting users' BIOS data over the Internet without their awareness or consent.

Or just read the Wikipedia article. I have a personal policy of not using proprietary protocols or software (IE/Wine and Opera are exceptions because I have to test pages in them, but even they at least use open standards; my primary browser is Firefox). Point two against it if said software can compromise my privacy.

That being said, I suggest WengoPhone, based on the open SIP protocol, as the primary way of voice communication among us Wookieepedians. Version 2.0 supports everything you will possibly need, including conference (multi-user) calls like the one famously used in Wookiee-Cast Episode 5. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac, both as a standalone application and as a Firefox extension.

The prosecution rests. - Sikon 08:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

  • But we already have Skype. .... 08:41, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
    • I already had Opera when I switched to Firefox. I already had ICQ when I switched to Jabber/Google Talk. I already had Windows when I switched to Ubuntu. Among my university groupmates, the more progressive ones incited the less progressive ones. Skype, for me, is an even more pressing issue than ICQ because at least there are free ICQ clients, but there are no free Skype clients. I'm boycotting Skype. I won't create a Skype account or join any Skype conference, even if 90% of Wookieepedia will be there. I have already listed two ways of voice-contacting me - SIP and Google Talk. What I'm suggesting is just a more reasonable alternative out of these two because Google Talk, to my knowledge, doesn't support conference calls. - Sikon 08:51, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
      • I see, and respect your points, but the thing is, your issues with Skype aren't really a bother to most lay-people. Myself included. Also, we're generally lazy. .... 08:53, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
        • As I mentioned on IRC, August Dvorak summed it up best: "I'm tired of trying to do something worthwhile for the human race. They simply don't want to change!" jSarek 09:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
          • And you pretty much hit the nail on the head. .... 09:17, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
            • What issues, if any, does SIP have? (I have neither at this point but am definitely open to not using Skype.) —Gonk (Gonk!) 15:57, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
              • I've made a short tutorial at User:Sikon/SIP. I don't know how conferences are managed in Skype, but here, there is one small inconvenience: you will have to type the room number with the dialpad every time you connect. (This only applies to conferences, not to peer-to-peer voice chat). - Sikon 17:06, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

If you're having problems with Wengo, try Gizmo instead. It's proprietary, but at least it uses SIP. Try dialing "conference" from it. - Sikon 23:36, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

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