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Skype To Provide Open-Source Linux Client

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  • Skype To Provide Open-Source Linux Client

    Phoronix: Skype To Provide Open-Source Linux Client

    The very popular Skype VoIP service has provided a Linux client for some years now, but it's not nearly as full-featured as its Windows counterpart, and right now it's a binary-only application. However, things may be partially changing at this company that's in the process of being spun off from eBay...

  • #2
    seems like suspicions were confirmed in the comments on skype blog.

    still, if the protocol will be closed source, that means that either the opensource client will link against some blob library, or will be just an skype api client, which will require current skype version running in the background.


    • #3
      That happens if they are scared. They see that there is pretty well working VOIP with audio and video over jabber for example. With this generation of distribution the stuff is really usable without compiling and for the great masses. It's the only choice Skype has.

      I will not use Skype as long as the client and the protocol is not 100% open source. And not only open source, we must be allowed to use it with out own implementations if we want.

      But this will not happen, so I hope that empathy and the general voip solutions on linux will become even better.


      • #4
        I will not use skype anyway

        I was not happy about their high bandwidth usage not for your own messages, not to mention the proprietary protocol underneath.

        Their paid services could be even worse, I once had to call paypal customer service to get my money back, and I deleted skype from all my computers after that incident. Of course, I was among many who feel being cheated by skype.

        If ebay can get rid of skype, I will have more confidence on my ebay account. I was considering to close all my ebay/paypal accounts, after found the cheating from skype.


        • #5
          I don't think I do or will ever have any confidence in any ebay/paypal/skype nonsense. Paypal doesn't have any respect for their own agreements -- I've had to go through my CREDIT CARD to get a refund out of a paypal/ebay scam.

          As for this skype nonsense.... if the protocol isn't open, what's the point? The ONLY reason for open source skype is the protocol itself. We can make the UI stuff easy.


          • #6
            At least it will be possible for other clients to use the Skype protocol if they wish.


            • #7
              today everything that has opensource in its name is hip and people will "buy it" (except, of course, the opensource purists/evangelists )

              with this step they're (hopefully) fixing a lot of problems with pulseaudio, 32bit/64bit versions, etc. provided of course that their protocol (like already confirmed) is the only closed-source part

              this will allow them to "let" the community add missing features and hence keeping skype competitive

              what would be the sense in open-sourcing their protocol (for them) ?

              that way other companies could create business model "forks" ...


              • #8
                Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                I don't think I do or will ever have any confidence in any ebay/paypal/skype nonsense. Paypal doesn't have any respect for their own agreements -- I've had to go through my CREDIT CARD to get a refund out of a paypal/ebay scam.
                lol ebay and paypal are god awful for sellers. By the time u pay the fees your profit margins are limited.

                On the flipside, people like you who chargeback, also make paypal dirty ground for sellers.

                the skype UI in linux sucks. Maybe now we can get something decent.


                • #9
                  Well I'm happy about this. I currently have Skype working together with Asterisk (using SipToSis as a SIP extension) and Pidgin (using skype4pidgin as a replacement GUI). Both work pretty well but I still have to run the real Skype in the background. Even if there is a binary blob, this will mean that I may not have to run a separate client in future.

                  At the same time, I will say that I'm not a huge fan of the proprietary protocol and I do primarily use a SIP service (sipgate) but adding Asterisk to the mix gives me the best of both worlds.


                  • #10
                    Meh. It's the protocol that it matters. Something as inherent as communication MUST be deeply opensource, not just the buttons. They can take their opensource client and put it where they know.


                    • #11
                      It's the protocol that matters, yes. Especially when there's a competing open protocol, and the closed protocol in question is extremely vulnerable to "tapping" (in analog phone lingo) and such.

                      No thanks, Skype, I'll stick with SIP.

                      @d2kx: Nope, and that's the point... they may be open-sourcing their client, but that doesn't do anything to the protocol, it'll likely stay as obfuscated, undocumented, and nasty as ever.


                      • #12
                        ...The Chinese government, for example, was found to have been spying on Skype conversations already, and they are probably not the only ones...


                        • #13
                          Yes! Yes! Yes!

                          Heeeeeeeeeeeell yes!!!

                          I got a family member who's offshore for a year and Skype is the only way to get in contact. But... Skype sucks under any OS and especially under Linux today up to the point that only text communication is possible but I can do that with MSN protocol clients anyway. That sucks.

                          I know it's:
                          a) Evil;
                          b) Proprietary;
                          c) Closed standard and;
                          d) Not GPL'ed....

                          But at least I can now make some freaking video calls in the near future

                          Thank you Skype for this crappy half-baked desicion xD


                          • #14
                            i use daily Skype on windows as their linux version is so... not working! I never get the mic to work on skype. Opening the client is a start tbh, more native support on alsa and memory consumption. I do understand that the protocol isn't going to be FOSS, it's understandable as they get money from the skype credit (phone call to physical phones) i never called someone from my skype to a physical phone, most of my contacts use skype on their PC/Iphone/whatever.


                            • #15
                              I like the linux UI much more than the windows one. Its just way to confusing in windows.
                              When it comes to sound, I remember skype only suported OSS (the old, deprecated version) for a long time. Then they added support for alsa and you could start skype without blocking the soundcard and it was great. Then pulseaudio came... and with it the mess.
                              I don't know if it is skype's fault or pulse's but pulse, being the new general sound platform is definitely expected to be more fool-proof than skype.
                              That being said, independently of whether the main burden of skype sound issues lies in pulseaudio or not, an open-source client would most likely quickly find a way around the problems.
                              But why oh why cant the very open pulse be fixed once and for all?