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[Freedombox-discuss] towards a business plan

Hello Yannick,

On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 11:49 PM, Yannick <sevmek at free.fr> wrote:
> Le dimanche 06 mars 2011 ? 12:46 +0100, Jonas Smedegaard a ?crit :
>> On Sat, Mar 05, 2011 at 07:15:18PM -0800, Thomas Lord wrote:
>> >Step 1:
>> >
>> >Let's pick 5 apps. ? I suggest email mailbox hosting, chat,
>> >instant messaging, blogging and FB-ish "walls".
>> What is the difference between "chat" and "instant messaging"?
>> If first one is realtime voice chat, I suggest calling it telephony to
>> avoid misunderstanding.
>> And I suggest to aim even lower that for first iterations. ?Not because
>> any of them are weak as selling points, but because not all of them
>> really exist yet (or are prepackaged in Debian, if that matters yo you).
> Nowadays, there is no more such difference between Instant Messaging,
> Voice/video Chat and Telephony. It all converges.

Actually, there is a big difference from a technical perspective.
IM can handle latency, jitter and other network issues much better
than voice can, unless you are happy with >1sec voice latency to
buffer your way through these problems.

> One issue is there is 2 free (as in speech) protocols: XMPP and SIP.
> Personnaly, I would prefer SIP because it has a focus on telephony
> features, stong backup by hardware vendors for real telephony and allow
> to call "real" phones too. The downside is the complexity of the
> specification and interoperability issues.

Yes, SIP is very good in many ways, but at ServalProject.org at least,
we are looking to create a simple alternative protocol (open of
course) which will tolerate latency and excessive packet loss much
better than SIP does, and will be substantially more bandwidth
efficient when calls are not in progress.  We will still support SIP,
and have a SIP to our own protocol gateway, but we will use our own
protocol where both ends support it to improve performance.

It should also be noted that SIP is very chatty when no call is in
progress, which can easily swamp a mesh network.

> Make no mistake, SIP do support Instant Messaging too:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIMPLE
> Another issue is to get a real world wide adress book. The best I know
> is ENUM, still with no real backup by governements yet, but there is a
> community around it ; see
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_number_mapping
> If the project is willing to replace DNS, I think it should include ENUM
> as part of it.

The trouble with ENUM is that it needs government cooperation to work.
This is why ServalProject.org made Serval DNA (open of course), which
lets people claim their own number, and creates a distributed home
location register so that you can make calls using real numbers, even
if partitioned from the rest of the internet.  I am happy to provide
more information on this if people are interested.

> Last but not least issue is the "NAT" issue. But this one is something
> that would include most of the services provided by the freedombox: each
> freedombox will need a public adress to allow real peer to peer
> connection. I would recommend using IPv6 from the start and drop any
> form of NAT. This would ease a structure where any freedombox could be a
> real server and client.

This is fine for devices with support for IPv6, which clearly the
freedombox will be.
However, if you want compatibility with as many devices as possible,
then you at least need a plan for NAT/IPv4.
ServalProject.org's approach here is using nodes as gateways and ECC
public keys as actual identities.  We can route this as an overlay
over IPv4 if necessary, and you could use a fairly sensible ECC to
IPv6 mapping.

> On the topic of SIP, having a real peer to peer achitecture is the
> subject of this effort for a standard: http://www.p2psip.org/

Again, I think this is good to support, but I think that it is
possible to implement some cleaner, simpler protocols to do these
tasks better, and my team and I are actively doing so, and are happy
to share that work, and take input from this community.


> Finally, I would say we do not have the source code yet implementing all
> of that, but we do have some good clients here and there wich will need
> more love...
> Best regards,
> Yannick
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