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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Skype Replacement?

From: Alexey Eromenko
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Skype Replacement?
Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 12:50:42 +0300

I'm not aware of any Free Software Skype replacement. (that's why FSF
is calling to write one...)
But when trying out VoIP (voice programs) -- you should try it first
yourself, on 2 laptops, or by using virtual machines, such as
VirtualBox (which is Free Software).

IMO It is a bad practice to try out new software with
computer-illiterate users, if you are not sure yourself it will work.
General ideas:
Modern "user-friendly" software acts as both VPN + primary goal +
central registry.

1. DropBox = file sharing + cloud storage + central registry.
2. Skype = VoIP + VPN + central registry.
3. TeamViewer = remote display client/server + VPN + central registry.
4. ICQ = chat + central registry.
5. Hamachi VPN = broadcast ethernet VPN + central registry.

The idea of central registry, is that it is very simple to find peers,
with whom to share.
Moreover: all those programs can bypass firewalls, which makes it very
simple for total noob users to install and operate.

IMO, Free Software can only compete with proprietary software, if
there is one central registry "de facto" standard.
Else you go the standard client/server route, where everyone needs own
server, needs to configure firewalls, needs knowledge. It doesn't work
for computer illiterate users.

I needed to help with computer to my computer-illiterate friend (which
lives in another country): Should I use VNC or TeamViewer ?

With the Open-Source VNC, the user must configure own firewall, open
port, including home router's firewall and OS firewall. Not gonna
happen. The user has no clue what a firewall is, let alone how-to
configure one.

Guess what ?
I had to use the non-free TeamViewer, as it bypasses firewalls.

There is only one example in history of de-centralized system, which
is easy to operate: HTTP / Web.

Guess why ?
It is due to centralized world-wide DNS system, regulated by ICANN.
If every country or every service provide had internal, and
incompatible DNS system, the web (HTTP) would die out very soon.
Think of this problem globally:

And you soon realize, that Free Software Movement must develop not
just software, but central repository(-ies) for such applications, so
they can bypass firewalls for newbies to operate it.
The system must be smart enough to connect 2 PCs, even if both behind
firewalls over the Internet, by using a central server, for data
passing, if needed.

Best wishes,
-Alexey Eromenko "Technologov"

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