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Cross-Platform Internet Telephony?

The Internet | Posted by Cliff on Monday July 10, @08:21AM
from the now-this-would-be-cool dept.
the . Silicon . Dragon writes: "The company I work for is creating a product that we hope to launch on Linux. One of the key features of our product is Internet Telephony where a user can not only call other users on the Internet, but also make and receive calls from standard telephones. We've investigated a number of possible solutions, but they all have shortcomings. The most sour part of the situation is we may have to move our launch platform to Windows if we cannot find an acceptable Internet telephony solution. It'd be highly disagreeable with myself and several others in the company as well if we have to do this, but we can't drop a key product feature and we don't have the time or the resources to develop the technology in-house. Suggestions for Java (preferrably) or C/C++ solutions, and/or references to companies that provide said technology would be extremely helpful." The 'key feature' in question is interface customization. You can find out more in the article.

"It is an absolute MUST that we be able to customize the interface of any such client application. Second, it MUST be able to run on Linux and Windows with minimal pain (the product is coded in Java). Lastly, the quality MUST be fairly high. So far, solutions like HearMe and OpenH323 are either incomplete, lack quality, are not cross platform, and / or do not allow us to create our own interface."

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You couldn't have searched very hard

(Score:3, Informative)
by FascDot Killed My Pr on Monday July 10, @08:28AM EDT
(User Info)

Hey, Ask Slashdot editors: Could we get a slightly higher quality of question and less repetition (we've had the "internet camera" question at least twice).
Connect your MAPI users to your UNIX mail system! MailOne for Linux! [ Reply to This | Parent ]

Why linux?

(Score:3, Interesting)
by w00ly_mammoth ( on Monday July 10, @08:36AM EDT
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I know this may cause thousands of readers to pump up their blood pressure, but if it's a commercial company, then it will naturally target its products on windows (let's face it, if it's a product that needs to make money, windows would be more sensible, not because of the platform's attractiveness, but because that's where the most users are. And this sounds like a home consumer type of product as well.) I can understand it if you want to target BOTH windows and linux, but from your description, it looks like you're sour about moving from exclusively linux to exclusively windows. Why not both?

After all, if it's written in java, that would be one of the key advantages. btw, did you look on computer telephony magazine?


[ Reply to This | Parent ]

The internet isn't made for voice calls.

(Score:3, Insightful)
by revin ( on Monday July 10, @08:40AM EDT
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Voice over IP has been a hot subject for quite a while now, but till now we've never seen it being realised on big scale. First I think it has been marketised too much. Voice over ip is not rocket science. For me, it doesn't say more than 'telnet over ip'. Classic telephony calls are practicaly 100% reliable. TCP/IP connections are too unexpectuous: theres a big risk on delays, that are not important for data, but are so for voice. With TCP, you're sure your packets arrives, but it is too slow for voice packets. UDP hasn't this checking, is fast enough, but you are not sure the packets are delivered. How many times we like to see realaudio clips, but that we can't get a connection. Internet telephony is super for applications like netmeeting etc, but when somebody with a real telephone calls another , he expects that his call arrives, not that it is in a jam. People are used to this. So, in my opinion their will not be evolution to internet telephony as long their is no protocol redesign.
--ReViN-- [ Reply to This | Parent ]

Java Telephony

(Score:3, Informative)
by mflagg on Monday July 10, @08:43AM EDT
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Java has a Telephony API, have you looked at that yet. I'm not sure if it is exactly what you want but it is a place to start. Here's a link:
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

(Score:4, Informative)
by paled ( on Monday July 10, @08:46AM EDT
(User Info)

is a good place to start.
first a Dopple, then a Tripple, then Quadrupel - when will it stop? [ Reply to This | Parent ]

bad question

(Score:3, Insightful)
by abes (ude.siednarb@seba) on Monday July 10, @09:29AM EDT
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I am not trying to be mean, but this is a horrible question. What do you mean by develop "your own technology"? Almost any programming project requires a certain amount of innovation (if its to mean anything, and be sellable by a company).
Secondly, like a previous "ask slashdot", you are confusing the method with the language. This is almost completely dependent on what the employees in your company. The question of whether to use Java is not so much a question of language, but whether you need it to work across platforms. However, keep in mind Java tends to be slow, and usually not such a great thing for realtime involving a lot of data.
If your company decides to use linux, there are many tools available for sound transfer. There are at least 2 or 3 sounds projects I know of. TCP/IP is almost free using any UN*X clone, and that sounds like the majority of your project.
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Several Linux Solutions

(Score:4, Informative)
by nodvin ( on Monday July 10, @09:31AM EDT
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Quicknet has a low - cost 1 port card that will do the trick with Linux and Windows drivers:
Also check out Pika for 4 port cards with traditional analogue and VoIP capabilities with Windows and Linux drivers:
Aslo check out the Bayonne project. Linux based Open Source telephony system with interfaces to Quicknet, Pika, and other cards:

Stephen Nodvin [ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:Abusing the telcos

(Score:3, Interesting)
by tsmith213 ( on Monday July 10, @08:54AM EDT
(User Info) http://0x7f000001

Actually, with a good compression codec (which are quite common), VoIP can take up less bandwidth than a regular analog call. For instance, with CELP compression it's possible to have a full-duplex communication channel in 9600bps (600Bps * 8b/B * 2directions) + protocol overhead (IP + UDP header lengths anyone?) so on a typical 33600bps connection you could likely squeeze 3 simultaneous conversations. IMHO this is why there was a big push in the wireless telco industry to move to digital (what do they really care about call security?).

If you think about it, VoIP is more efficient than your "honest" + "proper voice line".

CELP == Code Excited Linear Predication
I believe it's been around for a while (1970's?).

Tim --
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

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