I just installed jitsi 1.0.1 on LinuxMint 12 (somilar to ubuntu). Here's
what I hit.
I use twm(1) as window manager. This window manager does not have
close button or "balloon messages". I have chosen twm as
my window manager due to its simplicity and barebones design.
1. There is no way to close jitsi dialog boxes, such as "Options".
This is very annoying because once the dialog box is open, it
stays open until I kill jitsi process. Every dialog box should
have a close button in the application itself (it should not
rely on windowmanager for this function). Alternately, perhaps
even preferrably, every jitsi window, including dialog boxes
should be closeable by typing Ctrl-W.
2. The fact that dialog boxes can not be closed leads user to wonder
if his settings were saved. It would appear that they are not
saved. There should be Save settings button.
3. There seems to be no way to turn off popups or balloon messages.
I finde them very distracting and would rather not have them (I also
always turn off the notification sound). In Options/General/Popup
notification type menu there should be an option to turn them
4. During initial installation process there is no easy process to get
SIP or Jabber account. One must
a. already know that you need one,
b. go to the web (outside jitsi install process) and engage in
confusing SIP provider selection exercise (confusing because
if you do not know what SIP is, how the hell are you supposed
to make informed choice between the myriard providers - and
why do the need email to register? I want instant
messages so my email should be irrelevant.)
c. Or you could be a guru and at this point install your own jabber
server or whatever.
All this account creation confusion creates steep learning curve.
Skype has solved these issues in a much more elegant way (albeit
evil as they are happy to be the single place where acconts are
5. Half of my friends that try jitsi try to bypass the account creation
hell by choosing SIP with noserver (lan version). The next thing I
see is them trying to chat with me but their accounts are of
the form email@example.com. When I try to reply them on the chat
I get confusing "408 Message Timed Out" error. I figured that
its not working because I can't talk to their private IP SIP server.
But how is a normal user supposed to figure this out?
a. One improvement would be to have the 408 error message explain
what is going on. I think the patter is easy to identify: if there
is @192.168 in the other party's SIP address, then there is trouble.
b. Better improvement would be to alert the initiator of the chat session
that it is hopeless due to @192.168 address on one side or another.
c. The best solution would be for the chat protocol to actually carry
full detail how to contact the other end even without SIP server
being contactable. If a message gets through in one direction or
the other, then communication should be possible irrespective of
other misconfigurations or network inavailability of SIP.
6. Overall jitsi's chat connectivity does not seem as robust
as Skype's. I do not know what blackmagic skype does that jitsi
does not, but the net-net end result for user is that skype is
7. No matter how much I try to deactivate Spell Checker (it is very
annoying) the deactivation is not remembered across Quit and
start again. I have not tried deleting the spell checker yet.
8. There is no simple sound test, like Skype Test Call.
9. I have turned on "Require Private Messaging", but it seems
chat windows still appear where this is not on. I think
it is a serious security threat that the settings give you
an impression that you are protected when in fact you
10. Selecting "Start private conversation" or clicking the padlock
on the toolbar does not appear to turn the private conversation
11. Encryption on (does "private" mean same thing as encrypted?)
indicator should be available even if I have hidden the toolbar,
which I ofetn do because I do not want to waste screen realestate
12. What the hell is OTR? Off The Record? That does not sound any
crypto at all. I get a feeling that jitsi has a big snakeoil
factor to it because it is all too easy for users to think they
are protected when they actually are not.
13. In the chat window, it would save vertical screen realestate if
the author tag and the message were on the same linr (like they
are at least in older skype clients).
P.S. I found out about jitsi in FOSDEM'13